Content marketing provides potential buyers with a visually appealing medium to gain and maintain information; and ideally, drives them closer to the end of the lead gen funnel.
In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics regarding B2B content marketing:
- What Is B2B Content Marketing?
- Why Is B2B Content Marketing Important for Lead Generation?
- Most Common Types of B2B Content Marketing Assets
- B2B Content Marketing Best Practices to Follow
- How to Build a Successful B2B Content Marketing Strategy
- Why Are More Companies Outsourcing Their B2B Content Marketing?
B2B content marketing, short for “business-to-business content marketing,” is a strategic inbound marketing approach that involves creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and engage a specific audience within the B2B sector. This audience typically consists of other businesses, organizations, or professionals rather than individual consumers.
B2B content marketing is crucial for lead generation because it provides a powerful and effective way to attract, engage, and convert potential business customers into leads. Here are several reasons why B2B content marketing is important for lead generation:
- Serves to educate and inform potential buyers
- Helps build trust and credibility between your business and the decision-maker
- Allows you to target the right audience and buyer personas
- Can be used as a lead magnet to bring in more leads
- Helps nurture leads based on interests and stage in the B2B sales funnel
- Boosts SEO value and drives more organic traffic
- Produces measurable results
B2B content marketing encompasses a wide range of materials tailored to the needs and preferences of business audiences. Here are some of the most common types of B2B content marketing materials:
Blog posts offer a versatile platform for delivering valuable information, industry insights, and solutions to business challenges. They serve as educational resources, helping businesses establish authority in their niche while addressing the needs and pain points of their target audience.
Blog posts are easily accessible, and shareable, and can be optimized for search engines, driving organic traffic and generating leads. They facilitate ongoing engagement with prospects and customers, nurturing relationships throughout the buyer’s journey.
Additionally, their frequent publication keeps content fresh and relevant, reflecting a company’s commitment to staying informed and providing continuous value.
If you want the most impact from your blog posts, you must optimize them for SEO value. Learn how Abstrakt’s SEO content experts develop a content creation strategy that empowers you to bring more leads to your business.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts are impactful B2B content marketing materials due to their ability to reach and engage a wide audience of decision-makers. These posts provide a dynamic platform to share industry updates, thought leadership insights, and promotional content in a real-time.
Social media helps foster brand awareness, enhance credibility, and facilitate direct communication with potential clients, partners, and stakeholders. Moreover, the viral nature of social media allows content to spread quickly, amplifying the company’s reach and influence within the B2B landscape.
When strategically executed, social media posts can drive traffic to the company’s website, nurture leads, and foster meaningful connections in the business community.
Marketing collateral is a more visual appeal to B2B content marketing. While visuals are essential for each content marketing asset, marketing collateral is designed to immediately catch the eye of potential buyers and encourage them to learn more about your business, industry, and what you have to offer them.
Here are some of the most common pieces of marketing collateral that B2B companies implement into their everyday sales and marketing functions:
- Whitepapers: Whitepapers are in-depth reports or guides that delve into specific topics, often presenting research findings, analysis, and solutions to industry challenges. They are used to establish authority and generate leads.
- Sell sheets: Sell sheets provide readers with a creative view of their product or service offerings. It allows them to envision what they’re receiving rather than describing the product, service, or idea presented.
- Ebooks: Ebooks are longer-form content pieces that offer comprehensive information on a particular subject. They are often used as lead magnets, requiring users to provide contact information to access them.
- Guides: Guides are similar to ebooks, but they’re much shorter and often hone in on a single idea, topic, or concept rather than a plethora of related topics. These assets often provide readers with unique insights that can only be accessed by downloading the guide; therefore, they’re often used as lead magnets.
- Brochures: Brochures are most often used during sales meetings or networking events, giving readers an overarching view of what your company is, what you have to offer, and what you value as a business.
- Infographics: Infographics present data, statistics, or complex information in a visually appealing and easily digestible format. They are great for summarizing key points or illustrating trends.
- Newsletters: Regular newsletters can keep subscribers informed about industry updates, company news, and new content releases. They help maintain ongoing engagement with leads and customers.
- FAQs: Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and knowledge bases provide valuable information and support for existing customers while also addressing common queries of potential customers.
