The marketing industry is in a state of flux. During the pandemic, as more traditional forms of marketing — such as in-person events and face-to-face selling — were shut down, the power of content marketing came to the fore.
Companies found it harder to capture and hold their audience’s attention, and customers demanded a more empathetic tone. Only 14% of businesses say the challenges of Covid-19 haven’t impacted their content marketing strategy.
So, exactly what should you be doing to get the most from your content marketing planning? This article will offer 11 fresh ideas for B2B content plus answer your most common content FAQs.
Best B2B content ideas for smart marketers
The way we strategize and develop content needs to pivot to meet the demands of a post-pandemic audience. Let’s look at 11 content ideas to attract potential customers and strengthen existing relationships.
1. Unconventional content formats
The pandemic encouraged us to get more creative than we’d been before. We needed to adapt to something novel, which unlocked some unconventional ideas.
Mimic this approach by using content formats you haven’t tried before. Podcasting is a growing format. 41% of Americans listened to podcasts regularly through 2021 compared to 37% in 2020.
This might be the time to branch out into video or create a podcast to cement your reputation as a thought leader.
2. Content partnerships
Content partnerships — where brands work together to gain promotion through their content — can be an extremely useful tool in your B2B marketing communications.
Content partnership expands the reach of your business by opening up to another company’s audience to your product. Complementary partnerships mean less time qualifying your audience.
For example, if you’re a project management platform and you partner with a business selling time tracking software, there is likely to be a lot of target audience crossover, boosting opportunities for conversion.
3. Content roundups on audience-relevant topics
Attracting and keeping your audience’s attention is getting harder. The way people consume information is changing, and your content needs to reflect this shift.
Providing content roundups on topics relevant to your audience builds your credibility. Your audience will also appreciate not wasting time searching for information across multiple sites.
As a time-saver, check whether your marketing software solution has access to industry-leading content that you can repackage.
For example, in Content Marketing Platform, you can source and publish world-class, fully licensed articles directly from the platform to supplement original content creation.
4. Problem-solving blog content
Speaking of original content, your blog is key to reaching and engaging your audience. But you can’t just put any old thing out there. Your blog content must create value for your subscribers or website visitors.
Helping customers solve issues should act as a golden thread through all of your B2B marketing channels, which makes problem-solving blog articles important for maximizing your content marketing.
There’s a current trend toward longer-form content, so don’t be shy of using your blog as an opportunity to deep-dive into challenges your target audience faces.
5. LinkedIn content
If you think you already have a strong marketing strategy across your social media channels and don’t need to target LinkedIn, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Over 80% of B2B leads are generated through LinkedIn, making the platform nearly 300% more effective than Facebook and Twitter for sourcing potential B2B customers.
Posting relevant content recycled from your company’s blog is an easy way to get started. Share a few snippets and link to the full article on your website to encourage traffic. Plus, build your credibility by getting involved in discussion groups and sharing industry insights.
6. Video tutorials
Visual content can be incredibly valuable for B2B businesses, especially if your product is technically complex. 60% of executives prefer video format to text, so it provides a positive ROI.
Inviting industry influencers to guest on your videos can also improve your brand’s attractiveness and cement its credibility.
7. Email-based courses
Email courses use a sequence of emails — say, daily for a week or weekly for a month — to educate an audience on a particular topic.
They can be a great way to warm up potential customers and move them closer to a sale.
Typically, they work by supporting subscribers to generically solve an issue through actionable hints or tips. The final email of the course usually shows why the business’ product or service is the best way to solve its pain point.
With face-to-face events out of the window, the use of webinars to engage and inform B2B customers was up 162% through 2020. And 99% of marketers say webinars are key to their future digital marketing strategy.
Like videos, recording webinars is a great way to showcase. However, webinars have one crucial advantage — lead capture. To attend a webinar, customers usually have to sign-up and provide their email address or other contact details. So, they are an excellent way to build your marketing contact list.
Multi-part webinar series helps build a relationship with your prospective customers. It provides a great platform for offering educational content that answers questions they might be pondering.
9. Creative press releases
Companies have used press releases to generate interest in their products and services for decades.
But are they still relevant for B2B marketing? We certainly think so.
Announcing Product 2.0? Draft a quick note for multi-channel release and immediately share your launch with thousands.
10. Technical articles and white papers
The job of a good technical writer is to take a complicated topic and break it down into small, easy-to-understand concepts.
As we mentioned earlier, B2B marketing sometimes requires getting into the nitty-gritty details of your product or service, and technical articles or white papers are the perfect format.
This type of content allows you to offer an in-depth study of a specific topic, educate business customers through the decision-making process, share technical knowledge, and publicize your product.
11. Thought leadership style content
To be viewed as a thought leader, you need deep expertise plus recognition by your peers of an ability to drive innovation in your industry.
Who doesn’t want to work with or buy from a company that other companies look to for inspiration?
Thought leadership content is often long-form and may include original research. However, there is a place for short-form content, too. Especially if you have the reputation of an original thinker. Marketing guru Neil Patel uses videos, blog articles, and social media to inform, educate, and opine on all things marketing.
FAQs on B2B content
Now you’ve got a handle on the types of content you should be creating to support your B2B content marketing, let’s clear up a few FAQs.
What’s different about B2B content?
B2B often has a longer customer lifecycle, and the products may be more complex and technical. You’re usually targeting a smaller audience, but there could be many more decision-makers in the buying process.
This means content needs to be focused on establishing trusting relationships through credibility.
How do I create a B2B content strategy?
When you’re creating a B2B content strategy, you need to decide what your goals are.
Are you building brand awareness and attracting new customers, cementing your relationships with current ones, or moving prospects down the sales funnel? This knowledge will help you target your content more successfully.
How do you write for a B2B audience?
Writing for a B2B audience doesn’t necessarily have to be different from B2C, but it may be.
Content that’s written for a B2B audience may need to be more technical as you work to engage decision-makers in the nuts and bolts of your product.
Like all integrated marketing campaigns, personalizing your content to the needs of your audience is vital for success.
Try new approaches to up your content game
Your B2B content marketing strategy should continuously evolve.
Using an integrated marketing platform like Content Marketing Platform makes it easy to create, optimize, and distribute high-quality content to your audience.