B2B content marketing: the complete beginner’s guide in 2022

52% of B2B customers claim that they are “surely” more inclined to make a purchase from a company after going through its content.

Needless to say, investing in good content is crucial.

But B2B content marketing can seem daunting.

It is not as simple as creating an article and then waiting for money to hit your bank account.

For this reason, you need incredibly extensive, in-depth guidance on B2B content marketing. And that’s what we’re going to give you in this article. There is so much to discuss. So let’s begin.

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    What is B2B content marketing?

    Content is the key to improving brand recognition, fostering trust in your organization, and addressing customer pain points. A focused B2B content marketing strategy can help you achieve your marketing objectives.

    But before that, you need to know what is B2B content marketing.

    B2B content marketing involves creating and promoting content to boost revenue, brand recognition, the number of site visitors, and leads for businesses that sell to other businesses.

    In fact, a CMI survey found that 80% of B2B marketing professionals have achieved a high level of brand awareness with content marketing. And 75% of them state that it fosters trustworthiness.

    Goals achieved by B2B marketers using content marketing

    Image Source: CMI

    Every business approaches content marketing in a unique way based on its target market, objectives, available assets, etc. But there are some frequently used B2B marketing content types. These include podcasts, infographics, blog posts, and email newsletters.

    B2B content marketing vs. B2C content marketing?

    How does B2B content marketing differ from B2C content marketing?

    To understand this better, let’s say a company deals in vases. It can do exceptionally well on Pinterest.

    However, Pinterest might not be effective social media for a B2B company that offers CRM solutions.

    Why? The objective of a B2C company is to make buyers purchase goods right away.

    And their primary focus is to run shopping advertisements on social media that direct customers to shopping bags and get speedy checkouts.

    Whereas in a business-to-business setting, sales of your products or services are based on:

    • The usefulness of your software/service
    • Building a relationship with prospects
    • The speed and quality of support

    Distributing content on social media platforms won’t be enough when doing content marketing for B2B companies.

    The reason behind this? The social media sharing activity for B2B marketing content is low.

    Backlinko and BuzzSumo collaborated to assess 912 million online articles a while back. And according to their findings, social media shares for B2C content are 10 times that of B2B content.

    B2C content is shared 9.7x more on social media than B2B content

    Image Source: Backlinko

    In addition to Facebook and Twitter, B2B content marketing strategy includes sharing content through their official websites, business gatherings, emails, LinkedIn, and search engines.

    Why is B2B content marketing important?

    The majority of B2B businesses focus on a limited market instead of a wider market. So, the buyers are less, and the revenue per customer is supposed to be high.

    Moreover, in business-to-business, creating a bond with customers is critical because they usually buy lesser units than B2C buyers. That’s what content marketing does.

    It lets B2B businesses communicate that they share the same values as their clients.

    Why content marketing is important for B2B?

    Image Source: 1827marketing

    If you consistently upload high-quality content, visitors will consider you an expert in the industry. Consequently, there is a high probability that they will purchase from you. Bottom line: B2B content marketing has an excellent return on investment (ROI).

    Types of B2B content marketing formats

    Let’s take a look at the different kinds of formats used in B2B content marketing.

    Market studies

    In our opinion, original research and market studies are the perfect kind of content for B2B content marketing. No other type of content can match a market study’s effectiveness.

    Industry studies are impartial assessments of markets and industries. You can include these studies in your content strategy to determine competitive risks, identify new strategies, understand industry benchmarks, and give detailed frameworks.

    Plus, the number of website visitors and social shares that industry studies acquire are huge.

    That’s not all. Do you know what the main advantage of incorporating industry studies in B2B content marketing strategy?

    They usually create a lot of backlinks. And backlinks are really crucial for search engine optimization (SEO).

    When you create and share a top-notch market study, you are more likely to become the authority that other websites mention and link to.

    The first step in conducting market analysis is determining a need or a knowledge gap your authentic study could bridge.

    Then, note down the important questions that you are planning to address with your research.

    You can use a mix of research tactics to obtain thorough results. Surveys and interviews are among the most effective methods for collecting data.

