February 04, 2021 in Strategy by

All great marketing starts with a solid marketing strategy. Using content as a part of that strategy isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan tactic that’s bound to be over soon. Content marketing isn’t going anywhere, so B2B marketers must understand it and know how to use it.

In a recent report from SEMrush, content marketing trends indicated the importance of content marketing and SEO in the ever-advancing digital world. Highlights of the reporting showed that the content marketing related subject most searched on Google in 2020 was “content marketing strategy.”  Additionally, the most searched question about content marketing was simply, “what is content marketing,” and the second, “why is content marketing important.”

Here are the answers to those questions.

What is B2B Content Marketing?

Generally speaking, B2B content marketing uses content to attract, engage, and convert website viewers. The content may be in blog posts, white papers, ebooks, articles, case studies, etc. Putting together a content marketing strategy means creating a plan of attack for how to use content to generate leads and sales.

B2B content marketing involves creating and sharing free and useful content, solving a problem or meeting a need, and consistently delivering valuable information. It typically doesn’t involve hard sales pitches.

Why is B2B Content Marketing Important?

The purpose of B2B marketing is to connect with businesses that need and will buy your products or services. The sales cycle for a B2B customer includes recognizing a need, discovering products that will meet that need, researching and evaluating options, and ultimately, deciding on and purchasing a product. B2B customers often spend a fair amount of time in the evaluation phase, learning about your company and your products because they want to develop a positive working relationship. This differs from the B2C consumer who just makes a one-time purchase.

Because the sales cycle is longer for B2B customers, marketing to them should be more about selling your brand than your products. Thus, B2B content marketing should focus on establishing your business as a subject matter expert and authority in your field.

Having a solid B2B content marketing strategy benefits businesses because it:

Building relationships and establishing trust are key to garnering B2B customer loyalty – and it’s done without hard selling.

Tips for Building a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Here are a few tips you can use to improve your B2B content marketing strategy:

#1 – Identify Your Audience

To have a strong B2B content marketing strategy, you have to know your target audience. Develop your buyer persona by gathering demographic and psychographic (buyer personalities, values, behaviors, interests, etc.) information about your customers. Then, you’re able to create and distribute content that is tailored to your target audience.

#2 – Know Your Sales Cycle

When you know the stages of your business’ sales cycle, you can provide prospects with the right type of content at the right time. Here are some examples of what works at different sales cycle stages:

#3 – Develop New Content Ideas Consistently

To have a great content strategy, you have to have great content. It can be challenging to continue developing useful and relevant information to pass on to prospects and customers. But, when you know where to look, content ideas aren’t so hard to come by. Here are a few examples:

#4 – Be Smart about Content Types

The types of content you use should be valuable and relevant to the audience who reads it. Consider the following content types:

Final Thoughts about B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Creating a content marketing strategy takes some work up front, some research, and lots of good writing. While that may seem overwhelming, if you just take it one step at a time, using the ideas above and others you learn along the way, you’ll develop a strategy that works for your business.

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