Tag Archives: B2B Content Marketing

Statistically most B2B enterprises use content marketing for brand awareness

Certainly B2B enterprises don’t use content marketing to publish advertisements. They need to strengthen their presence on the Internet and consequently, raise brand awareness. A Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs study has revealed that (understandably these statistics are from the USA but they are quite a representative)

  • 94% B2B small businesses are using content marketing
  • 83% B2B small businesses use content marketing to raise brand awareness or at least have it as a goal for 2015
  • 47% B2B small businesses plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2015 and only 1% plan to decrease their budget
  • 45% B2B small businesses engaged in content marketing claimed that they are effective at it
  • 81% B2B small businesses are producing more content than they were a year ago
  • 33% find producing engaging and quality content a big challenge
  • 24% find it harder to arrange budget for content marketing
  • 48% of the B2B small businesses have a documented content marketing strategy

The last point is very important. In order to be successful in content marketing, your organization must have a documented strategy. What does that mean?

You should know what you want to achieve from your content marketing strategy, whom are you going to target for that and what sort of content you need to produce in a given amount of time. On with the statistics…

B2B content marketing tactics statistics

  • 78% B2B small businesses have a dedicated person who oversees the content marketing strategy
  • On an average B2B small business marketers are using 13 content marketing tactics including social media content, blogging, articles on the websites and publishing email newsletters. The use of mobile content has risen from 27% to 35%. The use of infographics has risen from 39% to 48%.
  • Interestingly, people are using more electronic newsletters – 82% compared to blogs – 77%.

Graphic source: the PDF report above

7 popular content marketing myths debunked

Content Marketing Myths

This Search Engine Journal blog post by Neil Patel debunks 7 popular content marketing myths that people often follow blindly just because they have seen some of these tactics giving amazing results to other businesses. Please be mindful that the myths listed in this blog post, although don’t work for every business, some of them do work for some businesses and it also depends on how you execute your content marketing strategy. Anyway, these are the 7 popular content marketing myths you should stop following in case you are blindly following them, or at least, develop your own unique strategy to implement them.

1. Every business should have a blog

Having a blog can always help you one way or another, but it takes lots of time and commitment and if you don’t do it properly, you may end up wasting lots of resources on it. Don’t have a blog simply because other people have it. Publish a blog if you really have something interesting to share with your audience on an ongoing basis. On the flipside, if you think that you won’t be able to devote lots of time on your blog but nonetheless a blog is important for your business, you can always hire a professional content writing service to not just publish your blog but also regularly come up with interesting topics to talk about.

2. You should republish your guest posts on your own blog and all social networking websites like LinkedIn or Tumblr

Actually I’m not sure if people actually do this, that is, if they have published a guest blog post or an article on another blog or website, they want to publish the same stuff on their own blog or website. Most people, according to what I have experienced, are quite aware of the pitfalls of creating duplicate content. Besides, when someone publishes your guest blog post, he or she expects to get unique content from you. In case you want to use the idea on your own blog also you can simply create a small summary, in different words, publish it on your blog and then link it to the original guest blog post.

3. Longer blog posts and articles rank well on search engines

This is something that I always tell my customers and in fact even when I charge them a certain amount, they often ask me how many words I’m going to write for them. My standard reply is that there is no set number of words I’m going to deliver. I may write 250 words and I may also write 1250 words: it depends on what I’m trying to convey. What matters is the message and the impact that you make rather than the number of words you use. So go ahead, if you want to publish a small message of just 100 words that’s all right.

4. There is not much difference writing B2C and B2B content

Again, fortunately, most of my clients know the difference or at least have an idea, or at least they give me a patient ear when I try to explain them that B2C content is different from B2B content. How is it different?

Well, B2B clients tend to read more. They are fine with reading detailed literature about the product or service they are going to purchase. Since they are going to spend lots of money they’re going to take a good amount of time making a decision so you need to continuously provide them highly focused content.