    Plus, keep in mind two crucial teachings that will help you take the full benefit of your industry research.

    First lesson: we strongly advise making your content accessible for free. You can publish it in the form of a blog post or article. To put it another way, never gate your content like this (the image below).

    An example of gated industry study,

    The reason behind this is straightforward. Visitors don’t usually link to landing pages like the one in the image. Not just that. People don’t promote such pages via social media too.

    You may receive a couple more leads by placing your research behind a squeeze page.

    However, the freely accessible industry research will generate lot more leads through organic search and social media in the long run.

    Second lesson: You should share the methodology of your research in detail with the readers.

    For instance, provide a link to a report that talks about your procedure or a GitHub repository containing primary data.

    Email newsletters

    A high-quality newsletter can be effective for generating leads. And it’s also great for cultivating existing leads. That’s why you should include it in your content strategy.

    An email newsletter is an email series shared with the members of an email list regularly, i.e., every seven or thirty days. Its goal is to keep subscribers informed of the latest goods and services, share business updates, or uplift members’ knowledge.

    A once-a-week newsletter gives solid motivation to people to turn into a lead. A newsletter lets you put your company in sight of a huge number of prospects each week. It is a reminder for the members of the email list of your existence. And this could eventually result in more turnover.

    To create an email newsletter: begin with selecting the best email service provider (ESP) and building an email list. An email list is a record of all the people who have registered to get your newsletter.

    Afterward, create content for your email that is in tune with the newsletter’s objective and adds value to recipients’ lives. And with this, you are all set to send out an email newsletter to your subscribers.

    LinkedIn posts

    LinkedIn is the best social media for B2B businesses. In addition, it reaches a relatively larger group of people without paid promotion than Facebook.

    You can find out more about the kind of posts you can share on LinkedIn to catch people’s attention in our blog post about content ideas for social media.

    Comprehensive guides

    When you create a high-quality comprehensive guide, it will definitely attract visitors and shares. It usually gets good rankings on Google. So it’s excellent for organic search.

    For instance, take this comprehensive guide on purchasing a leather jacket by Effortless Gent, published in 2021.

    Peter Nguyen, the guide writer, published it as a guest blog for a renowned blog in his market. The guest post garnered Peter over 1000 email subscribers in less than 30 days.

    Plus, it still helps him gain new email list members because the blog post ranks among the top results on Google for the keyword “how to buy a leather jacket”.

    After creating this guide, Peter published a ton of amazing detailed articles that helped him acquire a lot of email list sign-ups and increased the number of website visitors by twofold.

    You can check out this case study to learn in what way Peter used detailed guides to double the number of website visitors.

    But there is one major drawback to creating detailed guides. They require a lot of time and work.

    In our experience, creating a top-notch definitive guide requires almost five to ten
    times the time needed to create a regular blog article. However, it offers website visitors the ideal resource where they can learn everything on the subject.

    Videos

    Despite popular belief, video content is not only for B2C companies. In fact, 86% of companies utilize video in their B2B content marketing efforts at present.

    The classic blog posts and reports are essential even today. But a video too might be a good addition to your content marketing strategy.

    The good news? You don’t need to make your B2B videos entirely from the ground up.

    However, if you have been using content marketing for B2B for some time now, it’s likely that you have accumulated a lot of content by now. And you can use that content to create top-of-the-line videos.

    There are many ways to create a video. And Lumen5 is one of those we like. It allows you to submit your pictures and write captions to describe events in photos.

    Additionally, it lets you integrate your official website. And whenever you post any article, Lumen5 prepares a video script for you, which is an amazing feature.

    However, you still have to edit the video and add a few more images to make it match your brand.

    Steps to start B2B content marketing

    Are you ready to start doing B2B content marketing? Here are the steps for you to begin with:

    Spot keywords with high organic traffic and potential

    If you need website visitors from search engines, you should focus on the keywords that your prospects are looking for.

    Keywords are the terms and expressions that visitors enter into search engines to get the information they want.

    For instance, if you want to purchase a pair of shoes, you might search for a keyword like “running shoes” on Google.

