April 6, 2021 - Brittany Garlin

8 Essential B2B Content Marketing Best Practices to Succeed

The popularity of content marketing is steadily growing, gaining more and more recognition among marketers in the B2B sector. The investment amount increases, as does the number of channels for content distribution. And it is not surprising since this marketing technique pays off the investment remarkably and wins the target audience’s confidence. Agency Vista has compiled eight essential B2B content marketing best practices for you to connect better with your audience.

50% of the content created by B2B marketers is focused on creating brand awareness and interest (Content Marketing Institute). Consider that content marketing’s primary purpose is not sales but building a solid connection with existing and potential customers. This marketing format helps build brand trust much faster by providing up-to-date and reliable information without the compulsive urge to purchase products and services.

B2B content marketing best practices directly depends on the company’s ability to choose the correct methods that match its audience’s specifics and product or service. Below you will find eight essential B2B content marketing tactics you can come back to any time. But before that, let’s point out the key characteristics of B2B to get a better idea of what we are talking about.

Key Characteristics of B2B

1. A narrower target audience

There are fewer entrepreneurs than ordinary consumers. And most likely, your product/service is suitable for a particular industry.

2. A long sales cycle

It may take a significant amount of time from the moment of your product’s first contact or interest to the purchase. The process involves several people – their number depends on the company’s size; in large organizations, the transaction’s approval can go through ten hands.

3. More attention to the benefits

Although businesspeople are also people, they first think about your product’s usefulness and whether it can bring them a profit later. There are almost no emotional purchases.

4. Expertise and market position are important

The B2B segment particularly values professional knowledge, competence, and a high position in the industry. If end-users can support even a novice, business person want to be sure they face an expert.

8 Essential B2B Content Marketing Practices for Your Business 

The B2B sphere is quite peculiar and significantly different from other business areas. One of its main features is the ways to communicate with the audience. On the one hand, the same channels are still used here as in other business markets. But on the other hand, you should make more efforts to get the content to reach its readers — other business representatives.

You meet potential clients when they are not going to buy anything yet. You share information with them for free on how to solve the problem, demonstrate expertise, gain trust, and gradually lead them to believe that your product is the best choice. The whole process may sound relatively simple, but it is not. Follow the B2B content marketing best practices below to increase your sales.

1. Know your audience and offer a unique experience

The art of being closer to the target audience is what any competent marketing is based on. Suppose your brand wants to engage with the audience effectively. In that case, it must establish a strong connection with the audience that relates to the vision, history, and purpose of your product/service.

When describing the target audience of the B2B market, special attention should be paid to: 

  • Understanding the size and solvency of the business.
  • Requirements for quality and level of service.
  • Description of the primary motivators of the purchase and expectations from the purchase.
  • Understanding the circle of people who make decisions and influence the choice of a partner.

Today, companies strive to make user experience not only intuitive but also instinctive. By focusing on personal behavior, product designers can give customers this sense of connection and help solve complex problems.

Analyze different platforms: thematic forums with your audience, content of other companies working in your field, stay up to date with events related to your industry. Do your best to solve your client’s pain points and answer their questions. Get into the mind of potential buyers and create articles, blogs, or videos to establish yourself as a trusted authority.

2. Prioritize an evergreen content

Brainstorm evergreen topics within your industry that provide lasting value to your target audience. You need those topics that inspire your potential clients to think, “These guys are cool; I want to work with them.” The relevant content received on time will not leave the client indifferent and increase loyalty.

B2B Content Marketing Best Practices | Smart Insights

Tips for creating evergreen materials:

  • Use keywords when creating your content. It is essential that your publications attract an audience from search engines, not just from social networks.
  • The topic should be relevant all the time. If you remove all references to time and dates in the publication – its quality will not change.
  • Stick to the high quality. Do you remember that you are creating content for a long time? Do not cut corners on the quality of your materials. Both search engines and your readers will appreciate that.
  • Scalability. Your publication should adapt to different distribution channels (email, social networks, infographics, etc.)

Note, the best content marketing strategy is based on a combination of both trendy relevant articles and long-lasting evergreen publications. Feel the balance.

3. Experiment with various content formats 

Multi-format content helps you connect with different audiences on different platforms. The more content formats you make, the higher the loyalty of your regular audience is.

Four reasons to try multi-format content:

  • Increase your reach — it is easier for someone to read, for someone to listen, and for someone to watch.
  • You will attract attention — an interesting format for delivering information will nobody keep indifferent.
  • Increase the audience’s loyalty — they will come to you again and again for their favorite formats.
  • Improve the visibility of the site because multi-format affects the behavioral factors of the site ranking.

How to classify content:

  • Publication type: article, video, audio, graphics, interactive.
  • Presentation style: extensive article, short text, webinar, sketch, white paper.
  • Purpose of creation: to increase the reach, attract traffic, and retain the audience.
  • Type of website it is published on: an article in the media, an image blog, a press release, a post for social networks, an email newsletter, etc.

