Content marketing is an essential part of any B2B digital marketing strategy. Customers prefer to do research in their own time by looking at blogs, social media channels and review sites. So, how you can utilise content marketing to grow your business?
Content marketing is essential for any B2B business today.
A bold statement, yes! But, why is this?
Because the way businesses buy today is very different. Rather than speaking to a sales rep, individuals prefer to do research in their own time - checking out blogs, social media channels and review sites.
Plus, it’s a super effective SME digital marketing channel because it’s organic - this means it doesn’t rely on paying for ad space!
But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at these stats:
With results like this, content marketing just isn’t something you can ignore. Yet, not many businesses are using it, which is a great opportunity for your business to claim a bigger market share.
Let’s take a look at exactly why content marketing has such a big impact on B2B businesses…
But, before we dive into the 10 benefits of content marketing for SMEs, let’s quickly cover off what exactly content marketing is and where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
Content marketing is all about planning, creating, publishing, and sharing content such as blogs, websites, press releases, whitepapers and more through a number of online marketing channels.
Content marketing allows you to target your ideal audience when they’re actively searching for your products or services and is perfect if you have a low marketing budget. It can also help you to increase your online presence, sales and engagement.
Creating content allows you to think about your customer’s pain points and answer their questions in a user-friendly and informative way.
On the other hand SEO involves optimising your content for the correct keywords to ensure that your content ranks highly in Google searches to ensure that it appears in front of your target audience when they’re actively searching.
As we have already mentioned, content marketing can really help you to push your B2B digital marketing strategies and growth forward.
Let’s have a look at exactly how it can help you.
As a growing SME, you’re going to want your website to appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when your potential customers are searching for your products or services. And, whilst paid ads can help you do this, content is one of the best strategies you can implement.
Knowing more about the keywords your B2B customers are using and building helpful and relevant content around these queries, questions and pain points is the best way to drive organic traffic to your website.
It’s the search engine’s job to provide searchers with the answers they’re looking for and creating high quality and relevant content for your website is the best way to provide this. It will also show Google that you really know your stuff.
Make sure your content is well-written, answers your customers questions and provides the best user experience for the best results.
Research shows that 55% of successful content marketing strategies focus on improving the quality of content and this is something that’s really important for both your customers and SEO.
As an SME, we already know that you’re an expert in your field. But, how do you let your customers and Google know this? It’s all about content and E-A-T.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness and are the factors that Google analyse when evaluating the overall quality of your webpages. This is one of the most important ranking factors and content is the best way to achieve it.
It can take time to build this authority and those all important customer relationships so it’s important to consistently create content to build authority and keep signalling to Google (and your customers that you’re an expert in your field.
A good B2B content strategy will put you in front of the right customers, at the right time. If you get it right, you should appear in your potential customer’s moment of need. Hubspot research suggests 45% of companies are looking to increase brand awareness through content marketing.
They might find your content through the SERPs, a link from another website, social media platforms or an industry resource. And, if they find it interesting and relevant, they will continue to engage with your brand and will eventually buy when they’re ready.
The B2B buying journey can be much longer than B2C so it’s even more important to build brand awareness and make sure you’re being found at all the relevant touchpoints.
Not all B2B customers are the same! Everyone has different needs and prefers to consume content in a number of ways.
Some prefer to read, some want to watch a video or listen to a podcast on their daily commute. So, ensuring you publish content in a number of formats can help you to reach and engage with as many people as possible.
Content formats include:
The good news is, you don’t need to create separate pieces of content for each format. You can repurpose one piece of content in as many ways as you like!
Content marketing is the perfect way to connect with and engage with your target audience at every stage of the funnel: awareness, consideration and decisions, through to advocacy and beyond.
The initial keyword research you do should inform you of the questions your customers are asking the information they want to know at every stage.
Creating content for each stage of the customer journey will help you to pull customers through the funnel and help to lead them through their B2B decision making process.
27% of organisations who implement a content marketing strategy want to increase sales and revenue and content can help you do just this by providing them with the information they need and want at every step.
The below diagram shows you exactly what type of content you can produce at every stage of the customer journey.
B2B and SME marketing is all about building lasting relationships with customers and being there when they’re ready to buy from you.
Offering content to customers at the exact moment they need something from you helps you to do just this. By offering guidance and answers without asking for anything in return, you build trust before making the sale. In the process, you ensure that those customers are more likely to buy from you initially and in the future.
Again, as you share great content with your customers, you’re creating positive brand experiences with your SME buisness. Some B2B customers might not be ready to buy yet but you can use content to keep them engaged and informed until they’re ready to make a purchase.
In addition, content can help you to keep in touch with existing customers to help keep them on board in the future. These loyal customers are essential in B2B businesses.
Your content can help you to take a B2B customer who is looking for a solution from awareness to final purchase by providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision.
In fact, the same study from Hubspot revealed that 36% of organisations who implement a content marketing strategy are focused on generating leads.
Content provides a great lead nurturing tool by driving traffic to your website and leading potential customers further into your site to find out more about the solution to their problem.
Digital marketing for small businesses and SME digital marketing strategies are all about getting the most from your budget and making sure you spend it as cost effectively as possible.
Content marketing is a long term strategy that can really help you to boost the bottom line of your business by driving traffic to your website, leading your customers through their purchase decision and boosting your conversion rate.
If you’d like to find out more about digital marketing that can get results for your B2B business, please get in touch on email@example.com. Or, jump straight in and request a free digital marketing audit.