Content marketing is using content to grow your business’s audience, develop and strengthen brand awareness, and ultimately drive leads and sales. It has become the backbone of B2B marketing because of its effectiveness. Just take a look at these stats:
- According to Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing.
- 47% of buyers consume three to five pieces of content before reaching out to a sales rep.
- 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.
When it comes to content marketing, many B2Bs struggle with knowing what types of content will make the most significant impact on their audiences. From blogs to whitepapers, there are a variety of options to choose from.
To achieve success, B2Bs must first put their audiences’ informational needs ahead of their sales/promotional messaging. Then determine what types of content will effectively fulfill that need. With content marketing, the end goal is to create a relationship with your audience where they see you as a credible and trusted resource.
Below are six content types that B2B should consider to help drive leads and sales.
A blog is where you can post quality content that your audience will find valuable. B2B blog content focuses on helping businesses understand and solve their most significant challenges.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 76% of B2B marketers report that blogs are a vital part of their content marketing strategy. Further, B2B companies that blog typically generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. Blog posts also improve SEO and can help boost organic traffic to your website.
When it comes to blog creation, remember:
- Use SEO to optimize your content
- Content should be relevant to your product
- Use the topic cluster content model to organize your blogs
Video is quickly becoming the king of content for both B2Bs and B2Cs. According to HubSpot research, 54% of audiences want to see videos from brands they support, which is more than any other type of content. Research also shows that 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service through video.
One of the best features of video is the versatility it offers. B2Bs can create a variety of content that engages their audiences, like explainers, webinars, live streams, presentations and animations. Videos are more immersive, attention-grabbing and make content easier to digest.
Organic traffic increases 157% from search engines when a brand uses video on a page. A video will also increase the amount of time a user spends on your site by 105%. The more time users spend on your website, the higher the chance of making a sale.
Case studies are a vital part of B2B marketing. According to the Demand Gen Report, case studies convert at the highest rate of any content type, with 78% of buyers using them when researching purchases.
When done correctly, a case study is just an in-depth testimonial from a happy client. These studies are the closest way your prospects can get to word of mouth without directly talking with your clients.
When developing your case studies, be sure to choose those customers who have benefited in a significant way from your services. The case study should include quotes and statistics that show how your B2B has helped them succeed.
Whitepapers are a type of long-form content that works well as a lead magnet. This type of content is often confused with eBooks. The difference between the two is that whitepapers tend to be more information-dense, data-driven and detail-focused. This makes them ideal for B2Bs that want to build thought leadership.
Whitepapers tend to be gated content. This means that users have to fill out a form before they can access it. Worried people won’t give over their information? According to a recent Intercom report, 75% of buyers surveyed said they were willing to share information about themselves with a business in exchange for a whitepaper.
B2Bs can use this information to not only get a better insight into their target audience but also allows them to keep in touch with a lead long after they downloaded the paper.
Testimonials and reviews are a type of user-generated content that comes straight from your audience. This type of content shows what makes your B2B stand out from the competition.
Similar to case studies, this type of content is the closest way your prospects can get to word of mouth without directly talking with your clients. Add customer reviews to your website, emails and social media posts. B2Bs can further increase the effectiveness by using video to deliver the content.
Infographics can help B2Bs educate their customers and provide useful information that can lead to more sales. This type of content is great when you need to break down complex processes and statistics that would otherwise be hard to understand in a standard text format.
This content helps customers visualize data so that they can have a better idea of how your B2Bs products and services work. According to Hubspot, “blog articles that included infographics generated an average of 178% more inbound links and 72% more views than all other posts.”
When it comes to choosing a subject for your infographic, consider which topics are best suited for this visual format. B2Bs can use infographics to present statistics that illustrate the value of what your business provides, detailed diagrams of your products and even explain a complicated service.
Finding the right combination of content for your marketing strategy all depends on your B2B’s products, services and marketing goals. Try out the various types to see what works best. Remember, the end goal is to create a relationship with your audience where they see you as a credible and trusted resource. This will keep them coming back, attract new customers and position your B2B for success.