Effective B2B content marketing isn’t a matter of writing a 200-word blog post a few times a week or posting the intermittent press release. If that’s all content marketing is to you, you’re better off investing that time into some other marketing channel.
Effective B2B content marketing operates off the same principle that has made content machines like the Business Insider or Entrepreneur so successful: They build an audience.
Unlike most marketing content, building an audience isn’t about selling your product or services. It’s about giving people something that they value.
Maybe you discuss concepts in an entertaining way. Maybe you have special information that helps your audience. Maybe you make them feel good or powerful or like they are part of something meaningful.
Regardless of the specifics, great B2B content marketing gives people something that they value. And, in return, that value convinces them that you are a business they want to, well, do business with.
With all of this in mind, here are four ways to improve the quality and performance of your B2B content marketing:
1. Stop talking about yourself!
Business prospects look at your website to find out about your business. Individuals read your content to receive value. They trust that you have answers to questions they’re looking for. If they want to find out about your organization, they’ll find you.
Most B2B content reads like a sales letter.
To your readers, this is an easy turn off…
It doesn’t mean you can’t make reference to your business or the things you do to offer value to your clients.
Individuals approve of you discussing yourself…as long as it feels like a justified characteristic of your article. They know. You’re a business and you draw on your experience as a business to make your content. They just don’t want to hear a sales pitch.
In B2B content marketing, center around conveying value, let individuals discover your organization for themselves—don’t utilize your content to sell yourself.
2. Write something worth reading
Contrary to mainstream thinking, you do not need to write 3,000 words to have a solid content marketing piece. Quality is better than quantity.
If you have five points to share, don’t split them up. Put them all in one article or video—even if that means you don’t get five scheduled articles out in a week.
Remember, don’t use your content to just sell yourself (see number 1).
3. Write something worth sharing
Sharing is the soul of content marketing—even B2B content marketing. In the event that your content isn’t being shared, you aren’t building a core audience.
As indicated by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, there are five key reasons why individuals share content via social media:
- To furnish others with important and engaging content
- To characterize themselves
- To build up their connections
- To feel increasingly engaged with the world
- To help issues or causes they feel energetically about
If you aren’t making content that individuals will share for one of these reasons, chances are that it won’t get shared.
4. Understand your business goals
While it’s important to write significant, shareable content, it’s also important to know you can’t simply write articles about random topics. Your content needs to accomplish a business objective.
If your business objective is to build brand awareness, write articles about problems your audience thinks about. This is particularly powerful when you complete paid advertisement on social media to get more eyes on your content.
If your business objective is to determine whether a CEO or decision-maker of a company will feel good signing a deal with your business, write about past successes or results you’ve delivered for your clients.
What you write about (and how you write about it) will be based on your business objectives. This is at the core of any sound B2B content marketing methodology.
B2B content marketing is one of the best long-term investments you can make in your business. It’s not a quick and easy way to get more sales, but it will eventually become a profitable source of new revenue.
Figure out how to build an audience and nurture them through your content marketing funnel. The results are worth it.
If you have any questions or comments about B2B content marketing, leave them in the comments.