Nearly two decades after the term “content marketing” was coined and brands began implementing the approach for their digital strategies, it’s easy to see why it remains one of the premier ways for B2B brands to enhance their online efforts and earn more business.
Fast forward, and B2B content marketing strategies have certainly evolved a great deal since the turn of the century. Companies in countless B2B niches have found content marketing extremely beneficial for their bottom lines — and that’s likely to remain the same in 2019.
Seven Distinct Ways to Improve Your B2B Content Marketing
With that in mind, here are seven B2B content marketing insights that can help you, your team, and your organization build on your content strategy to further augment your (hopefully) already-strong online presence and takes your content game to new heights.
Insight #1: Turn Your Core Audience Into Brand Advocates
Regardless of your specific B2B brand focus, chances are your customer personas are made up of C-suite members and decision-makers. Do you know how this audience tends to buy solutions for their respective companies? Word-of-mouth from peers — many of whom are brand evangelists.
That means turning your core clientele/customer base into brand advocates is essential to growing your business. One chief way you can accomplish this is by creating content your core audience wants to share on your behalf.
PGIM Real Estate Finance CMO Brian Stieff noted he envisions that, in 2019, “[B2B] companies will build, package, and distribute content with the objective of getting target audiences to share and endorse it with their social and/or professional networks.”
Insight #2: Ensure Your Website Abides by Modern SEO Best Practices
Search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-changing. With every modification Google makes to its algorithms, B2B brands like yours need to take a step back and ensure they’re doing everything the ‘right’ way.
What the ‘right’ way means is certainly subjective. Ultimately, though, it comes down to asking yourself, “Is our website built to rank well in SERPs?” If the answer is “Yes,” keep doing what you’re doing. If the answer is “No” (or even “Maybe”), it’s time to revamp your SEO plans.
As LinkedIn Digital Marcoms Manager Jane Fleming notes, the best 2019 SEO strategies follow the E-A-T approach: that is, position yourself as an expert, as authoritative, and as trustworthy.
“A good rule of thumb is to think like an academic when you’re planning, sourcing and creating your content,” said Fleming, noting that linking to reputable pages is a must in one’s B2B content.
Insight #3: Craft Content with Each Buyer’s Journey Stage in Mind
Developing a 2019 B2B content marketing strategy means developing specific content assets that will resonate with your target buyer(s) and meeting them where they want to be met.
In other words, you and your squad of content creators, optimizers, and analysts all need to consider whether your previous content efforts have hit the mark with these folks and, in turn, got them to express interest or consideration of your brand’s offerings.
Content Marketing Institute Research Director Lisa Murton Beets explained the ideal 2019 B2B content includes collateral one’s persona(s) find not only helpful but indispensable.
“[I]f you want your brand to be well-regarded by your audience, give it something valuable,” said Beets. “Be consistent. Be easy to find. Give your audience members content they want and need — when and where they’re looking for it. And make it about them, not you.”
Insight #4: Leverage Your Data to Personalize Your B2B Content
Whether it’s pulling website traffic and engagement metrics from your Google Analytics setup or extracting more intricate data from your marketing automation solution, the goal of these solutions is to offer you a breadth of information so you can modify your B2B marketing over time.
One specific way in which you can transform your marketing for the better is to use your presumably countless metrics to personalize your B2B content.
Trimble MEP North America Marketing and Communications Manager Moira van den Akker stated there’s no excuse for B2B marketing pros not to properly leverage this data for their online approaches.
“From email to landing pages, advertisements and content recommendations, personalization isn’t just for business-to-consumer (B2C) brands anymore,” said van den Akker. “Segment and tailor your experiences to make your audience feel recognized, understood and, most importantly, special.”
Insight #5: It’s Not Just About Production — Distribution Matters
Once you’ve personalized your content creation, you need to think about how you disseminate those assets — ebooks, white papers, infographics, one-sheets (the list goes on) — your existing customers/clients and various buckets of prospects.
“Passive distribution — or, worse, the distribution you do as an afterthought once you realize no one is engaging with your content — won’t cut it,” Calendar Founder John Hall wrote for Forbes. “Don’t let your investment in content go to waste by sitting on some of your most valuable marketing assets.”
Hall added companies need to become more enthusiastic and inventive with how they plan their content distribution strategies so they effectively stand out from competitors and, most importantly, get their B2B content in front of the right folks.
Insight #6: Begin (or Continue) to Leverage the Power of AI
The concept of artificial intelligence prospectively making its way into B2B content marketing strategies ‘soon’ has passed. It’s 2019: AI is here — and here to stay.
According to Demandbase CMO Peter Isaacson relayed in a piece for MarTech Today, it’s expected for B2B brands (particularly enterprises) to incorporate AI use cases (chatbots, predictive platforms, etc.) into everyday operations — and that includes their content marketing strategies.
“There are almost a limitless number of applications for AI in marketing,” Isaacson said. “And 2019 will be the year that AI-based [marketing] becomes like a utility for B2B marketers.”
Insight #7: Hire Pros to Handle Some (or All) of Your Content Efforts
Even with robust B2B content marketing teams consisting of a dozen or more individuals need assistance with crafting world-class, high-converting content for their brands.
If your business is in dire need of modern marketers who can write engaging blog posts and produce other informative content for your niche audience(s), turn to a content marketing agency that understands your goals and targets to craft your content strategy around it..
Your marketing team likely has plenty on its plate to deal with over the course of a calendar year: from planning quarterly strategies to measuring and refining those efforts over time.
Bottom line: If your B2B marketing staff is overextended, find a reputable content marketing firm with dedicated writers — in-house, freelance, or otherwise — to help.
Do share your content marketing ideas in the comments section below. You can also reach out to us here and discuss your content marketing requirements to understand the best approach for your business.