How to Master B2B Content Marketing in 2024

Lana
Gerton
April 24, 2024

Content marketing has become an important part of almost every B2B brand's marketing strategy. Nearly all B2B marketers use content marketing strategies to attract new customers. B2B companies typically allocate 2-5% of their revenue to marketing, while B2C companies often spend a bit more, ranging from 5-10%.

Some businesses struggle because their content marketing efforts don't yield the expected returns. Poorly executed content can even harm how customers view your brand rather than help it.

The real benefit comes from creating content that connects and engages people across various social media platforms. In this blog post, we'll guide you on how to master B2B content marketing is and how you can master it. We'll cover everything from generating content ideas to understanding your target audience.

What is B2B Content Marketing?

Recent research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs shows that 71% of businesses believe B2B content marketing has become more crucial over the past year. Only 4% think it's less important. This highlights the significance of having a well-documented content marketing strategy, especially since 64% of top performers maintain one.

What is B2B Content Marketing?

B2B content marketing involves creating and sharing content to promote your products or services to other businesses. This includes generating high-quality content addressing business customers' needs and challenges. Standard formats include blog posts, infographics, case studies, white papers, tutorials, and educational videos.

Successfully implementing a B2B content marketing strategy means strategically sharing this content to engage your target audience. It's closely tied to building B2B social media strategies, where you post links and visuals on various social media platforms to attract the right viewers.

Email marketing, organic search, and paid ads are also key distribution channels that help spread your content effectively.

Why Is Content Marketing Important for B2B Companies?

Why Is Content Marketing Important for B2B Companies?

Content marketing is incredibly effective, offering a great return on investment (ROI). Statistics from Statista reveal that 30% of marketers see content as providing the highest ROI compared to other channels. This is likely why 91% of B2B marketers utilize content to promote their company.

Content marketing is crucial for B2B companies because it can lead to a significant ROI while being relatively low-cost. While you need to consider labor costs and possibly allocate funds for content creation tools, content marketing generally doesn't require significant financial investments like advertising or event hosting does.

Content has a lasting impact; it can continue to bring value for months or even years after it's first published. By creating content that resonates with your target audience, you can achieve several key benefits:

  • Earn search engine rankings that drive valuable traffic to your website.
  • Generate social media shares that enhance brand awareness.
  • Attract backlinks that not only bring more traffic but also improve your SEO.
  • Establish your company as a leader in your industry.
  • Build trust with potential and current customers.
  • Educate potential customers about your brand and solutions.
  • Gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.

B2B content marketing is an inbound marketing channel designed to attract leads naturally. It focuses on earning the attention and business of your audience by providing genuine value through well-planned content distribution strategies, including social media posts and other social media marketing efforts to maximize ROI.

Top Content Formats for B2B Content Marketing

Top Content Formats for B2B Content Marketing

Content creation is a crucial part of content marketing. In this section, we explore the top content formats that B2B content marketers favor.

1. Blog Posts

Blog posts are essential for B2B content creation because they help with search engine optimization (SEO). They are often the primary method of distributing content and can vary in length from 500 to 4000 words depending on the topic's complexity. They are beneficial for attracting those beginning the customer journey.

2. Infographics

Infographics

Infographics simplify complex data by using visuals such as charts, graphs, and images. They help illustrate comparisons, trends, or processes clearly and engagingly. This format is great for making detailed information more accessible and quickly understandable.

3. Videos

Video content is becoming more popular among B2B marketers. Videos can include tutorials, brand stories, explainer videos, reviews, event coverage, and more. Companies also use webinars and live videos to suit different viewing preferences.

4. Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts are series of audio or video episodes that offer a convenient way for audiences to get information while doing other activities. Their popularity has grown with the rise of audio streaming and podcast platforms, making them a valuable tool for marketers wanting to reach people who enjoy consuming content passively.

5. Case Studies

Case studies provide a detailed look at how a product or service successfully addresses a customer's needs. They are valuable for demonstrating real-life applications and successes of your solutions.

6. eBooks or Whitepapers

These detailed guides or reports provide comprehensive insights into a particular subject. For example, an eBook titled "The Ultimate Guide to B2B Content Marketing Success" would offer extensive information and strategies.

7. Webinars

Webinar

Webinars are live or recorded sessions that cover relevant topics and offer educational value. They are a great way to engage with your audience in real time or through on-demand content.

8. Social Media Content

This includes posts, images, and videos shared on social media platforms. They are effective for engaging with your audience and encouraging interaction.

Using these content formats effectively can enhance your content strategy and boost your chances of achieving content marketing success.

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy?

