Content is a major buzzword in B2B marketing, and for good reason. Content marketing can help build brand awareness and customer loyalty, generate leads and sales, and position your company as an industry thought leader. So what exactly is it, and why is it so important in B2B?
What is Content Marketing?
Googling “content marketing definition” will return pages of lengthy descriptions about the term: strategic marketing approach…creating and distributing valuable content…more than just marketing collateral…variety of formats…
But plain and simple, it’s marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing.
Content marketing lets you share relevant information with your target audience. It entertains and educates your customers and prospects in a way that helps them get to know and like you and your company, so that when they need what you sell, they trust you enough to buy from you. It’s multi-channel, and can include print and digital media, audio and video, and even events. It’s not as much about selling as it is about telling your story to your target audience, and that’s what makes it a good fit for B2B.
Why is Content Marketing Important in B2B?
The same qualities that make B2B selling difficult are what make content marketing ideal for B2B:
Research-based purchasing: Because they are making major purchases for their organizations, B2B buyers want all the information they can get—but they want facts, figures and real-life examples, not a sales pitch. Content marketing lets you give them what they need to make an informed decision about your product without overtly selling to them.
Complex product offerings: There’s only so much real estate you can make use of on a single marketing piece. Content marketing lets you serialize your information, so you can provide a level of detail about a specific product or service that isn’t possible with a brochure, sales sheet or other leave-behind.
A lengthy sales cycle: When your prospect is ready to buy, what are the chances they are going to remember that brochure they picked up at a trade show three months ago? Probably not very good. Content marketing lets you stay top of mind by keeping your company’s name and products in front of your prospects through the whole buying process, across multiple channels.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of content marketing, but consider this: you don’t have to post every day to make an impact. Once a week or twice a month may be sufficient for your business or industry. The key is to be consistent, at whatever frequency you can manage.