Why is B2B Content Marketing Trending?
Recently, there has been a major spike in B2B content marketing.
B2B content marketing - or business to business content marketing - is building brand awareness through online content aimed at business decision-makers. The content can be used to promote products, build partnerships, and ultimately, drive prospects and sales from other businesses.
According to Hubspot, “Content marketing is important because it answers your audience’s questions. With content marketing, you can build trust with your audience, improve conversions, connect with your customers, and generate leads. Additionally, in today's age, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favourite brands”.
Unlike traditional content marketing, B2B content marketing focuses exclusively on promoting to other businesses, not individual customers like B2C content marketing - business to consumer.
As a B2B content marketer, your content should talk directly to professionals in your industry or feature well-executed branded content that makes you memorable with your audience.
Whatever B2B content you produce, it must follow the magic rule of 3:
It must also be tailored to your ideal audience and SEO friendly, so make sure content focuses on keywords with search traffic and business potential.
Before leaping into content creation, as a content marketing professional, you should always understand your buyer persona. This includes deep diving into demographics and taking time to identify your audience interests.
*If your buyer persona was created prior to the pandemic, it’s definitely worth revisiting results and analysing any changes to the industry you're targeting. Consider new priorities and emotional needs, such as buyers turning to more authentic, purpose-driven brands.*
While tapping into emotions was a tactic more commonly associated with B2C content marketing, in today’s climate, B2B audiences are just as interested in seeing their personal experiences reflected in quality content. Since COVID-19, people are looking for brands to help them feel more confident and in control of priorities.
Before creating new content ideas, you should also consider user intent. By understanding the intent of your audience, you can anticipate what type of content they will be drawn to and what they want to accomplish by interacting with it.
Once you know ‘who’ you are talking to and ‘why’, it’s much easier to produce B2B content that speaks directly to your targeted audience.
Now the fun part - conceptualising content topics!
There are plenty of tools to help identify content topic ideas for blog posts, YouTube videos and podcasts etc.
From setting up alerts on Google Trends and reviewing content insights from BuzzSumo to searching Facebook’s Ads Library and using Exploding Topics marketing tool recently released by Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, Josh Howarth and Kyle Byers.
In fact, this article was inspired by results from the new Exploding Topics tool. After noting that the search term ‘B2B Content Marketing’ had increased by 3200% in the past 30-days, I decided to produce content to support budding B2B content writers!
Content marketing is also different from traditional product-marketing, which focuses on sales collateral and other product-specific details. B2B content marketing takes a multi-channel, multi-format approach and includes the likes of educational articles, e-books, videos, podcasts, infographics, entertainment, interviews and webinars. Blog content is still one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience.
Here’s a helpful guide:
After producing B2B content that’s unique, interesting and highly actionable, it's time to share your compelling content with the world!
If you have visions of your content spreading like wildfire via organic reach, unfortunately, for content marketers this has become a lot harder since Facebook practically eliminated organic reach. Paid promotion on Facebook is now more likely to position you in front of your ideal audience.
Instagram - also owned by Facebook, has reduced its organic reach. Sponsored content is available but in order to avoid wasting your social media budget, make sure results are closely monitored and measured.
Fortunately, Facebook Groups are still a free source for promoting content, however, you have to find the right groups (or create your own) and play by the posting rules.
Don’t forget to share relevant content to your email list and across other social platforms including Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok.
You can also write specific content for platforms such as Medium and Thrive Global. (Tip: If you share duplicate content across multiple platforms, set a canonical link to avoid being penalized in search engine rankings.)
Showing up is the first step of publishing content but keep in mind, successful content marketing takes a lot of work, persistence and patience.
While creating consistent, high-quality and engaging content is a must for businesses, the question remains - why is B2B content marketing trending at such an exponential rate?
COVID-19 has changed the way we communicate. Previously, the primary focus of B2B marketing was relationship building in the form of networking and face-to-face meetings. However, in 2020 businesses are relying more on digital communications.
Also, with the disruption caused across myriad industries, B2B marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to define exactly ‘who’ they are selling to. Content marketing is a way to bridge this gap by helping to build brand awareness and reach new audiences.
Another explanation for this trend is outlined by Jodi Harris at the CMI (Content Marketing Institute - the world’s leading authority on everything related to content marketing).
Jodi explains that the pandemic has been a major catalyst for more empathetic content marketing, which was previously predominantly reserved for B2C content, “Marketers need to adjust their content priorities so they can answer the new questions and fill their audience members’ current emotional needs, not just the ones always in play when they’re considering a purchase.”
Content is the backbone for improving consumer trust. With COVID-19 creating a thirst for more meaningful purpose-led communication, content that is honest and informative is on the rise.
Due to the sensitivity of brand storytelling, specialist purpose-driven marketing agencies such as Outsourced imagination have become more valuable than ever. As a brand purpose agency, they help companies tap into their core purpose and guide them on how to be an authoritative and reliable resource to their B2B audience.
In addition to the rise of purpose-driven marketing messages, reduced advertising budgets may also play a role in more businesses turning to content marketing strategies as a powerful way to attract new customers and build relationships that will deliver long-term value for businesses. Producing content is a cost-effective solution compared to other forms of advertising and digital marketing.
These marketing trends, alongside the general benefits of investing in good B2B content marketing, give this tactic major weight when it comes to promoting small businesses and big brands.
Creating purpose-driven content is a rewarding strategy - and you don’t need big budgets, just the right B2B content marketing strategy.
If you are looking for support for your content marketing strategy, take a moment to visit Outsourced imagination. You can arrange a free 30-minute consultation and access a range of purpose-driven marketing resources.
For more marketing strategies and brand purpose examples, check out other Outsourced imagination posts and pages below:
Brand Purpose Is Our Business
Thanks for dropping by our brand purpose marketing blog.
Stay safe out there!
Founder & CMO at Outsourced imagination