Business to business (B2B) content marketing typically requires a different approach from business to customer (B2C) content marketing. However, you don’t need to change everything about the way you create, publish, distribute, and share your content to appeal to business clients. Here, we take a look at a few of the ways you can make B2B content marketing work, without overhauling your entire approach.
Businesses are composed of individuals
B2B content marketing may differ from B2C efforts in many different ways, but in one key aspect it’s very much the same – you’re still targeting and attempting to engage individuals. Though it’s often easier to conceive of a business as a single, abstract entity, it’s important to remember that they’re actually composed of real people.
This means that your content needs to appeal to them in the same way that it would appeal to traditional customers. You want an emotional connection with the individuals making decisions and this is achieved by developing a narrative, demonstrating value, and emphasising your authenticity. At the end of the day, it’s still human beings making decisions on behalf of a business.
Do the basics well
Content marketing will only work if you ensure that you’re doing the basics right. Once strong foundations have been set, you can build on them with more complex strategies that increase the value of your content. However, if you aren’t building on strong foundations, there’s no point in going further.
So, what does ‘doing the basics’ actually involve? First and foremost, it means producing high-quality content that distinguishes you from the competition. Second, your content should be augmented by alternative mediums. For instance, a written blog post should utilise carefully chosen images, video, and stats alongside the text.
Finally, effective content features a call-to-action. This doesn’t have to be a sales-orientated call-to-action (e.g. ‘buy now’) but it should ensure that users are tied to future interactions. For example, a ‘subscribe’ feature draws users in and provides you with a platform on which to build towards a sale.
Complexity and patience are key qualities
Unlike B2C, B2B conversions are almost never impulse decisions and are typically the result of a long, thoughtful process that takes numerous considerations into account. This means that you’re going to have to provide more details about your product and play the long game if you’re to improve your B2B sales figures.
Fortunately, long-form content is ideally suited to this purpose. Whether it’s ebooks, video series, or how-to guides, your content production should reflect the fact that B2B clients typically take more convincing.
B2B content should not be a “hard sell” medium
Finally, when producing content, it’s tempting to include an obvious “hard sell,” so that the user knows exactly what it is you’re marketing. However, in the vast majority of cases, this will simply devalue your content. Content marketing is about more than the sale – it’s about building your brand and developing a well-respected and authoritative voice that will attract clients long into the future. Users don’t appreciate a hard sell and product-orientated content does not perform as well as that which prioritises expertise and an informative tone of voice.
B2B content marketing is an excellent means of building a reputation for expertise and professionalism that will help you develop a loyal following in the future. If you’re struggling to make your B2B marketing strategy work, seek the assistance of a content marketing agency like Big Star. We’ll be able to guide you through the process and ensure that your content has the impact you require. Contact us today.