Peak Ace on Air #35: How to nail B2B content marketing
Finally, after some weeks of re-shuffling and re-scheduling, we finally welcomed our very own senior content marketing manager Sarah Weingarten on Peak Ace on Air! Sarah has six years of digital and content marketing experience under her belt, and having come to Peak Ace from a B2B company, there’s no better person to talk to about B2B content marketing than her.
She had also created a presentation for us, which you can also see below:
What is special about B2B content marketing?
B2B marketing is in some ways just like marketing for people in B2C, but with certain nuances to take into consideration, as Sarah explained:
- The content needs to be educational
- B2B buyers are different from B2C clients
- The goals of B2B content should be, alongside lead generation and nurturing, building trust in the brand and promoting its expertise
- Special “lead magnets” are an effective content marketing tool for lead generation
- There are a lot of different content formats available, so don’t just settle for lead magnets behind a form
Content marketing as a lead generation tool
Lead generation is obviously one of the biggest goals of all marketing efforts in B2B business. Sarah presented couple of good examples of sales funnels for a lead-gen campaign, from distribution to landing into the hands of the sales team. And speaking of the sales team: in B2B it’s crucial that the marketing and sales teams work closely together, because the sales team usually has the best information about the needs and pain-points of current and potential customers.
Sometimes we put so much effort into creating a great piece of educational content that distribution ends up being just an after-thought. But there’s no point creating something if you don’t make the same or an even greater effort to distribute it.
Sarah presented a great visualisation, or rather a reminder, of all the different channels where you can promote content. From the existing clients, to the prospects, via social media, via ads and third party newsletters… It’s important to use both paid and owned media to distribute the content, and hopefully you will earn some great media coverage in the process.
Which are the best formats in B2B content marketing?
After Sarah’s presentation, there was time for some extra questions from Bastian and Domi. The first question: what’s the best and/or most used content format? Sarah said: whitepapers. They’re great for collecting people’s contact details, crucial in B2B, plus, you already have some data of the kinds of content they’re interested in. This makes it easy (or at least easier) to keep the conversation going.
Other ways to collect contact details from potential clients include: participate in lots of events, publish regular newsletters and email marketing.
Talking about whitepapers led to the question of PDFs ranking in Google, as was also discussed in the last week’s episode. According to Sarah, it depends on the search volume of the PDF’s topic. If there is a lot of potential to be ranked by the information on the white paper, these should be written out as highlights on the page. Not only can they be picked by Google but they work as an incentive for the visitor to download the white paper.
How to find the right topics to write about?
In B2C content marketing, it’s easy to find topics we want to talk about, and which people want to hear about. In B2B, topics tend to be more esoteric or niche, with little to no search volume. How to find out what people are interested in?
Luckily in B2B, people are already reading about what’s happening in the industry on a regular basis. A great way to figure out your target audience’s needs is to send a survey to the people who download a content piece and ask for feedback: what did they like, and what could be improved?
And again: ask your sales team! They should know your target customers and their pain-points best, so if you are not sure which topics are the most relevant, talk with your sales managers.
Establishing and building trust in B2B with content marketing
Trust is important in every business, and with complex and expensive B2B products and services, it’s crucial. Content marketing is a great tool for building trust in your company. You can take different data and tell a story with it that helps you to establish your company as a trustworthy service provider. And one of the best methods for creating trust is of course case studies. Let your customers convince other people of your strength and expertise. Add data and numbers, such as how performance improved (if you can). And most importantly: get a customer to give testimonials about their experience working with you.
These were just some of the highlights from the episode – watch the full video above for all the details, and you can find her slides from this episode below. Stay tuned for the next time we have Sarah as a guest on Peak Ace on Air!