How to Get Started in B2B Content Marketing
21st April 2014
If you think that B2B is a synonym for bland and boring, you couldn’t be more wrong, especially when it comes to content marketing.
Content marketing has grown in popularity and is now a key component of the marketing mix for the majority of organizations. And B2B content marketing isn’t far behind: in fact, statistics from 2013 show 91% of B2B marketers are using B2B content marketing to get found, share expertise and solve customers’ problems. Large B2B companies like Xerox and Salesforce have made the creation and distribution of engaging B2B content a priority in their marketing strategy. And who can forget Volvo’s video stunt with John Claude Van Damme that made even 18-wheeler trucks exciting….and viral?
The key to creating B2B content that people will care about is finding your niche — use what your organization is already great at and then repurpose it in unexpected ways. Bland B2B content can be turned into shareable, engaging collateral by showcasing your creative side with the right visuals, tone and messages. It’s your chance to take authority for the topics you know inside and out and position yourself as a thought leader not only for potential customers, but competitors.
Here’s a few basic tips on getting started:
Take Inventory of Existing Content Assets
Here’s the best news about developing content assets: you’ve already done the hard work — content you’ll be sharing exists in the bones of your day-to-day activities. Think annual reports, presentations and speeches, news releases and product sheets. When you’re putting together content, think of the top 30 questions your target audience wants answered. Some general pain points might include:
How can I reduce my day-to-day business costs?
What’s the quickest way for me to get daily tasks done?
How can I improve my process to streamline business activities and capitalize my results?
What trends are driving my industry? How can I take advantage of them?
How can I develop a competitive advantage to set myself apart from competitors?
If your content answers one of more of your target audience’s pain points, then you’re on the right track to producing relevant material. In many cases, repurposing content requires only a small tweak or slight reformatting. It can be as simple as taking written content and transforming it into something visual.
Visuals anchor our memory — when text is accompanied by an image, retention increases by 40%. According to MDG Advertising, content paired with an image attracts 94% more views on average than content without visuals. If you want to increase the shareability and virality of your content assets, think images. Infographics are a great way to share number-based content (for example, your annual report) in an engaging and interesting way.
Check out the infographic pictured here that we created for our client, Aurena Laboratories. It visually explains Aurena’s differentiators, and turned would be a boring, long process into a succinct creative graphic.
Or take a page out of our book: at Digital Giants we wanted to develop a new way to share existing content. And so, the #Giantism was born, presenting written content in a fun, creative way. Like Giantisms, repurposed content can be as easy as taking a snippet of text from an annual report and displaying it in a highly shareable way.
And videos are even more engaging than pictures, in fact, watching video is the third most popular online activity. B2B players like Eloqua and Deloitte have found a way to take their content and present it in the format of short, attention-grabbing videos that not only demonstrate their expertise, but their brand personality. Don’t have the time or production budget to create lengthy, high-quality videos? Not a problem: apps like Vine and Instagram give you the tools you need to make a 6-second video go viral.
Boost Leads by Blogging
B2B companies with active blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than those that don’t. Blogging allows you to become your own brand journalist. According to our research, only 21% of Canadian companies are using corporate blogs. This leaves a huge untapped market for B2B companies looking to stake their claim in content marketing. A blog gives you the perfect outlet to push content out and share with your target audience. It’s a way to house all the content assets you own in one place for people to interact and engage with. Not only that, but sharing content that’s relevant to your audience can help to position you as a thought-leader and forward-thinker in your industry.
You might be thinking, “Why do I need to blog to get found? SEO should take care of that.”
In truth, SEO alone doesn’t cut it anymore. What you need to build a successful digital marketing strategy that combines search and optimized content marketing in order to get found online. Neglecting a B2B content marketing campaign means your competition will have the upper hand in the search engine.
Still Feeling Intimidated by B2B Content Marketing?
Although it’s a key component of B2B digital marketing strategy, many organizations still lack the manpower or expertise necessary to strategize and implement content marketing campaigns. According to our Digital Marketing in Canada Research Report, only 36% of Canadian companies say they have the internal skills to build a digital strategy. Call in the experts to take inventory of the content you already own and develop fresh ideas to draw people in so you can start generating qualified leads. Reach out to us and we’ll get you started today.