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Every B2B content marketing strategy is unique, but successful content marketing campaigns always begin with clear goals and a strong understanding of what you want to achieve in the long run. Here's how to start.

Step 1: Identify your B2B content goals

Identify your B2B Content Goals

Start by understanding how content can help achieve your broader business objectives. Are you looking to increase brand awareness or generate leads? How will you track these goals? Setting these goals is crucial as they will guide your overall content marketing strategy. 

For example, to generate leads, focus on creating valuable content like white papers and industry reports that serve as lead magnets. To track your progress, use key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of leads generated and email signups, which are essential metrics in Google Analytics for assessing the success of your content strategy.

Step 2: Identify Your Audience and Their Needs

Identify Your Audience and Their Needs

Knowing your audience is essential. Creating content is to convert viewers into customers, so your content must address their specific needs. If your content doesn't engage your audience, they won't progress through your sales funnel. 

How do You Identify Your Audience?

  1. Start by building detailed profiles for your ideal customers.
  2. Divide your audience into smaller groups based on characteristics like buyer behavior.
  3. Choose whether to address all the segments you've identified or concentrate on just a few specific ones.
  4. Once you know your audience, you can customize your content to meet their needs.

B2B content targets a diverse group of stakeholders within each organization you aim to reach.

Step 3: Conduct competitive analysis

Conduct Competitive Analysis

Analyzing what your competitors are doing helps you understand what works and what doesn't. Review their top-performing content and identify gaps in their strategy where you can excel. 

For deeper insights, use tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer to examine their backlink profiles and discover which types of content attract links from reputable sites. This analysis helps you refine your content strategy, ensuring you focus on creating long-form content and leveraging influencer marketing to enhance the visibility and impact of your content.

Conducting keyword research is also part of this step, as it informs the content creation process by identifying what your target audience is searching for, allowing you to create content that truly resonates.

Step 4: Come up With Amazing Topics

Come Up With Amazing Topics

Understanding your audience profoundly is key to generating relevant and engaging topics. For example, choosing more advanced topics might appeal to experienced designers who already own businesses rather than newcomers.

Here are several methods to help you find great content ideas:

  • Ask Your Audience: Directly inquire what topics they're interested in and what challenges they face.
  • Online Research: Use platforms like Answer the Public, Quora, and Reddit to find out what questions your audience is asking.
  • Keyword Research: Focus your SEO efforts on keywords with low competition but high search potential to ensure you're attracting the right traffic.
  • Content Audit: Review your existing content to see what's performing well and what isn't. Check if your content covers all the buyer's journey stages and identify any gaps. This can guide you in filling those gaps effectively.

These steps will help create a successful content marketing strategy and ensure your topics resonate well with your target audience.

Step 5: Create Content Across the Whole Funnel

Create Content Across the Whole Funnel

Content marketing's primary goal is to simplify making sales. In B2B content marketing, this involves crafting content that addresses the needs of everyone involved in the sales process and tackles their specific concerns. Understanding the marketing funnel can help here.

Top of the Funnel Content

Top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) content aims to grab the attention of potential customers. This is your chance to reach end-users interested in your product. ToFu content can include:

  • Solving their problems
  • Explaining useful concepts
  • Sharing opinions about their industry

Middle of the Funnel Content

Middle-of-the-funnel (MoFu) content keeps your company in the minds of these potential customers, even if they're not ready to buy yet. It gently introduces your product. MoFu content could be:

  • Hosting events and webinars
  • Sharing motivating use cases

Bottom of the Funnel Content

Bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) content aims to convince decision-makers and address any final concerns they might have. It helps overcome any doubts with clear, factual information. BoFu content involves:

  • Publishing case studies
  • Writing detailed FAQs
  • Creating competitor comparison pages

If the idea of funnel stages is confusing, just remember this simple point: your goal is to create content that motivates or persuades every person involved in the buying process.

Step 6: Create Ultimate Guides

Long-form guides are fundamental in B2B content marketing. They provide an opportunity to thoroughly discuss a topic from start to finish, making them perfect for including various long-tail keywords and related topics in one detailed article.

Not every topic needs a long-form guide to rank well. Understanding user intent is crucial. For example, a post about "B2B content marketing strategies" is ideal for a long-form guide because it covers multiple approaches and examples. However, a post titled "B2B content marketing examples" might be much shorter, as it simply lists examples quickly.

When creating long-form guides, consider these tips:

  • Include Images: Adding relevant images throughout your guide helps keep readers engaged and provides a visual break, making the text easier to digest.
  • Break up the Text: Use bullet points, numbered lists, and headings to make large blocks of text more readable.
  • Include CTAs: Place calls to action (CTAs) throughout the guide. Not everyone will read to the end, so adding CTAs can encourage more conversions from people who skim.

