Remember when B2B content marketing used to be treated like the serious, less-fun sibling of B2C marketing? Those days are long gone. And that’s a good thing!
Today’s new generation of B2B content marketers are very much aware that many of the exact same qualities of effective B2C communication are equally relevant for B2B. These qualities include things like:
- Content that truly adds value.
- Making an emotional impact.
- Satisfying your audience’s needs.
- Focusing on real-life use cases.
- Being customer-focused.
At the same time, B2B content marketing also offers a distinct advantage for marketers: when communicating with business customers, you often have a clearer persona in mind. That means you can address your audience’s interests, emotions and pain points with much greater precision. Sounds like a lot, right? Perhaps, you could look into outsourcing content marketing.
So, how can you take some of the best practices from B2C content marketing and combine them with the peculiarities of B2B to create content that is more impactful?
Here are three tips for you:
Coordinate with your sales team
To make your B2B content truly resonate with your target audiences, it’s important to understand what makes your company’s potential customers tick.
Where is there a need for more information? What are the actual challenges that are driving your customers mad? Where are customers struggling to fully grasp how your product benefits them?
If you want to answer questions like these, the first people to turn to are your company’s sales team members. Nobody understands your customers’ psychology quite like they do.
Be sure to coordinate regularly with your sales team to develop ideas for content that addresses audiences at all stages of the customer journey. Your sales team can help you identify positive triggers that spark customers’ interest, while avoiding negative triggers that might turn them off.
Plus, as a marketer, you can help your sales team out in return by producing really useful and valuable sales enablement content to help get potential customers across the finish line.
Use customer-focused communication to make it emotional
Ok, so a B2B marketing campaign may never have the tear-jerking effects of, say, the movie Titanic, but your B2B content still needs to focus on the human factor.
Business decision-makers are, after all, human. And they are often motivated by the same things as end consumers: convenience, hassle-free customer experiences, professionalism, maybe even some inspiration.
Make your B2B communications stand out from the crowd by embracing a more personal, customer-focused style of communication. A great place to start is with use cases. These give you a perfect opportunity to achieve two important goals at once:
- Make your customers the star of the show.
- Demonstrate how your product or solution makes life better.
Use cases are especially effective for targeting leads near the bottom of the funnel. They can play into your sales enablement strategy too. This is another good reason to get your sales team on board when developing content ideas, or picking which customers to showcase in a use case.
Influencer marketing works for B2B too
Influencers are not just helping B2C marketers promote products. They can also add some major impact to your B2B communications. And B2B influencers don’t have to be Instagram stars or household names, such as celebrities.
For every industry, there are plenty of inspiring figures and success stories that capture your audience’s imagination. Why not reach out to some of the star players in your target industry? Interview them for your company’s blog or podcast, or showcase them personally in an in-depth use case.
Instead of focusing simply on their connection with your product or solution, ask these influencers for their insight into broader developments within their industry. And, while you’ve got them on the line, don’t be afraid to have a more personal conversation with them. Ask what gives them hope in uncertain times. And what about their creative process, or where they’re getting their inspiration from lately?
To truly leverage influencer marketing, it’s essential to work with a professional content creator who is also an experienced interviewer. This is just another area where the overlap between journalism and content marketing really helps to produce excellent results.
Want to learn more about the basics of content marketing? Start with this blog.