3 Content Strategies For B2B Companies To Get More Leads

Content strategies for B2B companies can make a huge difference in their success.

Content marketing through blogging is still one of the best ways to build brand authority and increase leads and traffic.

Especially for many B2B businesses.

Including blogging and content marketing in your marketing strategy can be very important and in this article I’ll go over strategies you should keep in mind as you go about producing content.

I’ll explain why you should focus on:

  1. BECOMING A RESOURCE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
  2. UTILIZING PERSONA BASED MARKETING
  3. PRODUCING MORE BLOG CONTENT REGULARLY

But before I get into that let’s have a little story time first.

I remember working as a business development rep (BDR) at two different tech companies. One was a start-up and the other I’d consider “post start-up” but still pretty small at the time.

My job as a BDR was to do research, reach customers through phone and email, educate them about our software, answer their objections and questions, qualify them as leads, and pass them onto the outside sales reps/account executive who would pick up from there. I dealt with both inbound leads and outbound prospecting.

MARKETING WITHOUT CONTENT

At the start-up I joined in 2016 I was one of the very first BDRs on the team as it was pretty much a brand new inside sales/business development team being added to the company.

The CRM was pretty much completely bare bones with very little data and little automation.

We built most of the processes together from scratch as far as organizing leads, accounts, contacts, verticals, and coming up with content for our email marketing.

However the rest of our marketing, especially when it came to content, was pretty immature.

There was no consistent blog content, our whitepapers were clunky in addition to being few and far between. We didn’t have case studies or any other strong marketing collateral.

It was hard to develop brand recognition. We weren’t an authority or a RESOURCE.

Nobody knew who we were when we called. When they asked for more information it was challenging for us to quickly collect that content and get it over to them.

Even in those cases where we were able to start a conversation with people, they’d ask if we had material they could take a closer look at to learn more and educate themselves and it wasn’t always available.

(This is a serious problem because in today’s environment, especially in B2B, lots of people doing research and evaluating want to be able to access information on their own time without being forced to speak to a representative in sales or marketing)

The reason why we weren’t able to quickly and easily provide this information is because our content infrastructure wasn’t fleshed out.

Lead generation and prospecting was always an uphill battle.

MARKETING WITH CONTENT

Fast forward a year to where I worked for another small sized company.

However this company had a great CMO and very strong marketing department. They were putting out lots of content and they had a considerable infrastructure of marketing collateral in place.

Blog articles, case studies, internal competitive intelligence, press releases, industry reports, webinars, etc. They didn’t have everything but they had a hell of a lot and there was a constant amount of new content regularly being published.

The difference was considerable.

Now when I first began at the new company it was still pretty difficult to prospect. Many people didn’t know our name and our customer base was still growing, just like at my prior company.

However over time as we grew and more and more content was being put out, people started responding a bit more warmly.

People were checking out blog posts and downloading whitepapers. Sometimes people would say they’d heard of us or seen something about us online.

Our brand recognition and level of authority had changed over time.

The planning and execution of content strategies for B2B companies can have a big impact on the popularity of their brand and the difficulty or ease of their marketing/sales cycle.

Marketing and selling at a company with stronger marketing was night and day when it came to starting conversations and not having to work so hard to establish recognition, trust, and authority.

Now let’s get into the topic at hand.


1. BECOME A RESOURCE

You want to develop brand authority and trust.

Some of the most successful blogs on the internet are successful because the blog has become a valuable resource. It’s a place that can be trusted to get needed information, advice, or insight.

As a writer, I love the Expresswriters blog because I can reference relevant information about writing, SEO, content marketing, copywriting, and areas that help me do my job better.

Companies like Hubspot and Sprout Social do a great job of running their blogs and having truly customer-centric information.

You should really sit down and ask yourself if your content allows your potential customers to be more informed, more empowered, and more resourceful.

This is becoming more and more important with the growth of the internet and the evolution of how we consume information.

92% of marketers reported that their company views content as a business asset.

In addition, much of the buyer journey is done before they’re even ready to talk to vendors. The research stage when individuals and organizations are trying to find out how best to solve their problem is crucial.

Depending on the scale of the product or service you sell, you might not even make it into an RFP or have a chance to pitch to an organization if your brand doesn’t have a reputation or any kind of notoriety in your industry.

Recognition gets you into the conversation.

