I’m always perplexed when B2B companies don’t take advantage of content marketing.
Yes, there’s a huge difference between B2B copy and B2C copy.
Yes, you need to be careful that you don’t end up with generic sales copy when you need a much more targeted approach.
But no – that doesn’t mean content marketing is simply a B2C game. It’s a mistake that so many B2B companies make, and today I’m going to explain why content marketing is important for B2B.
Caveat: when you work with the right people.
So I’m going to help you understand how to choose the right people.
Let’s get to it.
Content Marketing: B2B vs. B2C
There’s a marked difference in how B2B content marketing works compared to B2C content marketing.
Firstly, the content is much more technical. While any good piece of content establishes the author as an expert, B2B material needs to be tailored to the publisher’s specific offering.
Secondly, it needs to be targeted much more carefully. This isn’t about finding the lowest common denominator for persuading customers to buy your product.
It’s about knowing your customer before the content is produced. It’s about understanding their pain points, providing bespoke solutions for every concern they might have, and showcasing why you’re uniquely positioned to provide those solutions.
Why Should B2B Companies Use Content Marketing?
If you want a brief snapshot of why content marketing is important for B2B, look at the stats.
A whopping 30% of marketers reported that content marketing had the best ROI of all marketing strategies. It was behind only SEO (32%) in this regard and equal with the ever-popular email marketing strategy.
Do B2B companies need SEO? Of course. It’s how new clients discover you. It’s how great things begin.
Do B2B companies need email marketing? Of course. It’s one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there.
So a service that provided SEO content marketing with a channel for B2B email content would be pretty good, right?
I think so.
Types of B2B Content Marketing
How do you make your business stand out to potential clients?
By knowing what they’re interested in buying. By having it all laid out for them to discover when they arrive at your homepage.
Then there’s the follow-up. Keep them updated. Remind them why you should always be their first choice.
Want to know why content marketing is important for B2B? Start using these types of content and watch the results.
An effective sales page is a must-have for B2B companies.
In the long term, this is the lowest-effort source of conversions you have.
Which means it has to be a high-effort piece of content.
Sales pages should be:
- Optimized for SEO. They’re a discovery tool – so people need to discover the page. Keyword optimization is essential. FAQs answering the most relevant questions in your niche are highly recommended. This page should have clients interested enough to click through – if Google recognizes that people engage with this content, it’ll rank it higher.
- Focused on the sale. Obviously. Well-chosen, well-placed CTAs should be interspersed throughout the content. “Get in touch” is all very well, but you can get more personal than that. The best CTAs aren’t generic – they recognize where the buyer is in their journey and provide a relevant lead.
- Problem-solving. An effective sales page raises the issues the buyer is facing and shoots them down one by one. The goal is to remove every obstacle between the buyer and your services – there can be no hesitation remaining when it’s time to convert.
- Personal. Again – the difference between B2C and B2B content marketing is that B2C aims for the lowest common denominator. It’s not fussy who the buyer is; it casts a wide net. You want to appeal directly to a very specific audience. You want to establish that you’re exactly the expert they’ve been looking for, and showing personality is essential.
You can’t afford to have an underperforming sales page. It’s just too central to your online appeal.
Work with an expert B2B content marketing service and put your sales page to work.
B2B buyers have time to invest in their decisions. They’re happy to spend a while researching a company before engaging.
Give them something good to read.
Case studies are an incredibly effective way of demonstrating your expertise and commitment to your niche. They back up your arguments with proven examples, which is persuasive in itself.
More importantly, they show that you’re serious about your service.
A selection of well-chosen, expertly-written case studies showing how you identify and address clients’ most common problems is a devastating weapon. If you want to show that you’re an expert, it’s time to start publishing.
If case studies are in-depth examples of your dedication to your subject, a well-maintained blog is a sign that you’re passionate about your work.
Blogs are considered forgettable by too many B2B companies. The result? They forget them, and when a potential client clicks on your blog, they see that the last post was a year and a half ago.
What made you give up?
That’s not a question you ever want your clients to be asking about you.
A blog should complement your case studies in how it presents your business. You’ve already got the evidence that you’re an expert – now you can show your clients that you’re constantly keeping up-to-date with relevant developments in your industry.
Showing that you’re on the ball is especially important in fast-moving digital niches. Imagine your core product is an AI analysis tool, and your last blog post was still talking about the upcoming release of GPT-4.
It’s not a good look.
Blogs are also the perfect way to consolidate your online presence because they’re an excellent vehicle for SEO content.
Answer commonly asked questions in-depth. Reach out to new client bases with expansive posts on related topics. Share them on your socials and collaborate with other parties to acquire backlinks.
