Business-to-business (B2B) content marketing involves the creation and publishing of materials to promote brands, increase exposure and user traffic, and generate leads and sales.
Popular forms of B2B marketing are blogs, digital newsletters and podcasts.
Experts emphasise that visual and written content are equally important and one should not be neglected in favour of the other.
Recent reports once again focused on the aspects that underpin and drive successful content – successful content being content that actualises set goals, such as converting the virtual foot traffic on a website into orders and a paying client base, and achieving a return on investment (ROI).
In a virtual interview, Alison Biggan, the president of corporate marketing at SAP, a business software company specialising in the provision of B2B software and cloud services, highlighted the need for authenticity in content to achieve desired targets and outcomes.
She said: “Telling a story that is authentic to you and your company, showing why it matters to your customer – and maybe to the world – is incredibly important.”
Like Biggan, countless other industry professionals continuously reiterate the importance of authenticity.
Many content marketers, however, miss the mark when it comes to the creation and delivery of genuine content and often confuse cause marketing with ‘keeping-it-real’ marketing.
Cause marketing incorporates social issues, such as the promotion of gender equality or driving a green agenda, and often boosts the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and image of a company.
Marketing experts caution against the random incorporation of social causes in marketing strategies, especially if those causes do not align with the ‘real’ story of who and what your company is.
An example of an exploited and often unrelated topic to many brands is COVID-19.
Companies used COVID-19 messages on social distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing in their content to gain social support, despite the issue having nothing to do with their brands, products or business operations.
A cause should therefore reflect and relate to brands, products and services.
Renowned marketing agencies and companies describe authentic content marketing as:
- Revolutionary marketing that sincerely wants to deliver a service and be of value without attempting to manipulate target audiences and engage them in generic sales techniques. These generic strategies often traverse blurry lines of deception – the strategies are not illegal, but are also not honest.
- Content marketing that relays true information about a company or brand and relates on a real level with target audiences. This authenticity relies on exploring the true wants and needs of audiences and being honest about how your company can meet those wants and needs.
Research confirms that people – especially millennials, younger people, and informed and aware audiences – connect with authenticity and that these connections drive brand loyalty and ROI.
A LinkedIn content marketing investigation revealed that people shy away from ads, banners and prompts for paid search results.
This investigation found that authentic and relatable content increases the credibility of brands and companies.
Partner with a reputable content marketer such as Purecontent and explore how you can drive authentic content that delivers results