Many times when stakeholders, evaluation facilitators, and buyers in an organization begin reaching out to and engaging with vendors, they already have a list of potential vendors in mind.

Your reputation means a lot, and with content marketing you have an opportunity to establish it before you engage directly in sales efforts.

2. PERSONA BASED MARKETING

You can create more engaging and higher ROI content by knowing exactly who your buyers are and what they do.

As a B2B company you have a unique advantage that B2C organizations don’t often have available.

You should know the specific job titles and roles of the different personas who are involved in buying your product/service, including who is doing what at different stages of the buying cycle.

For example if you were selling accounts payable automation software, an AP manager might handle the initial evaluation before the Controller gets involved and ultimately the CFO would be the final decision maker in most cases.

You not only need to understand that but also understand what is driving the motivations of these roles and at what point in the buying process they’re being considered.

When you’re able to map out the different personas that participate in the buying cycle you can consciously create content that appeals to those personas and engages them. The content you target them with should be far more relevant, informative, and persuasive.

If this isn’t something you or your team have a handle on, you might want to consider getting together and identifying the different job titles that are most relevant and impactful to the purchase of your product or service.

Content strategies for B2B companies should have a good understanding of who their audience and target customers are.

An exercise you can engage in to help with this is to identify a title or role then dive deeper to understand more insights.

Here’s a list of potential ideas you can brainstorm about while persona mapping:

  • What does their day to day consist of?
  • What department do they work under?
  • Who do they report to?
  • Who reports to them?
  • What kind of education and certifications might they be expected to have?
  • What are some of their common interests?
  • What professional associations are they a part of?
  • What are their main challenges?
  • What technology do they use on a daily basis?
  • What are some other titles or job roles that perform a similar function?
  • At what point of the buying cycle are they most engaged and relevant?
  • What processes are most important to them?
  • What’s their bottom line?

With the information you gather from mapping these personas, you can come up with content relevant to them and incorporate it with your own segmented and targeted marketing.

This allows you to come up with different angles to approach people with the most relevant and engaging content.

Examples of content you can segment toward different personas for more focused, value adding, and engaging marketing:

  • Emails
  • Info graphics
  • Blog Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Case Studies
  • Social Media Posts

3. PUT OUT MORE BLOG CONTENT

Producing quality content is one of the biggest challenges for most smaller sized businesses.

Making the effort to write consistent blog content can greatly impact your results.

When you’re brainstorming content strategies for B2B companies, maintaining a blog should be a serious consideration. When most people think of content marketing the first that usually comes to mind is a blog.

Blogs work.

But that’s easier said than done.

There can be considerable constraints on time, manpower, other resources, and quality.

That being said, making an effort to consistently produce more content can have a big impact on traffic.

Volume and consistency also help with building trust and developing an ongoing relationship with readers.

THE DATA SUPPORTS THE FACT THAT PUBLISHING MORE BLOG CONTENT IS A WORTHWHILE ACTIVITY WHEN IT COMES TO ROI AND LONG TERM IMPACT ON WEBSITE TRAFFIC.

It’s not a question of if blogging works. It definitely works (when done properly).

The question is how to get there and do it effectively, all while maintaining:

  • Quality
  • Relevance
  • Consistency
  • Authenticity

Neil Patel goes a step further when he cites the significance of this statistic from Hubspot.

COMPANIES WHO BLOG RECEIVE 97% MORE LINKS TO THEIR WEBSITE THAN THOSE WHO DON’T.

He said this statistic is “One you can’t ignore.”

And he’s right.

There’s no reason that blogging shouldn’t be a key aspect of your content marketing strategy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Not only should you have a certain mindset when you’re developing and implementing your content strategy, but you should also have a plan that you can trust to reliably bring you results if executed properly .

Effective content strategies for B2B companies are crucial, especially in the technology space and with many service based businesses.

As buyers get more sophisticated with their research and with the natural advancement of technology and the internet, marketers and companies need to continue to adapt.

When you’re creating your content strategies you want to be sure to:

  • Be a resource for your buyers

  • Use persona based marketing

  • Put out more blog content

content-strategies-b2b-companies

 

How To Get Your Blog Noticed In 2021

how-to-get-your-blog-noticed

Do you want to write blog articles people will actually bother to read? Here’s some simple tips and best practices to keep in mind when you’re writing blog articles.

These will help with engaging your readers, improving your search rankings, being authoritative and persuasive, and making sure your blog posts are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Let’s begin.

