5 B2B Benefits of Content Marketing

5 B2B Benefits of Content Marketing


Why has the topic of content marketing become so intrusive in the B2B market? It’s simply because this type of marketing has plenty to offer to businesses in general, including those targeting other businesses. In the sections that follow, we will define content marketing, especially compared to traditional marketing and B2C content marketing, and provide five reasons you should consider developing your own content marketing strategy.

What Is B2B Content Marketing?

To put it simply, B2B content marketing is the production of content for the purpose of increasing sales. How is that different from traditional marketing?

A standard ad interrupts the prospect in what they’re doing and tries to convince them to take an action right then and there. Content produced for content marketing purposes is of the type prospects themselves search for. It’s also not aimed at making a sale, at least not directly. Instead it works toward:

  • Expanding your audience
  • Raising awareness of your business
  • Engaging your prospects

Differences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing

It’s true that B2B and B2C content marketing have a shared goal – to engage prospects with the purpose of driving sales. However, that’s where the similarities end. It’s simply because these two markets differ in three major aspects.

Purchasing journey

The purchasing journeys of individuals and businesses couldn’t be less alike. While an individual sometimes makes impulsive decisions and is driven only by their own needs and preferences, a business usually:

  • Takes longer to reach a decision
  • Is driven by data
  • Has multiple stakeholders involved in the process

To illustrate the point, according to Gartner, the typical purchasing journey of a business looking for a solution to a problem involves six to 10 different decision makers. 

This is exactly why successful B2B companies make sure their content is data driven and distributed across multiple channels. 

Target personas

It could be said that B2C content marketing is simpler in terms of target personas as well. When you’re marketing your product or service to an individual, that person is both the buyer and the end user. 

Of course, this is not the case with businesses. In a company setting, the person who will use a business solution is typically not the person in charge of selecting and buying it.

This is why successful B2B content marketing involves creating at least two different target personas, one for the buyer and one for the end user.

Main content

What type of content you choose to serve your prospects should depend on what drives them. When it comes to B2B and B2C audiences, there are more differences than similarities. 

While individuals are typically driven by emotion and engagement, in a company setting it is thought leadership that plays an important role. In fact, as shown in the LinkedIn-Edelman report, 54 percent of decision makers spend at least one hour each week reading thought-leadership content. 

This is exactly why strategic B2B content marketing focuses more on white papers, case studies and product guides than emotionally charged videos, for example.

Why Is Content Marketing Important for B2B Businesses?

The ultimate goal of any business is to increase sales. The B2B market in particular is witnessing three major obstacles to achieving this, all of which are at least partially eliminated through strategic content marketing efforts.

The B2B market is more competitive than ever

According to Accenture, customer experience has become more important than ever. In 2019, a staggering one-third of B2B decision makers worldwide said they had higher expectations of their experience compared to the previous year.

Not all your prospects are aware they have a problem

Inefficient processes and unaddressed issues can stomp the growth of any business, regardless of the quality of its product or service. However, there are few businesses out there that are aware of all their problems.   

Even your clients and partners need to be incentivized

The work of a B2B business is not done even after sealing the deal. There is no guarantee that your clients will want to renew their contracts or that your partners won’t stop selling your products. These types of relationships are especially fragile during the partner onboarding process, when providing training resources and encouraging communication are vital to the success of the endeavor.    

5 B2B Benefits of Content Marketing

A successful content marketing strategy can have a positive impact on virtually all performance aspects. However, there are five benefits that are especially important for B2B businesses.

Increases your visibility

Producing your own content significantly increases your online visibility. This is especially important considering the data gathered by DemandGen. It shows that 42 percent of B2B decision makers consume from three to five pieces of content before moving on to engaging a salesperson.  

What does this mean? You should find out which channels your prospects prefer and start using them to distribute your content.

Helps you establish authority

When you’re the one producing and publishing content, you automatically appear more authoritative in the eyes of your audience. It’s the first step to becoming a thought leader in your industry. A good place to start would be to produce a white paper on a topic you believe would interest your prospects.

Paves the path to market domination

Did you know that 71 percent of commercial buyers start their purchasing journey by doing a generic Google search? This means that you could achieve market domination simply by targeting the right keywords. However, a quality SEO strategy is much easier to execute when it’s part of an overarching content marketing strategy.

Gets more prospects into your funnel

Traditional marketing can be immensely effective, but it has its limits. A Google ad, however masterfully crafted, will only grab the attention of late-stage buyers. Prospects who aren’t even aware of their problems or are still in the research phase simply won’t engage.   

This is why you should create content for all three stages of the purchasing journey. According to the DemandGen report, 81 percent of early-stage buyers prefer listicles, 50 percent of mid-stage buyers want webinars, and 39 percent of late-stage buyers are interested in case studies.

Increases your conversion rates

Of course, the biggest benefit of content marketing for your B2B business is its impact on your conversion rates. It gets you the attention of a larger percentage of prospects and moves them through your funnel with greater speed and ease. This is why you should make sure to:

  • Produce content
  • Make it as relevant as possible
  • Address all your reader’s pain points
  • Show them why your offer is the solution to their problem
  • Use quality internal linking to direct them to your sales pages

Conclusion 

The B2B market is a competitive one. To make sure your business is the one that gets chosen by your prospects, you need to work harder at grabbing their attention and providing them with the best possible customer experience. Content marketing is the most sustainable and effective way of achieving such results. It could even be argued that, in the B2B market, there can be no true success without it.