As someone who has been in the field of Digital Marketing for the past 15 years, I have seen the evolution of marketing – especially B2B marketing. Content marketing has taken center stage. It is the key element which helps marketers capture the attention of their target audience.
One of the most common questions asked to us is: “I have a killer product. Do I still need to invest in content marketing? Won’t my product sell itself”. Today, with the proliferation of new and emerging technologies, a lot of innovative products are coming in the market every single day. But look at it this way – if your target audience does not find the solution to their problems (aka your product), then they are not going to come to you. In fact, content marketing helps tremendously in concept selling.
So once you are convinced that you do want to start your content marketing efforts, the next obvious question is, what type of content. Contrary to the common belief, blog is just one type of content which you can create.
Let us look at the four most popular types of content which you can benefit from –
A blog is an easy way to keep your target audience engaged with information and educational content. As we all know, search engines love fresh content and blog is an excellent way to keep your website updated with new content. Remember that your blog should NOT be about your product or service – you have the other pages of the site for that. The blog should have articles which provide answers to the questions of your target audience. It should provide solutions.
B2B Blogging Tips
- Keep the articles in the range of 800-1000 words
- Include at least one image in each article
- Your articles can be technical or non-technical – depending on the needs of your target audience. In any case, again, the articles should provide answers to the questions of your audience.
- Start with a frequency which you can maintain. There is no point in writing five articles in one month and none for the next 3 months.
- Involve your subject matter experts in providing the content and have the B2B content writers translate that into a promotable and publishable format.
Whitepapers are more in-depth and more authoritative reports than blogs. The difference between a blog article and a whitepaper is that a whitepaper addresses a specific business issue in detail. From the organization’s perspective, these are great resources for demonstrating in-depth technical and business knowledge.
B2B Whitepaper Writing Tips
- You need to involve the subject matter experts at a deeper level for writing a B2B whitepaper – from the content writers perspective, they need to do a more in-depth study of the topic, prepare the outline, and then have a detailed conversation with the SMEs.
- You can, by all means, include a section in the whitepaper which highlights your expertise in the area. It is a great place to position yourself as an expert in the field but don’t make the complete paper a sales pitch.
- Be sure to present proofs and references to your claims.
- Make the whitepapers and eBooks available on request and use these in your lead generation campaigns. This requires you have a landing page for the whitepaper which outlines key benefits of downloading the paper.
- Feel free to reuse the content in the whitepaper and create more detailed blog posts for each section in the paper.
I see that many people are big fans of infographics. Infographics are highly visual in nature and are great for showcasing a complex topic in an easy to comprehend manner. These are great for sharing on social media (although one needs to zoom in to see most of the infographics completely). Infographics are great for creating awareness about your brand and also to drive traffic to your website.
B2B Infographic Tips
- Infographics are much more complex and well researched than simple graphics. These require a deep understanding of subject matter and design. Don’t attempt adding this as a part of your social strategy unless you have access to both these talents.
- Finalize the promotion plan before creating an infographic. Most of the social platforms do not render infographics well.
- You can always reuse the infographics by converting it into a blog or a video.
If you haven’t tried webinars as a part of your B2B social media strategy, I would highly recommend you venture into it in the coming year. Since webinars offer a great opportunity to learn from the experts, B2B buyers prefer these during their research phase. Webinars can also help in generating qualified leads and moving the prospects up in the interest ladder.
B2B Webinar Tips
- The success of the webinar heavily depends on the speaker and the webinar topic. Make sure that you not only have a great topic but also have an equally wonderful, established, expert speaker to deliver the webinar.
- Have a concrete promotion plan in place – leverage the network of your employees, partners, and customers to promote the webinars.
- It’s a good idea to give away a whitepaper or eBook on a related topic as a part of the webinar giveaway.
- Make the webinar recording available post the webinar for those who miss attending it
- For more tips of making the webinars successful, here is a more detailed post.
What does this mean for your content strategy?
Apart from the content types mentioned above, there are also other types of content which you can create such as case studies, videos, presentations, eBooks, testimonials, emails, social updates etc. When it comes to creating your content strategy and deciding the type of content to create, honestly there is no one answer. It totally depends on who your potential buyers are, on which platforms they are searching for information, and what types of content they are consuming.
If you are just starting with content marketing and social media, possibly blogs are the easiest to start with. Videos, although very impactful, are difficult to produce. Case studies and presentations are something which you will require irrespective of your strategy. Get into Whitepapers and eBooks once you have a strong blogging strategy and execution in place.
Lastly, do remember that just creating content is not enough. You need to promote it too. So when you plan for your content creation efforts, don’t forget to have a strong content promotion plan in place!