Marketing collateral is a unique B2B content marketing asset because it can be used in a variety of formats and scenarios. From company introduction to a sales meeting held, they can be used and reconfigured to align with what stage of the B2B sales funnel a prospect or lead is in.
Case studies are impactful B2B content marketing materials as they offer tangible proof of a company’s value proposition. They showcase real-world success stories and how a product or service solved specific problems for clients, endorsing brand credibility and furthering trust.
Case studies can help businesses resonate with potential buyers by demonstrating practical applications, showing measurable results, and highlighting the expertise of the business. Prospective customers can relate to these stories, envisioning similar solutions for their own challenges.
Case studies effectively influence the decision-making process, making them a persuasive tool for generating leads and converting them into satisfied, informed customers.
Video Marketing Materials
Video marketing materials are great forms of marketing collateral because they deliver information in a visually engaging and easily digestible format. Videos can convey complex messages quickly and emotionally, capturing viewers’ attention and leaving a lasting impact.
They accommodate various learning styles and can be shared across multiple platforms, broadening their reach. Video content humanizes a brand, fostering authenticity and building stronger connections with the audience.
For example, let’s say that you’re a software company that wants to showcase how easy-to-use your software is for people who may not be very tech-savvy. Creating a marketing video to demo the software gives potential buyers the opportunity to see your software first-hand, encouraging them to progress their journey through the B2B lead gen and marketing funnel.
Furthermore, video marketing assets can have the opportunity to enhance SEO value, increasing a brand’s visibility in search results. Overall, video marketing materials are indispensable for storytelling, conveying product features, and establishing a memorable and compelling brand presence in today’s digital landscape.
Looking to implement a B2B content marketing strategy but don’t know where to start? Send us a message so we can help steer you in the right direction.
Webinars are excellent B2B content marketing materials for lead generation because they offer an interactive and immersive experience. They provide a platform to showcase expertise, discuss industry trends, and address specific pain points—making them highly valuable to target audiences. Attendees willingly share their contact information to register, making lead capture seamless.
During the webinar, businesses can engage with potential leads in real-time, answering questions and building rapport. Post-webinar, the content can be repurposed for ongoing lead nurturing. Webinars not only generate leads but also position the company as a trusted resource, fostering trust and confidence in the brand.
Podcasts are ideal content marketing assets for B2B businesses because they offer a convenient and accessible format for delivering valuable insights and knowledge. Professionals can listen while multitasking, making it easy to engage with content. They provide a platform to showcase industry expertise, share thought leadership, and address relevant issues—enticing potential leads to tune in.
By consistently delivering high-quality content, businesses can attract a dedicated audience, some of whom may become leads through opt-in offers, subscriptions, or invitations to deeper engagement. Podcasts enhance brand credibility and foster a sense of community, ultimately driving lead generation and nurturing long-term relationships.
Speaking of podcasts… take a look at our podcast, The Grow Show! Where business owners can learn first-hand from our company leaders on how to sustainably grow their business (both internally and externally) for the long haul.
Check out all our episodes here, or find us on your favorite podcast streaming service.
While you could just create and distribute sales and marketing assets, you more than likely won’t get the results you want. Therefore, you must have a well-thought-out B2B content marketing strategy in place.
Here are the steps to building a successful content marketing strategy that yields results:
Step 1. Determine the Goal With Your Content Marketing Strategy
Sales, sales development, and marketing teams should align on the overarching goals of the content marketing strategy, such as lead generation, lead nurturing, brand awareness, customer retention, etc. They can do this by determining your company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas to ensure that the content resonates with the target audience.
Step 2. Spend Time on Content Ideation, Planning, and Creation
Each department involved in B2B lead generation should spend time collaborating to share ideas about what kind of content is best for potential buyers, plan how you plan to use content marketing materials and decide who is responsible for each task of the content creation process. Sales teams can contribute by sharing insights and case studies, marketing teams are responsible for creating the agreed-upon topics and formats, and sales development teams can decide what items resonate with which audience. This ensures that the content provides readers with value and aligns with where they are in the current B2B sales journey, pushing them closer to making a purchasing decision
Step 3. Identify Which Content Aligns With What Stage of the B2B Sales Funnel
As mentioned in Step 2, B2B lead gen teams should collaboratively map out the stages of the B2B sales funnel, from awareness to conversion, and determine what types of content are most effective at each stage. Sales teams can provide valuable insights into the questions and objections potential customers have at different stages. For example, a blog post would serve as a top-of-funnel or awareness piece, while a case study would be more of a mid-funnel asset and push the lead to progress toward the end of their buyer’s journey.
