Wondering what types of content to include in your B2B content marketing strategy?
Here is what we recommend to consider including in your content strategy. Some may be a fit while others may not. For many B2B firms, it’s often a blend of various types of content.
One thing to keep in mind is that content creation covers a broad category of media and includes everything from written copy to videos to emails to podcasts to webinars to guides. While we will touch on mostly written content here, most, if not all, can be adapted for other mediums.
This type of content is original and taps into the expertise and experience of your internal team. Thought leadership content provides fresh, new perspectives or industry insights that are valuable to professionals working in your industry.
It requires access to subject matter experts in your company and typically requires a professional copywriter to synthesize the information and craft content that is accessible to your target market.
When considering crafting this type of content think about How To’s and Best Practices. We’ve often heard our clients say they worry that their audience might find this type of content boring or too elementary. However, it’s quite the opposite – this can be some of the most popular content on a company’s B2B website.
Instructional and educational content can be technical or high-level, depending on your industry, products/services, and the particular person you are talking to. Since this type of content can vary widely, it can also be created for professionals across an organization from end-users of your product/service, to C-suite decision-makers, to mid-level buyers who influence the purchasing process.
As prospects move along on their buyer’s journey, they often want to see how your product or service is used and any value it provides. Use cases or case studies are the best way to not tell but show your prospects what they can expect from your products or services.
This type of content is crucial in improving close rates as the main person interested in your product or service may need to justify the purchase or budget needed. These can be great content pieces for your sales team to send to leads they are nurturing or have chatted with recently.
Demonstrating that your company understands your industry and your potential buyers goes a long way to build trust with your prospects and clients.
Content crafted around industry research is valuable to a wide audience as well, not just prospects. Potential partners, vendors, industry trade editors, existing clients, trade organizations, and potential investors are always on the lookout for any research about your industry. Crafting thoughtful industry research helps to establish your brand and company as a valuable participant in your industry and can lead to other opportunities.
For many business development folks, they understand that once a prospect becomes a client, you need to work on retaining them. It’s a great way to stay motivated and truly deliver a great client experience. As such, it’s crucial to include client onboarding documents in your B2B content marketing strategy.
You may be wondering why these are part of a content marketing strategy and not a service delivery strategy. It’s really both. From a marketing perspective, you want all the client or prospect-facing content to be consistent. As such, it’s a good idea for the marketing team to work closely with your client services team to create all the collateral they need to provide to new clients.
Sales sheets should be part of a content marketing strategy since it’s branded content that prospects need. The intention is to create content the sales team can use to help prospects make a decision to buy.
Yes, this type of collateral is more sales-focused than educational, but it is still influential content that can guide a prospect towards making a purchase. Including sales sheets or other sales documents in a content marketing strategy ensures the sales team has what they need to nurture leads throughout the buying process.
B2B companies tend to sell fairly complex products. For this reason, product guides or specification sheets should be considered when drafting up a content marketing strategy – particularly when creating a new B2B website design. Often, prospects who are looking for product guides or spec sheets are farther down the path to purchase, but these can still be instrumental for various marketing campaigns, lead nurturing, and email campaigns.
Typically, when we think of content marketing, we think more of the end-user and their needs or challenges. However, company-focused content like company insights or press releases should also be included in content marketing strategies – particularly newsworthy items or significant achievements, like ISO certifications or industry awards.
These types of content pieces are credibility builders with prospects and reinforcement for existing clients that they made the right decision to use your products or services. The only caveat is that these should be a portion of the content strategy and not the main part of the strategy.
When done well, interviews are an excellent component of a content marketing strategy. These can include interviews of internal subject matter experts, partners, thought leaders in the industry, clients, etc. The overall goal of the interview whether it is a video, audio, or text interview is to share new insights with the audience. Avoid doing any interviews that are obviously canned Q&As or lack substance.
A lot of successful B2B website designs include an FAQ section or page. Frequently asked questions work well in a content strategy from both a user perspective and an SEO perspective. The questions should be actual questions that clients or prospects have about your products or services. The answers should be clear and not just a sales pitch or else they won’t have any value.
FAQs are also great to use throughout the buyer’s journey, particularly if a prospect has gone quiet or has a larger internal team that is included in the decision-making process.
Effective content marketing plans have a variety of content types included to not only answer questions throughout the buying process, but to also educate prospects, meet the needs of all internal stakeholders at that prospect’s company, and answer any questions a prospect may have about your products or services. We recommend avoiding making content just to make content, but instead to focus on creating content with a purpose. Before each content piece is created, always ask “Who is this for and what should they get out of it?”