Phew. Wordy definition? Time to simplify the marketing jargon.
What is B2B?
Business-to-business (B2B) companies sell a product/service to other businesses. KPMG and PwC are B2B firms as they provide industry expertise to other companies for a fee.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the tailoring of valuable online content for a target audience. Brands use this long-term strategy to nourish leads and engage customers.
What is a target business audience?
Sound strategy begins with one question – which problems does this business solve? B2B companies conduct detailed market analyses to lock a specific segment of firms they can help. This process optimizes content marketing by giving it much-needed direction.
What is website traffic?
Traffic means website visitors. Most marketing efforts aim to attract eyeballs. Better visibility improves the probability of generating leads. Marketing is the only field where more traffic is good!
What are leads?
Leads are potential clients. Only a percentage of interested website traffic will volunteer their contact information. These are leads. Converted leads are clients. Clients equate to sales.
That wraps up the fundamentals.
Excellent B2B content marketing strategies establish companies as thought leaders in their niche.
This article will explore content strategies through the medium of a fictional software company. Learning from a specific perspective will ensure permanent understanding.
monotoNO - The Hypothetical
After two years of R&D, your company is ready to unveil an AI-powered human capital management (HCM) software called monotoNO. This software automates monotonous company tasks. Key benefits include:
- Consolidating all relevant employee data for ease-of-access
- Managing employee attendance, hours, and leaves
- Streamlining tedious hiring processes with cutting-edge AI/ML
- Automating onboarding and exit processes for employees
- Automating an accurate and timely payroll system
Upper management hands you the reins to market this software. What will you do?
Before you aim, assess your target.
- Which companies benefit most from monotoNO services?
- Which job profiles become simple with this product?
- Which decision-makers within a company must you influence?
Crafting fictional buyer personas is critical in developing robust content marketing strategies. This step requires extensive industry research about demographics, job roles, product profiles, common grievances, and resources spent on solving grievances.
Realistic buyer personas will help monotoNO:
- Narrow marketing efforts to HR Managers and Business Owners
- Map out hypothetical product journeys for customers
- Assess common pain points and tailor content accordingly
- Learn about gaps that software updates can solve
Hurrying this process is a recipe for disaster; it can make or break all future efforts. The logic is simple - it always helps to know your customers before they know you.
monotoNO is one of many HCM solution providers; our choice of a populated market is intentional.
HR Managers have faced workflow issues for decades, which means someone has been solving their problems ever since. Who are they?
Crowded digital landscapes warrant competitive intelligence (CI) to optimize content marketing. Robust CI is the best selfish decision.
Thoroughly research the content marketing strategies of monotoNO’s competitors. Use these as overarching themes:
- How is their product different from monotoNO?
- What content are they putting out? What works, and what fails?
- Which content channels deliver the best numbers?
- How do we differentiate overlapping services through marketing?
The Types of B2B Content
Before diving into content strategy, we will take stock of proven B2B content types:
The final destination of most marketing efforts is a website (or an app). Good websites inform, engage, compel, and drive action.
monotoNO deserves a winning website. Make your branding stand out with inimitable copy and striking design. Answer FAQs, highlight your USP, and link to industry-leading articles.
Blogging is one of the best B2B content marketing tools. Blogs seriously improve website traffic. If you find this Altorise blog helpful, it builds trust, and you might navigate to our website to learn more.
The reverse works as well. Leads might find your website, then read linked blogs to check your expertise!
Informative, educational, and engaging blogs address the pain points of your target audience. Create a series of blogs that build monotoNO’s authority over time.
White papers are powerful, technical documents suited to B2B content marketing. A white paper provides in-depth industry analysis or technical information that positions your company as a thought leader in your field.
monotoNO should use white papers to showcase how their solutions trump competitors in the HCM industry.
90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. Infographics are easy-to-understand visual representations of information.
Simplicity is powerful. monotoNO infographics will go a long way in building reputation as a domain expert!
Original industry studies are guaranteed to boost company visibility. The level of authority and trust this format builds is second-to-none.
monotoNO can research and publish content on the history, current state, and future of the HCM industry.
Case studies are great at displaying B2B strengths. They can outline how your product helped clients achieve KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and cut costs.
monotoNO does not have previous clients, so this option might not be viable initially. Be innovative. Create hypothetical case studies for major companies if they use monotoNO.
This B2B marketing tool exploded during the pandemic and has not shown signs of disappearing. Webinars are online events where industry experts provide insights to a target audience. Interaction opportunities make this a great marketing option.
