Let’s face it. B2B content marketing is not the same as B2C content marketing. It’s sometimes complicated and usually involves a narrow niche meaning that there’s a lot of competition for a small market. Business to business content marketing is only going to get more complicated in the next few years.
Content marketing is vital for brand expansion, growing your audience, and obtaining leads and sales. Here’s a more in-depth look at B2B content marketing and how it can help your business.
What Exactly is B2B Content Marketing?
Using content to grow your audience, drive leads, and develop and strengthen your brand is what content marketing is all about. The only thing unique about B2B content marketing is that it’s utilized by businesses to connect with other companies. This is completely different than content for consumers.
The Difference Between B2B and B2C
There are significant differences between B2B and B2C content marketing. One of the most significant differences between the two is that B2B focuses on a small target market while B2C focuses on a broader target market.
B2C is more about expanding a businesses brand while B2B content marketing should concentrate on generating more leads. There is also a longer buying cycle in B2B versus B2C. B2C businesses are much more personal and seek to trigger emotions while the B2B business is more value driven.
The B2C audience is looking for entertainment and deals, but the B2B audience wants an expert who can solve their problems. For businesses selling to other businesses, building a relationship with your clients is critical. You must foster trust so that they will entrust you to give them solutions to the issues they’re facing. Marketing to consumers is different because it’s more about the product than the relationship with the customer.
It’s essential that content marketing for B2B companies is useful above all else. Your content should contain actionable items that your audience can apply to their own businesses. You want to be known as a superior resource for other professionals in your chosen industry. B2C content can be useful as well, but its primary goal is to provide entertainment.
Identify and Focus on Your Audience
Reader personas, much like buyer personas, are vital as each audience is made up of individuals. Go beyond general information by studying the Google analytics data for your website. Looking at this data, you’ll find the general demographics for your audience such as location, gender, and age. You can also learn the topics that your readers are interested in. This information allows you to expand your content to new, relevant and similar subject areas.
The most successful business to business content marketers focus on the needs of their audience. The Content Marketing Institute says that 90 percent of B2B content marketers put the needs of their audience first.
By creating your content based on the needs of your audience you’re forming a bond and establishing yourself as a trusted and credible resource. To earn your audience’s trust and build on it your content must include these necessary traits.
- It must be consistent and reliable.
- Each piece of content must build on the content that came before it.
- Your content must prove the value of your product before asking your audience for something.
- The material must be based on information that each visitor has provided willingly.
Audience research should look for feedback from web analytics and sales. It’s also important to have a conversation with your audience as part of your research. The Content Marketing Institute illustrated that only 42 percent of B2B content marketers say that they talk to their customers for research purposes.
Develop New Content Consistently
After you’ve written content for an extended period, it may seem difficult to come up with new ideas. A great way to find new concepts is to explore what people in your niche are discussing on social media.
There are even some online tools like BuzzSumo that can help you with this. This tool allows you to study real-time data from all the primary social networks. It enables you to see which topics appear to be the most popular. You can create content that presents a new angle on an existing theme or a counterpoint about a subject relative to your niche.
Promote Your Content
Content promotion is a fundamental element of your content marketing plan. Competition is fierce in today’s economy. You can’t rely on your content simply to reach your audience organically. While organic traffic is great, advertising using solutions like Facebook Ads are relatively cost-effective. Twitter also has Promoted Tweets. Instagram and Pinterest now also have paid marketing solutions.
Your employees make great brand ambassadors. Each employee has their own social network and likely a different audience. They can spread your business’s content through their channels as well.
2019 Content Marketing Trends
It’s no surprise that in 2019, people want credible and reliable information as technology continues to evolve. Your audience likely favors many of the trends below.
Live video, webinars, and webcasts provide valuable marketing options. Research shows that 64 percent of people purchased a product after watching a branded Facebook video. Video popularity will continue to increase with a prediction that it will account for 82 percent of internet traffic by 2021.
If you plan to utilize video marketing, make sure it’s mobile friendly as the number of people viewing websites on a smartphone is increasing. Make your videos unique and engaging. Upload them regularly just as you would your written content.
Long-Form Content Received More Shares
Long-form content will also be more critical in 2019. Search engine algorithms favor websites with longer content posts in their rankings. Long-form content is considered any piece over 2,000 words. This type of content also seems to get shared more socially per BuzzSumo.
The goal of long-form content is to provide your audience with useful, actionable information. By providing this type of content you also establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
These little guys are more popular than ever for encouraging customer engagement and personalizing their experience. One study by Grand View Research illustrates that chatbot use will increase as they reduce operating costs for businesses.
Artificial intelligence continues to evolve meaning that these chatbots are more adaptable and continue to learn as technology advances. They maintain a specific level of customer service and offer help 24/7.
Siri and Alexa have already introduced us all to the wonders of voice search. In 2019 voice search will continue to grow in popularity. A 2017 NPR and Edison Research study reported that in 2017 42 percent of Americans considered these speakers essential tools.
In 2018, the same report pointed out that voice search played a crucial role in our daily lives and influenced consumer behavior. So, this means that you should customize your SEO strategy to respond well to the demands of voice search.
Technology really drives the trends for 2019, and that seriously affects your content marketing strategy. You must still remember the basics, however. Know your audience and provide them with high quality and actionable information that’s tailored to them specifically. Be creative and consistent with your content while staying on topic and plan your content marketing based on the trends of 2019.