Step 4. Distribute Content Marketing Materials Based on the Plan Created
This step involves the coordination of content distribution across various channels and mediums, including the company website, blog, social media, email, and third-party publications. This can also help boost your company’s SEO value, increasing the likelihood of having your business rank of SERP.
While B2B content marketing materials are great for inbound marketing efforts, they’re also key components to outbound lead generation and B2B appointment setting. For example, if a sales development representative (SDR) speaks with a prospect who is interested by wants to learn more before scheduling a sales meeting, the SDR can send them a brochure or other content marketing asset to provide them with the information they’re looking for.
However, while distributing your content across various channels is a great way to help your site gain traction, make sure these distribution efforts align your overall business growth plan.
Step 5. Create a Feedback Loop to Explore What’s Working and What’s Not
Maintain an open feedback loop between sales, sales development, and marketing departments to explore what’s impactful and where there can be room for improvement. Sales teams should regularly provide insights on the quality of leads generated and the effectiveness of content. Then, sales development and marketing teams can use this feedback to refine their content and targeting strategies.
Step 6. Adapt Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
When getting feedback from different departments, you must then adapt your strategy to see what kind of impact it’s making. If you see that certain pieces of content marketing material aren’t resonating well with your audience, it may be a sign that you need to reconsider your strategy and the content you’re presenting them.
Additionally, it’s important to stay informed about industry trends and shifts in customer behavior, allowing your teams to adapt the content strategy as needed. Make sure they regularly revisit and update buyer personas and content plans to ensure it’s relevant to the market and the current state of the industry.
Step 7. Repeat the Process
Like any B2B lead generation strategy, this step involves repeating the process. However, this is if you don’t see any impact from your content marketing strategy as compared to your strategy before. If you are seeing results but want improvements in other areas of your strategy, it’s important to repeat steps five and six.
Effective B2B content marketing for lead generation requires careful planning and execution. Here are some important best practices for lead generation teams to follow:
Know What Your Audience Will Engage With Most
Knowing what your audience will engage with most is vital for piquing and retaining their interest. Therefore, you must conduct thorough research to understand your target audience’s needs, pain points, and preferences. Additionally, you must tailor your content to address their specific challenges, allowing them to feel like their voices are being heard.
Create High-Quality, Consistently-Branded Content
Not having content marketing materials may be bad, but having low-quality and inconsistently branded content may be worse. Therefore, you must invest in producing valuable, well-researched, and informative content that showcases your expertise and provides real solutions to your target market’s problems. If you have content marketing materials that don’t accurately present your brand identity or brand voice, you risk losing the trust of potential buyers… If you can’t put forth effort in good B2B marketing materials, how can they trust you to provide them with a positive customer experience?
Diversify the Types of Content Marketing Materials Used
Selecting one B2B content marketing asset won’t do the trick, which is why you must offer a variety of content types. This helps cater to different learning styles and preferences. Using a variety of content marketing materials including blog posts, webinars, whitepapers, videos, and more allows you to get your point across and convert more prospects and leads into sales.
Optimize Your Content Marketing Assets for SEO Value
To get the most significant impact from your B2B content marketing efforts, ensure your content is search engine optimized. This helps to improve visibility in search results, driving more traffic to your website, YouTube channel, etc. If you want your assets to be optimized for SEO value, make sure you include relevant keywords and meta tags and create high-quality, shareable content.
For a step-by-step guide on how to optimize marketing content (specifically PDF files) for search engines, read our blog here.
Promote Your Content on Social Media
Sharing your B2B marketing content on social media platforms can help you reach a broader audience and get in front of more potential buyers that may not already be in your pipeline. Additionally, it’s important to engage with your followers and encourage them to share your content. This can help spread brand and top-of-mind awareness. If you want more social media users to share your content, it may be worth offering an incentive, such as a discount on a service, free product offerings, etc.
Implement Assets into Your Email Marketing Strategy
Inserting content marketing assets in your email marketing campaigns can help your sales development and marketing teams effectively nurture leads. For the greatest impact, segment your email lists and send personalized content to different segments based on their interests and behavior. This can ensure that you send the best content to the right leads at the right time.