If monotoNO gathers the right thought leaders from the industry, this tool can do wonders for product and feature visibility.
Email newsletters are one of the most reliable methods of engaging a subscribed audience.
This method helps businesses stay in touch with leads and customers, providing them with valuable information like software updates, offers, and more.
Say, monotoNO adds a major feature to its arsenal - email marketing can spread the word like wildfire.
Traditionally, B2B companies have been social media shy. But, with users hitting record numbers, things are changing.
Platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter are gaining relevance in the B2B market. The long-term goal is to share consistent, high-quality content which engages audiences. Every relationship needs nurturing.
As part of alternative marketing efforts, monotoNO can explore and create a strong social media presence. This will set it apart from competitors in the HCM space, nurture customers, and ensure great long-term returns.
Podcasts are a relatively new but exciting marketing channel. B2B adoption lags behind B2C. But why?
People tune in to audio-first podcasts while traveling, cooking, or exercising - in other words, podcasts fill sizable chunks of otherwise idle time. Expecting someone to read a white paper is a big ask, but settling into the latest episode? Pretty easy if it grabs their attention.
monotoNO can market itself through a combination of audio and video podcasts. Industry thought leaders can be invited to converse with a charismatic team member (or even the founder).
Content can span a range of topics - evolution of employee management; balance of personal touch and automation; impressed clients of monotoNO.
Side Note - SEO Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques aimed at boosting website ranking on search engines like Google.
This technique is not a content type. But it is an essential boost to all types discussed. A content marketing strategy without SEO is a hopeless shout in the forest.
Strong SEO practices help websites, blogs, whitepapers, and social media channels rank higher on search engines; this, in turn, boosts organic traffic.
That concludes our tool analysis. As promised, it is now time for the good stuff!
The 5 Commandments
The following five rules provide a framework to govern your B2B content strategy. We offer plug-and-use templates that appeal to all kinds of B2B profiles.
We, of course, will also see how the five commandments apply to monotoNO.
Content For Every Funnel
One of the most effective sales acronyms is AIDA - Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. These represent progressive stages of engagement a buyer has with your product.
monotoNO must focus on developing funnel-wise content.
Build intelligence authority with SEO-focused blogs; conduct original industry studies; design infographics about how monotoNO solves common HCM pain points.
Consistently post easy-to-read, helpful LinkedIn content; partner with the right business influencers on YouTube to harness their following; cold outreach to medium-size businesses with unignorable emailers.
Find the right balance between piquing interest and informing. You do not want your content to be boring and educational; it should be entertaining and informative.
Once they know you, earn their interest. Show businesses what they are missing out on without your product.
Power your content with data to show how monotoNO reduces costs; highlight the revolutionary features of this product with future-focused white papers (say, monotoNO is Earth's only all-in-one, fully automated HCM software).
Dip your toe into modern-day marketing spaces. Spice things up with engaging YouTube demos instead of drab how-to manuals. Hook and reel your audience in.
Now they know you and like you. Great.
Stimulate desire within your interested audience. Make it a no-brainer. Long-term content consumption builds desire, so be consistent and innovative with all material.
Send exciting emails to your business audience - CMOs cannot wait to get their hands on monotoNO after getting a taste. Root your claims in truth and watch interest turn to desire.
Find affiliates in YouTube and LinkedIn influencers - customers get 15% off on yearly subscriptions if they sign up with…
We reach the final and most crucial step. How do we ensure actual subscriptions to the software?
Firstly, let the customer breathe. Actions are the consequence of the three previous steps working over time. Do not spook them with conversion content.
Irresistible offers included in emailers are great for this phase. Money-back guarantees work great. So do a limited number of exclusive access passes. Remember, you do not need to reinvent the wheel.
Lastly, Call-To-Actions (CTAs) is tricky business. Say something like Sign Up Now, and people will hit the snooze button. Play it super casual, and people will look past your product. The line is thin. So, tread it.
Juggle Short with Long
Attention spans and interest stages for your product will vastly differ. If you create only short-form or long-form content, you lose out on some sections of the audience. Master both worlds to capture the entire funnel.
A strategy that blends the two types would clearly be ideal. Let us visualize how such a system might look.
Short-form content plays an integral role in B2B content marketing. Making content for shorter attention spans is a sound strategy, especially in the modern marketplace.
Traditionally, short blog posts have been the best way to attract market eyeballs. Such content offers readers an in; if they find your short-form content digestible, chances of them exploring long-form options increase.
