Some in the marketing industry tend to think of content marketing as a tactic solely useful for business-to-consumer (B2C) focused brands. In our experience, though, the tools of content marketing – including content generation, social media, and email marketing – are all vital for business-to-business (B2B) companies, as well.
The bottom line? Whether your brand bakes and ships cookies or offers corporate training seminars, you should be emphasizing content marketing to add value and extend your message in 2016 and beyond.
Content marketing isn’t just for kids; it’s not always about the flashiest new multimedia format or the buzziest new social platform. Instead, content marketing is all about spreading information and creating genuine value for your brand by introducing your product or service to serious, interested leads.
The difference between content marketing for B2C and B2B? Audience.
B2C content is targeted to a brand’s ideal audience, which may mean it’s designed for a very broad population, indeed: young males who skateboard in Chicago, Florida-based baby boomers looking to exit a timeshare contract, mothers who want healthier snack options for their toddlers. B2B content, on the other hand, should be more specific, more tailored for the needs of your specific clients.
And so while B2C content is all about trying to sweep in as many consumers as possible by appealing to your reader’s emotions and spreading your brand story across numerous channels, B2B content creation should emphasize presenting useful, value-backed data in an easy-to-consume digital format.
That is to say that content marketing for B2B will use the same tenets and methods as B2C – blogging, email marketing, and social media, for instance – to promote different ideas. Rather than an eye-popping picture of a cookie, you’ll want an eye-catching, data-driven infographic on your service. Instead of a Twitter contest to create a spike in name recognition, you may want to focus on sharing links and testimonials to generate social PR that positions your brand as a thought leader within its field.
So just what can content marketing do for you?
And all of this marketing will pay off. You don’t just need to take our word for it! The facts are on our side: According to MarketingThink, “80% of B2B decision makers visit vendor-independent communities, vendor-sponsored forums, and LinkedIn at least once a month.” This means that your potential clients are actively searching for content like yours – why not give it to them?
Even more than that, 75% of B2B decision makers are already using Twitter to consume content and look for support on the job, according to IDC. Meanwhile, according to MarketingThink, 27% of all time on the internet is spent using some form of social media. All of this goes to show that your audience is out there, eager to connect with you; having a solid content strategy in place will allow you to take advantage of those eager eyes, whether they’re on- or off-the-clock.
And this is to say nothing of the many smaller advantages that come with a solid content marketing strategy, including a renewed focus on mobile optimization. Creating content with mobile in mind can make an enormous difference for your bottom line, particularly when you consider that, according to PureB2B, half of B2B buyers are using smartphones for business purchases — with 40% of these purchases directly influenced by such devices. Catching your readers’ eyes on mobile can give you an enormous leg up – especially when you consider that allocation for mobile in digital marketing only amounts to 3%, and roughly 90% of small businesses were not mobile optimized as recently as 2014.
Perhaps the best news of all? Partnering with an experienced content marketing consultancy will give you a major leg up over your peers, since only 32% of B2B marketers consider themselves “sophisticated” or “mature” at content marketing, while 55% of B2B marketers told Content Marketing Institute that “it is unclear within their organization what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like.”
Here at Geek, not only will we help provide you with the tools you need to create your own success, but we’ll help you measure and track it every step of the way. Our team knows all the ins and outs of content marketing in 2016, from SEO to social media. Excited to know just what we can do for your brand? Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!