 

1. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

The first and most important step in any form of online communication is knowing your audience so you can structure and tailor your message effectively.

This concept goes beyond just blogging. Blog article, podcast, video, tweet, doesn’t matter.

But especially if you want to write better blog posts.

If you don’t know who you’re talking to then you’re pretty shooting in the dark. You want your content to be engaging and relevant to the reader.

Know who your audience is and know their pain points. Speak to them in “their” language.

The Express writers Blog has a great article on how to develop a target persona if you’re unfamiliar.

 

Understand their culture and their identity and make sure you’re crafting your message in a way that truly speaks to them.

Knowing your target audience is also important for knowing which social media platforms are most crucial to engage them on.

For example if you’re selling to yoga instructors you’re better off putting in effort on Instagram than wasting time on LinkedIn.

However if you’re selling to corporate professionals LinkedIn is the place to be.

Great content should do 1 or more of 3 things.

  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Inspire

You need to know exactly who you’re dealing with to make sure you can do that effectively.

2. WRITE IN A CONVERSATIONAL TONE

Conversational tone is massively important for being able to relate with your readers, spread your message, and make sure people stay on your page.


For some reason there’s a misconception that effective writing means using long complex words and flowery language. In marketing and copywriting it’s the exact opposite.

As the saying goes, “be clear, not clever”.

And based on the fact that I gained over 10,000 organic followers on Twitter in a single year with very informal and conversational writing, I’d agree with that statement.

Now writing for a blog is certainly different than writing for Twitter or other social media, but I think the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid) still holds true.

Write like you speak. A blog post is not a college essay or a romance novel.

You want to deliver your message in a simple, clear and concise manner.

Attention spans are shorter than ever – get rid of the fluff.

Don’t overindulge in jargon but I wouldn’t necessarily say to avoid it either if it’s relevant or specific to your industry.

Speak to your audience in a simple way they can understand and don’t over complicate things.

3. INCLUDE MEDIA IN YOUR POSTS

Using images and videos in your blog posts is great for making your blog posts more readable and aesthetically pleasing, conveying points and explaining concepts, and increasing your organic search rankings.

I’m a writer.

I’m not a photographer and I’m certainly not an artist.

However there’s a few reasons including images and videos will help you produce better blog posts that people want to read.

It boosts your SEO and organic search ranking.

It’s visually appealing and improves readability.

It helps with storytelling and painting a picture in the reader’s mind.

When you combine images and videos with your words you can get more creative and add more layers to your piece, making it more dynamic and holistic.

People learn and process information more easily when text and images are combined.

You should be using media throughout your posts to separate sections, explain concepts, add commentary or effect, and support your points.

There are several kinds of media you can utilize for impact in your blog posts.

  • Videos – Videos are great to include at a relevant point in a blog post to summarize information or comment or provide additional commentary. It’s also great for Google ranking.

INCLUDING A VIDEO IN A POST INCREASES ORGANIC TRAFFIC FROM SEARCH RESULTS BY 157%. (SEARCH ENGINE PEOPLE, 2017)

If you’re creating video content from other platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, Bitchute, etc) you can embed those videos when appropriate into your blog articles to add another layer of communication.

  • Stock Photos – Stock photos are great to use for your blog thumbnail images and also to include in your posts. You don’t want to throw just any image onto your website or blog. Having high quality, high resolution, attractive photos is the bare minimum in online marketing.

My two favorite sites for free, high quality stock photos are:

  1. PIXABAY
  2. UNSPLASH


They both offer large and comprehensive libraries of free images that are available for anyone to use on their social media platforms and websites.

  • Graphs and charts – People love statistics and they love data that they can see. With short bits of data or numbers you can really display relevant information to the reader.
  • Infographics – These are great for storytelling and condensing lots of different info into one easy to digest image.
  • Screenshots – Screenshots are really good for showing examples of things. They’re naturally good for any content that involves tutorial/how-to/teaching. Especially on a specific process or tool.

For example in one of my articles about using Hootsuite I used screenshots from my personal dashboard to showcase the application.

Now while all of these things are great for improving your blog posts, don’t take things too far and start plastering images and videos anywhere and everywhere you can.

Be intentional with how you use images and videos. They should be a complement to your written content and not just thrown in for the hell of it.

4. WRITE LONGER BLOG POSTS

Longer blog posts get more traffic, They get more social media shares, They rank better on Google, and they’re more beneficial and resourceful to the readers.