Easy-to-read, crisp case studies are a great way to display product power to the market. As discussed, similar logic follows for infographics, email marketing, and more.
LinkedIn is the holy grail of social media B2B content marketing. Creating a robust, personalized brand voice for monotoNO will eventually pay big dividends. Founders can also develop their personal brand on LinkedIn. This multi-level strategy maximizes consumer interest.
Twitter is another popular platform, especially for building personal business profiles. Posts can be used to establish authority, directly communicate with clients, and much more. Along with LinkedIn, it is a great place to find leads.
From a creation perspective, these pieces do not take much time to create. A consistent and informative rollout will keep drawing traffic to desired destinations.
Think of short-form content as a hook for audiences; next, reel them in to your long-form content. And that is exactly where you want them.
While short-form content has its place in B2B marketing, long-form content is a totally different beast.
Long, informative deep dives are the bread and butter of modern B2B content marketing!
For example, end-to-end guides are one great option. When done well, these pieces are worth reading and sharing within the industry. Plus, they rank significantly higher than other content pieces on Google.
This very article is a perfect example! A complete guide is educational and displays domain expertise. It also builds trust. To make things sweeter, involve some element of storytelling; it makes long-form reading very palatable.
Another piece of advice - make long-form content feel like short-form content. You want users to scroll through lengthy content without realizing. Relevant images, industry graphs, quotes, the right spacing - all factors contribute to making the reader experience a breeze. If done right, monotoNO will reign supreme.
Since long-form content creation takes almost 10x more time than its counterpart, the chosen topic should cast a wide net. This technique will optimize lead generation.
Market dynamics and consumer patterns are ever changing. Text-centric content is critical. However, one dominant change observed in the past decade has been a shift to video-centric marketing.
today include video in their content marketing strategies. That number speaks for itself.
According to HubSpot, 86% of businesses
Think from a buyer's perspective. Sure, they can read your blog or subscribe to your email newsletter. But it would be grand if they could also access a powerful video vault, right?
Professional videos are game-changing - imagine a product walkthrough by the company CEO. Imagine major software updates presented through high-quality motion graphic videos. monotoNO instantly has a face to users. There is no hiding with video.
Videos also build dominance in one powerful, untapped platform - YouTube. Do videos take time to create? Sure. But repurposing content makes it super practical.
Say monotoNO has a high-performing whitepaper. Convert the same contents into a top-notch video - development time drops to zero while lead generation multiplies. Simple.
Even experimenting with YouTube Shorts might take monotoNO to another level. Change with the times!
What helps is that despite increasing adoption, video remains untapped in the industry. B2B companies are often unsure about video-based marketing; make their hesitation your superpower.
Content repurposing involves recycling existing content by presenting it in a fresh format. This helps expand reach, lengthen concept lifespan, and maximize concept ROI.
This technique is timeless, maximizes concept impact, and takes less time. What's not to love?
If any content piece performs well, resting on your laurels is foolish. Immediately plan a repurposing strategy.
A great blog could be a fantastic LinkedIn thread. An industry-changing whitepaper could become a timeless YouTube video. Everything is connected. The sooner B2B marketers realize this, the sooner they will bear the fruits of their labor.
monotoNO might eventually post a case study that becomes the talk of the HCM industry. We should pounce at the opportunity by creating a companion series of infographics and one quality YouTube video.
Repurposing content can be tricky. One effective idea is to embed a repurposing strategy within the ideation process. If you can already visualize how to repurpose at inception, half the battle is won.
Recycling content also reduces creator burnout. Constantly thinking of new ideas can be exhausting. Repurposing content does take effort but removes the burden of thinking from scratch.
Linking content to trusted sources can seriously elevate digital presence. Think of it as networking for websites. If you consistently refer people to the right places, trust blossoms.
There are a couple of obvious clauses here. Linking to relevant and high-quality content makes all the difference. Let’s assume monotoNO posts a white paper on revolutionizing HCM; a contemporary blog discussing the future of the HCM industry can link to this white paper.
If other trusted blogs direct to monotoNO’s content, lead conversion becomes so much easier. But can this be engineered?
monotoNO should link to valuable content and valuable content should link back to monotoNO. Networking goes both ways. Rules for linking to valuable content include:
Using reputed and relevant websites Subtly highlighting anchor text Opening links in a separate tab Not linking to any competitors
There is no real roadmap to ensure other articles link to yours. Just make brilliant content and connections.
And there we have it! Your complete guide to B2B content marketing strategies.
Need someone to build your content from scratch? Altorise has got your back.