B2B Content Marketing: Creating Content that Connects and Influences

Lauren Owens - October 29, 2014

The internet has rejiggered the B2B sales process. Whereas an in-house sales team used to be able to drive the decision-making process, many buyers no longer reach out until they’ve made a purchase decision. But B2B marketers need not leave their sales goals to fate. The answer instead is to create content that connects with users early on in the decision making process.

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to do this.

In this post, we’ll highlight a bevy of B2B content marketing opportunities, including ways to distribute your content once you’ve created it.

Blogging for B2B

An onsite blog can help to establish your business (and your team members) as industry thought leaders, while also providing your target audience with the information they’re looking for.

In B2B marketing, a blog post is often the first-line of contact, with users being drawn in to your website via long-tail search. For this reason, your blog should be properly organized, and include calls-to-action to help your traffic both discover your products and services, and convert.

Creating Long-Form Content (White Papers, Guides)

Some topics are perfect for blog posts. Others require more in-depth information and/or explanation. For these topics, longer form reports, such as white papers and guides, can help educate your target audience while also demonstrating your expertise.

One benefit of creating this kind of long-form content is its inherent value. Users will typically hand over their email addresses and other contact information in exchange for content that educates and informs. Capturing this information can help you build your email lists, which is useful for content distribution.

Creating Multimedia Content

Multimedia content (such as videos, podcasts and images) is an important part of any B2B content strategy because it can help you to turn complex ideas into user-friendly information. Multimedia content can also be repurposed throughout the content ecosystem so it can be used in social media and offsite content platforms without being counted as “duplicate content,” which is bad for SEO.

Just make sure to optimize your multimedia content as you would your written content.

B2B Content Distribution: Social Media, Email, Offsite Publishing

Of course, creating this content is only the beginning. In addition to hosting your content on your website, there are an abundance of distribution options perfect for B2B, including email marketing, social media marketing, and offsite publishing.

Using Social Media for Content Distribution

Content distribution is one of many reasons why your business should be actively engaged in the right social media channels.

But relevancy is key. It might not be necessary, for example, to create a Facebook page if your core audience is not active on Facebook. Most B2B marketers have a much better shot at building an audience in, and promoting their content through, channels like LinkedIn and Twitter – where many industry professionals and thought leaders spend their time.

But don’t relegate your content to a link. Reimagine written content into visual content for the social audience. This could be as simple as pulling a quote from your written content and using it in a branded image template.

Guest Blogging

Targeted guest blogging is an excellent way for businesses to establish their brands and get in front of key decision makers, while also promoting their subject matter experts and industry thought leaders.

To find guest blogging opportunities, look within your industry and beyond. The goal, after all, is to find your customers, so go where they are, and offer to create content for your customers’ industry publications as well as your own.

Email Marketing

Email is still one of the best ways to distribute B2B content. It can also help you to reengage with users who are already aware of your company.

In addition to sending regular email updates that market your new and relevant content, make sure you allow users to subscribe to your blog so that they get updates whenever you publish a post.

Strategy is Key

As with any marketing endeavor, strategy is key.

Make sure that any content you create aligns with customer need. To do this, perform keyword research to see what your core audience is searching for. And, dig into your Google Analytics data to see what topics interest your audience the most. You may also want to consult with your sales team in order to get an idea of the questions your customers need answered, as well as what content assets your sales team thinks will make their jobs easier.

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