Did you know that… 88% of B2B marketers have already signed up for content marketing?
When we think of content marketing, we often have the end-user in mind. But B2B content marketing is already a reality with a lot of future. To understand a little better what it is, today I want to share with you 8 things you should know about B2B content marketing according to the Customer Think business community.
1) Content marketing is not only for B2C companies
B2B companies can benefit from this strategy as much as those that go directly to the end-user. You do not believe it? Think of examples like Adobe, Microsoft or Unbounce.
As with B2C companies, business-to-business businesses must focus their strategy on creating valuable, consistent and relevant content to attract and retain their customers. When executing this strategy, there are some differences in terms of topics to be discussed, formats, distribution channels, means of promotion and content objectives.
2) Most marketers already use B2B content marketing
To confirm the previous point, just look at the data in the 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report of the Content Marketing Institute: 88% of B2B companies use content marketing to achieve their global marketing goals. This figure represents an increase of 2% from the previous year.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
The conclusion is clear: content marketing has become one of the bases of the strategy of B2B companies. The main reasons for this are that it produces long-term value, helps them communicate with their customers and is a great way to exchange information.
3) Most B2B marketers use at least 13 content marketing formats
Within the sack of content marketing, we have endless options to choose from, so why keep only one? Switching between different formats makes it easier to reach different segments of the audience. Together with content curation, this tactic allows you to reuse the information to make the investment profitable and increase the scope.
Do you want to know more details? These are the formats and tactics most used by B2B marketers:
Source: Heidi Cohen
- Contents for social networks
- Case studies
- Events in person
- Articles on web pages
- Photos and illustrations
- Webinars and webcasts
- Online presentations
- Studies and research
4) LinkedIn is the star platform for distributing B2B content
According to the Content Marketing Institute report cited in point 2, most B2B marketers consider LinkedIn to be the most used and most effective platform to distribute their content. Thanks to it, brands manage to establish relationships, improve brand recognition, distinguish themselves as leaders in their respective sectors, launch highly segmented ads, drive traffic to their web pages and identify potential leads.
When it comes to global investment in social networks, it should be borne in mind that in the marketing of B2B content the most common is to focus the effort on a handful of social networks, instead of being present in many of them but in a way more superficial.
5) In-person events remain the most effective way to do B2B marketing
Without a doubt, online marketing has revolutionized global strategies, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that in-person events remain the most effective tactic for B2B marketers.
Bringing your content marketing to the real world allows you to interact more directly with your audience. You can offer the same information as in your online content, but you will also add the power to create personalized experiences. To maximize results, follow up after the event and use comments from attendees to do even better next time.
6) The most important objectives are lead generation and sales (in that order)
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the main objective of B2B content marketing is the generation of sales for 85% of the marketers interviewed, while 84% point to sales.
In reality, these two objectives are still two sides of the same coin: while sales generate immediate results, lead generation feeds the conversion funnel to lead to future sales. A sensible marketer recognizes the value of both objectives and knows how to go for them in their right measure.
7) Creating attractive content is the top priority of B2B marketers
72% of the creators of B2B content point out that their main priority is to create attractive content. Although this is not surprising, it should be borne in mind that the definition of “attractive content” can be very different in the world of B2B marketing.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Compared to content aimed directly at consumers, B2B marketing is usually more data-focused and focuses on helping companies save time and money and improve their ROI. The best B2B content are those that answer the frequently asked questions of the audience, have a high level of detail and are educational. In this way, the responsible people can use them to make informed decisions regarding their companies.
8) B2B content marketing can be divided into 5 levels
Depending on the maturity status of the B2B content strategies, we can divide them into these 5 levels:
- First steps: the company is beginning to experiment with content marketing, but does not yet have a strategy.
- Young people: they are beginning to develop a strategy and measurement plan.
- Adolescents: they begin to reap the first successes and gain experience when it comes to measuring and scaling the results.
- Mature: the content strategy is already succeeding and is being implemented throughout the entire company.
- Sophisticated: they can accurately measure the impact of content on your business and have a strategy implemented throughout the organization.
It is important to maintain a constant publication rate and not neglect the content strategy, however much more important than this is to publish quality content.
Some companies, especially smaller ones, try to self-manage their content strategy without having a professional who can execute it correctly. This practice, in addition to not being advisable, can mean a waste of time for the company – getting results requires a professional content strategy – and confusing customers who need content presented in a clear, concise and attractive way.
It is for this reason that hiring content marketing specialists to generate an adequate and efficient B2B strategy is essential to get leads.