Content marketers should focus on creating blogs and content hubs that are designed to engage, retain and convert clients in order to succeed in the B2B space in 2017. Content is an increasingly important asset for enterprises, but many need to begin prioritising quality and effectiveness rather than quantity to get ahead this year.
Various studies have shown that while many B2C brands are becoming more sophisticated and mature in their approach to content marketing, B2B brands are still trying to get to grips with what exactly their essential customers want to consume. Blog posts and white papers are always important, but how these are used within the marketing mix can make all the difference.
A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute showed that more than a third of B2C marketers are now establishing a clear plan for content, which covers aspects such as a brand story, content maps, a business case and a channel plan, and investing 32 per cent of their budgets to develop a thoroughly documented strategy. To catch up, B2B marketers must also take steps to overhaul their strategies.
Targeting and diversifying content
Knowing a target audience and being aware of what content type is best to drive awareness and engagement is vital. Marketers should consider publishing blog posts on relevant websites and social media platforms while considering content that can create an emotional connection between customers and the products that they need. Tagging content with potent meta-data can also help.
B2B marketers should also look to diversify their content during specific stages of the buying process. For example, in-depth information about pricing and recommendations can be incredibly effective during the consideration stage, as it is important to keep potential clients locked in so that they don’t have to search for information elsewhere. Content that generates positive brand sentiment is also key to showing that a particular product is better than a competitor’s alternative offering.
Finally, B2B marketers should focus on three core functions for their content efforts: collaborating, building long-term relationships and delivering business solutions. The Content Marketing Institute study revealed that three-quarters of B2B enterprises want to create content that positions themselves as “thought leaders” in 2017, and high-quality content that establishes meaningful connections and authority within the industry will be essential this year.