Content marketing provides an affordable, long-term and effective strategy for B2B companies who are looking to generate traffic and leads for their business.
Consumers see more adverts than ever before and the majority now run ad blocking software, making it difficult to get through to potential customers through traditional advertising methods. Brands are spoilt for choice when it comes to communicating sales messages to customers but customers are now wise to this and they don’t like it.
Modern customers like to make a connection with a brand before they buy, especially when it comes to B2B. 96% of B2B buyers look for more information through thought leaders before buying. So, as you can see, creating content and sharing it on the relevant channels is a great way to attract new customers.
B2B content marketing involves creating and promoting content to build brand awareness, develop relationships with customers and drive leads and sales. Content should be directed at both prospective and current customers.
Content marketing includes the following activities:
These types of content are not ads so they should not be used to directly sell your products or services. Potential customers will see straight through your content if you use it as a way to promote your sales messages so make sure you use content to provide value to your potential customers.
Customers are getting fed up with cold marketing efforts and sales tactics that make them feel as though they are a random person on a list that a salesperson must contact as a sales opportunity.
Content marketing shows customers that you’re willing to exchange valuable information and expertise with them and helps you to build a relationship. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing costs 60% less than outbound marketing and generates more than three times the number of leads as outbound marketing strategies.
So, what results can content marketing help you to achieve?
According to Hubspot, B2B marketers with blogs generate 67% more leads than B2B marketers without blogs. Good B2B content marketing is extremely effective. Publishing new and relevant content to your website and digital marketing channels can help new customers to find out about your business, your services and the value you can provide to your customers.
Longer form content such as whitepapers and ebooks can be used as lead magnets in exchange for their email address. When a prospect provides their email address in return for content, they can be considered a lead for your business. You can use these contact details to stay in touch with prospective content through newsletters and additional content.
Whether it’s your website content that draws someone in through a search engine, or a whitepaper they’ve downloaded, your content is often the first interaction customers will have with your brand and will play a part in their customer journey. B2B customers tend to be up to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out so your content can help to convince them that you’re the right brand to go with.
Search engines like to see relevant content that people are interacting with and sharing. By hosting content on your website and driving relevant traffic to your website, you can improve your search engine rankings and the likelihood of customers finding your content when they’re searching online for relevant keywords.
The more content you publish on your website, the more pages Google has to index and rank. This will also increase the domain authority of your website, showing Google that you are a trustworthy and relevant source, which can also have an impact on your search rankings.
Combining search engine rankings with social media posts that direct users to your website is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Driving more traffic means more engagement and increased revenue for your business.
Content marketing provides you with a non-invasive way to sell your services to other businesses. Instead of directly selling to your potential customers, you’re providing information and content in response to the questions that prospects might have throughout their buyer’s journey about what you have to offer and what you can help them to achieve.
Once potential customers have interacted with your content, it’s likely that most of their questions will have been answered and they’re able to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to make a purchase or speak to a sales rep.
A well thought out content marketing strategy allows you to provide personalised and relevant content to existing customers, as well as prospective customers. Keeping these customers engaged and updated with new, regular content can help to improve customer retention.
Providing new content on a regular basis will mean that your team needs to stay up to date on current trends and changes in your industry. This knowledge can put you ahead of your competitors and help to spot new opportunities in your market. Alongside your marketing team, make sure you draw on the expertise of account managers, subject matter experts and long-term clients for expertise that you could create content around.
Regularly sharing interesting and valuable content on your communication channels can help you to become a resource for new information within your industry. Social media channels allow you to interact with your customers on a more personal level and answer questions more quickly than you can through other channels.
Content marketing is a great way to showcase your services and knowledge on your website. Many websites contain little information about what they do on outside of the necessary products and services pages.
Make sure you know what your customers are looking for and create content around these questions.
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