In some ways, business-to-consumer content marketing is a fairly easy sell. Business owners know that customers and potential customers hang out on Facebook and on Twitter, and they understand that they need to have a presence there as well. Business-to-business content marketing is a slightly different matter, and many corporate leaders have been skeptical about the need to use social channels to reach out to other companies.
Thankfully, this is changing. A number of major brands are using social media to reach out to other businesses—with General Electric being one clear example. Large companies and small companies alike are waking up to the fact that, even in the context of B2B relationships, content marketing can help build brand awareness, increase brand equity, and generate leads.
There are a number of compelling statistics to validate and verify this trend. Social Media B2B reports that B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads than those that don’t. The Content Marketing Institute, meanwhile, affirms that close to 80 percent of B2B companies now employ content marketing to increase brand awareness.
The question is how is it done? How can your business get started with B2B content marketing?
It Starts with Planning
We say this all the time, but it is vital to invest in a strategic plan rather than jumping right into content marketing. Think about your content marketing goals—i.e., to increase sales—and the specific ways in which you will seek to reach those goals—i.e., by growing LinkedIn connections or establishing effective online webinars. Think about your core strategy: Will you seek to establish your company as an industry authority, or as an inexpensive alternative to a larger competitor? Also contemplate your specific methodology; do you need to post to LinkedIn every day? Is Facebook a worthwhile investment for your company?
The Right Platforms
This last point is an important one: Not all B2B companies will need to employ the very same content marketing platforms. All B2B companies are going to want to invest in LinkedIn, which is just essential: It’s the place where strong B2B relationships are formed. Beyond that, everything is open to debate: Many B2B companies profit from a Twitter presence; the same could be said of Facebook, Pinterest, and the rest. In the end, though, companies need to customize strategies that meet their particular goals.
Put a Team in Place
B2B companies need to ensure that they have a strong team in place to actually carry out their content marketing duties. Content is not going to write or post itself—so who’s going to do it? It probably shouldn’t be the summer intern or a temp, because you need your content to strongly reflect the company’s values and identity. The CEO, meanwhile, is likely too busy to handle content marketing tasks. Finding the right person for the job—or outsourcing to a content marketing firm—is essential.
Varieties of Content
Of course, content marketing is also going to require the creation of some content—but what kind? This is something else to include in your company’s content marketing strategy. Do your company’s services lend themselves to explanatory YouTube videos? Do you have visually appealing products you can market with Instagram or Pinterest photos? Will how-to blog posts and informative tweets help sell your products and services?
Think critically here: The content you create reflects the core identity of your company, and will make or break your efforts to reach out to other businesses. At Grammar Chic, we are ready and eager to assist in content strategizing, creation, and distribution. To learn more, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.