B2B content marketing is all about building relationships with your customers, selling the expertise of your business, and showing companies why they need your products or services. High-quality B2B content is the kind of content that manages to both sell and story tell.
Here’s the secret – you can do better B2B content marketing than 99% of your competition with live videos, interactive assets, and direct campaigns. Here’s how.
Recommended reading: eCommerce Marketing Hierarchy of Needs: Part Five
It’s no secret that your customers love video. They use it as a marketing tool for their own businesses, and are often more swayed by video content than the written word.
76% of B2B marketers have increased sales with video marketing, while video makes your blogs, landing pages, and emails perform better. But to stand out you need to do something with real engagement. That’s why your company needs to use live video whenever you can.
It’s not only me saying this, though. Your customers are demanding live video, as these stats prove:
If that wasn’t enough, ad growth for live video is increasing by 113% a year – faster than all other online video content. So live video content isn’t only giving your customers what they want, it’s bringing increased revenue to your business.
But to stand out from the other brands in your industry you need to do something different. Customers now want their brands to be more human, more personable – more real. You can achieve this by stripping away the starch from your live videos and showing employees for who they are, warts and all.
In 1985 comedy film Clue was released to poor reviews but with a ground-breaking premise – it gave viewers three endings, making it a trailblazer of interactive content. Today content is becoming more interactive by the year and your customers are lapping it up. If you want your brand to stand out your content needs to be as interactive as possible.
Quizzes and Q&As are cheap and dirty interactive content that B2C media sites adore. While they get great engagement (96% of people who start a BuzzFeed quiz continue to the end) using them won’t make you stand out. To deliver high quality interactive B2B content that catches your customers’ attention you need an interactive asset.
HubSpot is the perfect example of how B2B interactive content can be something as practical (and simple) as an ROI calculator. The company created one to show the benefit of using their software. This sells the value of their product with the minimum amount of content, or sales talk – see below for a screenshot of what the tool looks like:
If your B2B brand can replicate this, that’s perfect. If not, there are plenty of other ways to create interactive content assets. Check out this great article for some top tools to help you create your own asset.
As a marketer, focusing on the B2B sales funnel is one of the most effective ways to create content that informs your target audience at every stage of their buying decision process. The typical sales funnel consists of five stages:
To appeal to each of the five stages listed above, you will need to adjust and map your website’s content accordingly. Offering the customizability to make sure your ecommerce store is primed to create trust and confidence, specially designed B2B software can help you develop long-term customer relationships and close sales.
At the top of the funnel, which consists of the awareness, interest, and evaluation stages, a wandering customer is all-too-often a lost customer. In this context, a customizable landing page allows you to sync customer queries with product titles, webinars, explainer videos, case studies, reviews, and more. This enables you to showcase your product or service as a viable solution to your target audience’s problem.
At the bottom of the funnel, which consists of the engagement and purchase stages, a free asset or instructional tool helps you to convert your leads into customers. Among the range of possible assets and tools you can create are product demos, ROI stat sheets (showing the value of your product to businesses that use it), and case studies with customers talking through the benefits of what you’re selling.
The average cart abandonment rate stands at close to 70%. As a result, personalizing your ecommerce checkout not only boosts sales but it protects you from undoing all the hard work of mapping your website’s content to the other four stages of the B2B sales funnel.
Sometimes to take your company forward you must look backward for inspiration. Direct marketing has been used since the 15th Century, but B2B management software company Workfront put it a modern twist on it. Workfront hijacked Valentine’s Day to take customers away from a rival B2B company (Aprimo), generating a sales pipeline of over $370,000 as a result of its direct mail campaign.
How Workfront did this was brilliant. The company spotted a press release from Aprimo which said it would be terminating its marketing software. Workfront employed a telemarketing agency to get in touch with existing customers of Aprimo, and establish what they enjoyed and hated about the company’s product.
Workfront took the data from its survey, created a list of the top prospects from these customers, and sent them flowers and a handwritten card with a pitch. The pitch was framed around relationships, asking “has your relationship with Aprimo run its course? Make a date with us.” Workfront got its happy ever after in the shape of a whole load of new customers.
There are so many ways you can cut this idea. But the main takeaway is that you can use direct marketing to get your industry’s press to deliver your content marketing strategy for you.
B2B marketing has been around for generations. That means almost every idea your brand thinks of will have been done already, in one way or another. To create high-quality B2B marketing you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. To succeed, you need to know what formats your audience wants, then flip an idea on its head.