Dianna Albanese, SourceMedia
According to WordStream, B2B content marketing is “the art of using content to expand your business’ audience, strengthening and developing brand affinity, and ultimately drive leads and sales by appealing to other businesses.” However, content marketing can be very challenging for B2B brands, given that this content needs to be “by businesses, for businesses” instead of the typical consumer-facing texts and visuals. Don’t let difficulty convince you to overlook this strategy: an article from Venngage states that content marketing is the dominant digital marketing technique.
“Content marketing is more necessary for B2B because the sales cycle is so much longer and the products are so much more sophisticated,” says Gretchen Lembach, Editorial Director of Custom & Branded Content at SourceMedia. “Potential buyers will have many more questions because of the sophistication required, and because they have so many more stakeholders to get on board. Being able to address questions, concerns, and goals for each of those parties in a different way is something other forms of marketing just can’t do as effectively. A well done content marketing program can really make the difference.”
B2C and B2B content marketing can look nearly identical from the surface: the strategy’s overall importance and tactics are similar. However, building the bridge between the brand and the customer requires more time. “The biggest distinction between B2B and B2C content marketing is B2B demands a much lengthier, more intensive, and incredibly focused dialogue,” says Paul Vogel, Vice President of Content Operations and Creative Services at SourceMedia. “You can’t just go to an ad agency, do some focus groups and launch a campaign. B2B marketers need thought leadership partners like SourceMedia. We’ve built trust in our categories and communities through the quality of our reportage and brand equity. Only this model boosts the marketing of complex B2B products through our highly refined, informed content.”
It’s important to remember that although the actual creation is a large part of content marketing, proving its effectiveness in driving business results is the end goal. The Content Marketing Institute suggests building a content marketing strategy around six key elements:
- Well-defined targets
- Deep contextual understanding
- Clear conversion goals
- Appropriate points of contact
- A process for alignment
- The ability to scale
These elements will allow your B2B brand to create business value around your creative content.
B2B content marketing is making strides; the Content Marketing Institute reports that 62% of content marketers’ organizations are much more or somewhat more successful with their overall content marketing approach compared with one year ago. Like all marketing initiatives, creativity, uniqueness and appealing to your audiences are key to a successful strategy.
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