B2C on the other hand maybe more visual than textual? People are emotion-driven. They may not spend lots of time reading about the product or service they are going to purchase as long as they find the price okay and the main features they are looking for are explained in simple language. The only similarity is just like B2B clients and customers, B2C clients and customers also need to be engaged with content on an ongoing basis.

5. Publish your best content on your own website or blog rather than on someone else’s blog or website

Personally I do feel that you should publish your best content on your own website or blog but it doesn’t make sense if you don’t have much traffic right now. If you feel that you have got something really important and useful and as many people as possible should be able to access it, better publish it on a blog or website that is already getting a decent amount of traffic. Stick to your own website or blog if enough traffic is coming, then there is no use giving your best shot to other blogs and websites.

6. Content marketing is successful only when you know exactly how much sale improvement individual content publications are bringing in

Content marketing is an ongoing process. You need a telephone. You need to talk to people on the phone. You need the fax machine. You need office or shop if people need to physically visit you before they can do business with you. You need a website. You need an email ID where people can write to you. But having all these things make you successful? No, they don’t.

Content marketing doesn’t normally give you direct sales. It helps you build an audience. It helps you build a platform where people can access your content on an ongoing basis and get to know you. If you continuously share with them high-value content they begin to appreciate you and like you and when they like you it becomes easier for them to do business with you. This is where your content marketing strategy can make a big difference.

7. More content means more traffic and more sales

It is true if most of your content is high-quality and well-written and it really helps people. For instance when you come to my blog you will find I write a lot about content writing and content marketing. I don’t just randomly blabber in order to attract as much traffic as possible. Most of my writing involves talking about my business, its various processes and how its various features can help you, either by your own effort or through my content writing services. I share with you my knowledge like I’m doing right now.

But it doesn’t make sense if I routinely start writing about web design, PHP programming, SEO, social networking, social media marketing and PPC campaign management just because they can get me traffic. People will come to my website and get disillusioned if I don’t specifically write about something related to my own business. So don’t focus on creating more content. Focus on creating value for your audience.

Why 86% of B2B marketers use content marketing?

In an annual study by the Content Marketing Institute titled “2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” 86% B2B marketers are using content marketing to promote their businesses. The online survey was conducted on 1800 North American B2B marketers, as explained in this Ad Age blog post. Although in this previous blog post of mine you must have read that 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing one way or another. The differences of percentages doesn’t really matter, what matters is, why it is important for this segment of the market to rely on content rather than conventional advertising models. The explanation depends on from where you look at it.

I write content for a living but without hesitation I can say content marketing no longer means creating informative articles and blog posts, although a major chunk of content is written. Content these days can exist in multiple formats including video, audio and graphic, aside from textual. People are consuming content all the time in one form or another. Take for instance social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. All the time people are posting new updates. They are posting images, videos, sounds and of course text updates. This is content. Without this content these social networking websites have no reason to exist.

Content like this has turned into a medium. Even the search results on Google are examples of content, although it is curated content rather than generated content. But it is content. Since people are constantly consuming this content, rather than existing as a random entity, it has turned into a medium and whenever there is a medium, businesses find out a way to use it for advertising, marketing and promotion. But that’s not the point, the point of this blog post is, why more and more B2B marketers prefer content marketing over conventional marketing?

Is content easier to create and promote? Once it used to be easier to create and promote content but with millions of blog posts and articles being churned out on a weekly basis, this no longer remains the case. It’s not that suddenly there is lots of good content; simply, there is lots of content and it becomes difficult for people to reach what may be useful to them. Nonetheless, whether one likes it or not, without content you don’t exist on the Internet. This is one reason why B2B marketers cannot help using content for marketing.

Another reason is, B2B transactions involve higher stakes in terms of monetary transactions and effort required compared to B2C. Is it easier for you to purchase a single mobile phone from an online retailer or purchase 2000 mobile phones from a manufacturer for your own retail store? Before purchasing those 2000 mobile phones you will need to research and for this research you’re going to have to go through lots of content not just on the manufacturer’s website but also other places. Obviously the manufacturer needs to convince you that there is a market for his product and how your bottom line can be improved by selling the phone from your own retail store.

My content writing services can also be termed as B2B because it’s mostly business owners who approach me to get content written for their websites so that they can make more sales. Although they may not be spending thousands of dollars for my services, my services are critical for their business. So they need to do some research. They carefully need to read through various sections on my website to make sure that they are hiring the right content writer for their business. It’s not just the cost but also the future of the business that depends on a B2B transaction and that is why more and more B2B marketers are using content to strengthen their brand and expand their presence on the Internet.

How to boost your B2B business with content writing

B2B Content Writing

First, some statistics: (these represent North America but the analogy is applicable to anywhere in the world) according to this research by Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and Brightcove combined, 93% B2B marketers use content marketing one way or another. 42% of them say they are quite effective at it, this means they have a clue of what they are doing and they are getting positive results. $ 16.6 billion are being invested annually by B2B companies creating and publishing content. That’s a lot of money.

Content is needed everywhere, whether you get it written, videod, drawn or photographed. This is what people see, acknowledge, grasp and then base their decisions upon. It is the experience that they have on your website or blog. They wouldn’t bother checking out your online presence unless something draws them to it and what draws them to your website? Right, your content. You may think that it’s your product or service that is drawing them, but exactly what represents your product or service. If you’re selling mobile phones, you can’t put mobile phones on your website, can you? You need to put photographs. You need to publish their descriptions. If possible you also need to submit reviews. Then there are specifications, model details, et cetera. Whatever you put on your website, it’s content.

Why do B2B customers look for content, especially written content?

Take the mobile phones example. If you’re just a normal customer (and not a B2B customer) not much is at stake. At the most you may buy one or two mobile phones.

But what about the bulk buyer? He or she is your B2B customer. Maybe he or she is buying in bulk in order to sell the phones on his or her e-commerce website or even a normal retail store. Not only is he or she spending lots of money buying from you, he or she is also making a critical business decision. Wouldn’t he or she like to know more about your mobile phones? Wooden he or she like to know more about you as a reliable supplier of the product that he or she intends to sell? What are the prospects of selling these mobile phones? Primarily for what features would people buy these mobile phones? How many people are already buying these phones? If more people are buying these phones, why? What do the existing users have to say about these phones? Your B2B customer would like to know as much as possible about the product before investing so much money.

B2B customers do lots of research, and study. Otherwise they may end up losing lots of money. This is why they consume as much content as possible before making a decision in your favor.

Boosting your B2B business with content writing

So how does content writing help your B2B business (actually it sounds strange, “B2B business” means “business to business business)?

You need to convince your B2B customers that you are giving them a profitable deal. Profitable deal doesn’t just entail selling your product or service as cheap as possible, the more important thing is, you are reliable, trustworthy and above all, you have full knowledge of your field. If you are selling mobile phones of a particular brand at a particular time, you know the inside out of that mobile phone. You not only know the technical specifications, you also know exactly why people are buying that particular model and why your B2B customers should buy this phone in order to do further business. How can you achieve that? How can you instil such confidence among your B2B customers?

By constantly engaging them with your content. You need to satiate their desire to know more and more. Remember that when they come to your website they already have a plethora of apprehensions, and naturally. After all they are going to make a business investment. They’re going to spend lots of money on you. So they need to know more about your business, about you, and the product that they are about to purchase, in bulk, by paying you lots of money. They need to feel confident. They need to feel at ease. The best way to instil confidence in them is to make them familiar to you, your presence and your product as much as possible. This can be done by writing content regularly. Useful content. Content that helps them make a decision.

Now, the decision doesn’t necessarily have to be in your favor – your primary motive for publishing content is helping people make a better decision for themselves (even if they don’t buy from you, the others will). Of course you have to draw a line. It’s no use publishing “helpful content” if all you are achieving is sending customers to your competitors.