Step 7: Distribute the Content Via Search, Social, and Sales

Distribute the Content Via Search Social Sales

To ensure your content reaches the right people at the right time, focus on the three S's: search, social, and sales.

Search Optimization

Search optimization is important for B2B content marketing because a well-optimized article can continuously attract more monthly visitors. Using tools like Ahrefs, you can easily find relevant keywords for your industry. Go to Keywords Explorer and use the AI presets to generate a list of seed keywords.

Social Media

Social media platforms are great for reaching audiences that are difficult to find via search engines alone. For example, companies like Persefoni use LinkedIn to connect with their target buyers and share their insights and expertise.

Sales Teams

Since the ultimate goal of B2B content marketing is to facilitate sales, it's essential not to overlook the most direct distribution channel: your sales team.

Most content should be provided to the sales team so they can share it directly with potential customers or use it as follow-up material. This helps ensure that the content you create effectively supports sales activities.

Step 8: Measure Your Results Over Time

Measure Your Results Over Time

Once your B2B content marketing strategy is up and running, you must track and measure your results over time. This is important because it helps you modify things that are not working well and improve strategies that are performing well. Here are some key metrics to help you monitor the effectiveness of your content strategy:

  • Total Conversions for Blog Posts: This includes email sign-ups, demo requests, and other similar actions.
  • Organic Traffic: Track the number of visitors visiting your website or blog through search engines.
  • Top Performing Content: Identify which content types resonate most with your audience.
  • Keyword Rankings: Monitor how well your crucial keywords perform in search engine results.
  • Backlinks and Mentions: Monitor how often other websites link back to your content or mention your company.

These metrics will give you a clear picture of how your content is performing and where you might need to make adjustments to achieve better results.

Best Practices to Implement Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Best Practices to Implement Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Now that we've defined a B2B content marketing strategy and outlined its key components let's explore how to launch one effectively. While every content strategy should be tailored to fit the specific needs of your business and audience, there are some common practices that top performers share.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key. Regular updates help build a strong connection with your audience. For example, on LinkedIn, pages that post weekly typically see twice the engagement compared to those that post less frequently.

Integrate Media

While text posts are helpful, incorporating videos and custom images significantly boosts engagement. Videos, in particular, can increase engagement fivefold.

Follow the 3-2-1 Formula

Follow The 3 2 1 Formula

This formula is a helpful guideline for balancing your content. Aim for three pieces of industry-related content, two positive content celebrating your employees or community, and one promoting your brand or solutions each week.

Find What They Care About

Consider what your audience values and create content that resonates with these interests. For example, if your audience loves underdog stories, they might enjoy hearing about a customer who overcame great odds with your product.

Use Real Numbers

Base your content on actual data from your business. Present your findings, supporting each point with evidence, much like a detective would explain a case.

Create a Content Ecosystem

Create A Content Ecosystem

While starting with one channel is good, expanding to include various media types can be beneficial. This might include blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media updates, newsletters, and events. This approach engages people who prefer different formats and encourages them to explore more of your content.

Make Authenticity Your Foundation

Authentic storytelling should be the core of your strategy. Avoid exaggerating just to fit a narrative. Strive for a genuine tone, provide valuable information, and focus on helping your audience achieve their goals, not just making another sale.

Final Thoughts

B2B content marketing is essential for connecting with your business audience effectively. You can significantly enhance engagement by crafting content that addresses their needs throughout the sales funnel and employing strategies such as consistent updates and diverse media types. 

Remember to measure your efforts and refine your strategies based on what resonates with your audience. Effective content marketing boosts your brand visibility and drives meaningful interactions and conversions. 

Stay committed to delivering valuable and relevant content, and you'll see a marked improvement in your marketing outcomes. Embrace these principles to maximize the impact of your B2B content marketing and achieve sustained success in your industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should we Update our Content Marketing Strategy?

Reviewing and updating your content marketing strategy at least quarterly is advisable. Market trends, technology advancements, and customer preferences can change rapidly, necessitating adjustments to stay relevant.

Is There a Role for Automation in B2B Content Marketing?

Yes, automation tools like eclincher can streamline content distribution, schedule posts, track engagement, and boost leads through email marketing, allowing for more efficient management of content campaigns.

How can we Ensure our Content Stands out in a Crowded Market?

Focus on creating unique, high-quality content that addresses specific customer pain points. Incorporate current industry insights, expert opinions, and data-driven arguments to add value beyond what competitors offer.

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