Content Marketing in the B2B World
You can find anything you want on the internet these days, from how to make a tasty pie to shirts for dogs. That wealth of information comes with a price. You end up sorting through every little post and website that might have something to do with the keywords you typed in. If you’re at home, you might have the time to sort through all this “clutter”, but what about in the business world?
When was the last time you actually clicked a banner ad on a website? For that matter, when was the last time you even noticed an ad? Over time we’ve conditioned ourselves to ignore them. For small businesses digital advertising is becoming more difficult to justify. Even big companies struggle to get a return on their investment. This is where content marketing comes to the rescue.
Content marketing, as defined by The Content Marketing Institute, is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience,”. In a simpler sense, its about creating information that informs and/or entertains your prospective customers.
Creating worthy content is important but, to increase the effectiveness, a company must also extend itself onto social media networks. A social media presence works like a spider’s web, one snag on any line and you can come to assist and inform. Your community of connections read your content, and when they have problems, think of you to help resolve them.
Publishing original content on social networks positions your company and your employees as thought leaders. Take LinkedIn for example. Every time someone is endorsed for a skill, that endorsement is visible to others in their network. It validates the person in their area of expertise. They are now someone in the B2B world that other businesses can come to and ask questions.
Now wait, before you go to facebook, twitter or any other social media site and begin making posts and comments, think about your content. You need to say more than “we work with computers”, you need to make the reader stop their scrolling and click on you. Just as the definition says, content marketing is more engaging than a banner ad. Its about demonstrating that your company offers practices that are innovative for the field. When done correctly, it makes your audience want to go beyond what you’ve shared and learn even more about your company.
How do you capture their interest? You could start with a funny quip, an interesting tidbit, anything that can grab someones attention. Did you know the paper we use is also used to fix leaks in boats? You’d probably doubt that is true, but it would stop you for a moment and make you think. In that moment, the reader is more likely to click through, to read further about what makes your paper have this ability.That is what content marketing tries to do, it’s the first line in a novel, the one that grabs you and makes you read the entire book.
Once you deliver the initial hook, continue to build on it. Make your audience want to know more about how you can solve their problems. Be careful though, don’t be overt in you desire for their patronage. The content you provide should sell without selling, informing in a continuous manner. Its a process, not a project. You continue to create new content and deliver it to your crowd with social media. This builds the knowledge base of your reader, which in turn will pull them to you. Engagement is key, make us want more and we will come back.
The other benefit of B2B content marketing? It is considered to still be in the early adopter phase, meaning there is plenty of room to put yourself in the top rung of viewability. This also means you will need someone focused on creating and delivering content. With focus comes execution and with execution comes results.
Data from The Content Marketing Institute shows that companies with someone in charge of their content are more successful. This might seem obvious, but can still be easily overlooked. Professional content marketers do more than write copy. They determine the strategy and tactics for what should be shared and when. Its their job to get to the other end of a reader’s question, to answer and provide an open source of continued information.
At Crowd Hydrant we help businesses create original content and deliver it through social media. We write for their blogs and create other interesting content, including infographics and video. We also help companies establish their social media presence and train their employees to use social media effectively. Working together, we help companies use these tools to expand and engage their network. We establish thought leadership, improve visibility in search, and drive traffic to our clients websites. For B2B companies this drives leads, sales, revenue and profit. To learn more about Crowd Hydrant, CONTACT US today.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About Nick Clark
Nick is recent graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. As a Content Creator for Crowd Hydrant, he works with businesses to understand their needs and goals and then, writes engaging content for their blogs and websites. Nick also enjoys writing short stories and poetry. For more about Nick, connect with him on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter.