What B2B organisations need to know about content marketing
While most people have heard of content marketing, that doesn’t mean they know what it is.
In my experience, content marketing is up there with terms like affiliate marketing and SEO, which are bandied about but only understood by specialists in those areas.
Content with value
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as: “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.
The important words here are ‘valuable’ and ‘relevant’. Content marketing is all about creating, publishing and sharing content that target audiences actually choose to consume. It’s about designing content that draws people in (inbound marketing), rather than pushing a sales pitch at them (outbound marketing).
To be effective, content needs to:
- be relevant: addressing your audience’s ‘pain points’, needs or interests
- educate rather than promote
- demonstrate that you are the solution to their problems and that you have a USP
- include a CTA (Call To Action).
Content marketing is as relevant in a B2B context as it is for B2C businesses. Done thoughtfully, it can help businesses grow their audiences on social media, increase search engine rankings and drive leads.
What does content look like?
Content can take many forms depending on what you are trying to achieve and where your audience is in the sales funnel. Here are five key formats that are employed in B2B content marketing:
- Videos: video is the #1 form of content on the web today. Long-form videos are the best vehicle for valuable and engagement-oriented material, whereas if you are trying to capture attention, a short-form video is the way to go.
- Blogs: blogging is a great platform for positioning your organisation as a thought leader by offering commentary on breaking news or expressing an opinion on an industry trend. ‘How to’ and ‘troubleshooting’ guides, ‘top tips’ articles and FAQ pieces are more timeless blog formats for demonstrating how your business can address a potential customer’s needs, while myth debunkers are always popular among B2B audiences. You could also team up with a guest blogger or influencer to develop blogs that can be used by both parties.
- White papers and e-books: these long-form formats are strong lead generation tools for B2B organisations. White papers tend to be an in-depth report or guide about a specific, often complex topic and the issues that surround it. E-books are generally shorter, more dynamic and more interactive. Content can be ‘gated’ to capture leads.
- Infographics: an attractive visual representation is far more compelling than a block of text, which is one of the reasons that infographics have become so popular for presenting data.
- Webinars: webinars have shot up in popularity during the pandemic – a trend that looks like it is here to stay. Hosting a webinar allows you to build relationships with customers and put a face, name and personality to your offering. A webinar can take the form of a product demonstration, a round table discussion or a Q&A session, and should always include several ‘take-aways’.
Reuse and recycle
When thinking about what content to create, consider how it can be repurposed into different formats and used across different channels. For example, blog posts can be turned into podcasts, webinar content turned into blogs, and clips taken from long-form videos to produce short-form videos. Herein lies the real value of content marketing.
A great example of an integrated content marketing strategy in action in an industrial context was the campaign EMG devised to help Oerlikon promote its presence at the Paris Air Show in 2019. Video content formed the core of the campaign, in which over 40 posts were seeded across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, generating almost 200,000 impressions.
The industrial technology sector has a rich seam of stories of innovation and invention. Getting your untapped gems noticed by the media and your customers requires specialised content marketing. We can help you develop traditional and digital content that attracts the attention of both your customers and the media, whether it’s for an event, strategic positioning, product campaign or video message to keep you top of mind.
EMG offers a comprehensive suite of content creation services, spanning blogs, videos, white papers, e-books, infographics, webinars, podcasts, eDM campaigns and more. Reach out to Kim Vermeer if you would like advice on which content strategy is right for your business.
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