B2B Sales by nature focus on smaller targeted markets, and are in the run for a longer buying cycle. The focus of most sales dynamics are on lead generation and creating a relationship with the business buyers.
The audience that chooses to buy in a B2B rather than a B2C capacity, chooses to do such for different reasons. Thus, you have to reach that audience with content that is different and fits their preferred method.
So, how do you create innovative content that is somehow engaging while retaining the fundamentals of successful B2B marketing?
Creating a personal connection through your brand with the business will differentiate you from the influx of businesses that can’t seem to do such. Content is a way to tell a story. Your story can be educational, humorous, value driven – it’s your story so you can structure in whatever format you feel necessary.
However, the content has to be engaging. If your prospect has no interest in the content you create to sell your product, you can’t land a sale.
So, how do you create consistently engaging content? You first have to avoid the classic content marketing mistakes.
Don’t place such an emphasis on being direct that you stop being interesting.
Rather than creating interesting content, you start utilizing self-promotion.
To clarify, there’s nothing wrong with being direct or using self-promotion. However, self-promotion when utilized in a video or article can often leave the viewer feeling as if there was an attempt to brainwash them to use your business. That’s certainly not the emotion you want prospects to walk away with.
So engaging content begins by narrowing in on the story you intend to tell through your business. Every business has a story, focus on that first and then simply weave in selling your business.
If you’re struggling to find your story, create one that centers around a question. By that I mean, does your business solve a problem? If so, you can now sell the narrative of solving a business’s problem. Easing a common struggle can be just as effective as a creative narrative about your company.
The concept of selling your story first will take you much further than selling your business. You’re simultaneously differentiating yourself from every other business while personalizing the content you’re giving to the consumer.
Multi-layered content is far from a new concept in the world of content marketing. This is a simple way to create engaging content. The best multi-layered content incorporates some combination of text, images, audio, and video. The concept of incorporating various categories of content creates a component for every person that could possibly view your content.
Text tends to be the easiest aspect for businesses as most tend to have experience marketing themselves in that manner.
Images are easy to utilize, but often neglected. Engaging images can be anything from quick screenshots taken from social media campaigns, self-made infographics to demonstrate a given statistic, or a simple graphic to break up a large amount of text.
Video tends to be the hardest to utilize within content because most businesses lack experience. However, it’s by far one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. Integration of any kind of visual aspect is going to strengthen the connection your reader makes with your business.
Again, your visual content has to be engaging instead of simply direct, but utilizing visual components only help the persuasiveness of your content.
Paid ads are a no-brainer for content marketing. LinkedIn is a great resource as it directly markets to B2B professionals.
Users on the site are there to either better their network, further their current business, or connect with potential employers. With all of those elements, the people that are direct viewers on the ad space generally have influence over business decisions or are looking for new ideas and resources actively.
Aside from LinkedIn there’s also Facebook and Instagram to keep in mind. Trust me, I’ve heard all of the issues with Facebook marketing for businesses. But, Facebook continues to dominate in the ad space. Having more attention means increasing the possible conversations that can result. With Facebook you’re directly putting content out for the people that care to look at B2B content. It seems strange, but Facebook marketing works.
So, you’ve created a story, engaging content, and you’ve picked your ad space – but how are you going to promote the business?
Guest Posts. This is a brilliant way to collaborate with businesses similar to your own (might I recommend a different industry) and create a crossover between their customers and your own. I get it, it sounds crazy. Why would I want to team up with another business just to generate buzz about my own?
You’re directly generating exposure for your business that will create traffic for your site. You’re not selling your secrets to the other company, you’re just sharing some platform space to collaborate on content. If the cross-pollination approach gets your content in front of a larger audience and gives you a leg up on the competition, seems like a win-win to me.
If working with another business directly seems a little unconventional for you, try pulling in an industry expert that you have connections with. Having them create a guest post for your blog, recording a podcast, or creating short video content can help paint you as an industry expert as well.
B2B Marketing comes with finicky challenges. However, your process can be much simpler by creating compelling stories and sharing them in innovative ways. Continue pushing the boundaries for the conventional B2B company and write your own rules. Create a positive experience for the user, and with such comes authority and a better reputation for you and your business.