B2B websites are often a bit vague when it comes to telling visitors what you actually do. They might use a lot of business jargon as opposed to plain language, and it might be difficult for the reader to pin down exactly what your business does or offers. But even B2B sites that explain their products or services clearly could benefit from a content marketing campaign that communicates more effectively with customers at all points of the sales funnel.
Define your audience
First, you’ll need to define the market segment(s) that will be the audience for your content. How large is the company, who are the decision-makers, what channels do they use for industry information (such as trade associations or publications), and what problems are they trying to solve with solutions like yours?
Then you’ll need to define what kind of information is appropriate for each phase of the sales cycle: initial research, research into specific brands, and pre-conversion — the stage when the prospect is almost ready to make a buying decision.
The answers to those questions will help you write content that assures prospects that you understand where they’re coming from and what they need. White papers, case studies, specialized landing pages, videos or infographics, and plenty of calls to action will help your prospects along the path to conversion.
Write for customers, not your colleagues
As you map out and plan your content marketing strategy, test your ideas to make sure it’s what your hypothetical buyer is looking for at the intended stage of the buying cycle. You can run your content ideas by your colleagues, but don’t make the mistake of writing for your peers.
Once you’ve decided on a content marketing campaign, get it done — whether that means creating it in-house or hiring a freelancer. Although you naturally understand your business better than someone outside your company or industry, the freelancer can offer an outsider’s opinion and fresh ideas for communicating your message to prospects in a way you might not have thought of.
Spread the word
Once the content is written (or the video, slide show or infographic is created and finalized), get that content out where it can be seen by as many prospects as possible:
Post it on your social media pages.
Optimize the new content so it’s easier to find — whatever the format. (For example, here’s how to optimize YouTube videos.)
Make the content easy to share, but be sure it’s obvious that your company originated it.
Promote your new content using Reddit, StumbleUpon and similar sites.
If you uncovered some interesting statistics or facts while researching for your new content, use it to create more content! Write a guest blog or an op-ed for an online publication, for instance.
The B2B world often has such long sales cycles that it’s hard to measure ROI. But if you see that your content is getting widely shared, or more people are subscribing to your mailing list, or your new landing pages are getting the search engine traffic you hoped for, then you’re on the right track.