It is necessary to fill it with a variety of content to attract the audience’s attention and improve the behavioral factors on the site. The topic and format should meet the needs of potential customers.

4. Make your old content new again

Repurposing content is taking an existing piece of content, repackaging it differently, and promoting it on different platforms. By giving a second life to old content, you can expect to repeat past success.

By reviving old content, you get a number of benefits:

  • You save time that you usually spend searching for relevant topics and new ideas.
  • You are guaranteed to get the attention of your existing audience. Usually, readers do not miss the opportunity to look at a known problem from a different angle.
  • You get additional traffic from search engines and social networks.

To give old content a new lease of life, use one of the methods listed below:

  • Create new articles based on existing ones.
  • Create a presentation based on a successful post.
  • Turn a successful article into an infographic.
  • Update old publications with up-to-date data.
  • If you have popular evergreen content, re-announce it on social networks.
  • Turn a popular article into a series of emails for email distribution.
  • Create a video tutorial or podcast.

Be prepared to update your publications with new facts, additional illustrations, and observations. Share your experience, talk about new tools and technologies. In this case, the second life of the content will be no less successful than the first one.

5. Sell the story

Research has shown that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts. And your content is an excellent way to tell a story. Your story can be either entertaining or educational. No matter what style you are using, it has to be engaging. 

Storytelling formula is Idea + Character + Projection + Structure + Connectivity + Style.

  • Every story is based on an idea.
  • The character is the driving force of the story.
  • The projection must be close to the real world. It should identify problems and show different ways to solve them.
  • The story should develop according to a pre-established structure. Readers and viewers expect events to develop according to a particular pattern, and you must guide them through your story in accordance with their expectations.
  • The structure alone is not enough to create a compelling story. You need to be able to link all the elements into a single product correctly.
  • The style of your presentation affects the perception of the story. It creates a general mood, and it can change throughout the story.

A person has developed an immunity to marketing, but there is no immunity to stories. Storytelling, as an integral part of a marketing strategy, is suitable for almost all companies. The main thing is to choose the appropriate format and topic for the story.

6. Supplement your publications with strong visuals

One of the most effective B2B content marketing best practices is using attractive visuals. And for most B2B marketers, visual communication has already become the norm when creating messages for their audience. For instance, 65% of B2B marketers use infographics in their marketing campaigns.

Visual content formats for your messages:

  • Charts and graphs.
  • Illustrations.
  • User-generated content.
  • “Live” photos.
  • Mini-infographic with previously presented results of the company’s work.
  • Scrollable animation or animation with “parallax effect.”
  • Static and interactive infographics.
  • Handwritten phrases.

Communication should be fast, precise, and imaginative. That is why visualization comes first today. Use strong visuals to evoke emotions, appeal to the client’s sensory experience, and form values.

7. Collaborate with other businesses 

Collaboration, like any partnership, is always a growth point for a company. The main thing is to choose the right company for cooperation, to make it as profitable and effective as possible.

Let’s take guest posts as an example here. In the classical sense, these are materials or articles posted on third-party resources to get backlinks to the author’s website or blog.

This practice is beneficial to both the author of the post and the blog owner who publishes the article. The author receives almost free advertising of their resource, generates traffic and attracts new users, raises the position in the search engine results.

The owner of the blog gets free content, high-quality and unique. This is an additional interest from readers and several new pages in the search engine index.

Benefits of publishing guest posts in blogs and on sites of your niche:

  • Attract thematic traffic and interested visitors to your online platform.
  • Get thematic links.
  • Prove yourself as an industry expert.

You solve a few tasks at once: getting high-quality links to your site, traffic, and possible leads.

8. Stay consistent 

Decide how often you will publish new content. Consistency is more important than the frequency of new posts. The content release schedule should be included in the content plan. 

For example, every Monday there will be new material from you. Readers will get used to it. You will begin to cultivate a loyal audience. Testing the different posting times, quantity, and frequency of materials will tell you how to get your audience’s best response.

Consistency will bring you the following advantages:

  • You can keep your audience and enjoy their loyalty. If a blog author disappears for a few weeks and does not post any new content, most of his readers will leave. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the information space. Regular posting keeps a loyal audience and works for you.
  • Your influence will grow. High-quality content that comes out with a specific frequency will increase your influence. By demonstrating stability in your work with the content, you show that you can be trusted, and you are also stable in your main activity.
  • Search engines will also be happy since they like new regular posts.

Conclusion

Content marketing in B2B is the process of creating and promoting content intended for businesses. Different companies approach content marketing differently, depending on their goals, resources, target audiences, etc. We have covered universal B2B content marketing best practices to be ahead of the competition.

Remember that a potential customer must grow into your offer and go through quite complex or lengthy acquaintance stages with your product or service before making a choice. He needs more information, more evidence, more advantages. Only consistent and high-quality content is expected. Meet your audience’s needs, engage, and sell!

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