Never underestimate the humble blog.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of content marketing today.
This is especially true for B2B companies.
B2B sales can take time. Constant communication is the way to ensure your company is always at the forefront of your buyer’s thoughts.
That communication needs to be tailored to the client you’re sending it to. Mass-market, generic emails won’t cut it. If anything, they’ll land you on a spam list for cluttering up your client’s inbox.
But when email content marketing is personable, beautifully written, and focused on what a client needs to hear before they confirm a buying decision…
Now we’re talking.
Emails underline why content marketing is important for B2B because they recognize the unique buying journey your clients take. Even if an email isn’t a direct pitch, it’s aimed at problem-solving. It’s part of a long-term solution.
When your client has all the information they need to understand why you’re their go-to for that solution, we’re talking sales.
Company newsletters combine the best of blog posts and emails. They’re direct communications that consistently show that you’re up-to-date and engaged with industry developments.
A newsletter also provides valuable information about your company’s goals and direction. It’s a great way to consistently affirm your identity and cement your branding.
Newsletters are the place to explore the most complex parts of your service in detail.
New B2B clients will be keen to learn why they should trust you. Your website may have all the necessary information, but you’re leaving that decision up to them.
Publishing a regular newsletter massively increases the chance that your client will read and engage with your content.
B2B newsletters are technical by necessity. That means you’ll need to create a detailed brief and work with a content marketer specializing in in-depth, well-researched material.
There’s no point in sending out a newsletter that doesn’t show your best face. When you find a partner who can produce the technical material you need as attractive, engaging, lead-generating content, that’s the start of a beautiful relationship.
Sharing your content on social channels is highly recommended.
Does that mean you have to spend more time in the often muddy waters of social media?
Of course not.
Social signals are an affordable, effective way to get your content seen and shared on social channels with minimal work on your end.
This is especially valuable for technical content like case studies. Online experts love a case study – it’s something to review, engage with, and reference.
Those references become a discussion. The discussion becomes backlinks.
Backlinks mean authority and visibility. It’s a tried-and-tested strategy.
Then there’s LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is often overlooked by social marketers, but it’s a fantastic venue for B2B content marketing. LinkedIn is often the first place your clients will look to find out more about the people behind the company. If your team is routinely sharing your content, it’s another opportunity for reshares and engagement.
The upshot? Getting the word out is always a good thing for B2B companies.
Your strategy should combine in-depth, sales-focused website content with personalized email and newsletter marketing campaigns. Socials help expand your reach and build authority.
A B2B content marketing specialist can help you with all of this.
Let’s take a look at the technical side of why content marketing is important for B2B companies.
On-Page SEO for B2B Companies
On-page SEO isn’t just about keywords. It’s about your client’s experience reading your work.
Google is increasingly prioritizing readers’ behavioral responses to content over classic metrics like keyword optimization.
That’s not to say keywords are dead. It just means that if your reader doesn’t show that they’re engaged by the content, Google won’t keep prioritizing it just because it’s nicely optimized.
High bounce rates for landing pages that link to further reading, services, or sales pages aren’t a good sign. The layout of the content is just as important – it should read like it’s meant for a human to read.
That means short sentences. It means avoiding walls of text. It means showing personality and engaging with the reader’s information need.
In other words… the more Google likes your content, the more your clients will like it, and vice versa.
They’re looking for the same things.
A first-class B2B content marketing service will understand this. You can expect search performance and client engagement to increase.
Off-Page SEO for B2B Companies
On-page SEO helps individual blog posts and landing pages rank high on Google for certain search queries.
Off-page SEO transforms your website into an all-around high-performer.
When clients go looking for a specific service or product, the top spots will be dominated by your industry’s big players. Off-page SEO is how you put yourself in that number.
Effective backlinking strategies are at the heart of off-page SEO. Backlinks are Google’s version of bibliographies – they let the search engine know which sources a webpage consulted when it was being written.
When your website receives backlinks from high-authority sources, that’s a really good look.
But how do you acquire them?
Guest posting is the traditional way to build backlinks. This gets your website linked to on high-traffic websites, preferably in a post that’s relevant to your niche.
However, Google’s SpamBrain service has been cracking down on guest post farming recently. If you’re using guest posting, you need to work with a provider with an excellent track record of delivering results for their clients.
Social posts are a great way to acquire backlinks. While social media posts tend to be short, the most effective content to link to on your social posts is actually long-form, well-researched content with something new to say.
This is because it gives others in your industry something to talk about. People are less likely to share generic posts. Using your social channels to promote conversations about your most in-depth content can earn you quality, organic backlinks from reputable sources.
A concerted off-page SEO campaign builds your website’s authority across the board.
