Over the years, most B2B tech companies have changed their marketing approaches significantly. For instance, most individuals, regardless of the industry they are in, are now using web marketing for awareness, lead generation, and sales. It is not a surprise that the old and outdated marketing approaches are no longer having as much impact in the digital era of marketing. Usually, content marketing for B2B tech companies requires constant experimentation and the use of the appropriate marketing strategies, due to the difference in each sales cycle. The implication is that every target audience needs customized marketing methods. As such, content marketing becomes relevant, as it offers B2B tech marketers the appropriate platform to reach their appropriate audience and achieve their set goals within a given timeframe.
Understanding content marketing
It can be quite challenging to know what approaches to use if you do not know what content marketing is all about. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as the creation and distribution of content consistently with the aim of attracting and retaining a given audience, and in the end, lead to a profitable customer action.
The significance of content marketing for B2B tech companies
Content marketing is significant in the B2B sector. Perhaps, you are wondering why content marketing is important for B2B tech companies. You can use content marketing to achieve a variety of goals including brand awareness, customer acquisition, lead generation and customer retention and loyalty as shown in the figure below.
Content marketing for B2B tech companies: Tactics that everyone needs
Different industries have diverse content marketing needs. In addition, you will need to use different content in your marketing to achieve various objectives. The implication is that combining a variety of content marketing tactics is more likely to yield better results as opposed to the use of just one strategy.
In this section, we address four content marketing tactics that every B2B tech company needs.
Tactic 1: Create more engaging content – for attraction purposes
The first tactic that you need is to learn the art of selling through storytelling. What comes to your mind when you hear content marketing? Perhaps, you get the impression of content as king. The implication is that you should position yourself as an expert in your field and industry such that your SMB clients and customers can rely on your content in their businesses. In spite of this, it is recommendable to maintain your content at a level that your audience finds easy to understand.
Storytelling is a great way to connect with your target audience. Traditional marketers used the approach of storytelling to win their audience over and earn their trust before proposing any sale. The same approach is applicable in modern marketing, as it makes the selling process quite easy and successful.
Great content marketing is not about your products or the company. Your focus should be on the production of content that not only engages and inspires but also entails much of quality storytelling. Stories are a powerful tool to make your potential customers to take action. Everybody is wired to connect, as well as relate with stories naturally, provided the stories touch on their current situation.
How do you succeed at creating great content that aligns with your B2B content marketing campaign? Despite the fact that the focus of B2B content marketing for tech companies is business, it is important to remember that your target audience comprises of real people – professionals and decision makers. As such, you do not want to continue bombarding them with boring content that has zero personality. If your stories have the power of connecting with your B2B clients emotionally, you appear as a human and caring, and this makes your content competitive.
If you are to succeed at using great content to attract your prospects, your storytelling approach should focus on the following aspects:
- 1. Understand your prospects’ pain points and evaluate their correlation to your business: As a B2B tech company, you could tweak your story in a way that it helps the prospects learn what technologies to adopt to make the management of their business quite easy. You can tell the whole process in the form of a story. In the case of existing clients who have benefited from your services or products, you can use them as the case study and connect the story with the situation your potential prospects are facing.
- 2. Have a clear outline of your products or services’ journey: A great story should feature how your target customers get access to certain products or services. Individuals are more likely to relate, and be associated, with a brand they clearly know and understand its behind-the-scenes than another that they know nothing about.
- 3. Educate your prospects more: A majority of the B2B tech companies offers services and products, which appear quite complicated from the first glance because such companies create products and services targeting businesses with a unique and bigger need. As such, educating your prospects through content creation and distribution helps them understand how your products or services can solve their current problems. You can create content such as podcasts, or how-to guides, to educate your customers and prospects.
Tactic 2: Use diverse content marketing approaches – for guaranteed success
How you diversify your efforts determines your rate of success in the B2B content marketing strategy. Blogging, for a long time, has remained as the commonly used content marketing approach, but it is not the only one. Some of the other content marketing approaches you can consider include webinars, infographics, video, ebooks and white papers, in-person events, email newsletter, and social media content.
