What is content marketing?
More than any other channel, content marketing is the means by which the success or failure of a B2B business can be measured. If you want to attract and retain top-tier prospects and customers, your best investment is handing them custom-tailored content that speaks directly to their needs. These days, however, it’s easy for businesses to fall into the trap of thinking that every piece of content must be full of sales pitches and gimmicks. The truth is that creating truly useful content doesn’t have to feel like work—in fact, it should be part of your company’s culture.
B2B Content Marketing Foundation
Content marketing is a powerful way to reach your target audience. However, it requires a significant investment of time and resources. If done correctly, the payoff can be well worth it; done poorly, content marketing might not work for your strategy.
You should know that content marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to online presence. It’s critical that you define who your target audience is and what you’re trying to achieve before you dive in.
The most successful B2B content marketers establish a clear brand identity and develop an authentic voice that resonates with their audiences through strong storytelling and crisp messaging. They see content as an ongoing conversation between the brand and its target customers, rather than as “one and done” posts or advertisements. Content marketing involves a long-term strategy with room for trial and error—it’s no silver bullet, so don’t expect immediate results from day one. And remember: there’s no need to sell! Focus more on helping your readers understand the problem(s) at hand and how your solution fits into the grand scheme of things; that way if they have questions about how you can help them personally, they’ll come to you for answers!
B2B Content Marketing Tactics
For content marketing tactics, you can’t go wrong with the classics. Blog posts still have a place in many B2B marketing strategies, as they often rank high on Google searches and are highly shareable on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. And while e-books are typically used for more dry topics, they’re also great tools to get your brand’s message across without the risk of alienating readers who aren’t familiar with your company or industry.
Projects like case studies and whitepapers show you know what you’re talking about and give clients the chance to learn more about your products or services without ever having to set foot in your office. These projects also make great additions to social media pages.
Tying in with other blog posts is another way to increase reader engagement and give potential leads something new than just a sales pitch when they visit your site again. Interviews with experts from both within and outside of your industry can help people understand why you do business the way you do and why it’s so beneficial for them. Videos are another popular piece that works well because people are much more likely to pay attention if there’s a visual element involved, especially since animations help break up long blocks of text or a narrator’s voice. But perhaps the most versatile form of content is the infographic—a topic we’ll cover below—because it conveys information in a digestible format with quick visuals that can be shared virally on social media channels like Facebook or Pinterest.
Content Marketing Metrics and KPIs
If you’re running a content marketing campaign, the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are likely to be an important factor in determining its success. Before you can use them to make adjustments, though, it’s crucial to first understand what they are and how to use them.
Tracking metrics is something that most people do daily if not hourly: checking your bank account on Mint or your Fitbit app gives a sense of how much money you have and how many steps you’ve taken in a day. Content is no different; it needs monitoring just like any other business asset so that adjustments can be made when needed.
Content marketing is a great way to build credibility and credibility builds trust.
- Credibility makes your potential customers trust you
- People are less likely to buy something from someone they don’t know or trust
- Trust comes from demonstrating competency in a way that builds credibility and from successful past actions. These successes can come as testimonials, a track record, or even things like blog posts about how something works. Content marketing is a great way to build credibility and credibility builds trust. Content marketing is an effective tool to help build and maintain trust with your audience.