It delivers long-term results.
B2B is all about the long term. Set yourself up for success.
Why You Need a B2B Content Marketing Specialist – and How to Choose
To understand why content marketing is important for B2B, you need to identify what makes a first-class content marketer.
They need to meet all your needs. There’s no room for error.
Here’s what to look for.
Your first priority is accuracy.
Your clients are experts in your field. If they spot incorrect information or vague terminology, they’ll smell a rat.
There goes the sale.
How to Choose
Producing 100% accurate content requires research. Research takes time. Time is money.
You can expect to pay more for expert content, so don’t just go for the lowest price. Content that delivers 0% of the time is worth nothing to you.
Your content provider should specialize in your niche. They should want to learn more about your company. Detailed briefs should be welcomed.
Expertise doesn’t come cheap, but accurate, sales-oriented content delivers. It’s worth it.
All your content should achieve a consistent tone.
If your blog posts and emails all sound like they’re written by a different person, your clients will notice. This inconsistency is confusing and offputting.
There goes another sale.
Conversely, a consistent tone strengthens your brand identity. It establishes who you are. It sounds authoritative.
Authority is everything in content marketing.
How to Choose
Any content marketing service worth its salt will research your brand’s tone and produce new material to match.
A good strategy is to send off multiple test pieces. If you only request one, you might be delighted with the initial results – but the next one that comes back could be a different story.
Establish that you’re working with a content marketer that puts your brand first.
I don’t think anyone would argue that AI has shaken up the content industry in a big way in 2023.
The quality of text AI can now produce has surprised me. When I read opinion pieces that suggest that AI isn’t coming for human writers’ jobs, I raise an eyebrow – because I think it is. Today’s average writer will have to become tomorrow’s average AI editor.
The personal touch is why the best human content marketers are still in demand.
This is all-important for B2B companies. The content doesn’t just have to be personalized to your brand – it has to be personalized to your clients.
Marrying both parties’ needs in a persuasive piece of sales copy is seriously skilled work.
Again, it doesn’t matter how much cheaper the second-best option is if it delivers zero conversions.
Your copy needs to be personal. And you need a personal relationship with your content marketing team to get the results you need.
How to Choose
The best content marketing services will want to understand your goals.
They need to be invested in building those bridges between you and your clients. Look for demonstrations that they understand B2B content is all about overcoming obstacles and showing how your company meets all your client’s needs.
Personality comes through investment. You want your B2B content written by humans who are invested in your success.
Benefits of B2B Content Marketing
Time for a quick round-up of why content marketing is important for B2B – and the benefits you can expect.
All businesses with a digital presence dream of occupying that #1 rank on Google.
Easier said than done – there can only be one. But you can put yourself at the top of Google’s SERPs for numerous questions your clients are asking.
Before your clients book a discovery call, they have to discover that you exist. SEO content marketing is how you achieve this.
Answering Your Buyers’ Questions
Any B2B client will have dozens of questions they need answered before they’re willing to proceed.
Some of these will have to be answered personally, but you can give yourself a head start by answering as many questions as possible through your blog, your newsletters, and your case studies.
Writing articles in response to popular search queries is also a great SEO strategy. Make your website an information hub, and ensure that your content leads the client naturally through to your sales pages.
Building & Maintaining Connections
Maintaining ongoing relationships through personalized, relevant content is the key to consistent success.
Newsletters keep your clients engaged and can outline new developments in your offering that they might be interested in. Marketing your content through social channels keeps clients up-to-date – they can even act as ambassadors by sharing your content.
Your sales page isn’t the end of the funnel, but it should sharply speed up your client’s progress on their buying journey.
A well-written sales page with relevant, personalized CTAs lets the client book a consultation at every opportunity. It should break down every hesitation they have about engaging your services and be single-mindedly focused on making that initial engagement.
Content marketing should establish your position as an authority in your field by showcasing your expertise.
Case studies are a fantastic resource for this. Building your website’s authority through off-page strategies like backlink campaigns, social shares, citations, and improved website design offers long-term benefits.
B2B content marketing is about establishing trust. That’s what being an authority means – you’re the trusted source new clients discover first.
What’s so important about content marketing for B2Bs?
The visibility you need to attract new clients.
The personal touch that shows a buyer why you’re the only source they need.
The authority you gain by establishing yourself as an expert in your niche.
Understanding why content marketing is important for B2B is the first step. Your next move is to work with a content marketing specialist that speaks your language – so your clients feel compelled to listen.
So they feel encouraged to reach out.
SEOButler specializes in content marketing for B2Bs. Our team is on-hand to listen to your every need and deliver bespoke, optimized content that converts.