In a creative profession like content marketing, B2B marketers can sometimes get stuck.
In addition to having to focus on authentic experiences and pursue their brand storytelling, B2B content marketing players find themselves working with restrictive sales structures, limited budgets, and often a short-sighted view of business. real usefulness of this work.
We also add that generally we work in niche markets and that we turn to clients who work directly in the field, therefore more aware and attentive to communication, to understand how difficult it can be to work in such a context.
The good news is that there is always room for creativity and experimentation, in fact several B2B brands have found a way to entertain their audience, by creating content that fits perfectly into a structured marketing plan.
What to do
So what are the elements that make a B2B content strategy truly effective? Or rather, when it comes to B2B brands, what are the points to remember to also support lead generation?
All in all, there are several points that are already known to those involved in content marketing, but when it comes to B2B content there are several nuances that need to be taken into account.
Accurate understanding of customer needs
Like any self-respecting marketing strategy, the starting point is your audience: knowing the audience is a fundamental task of marketers.
Those who work in B2B marketing know well, or at least should always keep in mind, that their audience is specialized, more experienced, so they have more skills and aptitudes to perceive when communication is not transparent. and has the sole purpose of attracting new prospects. which are not very transparent.
For this reason, it is necessary to turn to honest and genuine communication, which puts the interests of its customers at the center and is able to deal with the problems and problems encountered by the company in a clear and precise manner.
Increase brand awareness
The last thing a brand sales oriented he would do is change the optimized and functional “business formula” that he obtained in 20 years of experience. For this reason, the B2B content marketer typically works between a willingness to expand brand awareness initiatives to better position the brand, and management’s reluctance to invest in “non-paying” stocks.
In general, content is constructed in such a way as to guide its audience throughout the purchasing process, responding to the information needs that characterize each phase encountered by the consumer.
When it comes to B2B, the lead generation phases are much more structured, long and specific. For this reason, the task of the content is to make the experience as “transparent” as possible.
Whether it’s running a small blog or creating the most innovative and interesting whitepaper, it will be necessary to integrate an effective content strategy within an organized and sales-oriented structure.
A process that can be difficult for many businesses, but there are virtuous examples of B2B brands that have found their own strategy for content to excel with engaging content, but at the same time supporting the company’s sales goals. business.
Salesforce took the opportunity to achieve three goals with a single solution:
- broaden customer service experiences
- build a huge hub of search engine optimized content
- put a funny face on an otherwise standard product experience
Salesforce Trailhead it is several things. It serves as a hub for community interaction and news related to its technology. Provides a comprehensive list of optimized content for troubleshooting and user training. Offers a gamification system (where badges are earned as you progress) that encourages account creation and long-term interaction with the audience
Trailhead is a big push, but even imagining a scaled-down version of this hub, the content on offer shows all the hallmarks of thoughtful B2B marketing. The training system encourages users to create accounts, entering their own credentials, which act as a “smoother” lead generation channel.
The content is also primarily aimed at meeting the needs of the audience, even when it highlights shortcomings in some of their systems. And finally, it serves as a place dedicated to expanding the brand’s style and presence without encroaching on its more conventional and formal SaaS positioning.
Deloitte has found a unique approach to differentiate much of their content: interactive experiences and streamlined accounts that make entering your personal information a benefit rather than a tedious, tedious task.
The site “Business chemistry“Running on its own subdomain with a distinctive brand aesthetic, it invites users to learn more about Deloitte’s research by taking an interactive quiz that assigns them a personalized team member style.
From a B2B content marketing perspective, this somewhat satisfies all of the points we talked about earlier.
By relying on the product identity in a web space separate from the main site, it allows you to experiment with a new brand communication without affecting the positioning established by Deloitte. In terms of audience knowledge, the brand and the user learn and glean new information from the quiz results.
So it’s a good example of creating experiences with personalized content that satisfy users while meeting business needs.
What we learn
Creativity should be encouraged, always finding new ways to collect information and meet the needs of its audience. It helps to experiment with your brand positioning, even if it involves small changes every now and then.
It is good to remember that users are not naive: the more you try to force the sale, the less attractive the content offered will be. It is therefore important to seek utility by interacting with your readers through content that really interests them.
Simple tips that serve as the basis for a more complex brand strategy that aims to position the brand in a stable way, in order to favor more and more leads, in a virtuous circle that is nourished.
We are organizing the third edition of B2B day. Appointment for Wednesday September 25 at the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation in Milan.