B2B content marketing can be more challenging than business to consumer marketing, but many of the principles remain the same. Clear, concise communication and a solution-oriented approach remains key in attracting businesses to your product or services.
Content Marketing exploded onto the scene in a big way in 2013 and this year businesses will embrace it more as part of their integrated marketing strategies.
In the ‘Digital Space’, a key point to remember when planning out a content strategy, is that people engage with and buy from people they know, like or trust and the way to get to that place, is with superb content.
Here are ten tips for effectively marketing to other businesses.
- Research. Use Google metrics, surveys and other tools to understand who and where your market is, what they need and what they respond to. Time spent doing this up front will result in higher ROI in the long run.
- Offer them solutions. Businesses in need don’t care how proud you are of your company’s product or what excites you about it; they want to know how it can solve their problems today. Make it easy for them by showing them, whether by text, video or some other method.
- Put informative articles on your website. Make them simple enough for laypeople to understand; businesses are paying you to be the expert. Try to include something that appeals to personnel at every level of the purchasing decision.
- Be consistent. If your business uses multiple platforms and channels, be sure that you are saying the same thing on all of them.
- Get to the decision-makers. LinkedIn and Twitter can be particularly good platforms for connecting one-on-one with people both by exchanging messages and by sharing links to useful content.
- Don’t forget the gatekeepers. Administrative assistants, receptionists and other support staff may wield a great deal of power in terms of what is purchased and whom you can speak to at a company. Content marketing that recognizes and acknowledges their needs and contributions may get your foot in the door at places where you’ve previously failed to connect.
- Let your customers do your job for you. Invite some of the companies that have been most satisfied with your product or services to write something about what you have done for them.
- Plan ahead. Business cycles can be more predictable than those of individuals, and you have some advantage in being able to research and understand what prospects will be most in need of and at what times. Release content based on this model.
- Mirror the customer. You shouldn’t do this literally; don’t copy what other businesses do, but look at their own social media and websites and tailor your approach according to what you can glean about the company’s brand and personality.
- Make white papers available online. B2B companies have used these for a long time in a more traditional format; there is no reason you cannot use them as well as part of your online content marketing plan.
While relationship building is important in B2B marketing just as it is in B2C marketing, the bottom line is even more important. Decision makers need to feel they can justify the expense of your product or services as well as the choice of your company over competitors.
Communicating these strengths to your audience through highly relevant, creative and informative content will elevate you above the competition and give you a clear advantage.
What innovative tips do you have for creative content marketing and how has this affected your bottom line?