    To produce any kind of content, you need to know the data your visitors are searching for on industry-related subjects.

    Moreover, you should be aware of the keywords your target audience uses to get information. It can benefit you with the following:

    • Finding brand-new content topics: If you have no clue about what topic you should cover in your next content, keyword research lets you identify the latest ideas to attract your target group.
    • Improve content for search engines: You may have an article subject or other content topic, to begin with. But you still have to be aware of the exact keywords your prospects use to search content on that subject.

    Now, let’s see how to do keyword research. To perform keyword research, type in some primary search terms in a keyword research software such as KWFinder.

    Let’s say you offer project management software. So, you may look for keywords such as project management, remote work, and productivity because your prospects are also looking for such terms.

    After that, scan all the suggestions and jot down the pertinent keywords.

    However, this is not the endpoint. Search volume is essentially a vanity metric. That’s why you need to ensure that you focus on keywords that bring in sales.

    For that, you can give a rating to every idea for its commercial value. At Smemark, for instance, we use the following scale to grade those subjects:

    • 3: Our offerings are the best option to address the issue;
    • 2: Although our solution makes a significant contribution, it is not necessary to resolve the issue;
    • 1: Our services or products can be discussed sparingly;
    • 0: There is no opportunity to bring up our goods.

    We mainly focus on subjects that fall into categories 2 or 3.

    Produce content on chosen ideas

    B2B customers usually use the internet to look for and scan content. Also, the information they engage with influences their buying choices.

    That’s why we at Smemark constantly work to ensure that our content accomplishes two objectives:

    • It is according to the visitor’s search intent
    • It advocates our offerings.

    So, develop personalized content that is in line with the expectations of B2B prospects. It lets you increase sales, attract prospects, and enhance your promotional campaigns.

    Let us begin with the search intent:

    Search intent is the purpose of a person’s search. To determine it, you should check out the results that rank in high positions for your primary keyword.

    Let’s say your keyword is employee engagement. Here are the SERP (search engine result page) results for this keyword.

    SERP analysis for keyword employee engagement using Mangools SERP Checker.

    It is clear from SERP that people want to see the strategies to build employee engagement.

    That’s why focusing on angles like “what is employee engagement” or “why employee engagement is important” would not be right.

    The next objective is to make sure the content gives you the possibility to mention your business. But be mindful that when you plug in your business, it looks organic. After all, you are creating a blog article, not a sales copy.

    Where relevant, include your product and show how it helps to solve the problem.
    Mention your product or service only when it seems appropriate. Plus, discuss different ways your product contributes to the resolution of an issue. Never force the inclusion.

    Do content promotion

    Content creation is not as complicated as marketing that content. And it is particularly true for B2B businesses. This is because many distribution platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, are ineffective for B2B companies.

    But, with the increasing number of people and businesses posting content on the web, content marketing is getting noticeably cutthroat.

    In fact, more than four million blog articles are posted every day, as per Internet Live Stats.

    You might use the smoothest WordPress hosting or have remarkable images on your website. Even then, you won’t be able to connect with many prospects without distributing the content you produce.

    Luckily, you can put your B2B content in front of people using the following tactics.

    An excellent approach for content marketing for B2B is to share focused cold emails with blog owners and reporters who write about your market space.

    Brien Dean, for instance, frequently sends outreach emails to individuals from his industry. He chooses only those people who have shared content related to his.

    An example of blogger email outreach.

    Apart from this, mail the content to your email list subscribers and post it on your social platforms.

    In addition, if you got some funds, you could invest a couple of hundred bucks on Facebook advertisements for B2B content marketing.

    Final thoughts on B2B content marketing

    As you can see, there isn’t any ideal method to do B2B content marketing. But based on your objectives, there are various content strategies you could employ to achieve the best outcome.

    Did we miss anything about B2B content marketing? Did you try these tips? Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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    Hi, I'm Hitesh Sahni

    My team & I help brands with superior content marketing services, software reviews, and insights to boost traffic and lead generation. Sign up for our free email newsletter and get notified once a week about new blog posts with strategies to turn content into a growth channel for your business.

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