Part of the algorithm is selecting content that’s actually useful to real humans. So don’t write for robots or machines or AI. Write like you’re actually talking to a person. People online want help with their problems and they want guidance.

And it seems that longer posts naturally have

Research from Backlinko.com and other sources like Hubspot support that long form content simply outperforms shorter content on average.

  • THE AVERAGE GOOGLE FIRST PAGE RESULT CONTAINS 1,890 WORDS (BACKLINKO, 2016).
  • GOOGLE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 94% OF TOTAL ORGANIC TRAFFIC (WEB PRESENCE SOLUTIONS, 2017).

As you can see the data shows that Google rewards longer content and the fact that Google is responsible for almost ALL organic web traffic means you want to play nice with their algorithms and pay attention to how you can increase your visibility on their search engine.

In addition to the pure SEO aspect, long form blog posts allow you to explore topics more broadly and with more depth.

While it’s true people have short attention spans it’s also true that people want to be engaged and they want answers to their questions.

People want to be able to have access to all the information they need when they go to a blog post.

A short article probably won’t be comprehensive enough to keep them on your page and if people have to go to other websites or do more searches to find what they’re looking for, they probably won’t come back.

If you want your blog posts to compound and grow, make sure you put in the effort to make them comprehensive and high quality.

Your post should in essence be a “one stop shop” for all the critical information they’re looking for or for the topic you’ve chosen to cover.

5. WRITE FOR READABILITY

 

No one is going to read your blog post if it’s not structured with basic principles of human readability and aesthetic competence.

In essence, “make it look good”.

Part of writing better blog posts is not just the content you create, but how you present that content.

This is probably one of my biggest personal pet peeves when I come across different blogs in my free time online. I see way too many pages that fail the basic test of readability. I’ve seen some pages that were complete messes because they weren’t formatted properly.

Regardless of the content itself, because of the lack of structure and organization, those pieces were very difficult to read and pretty much soiled my perception and experience of their website.

Don’t let that be you.

Blogging isn’t about grammar or writing in APA or MLA format or impressing some academic or professor.

In a blog you write for readability. Basic elements of this include:

  • Headings and subheadings – You want to use headings and subheadings throughout your blog posts to separate ideas and points you’re making. It should be very clear what a certain section of the blog post is about since most people skim articles or jump around with their eyes anyways.
    People should know where to look for specific content without having to guess, search, or become confused.

  • Images – As it was just explained in the prior section, images are very important to include in high quality blog posts and improve not only the impact, but the readability of the entire article. Make sure you’re using the appropriate number of relevant images spread throughout your article.

  • Using bullet points and numbered lists – Using bullet points and numbered lists is another great way to separate ideas and clearly communicate points. Breaking down a sequence of ideas, concepts, people, or things into a simple list is one of the quickest ways to organize content.

  • Spacing – Make sure you’re giving plenty of spacing and line breaks between thoughts and ideas. When you write blog articles you’re going to have numerous short paragraphs because it’s simply easier to read and skim on a desktop or mobile computer.

Get in the habit of auditing all your blog posts for these basic elements of readability before you publish them and make sure you’re properly organizing and structuring the ideas you’re trying to convey.

6. BACK UP YOUR POST WITH DATA AND STATISTICS

If you’re writing a solid blog article you need to be both authoritative and persuasive.

You should be supporting the points you make with data and statistics .

You should be making objective statements based on real world information and results if you want to write strong articles. If you’re going to give an opinion that opinion should be well-informed and have arguments behind it.

Being able to cite data and statistics adds a factual and authoritative element to whatever you’re saying.

With the knowledge and information you have about the personas you’re targeting you can even make sure that you regularly cite publications and individuals that are known in their industry. This can help to develop extra trust and familiarity.

There should always be some sort of supporting data (whether it’s industry references, statistics, trends, graphs, etc) weaved throughout your content to support the points you’re making.

6 Tips For Writing Blog Posts People Will Actually Read (Infographic)

Make sure you’re creating content that’s actually easy and enjoyable to read.

Know who it is you’re writing for, write in a conversational tone, include media in your posts, write longer blog posts, be sure to write for readability, and back up your claims with data and statistics whenever possible.

tips writing blog posts

Please comment below with your thoughts, opinions, and comments! Is writing blog articles for your brand something you struggle with?

Other Sources: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics