If you’re a B2B company – an industrial firm, a manufacturer, distributor, or any service company that markets to another business rather than direct to the consumer – you are probably grappling with how to take advantage of social media, as well as the content on your website and any branded collateral material you send to clients. Social media today is a must even for B2B firms since more than 90% of people research a firm before considering purchasing from them. Your website also needs to be current (read secure and mobile) and chock full of informative content.
But unlike direct to consumer firms, content marketing and social media function differently for B2B businesses. People searching for a product or service from a B2B company are really looking for something specific so they want reliable and relevant information. And those should be the guidelines driving your content marketing…reliability, credibility and RELEVANCE! That’s what search engines are looking for too, which makes a strong content strategy a must.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Understand and know your customer base – Think about what your customers ask for and put yourself in your prospect’s place. Make sure you really know who your customer is. What problems do you solve for them? What are their pain points? What kind of help so they need from you? What would you want to know if you were a customer who came to your website, saw a blog post or received an email?
- Then create a content strategy – What is the story you want to tell prospects and customers? What does your company stand for? How will your content consistently express your position in the marketplace and your value to your customers? Prepare how you will resolve your customers pain points. Make a list of topics that you can write about over a month. Decide what you want to achieve from your content marketing.
- Always be authentic – Use case studies to describe how you helped customers solve a problem, save money and/or time because they worked with your company. People love stories, so talk about the company history in an interesting way. If it’s a family owned, multi-generation business, describe how you arrived at your position today. Don’t copy what a competitor is doing. People will do business with someone whom they trust and with whom they feel safe. Tap into people’s emotions – even in a B2B firm there is room for building connections and relationships through your content.
- Create content to be found in search – It’s a known fact that a great deal of research precedes a B2B purchase. Oftentimes due to the expense of an industrial investment there is a longer sales cycle and a firm will make sure they have reviewed several companies before making a decision. Therefore, be sure to use primary key words when writing your content. Search Google or use other tools to find the best key words and phrases based on your industry and business and included these in your content. Be aware that the key words and phrases you may think your customers are searching for may not necessarily be the same as what they are actually putting into the search engines!
- Write content to capture someone’s attention – When considering your content, think of a strong headline to catch a prospect’s attention. Be straightforward in your writing and make it easy to read or listen to. Use bullets to get across the most important points. Be sure to include all of your contact information and make it easy to find or link to.
- Consider video as part of your content strategy – One of the most effective ways to reach your audience is by making some short videos discussing your offerings. Video is powerful because it allows the viewer to get to know you before they meet you. If you have a manufacturing facility, walk through and discuss what makes your factory function well, pointing out safety regulations you follow, etc. Interview your staff and let them talk about their roles at the company. Interview clients that have had success with your product or service and tell viewers why they chose your firm. Have informational videos about your products showing off their details and what they are best used for. YouTube is the second most popular social media platform today with over 2 billion visitors monthly, worldwide! Read our blog about video marketing by clicking here.
- Always have a call to action! – Your content, whether written or viewed, should always have some purpose – or CTA (Call to Action). What do you want the customer to do? Perhaps download a tip sheet or spec sheet, request a call from your sales team, sign up for a monthly newsletter or request a demo in their office. Have a link to a contact form so you can send the requested information and collect your prospects’ contact information. Engage your visitors by asking them to share their thoughts or opinions in a surv2ey.
Make Your Content Marketing Strategy Work For You
At the very least, make sure your website is search engine optimized and if not, get that done ASAP. We are stunned by the number of B2B firms with very old websites that are not secure, not mobile-friendly, have no SEO and barely have any content their customers and prospects are in need of. If that’s the case, major search engines will not direct your customers to your website because they will find your site “not relevant”.
Content marketing is extremely important today if you are going to continue to grow your business and keep ahead of the competition. It’s also quite time consuming, so you might want to consider outsourcing your ongoing content projects e.g., writing your blogs, updating your website, writing and producing e-newsletters, and posting to your social media channels. An experienced marketing company can take that burden off of internal staff and keep you consistently current and keep your clients and prospects aware of the latest products and services that you provide.
Not sure about what to do next with your content strategy? Consider getting our FREE no-obligation Marketing Assessment now. It may shed some light on what updates you need, if any.