Have you embarked on a B2B content marketing journey? Or are you considering taking the first steps? Whatever your situation, it’s likely you have discovered that the exact route you should follow is open to interpretation.
In fact, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to B2B content marketing. It’s a case of finding the right fit for your company, dependent on your particular needs.
However, certain recommendations tend to hold true regardless of your strategy. Things like compiling an editorial calendar, blogging regularly and analysing your progress at each stage.
And then there are less tangible suggestions, such as being patient and developing a writing voice.
It’s impossible to capture all the valuable tips about B2B content marketing out there in the ether in a single blog post. So, for today, here are four from those in the know.
1. Be original
It’s important to remember that there is no other business exactly like yours - even if there are many selling the same product or service. Highlighting what makes you unique is essential if you want to reach the people who need YOU.
Chris Ducker is an entrepreneur and bestselling author. Speaking on Rainmaker.FM, he says: "Being better than somebody else is not enough anymore. We’ve got to be different.
"[…] It will set you apart from the rest of the crowd in your niche. […] You’ll become a leader. You’ll be seen as an influencer. You’ll be seen as somebody that people want to follow, not just to learn from, but to become inspired by. Ultimately, you will become somebody’s favourite."
Think about what makes you distinct from the competition and embrace it. That may mean alienating some people - but it will help you to connect with more of the right people.
Why not share your business’ story and illuminate how the way you do things covers new ground.
2. Don’t be a perfectionist
Yes, we want to produce content that is compelling and well-written. But we’re not writing Nobel Prize-winning literature here.
Writer and entrepreneur Jeff Goins says: "If you’re continuing to revisit a project again and again, worried that it’ll never be good enough, it may be time to ship. Even if it’s not ready, you’ll feel better that you put something out there."
So, if you’ve been editing and re-editing a blog post or eBook, it’s often a good idea to just close the lid on it and hit publish. That doesn’t mean settling for unsatisfactory work that doesn’t address your audience’s pain points. What it does mean is that, sometimes, good enough is perfectly okay.
After all, we're never going to form valuable connections if all of our great content is gathering dust in the drafts folder.
3. Keep the big picture in mind
Content is the fuel for any inbound marketing endeavour. But it needs to be informed at all times by your wider business aims. In other words, you should align your content strategy with your business goals.
Sonia Simone is co-founder and chief content officer of Rainmaker Digital. She says: "To make content work, you need to understand your marketing and business goals. Then you can create content that serves those goals, instead of just giving your audience something to pass the time.
"Your blog posts, email marketing, eBooks, podcasts… all of it needs to fit into a larger picture."
Perhaps you’re looking to get more leads, promote a particular campaign or nurture your current customers: keep these ambitions in mind when you’re creating content.
4. Embrace marketing automation
It’s old news: technology is constantly evolving. So it's a good idea to incorporate it in your B2B content marketing. Of course, you’re publishing online - but adding software to the mix can help you make a bigger impact.
Marcus Taylor is an entrepreneur and the founder of Venture Harbour. He says: "At a fundamental level, marketing automation is about optimisation.
"From optimising your staff’s time, to optimising which customers your sales team focuses their effort on, the scope of marketing automation goes way beyond simply automating your marketing department’s repetitive tasks."
Marketing automation helps you to get your content in front of the right people and to find out what’s working and what isn’t. Whether you want to segment your mailing list to send out a newsletter or find out how many people downloaded your latest eBook: the right platform will ensure your content works hard for your business.
You could spend all day reading advice about B2B content marketing. But you probably don't have time to do that. This blog post is just a snapshot, but it should provide some food for thought - and point you towards some experts in the field.