Even though B2B blogging gives results, and it is quite effective, moving past the regular blog can assure you success in your content marketing, as well as better ROI. Look at your competitors and capitalize on a content marketing approach that they are not using. However, the rate of usage and success in any of these approaches differs significantly, as shown below.
How then can you diversify your content marketing approaches?
- Focus on the creation of attractive and informative infographics
- Adopt video content in your content marketing strategy
- Participate in engaging webinars or webcasts
The tastes of your customers and prospects differ when it comes to how they consume content, and the platforms they use to access content. As such, using different content marketing approaches increases your probability to reach and engage with a large audience.
Tactic 3: Personalize your content – for relationship building
Personalization is an important aspect of content marketing for B2B tech companies. Putting everybody in a general category does not help in solving their problems. If anything, we all share the need for an exclusive and special feeling and this applies in content marketing too. Personalization gives you a platform to get the most out of your content marketing campaigns. Proper personalize helps your brand stand out, as well as lays a great foundation for building long lasting relationships with your customers and prospects.
In addition, appropriate personalization (which is done mindfully) is important because it not only helps you create good content, but also content that offers solutions to certain problems that your target audience experiences. For this reason, you need to invest immensely in your audience data to learn their pain points, and their interests, as this helps you create content that resonates with such issues.
You can personalize your content based on different aspects such as:1. Segment: relevant and properly targeted content has a high probability of consumption and sharing. In your segment personalization of content, you can focus on your audience’s behavior, location, gender, age, industry, job title, and department.
2. Personas: marketing personas are powerful in B2B content marketing. Nevertheless, most B2B companies do not know the worth of using personas in the content marketing strategy. Understanding your target audience deeply helps you create quality content that matches their needs. Moreover, creating personas makes it easy to persuade your audience, and you can plan on their future content needs appropriately.
3. Stage: Knowing your customers well makes it possible to create content that is appropriate for each stage of the customers or prospects’ journey. Such personalization makes your effort in content marketing strong, since you offer solutions to your target audience at different stages of their journey. Such authority content not only makes you an expert but also helps you earn the trust of your audience guaranteeing a lasting business relationship.
Tactic 4: Monitor your results and improve – to remain relevant
It takes a lot of commitment and experimentation to succeed in B2B content marketing. There are times that you may create content but it fails to bring in the expected results, even with the appropriate planning. Rather than give up at such moments, it is advisable to learn from the outcomes and use the metrics to learn different aspects of your target prospects and their needs.
The use of metrics to monitor the rate of consumption of your content is a great way to establish areas that you need to improve your content creation and perhaps, distribution. Therefore, you need to invest in data and facts as you plan and carry out any content marketing strategy as this clears you off the need to rely on assumptions when creating your content.
Effective monitoring of your content marketing efforts can help you achieve several goals including:
- You no longer make similar mistakes, repeatedly
- You learn to create and rely on a content strategy that aligns with the needs of your target audience
The secret to an effective content marketing for B2B tech companies is to identify your prospects pain points, create content that resonates with them, establish what is not working, and work towards improving your content creation and distribution such that you solve your customers and prospects’ problems.
Content marketing is great for B2B tech companies. However, if you do not put in real effort, you are not likely to achieve your goals. With the appropriate effort and strategies, you will earn the trust of your audience, as well as create a long lasting relationship that has a high probability of leading into business. Now that you have a deeper view of what adopting content marketing can do for your company, it’s time to ask yourself: do you use any of these tactics in your company already? Perhaps, you need to tweak a few issues, here and there, or completely overhaul your marketing strategy, to make the most out of content marketing. However, depending on which approach you adopt, it is advisable to focus on the followings aspects if you want to gain better ROI from B2B content marketing.
- Create and distribute high quality content of and avoid any form of irrelevant or filler content.
- Offer content that targets at solving the specific problems of your target audience.
- Be consistent in crafting and distributing valuable content; have and follow your content marketing calendar.
by Shoham Eckhaus on September 17, 2018
As Chief Strategy Officer at Penguin Shoham leads client strategy and manages an internal team of Inbound Consultants. To get her strategy tuned she starts each morning with Yoga and a big smile :)