For several years, content marketing has been considered a priority. Results from various studies published by Iron Paper found that 91 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers used content marketing in 2017 and 53 percent of B2B marketers say their content marketing strategy is successful. However, many campaigns are not as successful as they could be because decision makers fail to understand the difference between B2B marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing. In this article, we look at the differences and some strategies to consider when implementing content marketing for businesses.
Content marketing is the use of original content that goes beyond the "relay of information" approach of traditional consumer marketing. It can take various forms, including:
The essential difference is that content marketing derives conclusions directly from the data source(s). Those conclusions may align with pre-existing thinking, but they contribute original ideas or interpretations.
A business that adopts content marketing makes a crucial evolution from a simple conduit of information to a thought leader. This elevation of status adds weight to its message, not just as a company but as an organization with the power to foresee and mold the future of an industry.
The transition from B2C to B2B marketing can be a minefield. Too often, businesses fuse together a combination of techniques which alienates both audiences. Before you implement any B2B content marketing strategy, consider these three factors:
Most research is conducted by professionals who tend to use technical jargon unique to their field. Such language does not translate well into the real world; executives want ideas and information quickly and in simple terms. To convey your information effectively, retain crucial ideas but present them in language that is easy to read and understand.
People love stories and the best stories go beyond just words. Videos and photos tell a tale better and are more engaging. Infographics are a popular alternative because of their ability to present complex ideas in an entertaining way. If it is fun, people are more likely to remember both the message and where they found it.
Most decision makers will never discover your content themselves - it will be shared with them by someone in their circle. Publish content that can be downloaded or shared in as wide a range of formats as possible. Add social "Share" buttons to everything you put on the web. Place longer, more detailed reports online in PDF format.
The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that it exists. To apply a compelling and effective B2B marketing strategy, focus on identifying where your current plan diverges from what your business needs. Avoid the temptation to make a gradual shift. Instead, apply the three content marketing strategies above immediately. Only by making a clean break from B2C marketing will your message appeal to the audience that matters.
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