There is no denying that content marketing is essential for B2B companies. However, in this regard, another question appears: Are B2B companies exploring all the possibilities that content marketing offers?
According to a 2018 study by the Content Marketing Institute, around 58% of B2B brands use content marketing mostly for lead generation.
While it is true that lead generation is important, it’s high time that B2B companies start using their content marketing strategies to achieve a lot more than improved leads. Now you’re wondering: Why is this necessary?
There are many good reasons why and how B2B companies and businesses can go the extra mile and explore the boundless possibilities of content marketing.
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B2B Companies and Content Marketing: The Equation
Let’s cut right to the chase. When explored fully, there are countless benefits that B2B companies can derive from their content marketing strategies.
Content marketing is an excellent way for starters to build brand awareness, expand the client base, build credibility, boost conversion rates, and develop improved products and services.
Similarly, industries like healthcare, technology and many more can benefit and unlock with a broad-minded content marketing strategy that is not tailored to achieve singular goals.
In the section that follows, five examples have been discussed to get you thinking about the ‘hows’ of developing a content marketing plan that can truly look beyond the aspect of lead generation.
Share and Showcase Your Knowledge
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Let’s suppose that your business has developed a method to reduce packaging waste by a significant margin. It is a problem that nearly all B2B companies deal with, irrespective of the industry they are based in.
You can share and amplify this knowledge by using content marketing to spread the word. For instance, you can publish case studies, research articles, and informative blog posts, educating others about your niche.
Trends suggest that nearly 73% of B2B businesses are including case studies in their content marketing arsenal.
If possible, you can even share your findings with a larger audience at industry-specific events, like workshops or conferences. Additionally, you can host webinars, distribute pamphlets, and more. You can even organize a panel session and invite industry stalwarts to share their insights.
In this way, your business can utilize content marketing to give back to the community while building your authority and credibility.
Promote Brand Visibility
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With so many B2B companies competing for clients’ attention, it would be a good idea to use your content marketing strategy to help your business stand out and remain ‘visible’ to your clients in the long run.
For instance, you can regularly post blogs talking about your business’s recent achievements or send a press release advertising the same. Research has found that this type of promotional content generates double the traffic of other content types.
You can grab this opportunity to talk about the excellent work your R&D team is doing, or you can flaunt an award that you’ve won by posting about it across your social media channels.
Does your newsletter have a good number of subscribers? Tap into that. Send them a newsletter that’s truly worth their time and show them how your products and services can help them. Also, don't hesitate to implement a B2B website audit tool to improve your brand visibility.
Collect Client Feedback
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Don’t stop at selling a product to your client. Make it a point to collect feedback from them. Often, your clients can give you valuable feedback that you can use to develop better products and services.
For example, you can send a post-purchase survey to understand what your client liked and disliked about the product. If you are unsure about a feature you’re looking to include, you can ask your clients for their opinion by using a poll maker.
You can also include provisions for feedback in your web pages to understand better the type of content your clients would like to read.
You can use many tools for this purpose, like HubSpot, ProProfs Survey Maker, SurveyMonkey, Client Heartbeat, Zonka Feedback, etc.
Always remember that your client also has a business to run, just like you. One of the best ways of nurturing client relationships is by joining forces with them.
Here’s an example for you. If you stroll into any Barnes and Noble outlet, the chances are that you’ll find a Starbucks situated within. That’s because of a strategic partnership between the two companies. This partnership happened back in 1993, and it’s still going strong.
Similarly, you can explore different types of partnerships with your clients: strategic partnerships, integration partnerships, channel partnerships, and tech partnerships.
A solid partnership can help you and your client tap into new opportunities, expand the brand presence, and boost revenues. A win-win deal unlike any other.
Engage Your Customer
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Content marketing is a two-way road: both you and your customer need to get something at the end. Apart from selling your products and services, it would help to tailor your marketing strategies to keep them engaged in the long run.
You can send them valuable infographics, videos, and resources to open a regular dialogue with them. However, keep in mind to ensure that your communication is engaging, useful, and worth your clients’ time.
If you have something important to say, you can even share long-form content with your clients. An article by the HBR reported that if B2B businesses don’t engage with their clients, there’s a 71% chance that they will feel neglected, prompting them to look for opportunities elsewhere.
By harnessing the potential of content marketing to engage with your clients, you can let them know that they’re valued.
Anastasia Iliou, the Marketing Manager at Rain, believes that B2B content marketing is tricky because it involves the twin processes of “marketing to marketers” and “selling to salespeople.”
Given this, it becomes imperative for B2B businesses to develop a holistic framework for their content marketing strategies to cover as many bases as possible. Start simply, but effectively, by adding an image slider to your website.
The five examples discussed in this post serve as great entry points to diversifying your content marketing strategies beyond Lead Generation.
Alexandra Whitt works as a brand and marketing specialist at MedicoReach. She has been working in the b2b industry for the past two years. She empowers the marketers by sharing valuable information across different verticals such as healthcare, technology, marketing etc.