Use Unique Content as Lead Magnets
If you want to drive more leads from your B2B content marketing strategy, consider using your assets as lead magnets, exchanging your industry-exclusive information for their contact information. While they may not be more ready-to-buy leads, it opens up the conversation for the future, allowing you to nurture the lead over time. To get the most soft leads from your content marketing materials, ensure your call-to-actions (CTAs) effectively promote these offers.
Measure and Analyze the Effectiveness of Your Materials
If you want to get the most impact from your assets, continuously track and analyze the performance of your content marketing efforts. This includes identifying what works and what needs improvement, allowing you to adjust your strategy accordingly.
Use B2B Content Marketing Materials for Both Sales and Marketing
While B2B content marketing has the word “marketing” in it, it’s also a critical component to sales and overall customer engagement. B2B content marketing materials can be used in sales aspects, such as the presentation your sales execs have for potential buyers. Additionally, content marketing materials such as newsletters and sell sheets can help keep customers engaged and encourage upselling.
Utilize Content Calendars for Better Distribution Organization
For a better content distribution strategy, maintain a content calendar to plan and schedule content in advance. This ensures consistency and alignment with your business goals—both short and long-term.
By following these best practices, B2B lead generation teams can create a successful content marketing strategy that attracts, nurtures, and converts leads effectively while providing value to their target audience.
Small to medium-sized businesses are increasingly outsourcing their B2B content marketing efforts for many reasons:
- It’s more cost-effective: Outsourcing can be more cost-effective than hiring and maintaining an in-house marketing team. Companies can access a team of experts for a fraction of the cost of employing multiple full-time employees, avoiding expenses like salaries, benefits, and overhead.
- They have access to expertise: Content marketing agencies or freelancers often have a wealth of specialized expertise. They stay updated on the latest industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies, bringing fresh ideas and strategies to the table.
- It allows them to focus on core competencies: Small to medium-sized businesses can concentrate on their core competencies by outsourcing content marketing. This allows them to dedicate their time and resources to what they do best, whether it’s product development, customer service, or sales.
- It empowers them to scale as needed: Outsourcing provides scalability, allowing businesses to ramp up or down their content marketing efforts as needed. They can adjust the scope of work without the challenges associated with hiring, training, and laying off in-house staff.
- It reduces workload: Content marketing can be time-consuming. Outsourcing relieves businesses of the burden of content creation, distribution, and analytics, enabling them to focus on strategic decision-making and day-to-day operations.
- They have access to the needed tools and resources: Content marketing agencies often have access to advanced marketing tools, software, and resources that may be cost-prohibitive for businesses to acquire independently.
- It improves consistency and quality: Outsourcing ensures a consistent flow of high-quality content. Experienced professionals can maintain a regular posting schedule and deliver content that meets or exceeds industry standards.
- It generates faster results: Outsourcing can expedite results. Skilled content marketers know how to drive traffic, engage audiences, and generate leads efficiently, potentially reducing the time it takes to see an ROI.
- It reduces risk mitigation: Outsourcing mitigates the risks associated with hiring and training in-house staff, as well as the uncertainties of maintaining a content marketing team amid economic fluctuations.
- It gives companies a competitive edge: In today’s digital landscape, staying competitive often requires an effective online presence. Outsourcing content marketing can help small to medium-sized businesses level the playing field and compete with larger companies.
Outsourcing B2B content marketing efforts offers growing businesses a strategic advantage by providing cost-effective access to expertise, scalability, and the ability to focus on their core business operations while maintaining a strong online presence and generating leads.
B2B content marketing plays a significant role in both your inbound and outbound lead generation strategy. With consistently branded, high-quality marketing materials that resonate with the prospect’s wants, needs, and pain points, you have a greater opportunity to drive them through the B2B sales funnel from beginning to end. And ideally, accelerating the amount of time they spend in the sales cycle.
At Abstrakt, we help growing businesses create high-quality content marketing materials—from blog posts to marketing collateral. But our expertise doesn’t stop there. Our SDR and marketing teams know how to use them to their full potential, empowering businesses to fill their sales pipeline and engage more leads.
When you’re ready to take advantage of the impact of B2B content marketing materials, contact the experts at Abstrakt!