B2C marketers aren’t the only ones who can use content marketing to nurture and generate customers. B2B marketers can also use content marketing to inspire, delight, and encourage leads to turn into repeat buyers.
However, content marketing is often a new idea for B2B sellers. So, learn more about what content marketing is, why it works, and how it can increase your lead generation efforts.
What is B2B Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
That’s a lot to take in. So, let’s see how content marketing is different from traditional advertising.
Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing does not focus on interrupting customers with ads and sales content when they’re not expecting it, instead you provide valuable, non-sales content that provides customers solutions to problems they’re trying to solve. Content marketing isn’t focused on just selling your product, but establishes communication with your potential customers on an ongoing, non-intrusive basis.
Content marketing is not saying that you can’t advertise or sell your products. But, it is saying that you should focus on content that provides valuable insight to your customers at any point during their buyer’s journey, not just when they’re ready to buy.
Let’s look at an example.
Most companies send out emails to potential clients. With traditional marketing, you might only send emails that advertise product sales or new releases.
A smart content marketer though would also send out emails with curated content about their industry. For example, they could create a newsletter that includes hand-picked articles about the latest news and trends within their industry. These newsletters are easily accessible, save your customers time, and keep them informed. You’re helping them solve their problems.
Content marketing creates stronger relationships with potential and current customers that encourages loyalty. In a world where shoppers have hundreds of options at their fingertips, content marketing helps you attract and retain customers who are looking for someone special to do business with.
New B2B Buyer Preferences
The modern B2B buyer has different shopping preferences than before. Influenced by eCommerce and B2C customer experiences, shoppers now expect a similar process when searching for work-related purchases.
Forrester reported that 90% of a buyer’s journey may be complete before a prospect reaches out to a salesperson.
Shoppers are completing more and more of their journey online, whether through articles, search engines, or even marketplaces. They’re looking for content, or solutions to their own questions, before they ever reach a sales rep.
It’s a digital age and B2B sellers are tasked to meet evolving customer demands.
How a Content B2B Marketing Strategy Increases Lead Generations
It’s competitive out there. No matter where a customer is in their buyer’s journey, you can provide content to pull them in along the way. When they are ready to buy, you’ll be top of mind.
If you’re trying to convince your boss (or yourself) that you need to undertake a content marketing strategy, here are a few concrete ways that it can help generate more leads for your company.
Attract More Prospects
Content marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it considers shoppers’ needs at every step of their journey, not just when they’re ready to buy. You’ll create content that helps customers identify their needs, compare products, or find solutions that are only related to your services or products.
Opening your marketing to all aspects of the buyer’s journey will broaden the audience you can market to. You can capture a lead early on and then nurture them until they’re ready to buy. They’ll want to buy from you because of all the valuable information you sent.
Convert More Prospects on Your Website
Content marketing is more than just writing email newsletters and blog posts. It encompasses all types of information you provide shoppers such as your website pages, product information, FAQ, and return policy.
However, when it comes to selling more prodcuts, it’s all about rich, detailed product information. Product descriptions help shoppers compare products and feel confident that they’re buying the right and best product for their company. Focusing on improving the quality of your product pages, whether online or not, can lead to more conversions of prospects.
30% of US online adults cite that they would consider buying from an online retailer they had never previously purchased from if the retailer offered detailed product information.
Don’t forget to include your product data as part of your content marketing strategy.
Retain More Customers
Content marketing doesn’t stop after you make a sale! It’s all about encouraging repeat purchases by establishing ongoing communication with your customers.
Use content marketing to establish a relationship with your customers. Communicate new ideas, industry trends and news, product releases, and any other relevant information, even after the sale.
You’ll retain more customers in the long run who purchase from you again and again.
Content isn’t going anywhere. Think of all your content you can leverage to pull in more leads, such as your site pages, product information, blog articles, email newsletters, podcasts, social media, eBooks and more!
How to Get Started with your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Undertaking a whole new content marketing strategy can seem overwhelming at first. Check out some of our favorite content marketing resources to inspire and help get started today. Trust us, you won’t be sorry that you did!
- Content Marketing Institute – Will answer any of your content marketing questions and provides great self-help tools to define your strategy. Become familiar with them by downloading one of their popular eBooks.
- Best of B2B Marketing Examples – Find some inspiration among fellow B2B companies leveraging content marketing strategies.
- Your eCommerce Content Marketing Strategy Guide [Infographic]
- How to Navigate B2B eCommerce: Go-to-Guide for Manufacturers and Distributors Selling Online