Natalka Antoniuk is a Content Writer at Quadrant2Design. Her experience has made her an expert when it comes to SEO copywriting. She has bylined articles in G2, Adrants and Event Industry News.
How To Create Content For B2B Content Marketing
Just when you think you have the hang of content marketing, someone like me comes along to mess everything up. If you’re not already struggling to produce the best content on the web, then you will be after reading this.
What can I say? If content marketing was easy then everyone would reach page one on Google’s search results and generate millions of pounds in new and returning custom.
I like to think that content marketing came about because a miserable group of salesmen decided enough was enough. They put down their phones and decided to get relevant prospects to come to them.
That’s what content marketing is after all. Publishing and distributing different types of content to an audience.
This content should never sell a product, quite the opposite. It should stimulate interest in a particular product or service. It has to add value; otherwise, what’s the point?
Sounds easy enough. But it’s not.
Because while you are trying to stimulate interest and be engaging, you also have to optimise your copy for SEO. Search engine optimisation is the bane of most digital marketer’s lives.
We know how important it is though. So even though we hate it, we grit our teeth and wade through our beautifully crafted content to make sure a search robot finds it easy to index.
As if it wasn’t enough trying to perfectly balance the holy trinity of B2B content marketing…
What Is B2B Content Marketing?
B2B companies are businesses that sell to businesses.
YewBiz is a B2B company that offers online training courses, consultancy and tons of helpful marketing resources to start-ups, SMEs and growing businesses. My company is a B2B company that designs and builds exhibition stands for businesses that are exhibiting at a trade show.
There are hundreds of B2B companies out there. And they often go overlooked.
As all marketers know, audience is everything. As you can imagine, marketing to a professional business audience is not the same as marketing towards a typical consumer. Everything changes.
Content marketing is no different.
When it comes to B2B content marketing, the type of content you create changes. As does your distribution strategy.
The content must offer value, often in the form of information. B2C companies can engage an audience with images, video and entertaining articles. B2B companies have to create content that will fill a gap in the knowledge of their audience.
How Is B2B Content Marketing Different?
You know it’s different, but what is the difference between B2B and B2C content marketing?
Firstly, the type of content.
A B2B audience already has some knowledge in their field. A rule of thumb when writing content is to ensure 80% of the population can read it. This usually involves stripping jargon and wordy phrases in favour of short words and sentences.
A B2B audience expects the opposite. You have to show that you are an expert. If you don’t have an authoritative voice on the subject then your audience will find someone who does.
The second difference is distribution.
Most content marketers will publish a piece of content on their website and then distribute it across various social media platforms.
That doesn’t work so well when targeting a B2B audience.
Business content is typically consumed within business hours (8am-6pm). Business professionals don’t spend their working day on social media. Most B2B content is distributed via email, LinkedIn or discovered via search engines such as Google.
The Holy Trifecta Of B2B Content Marketing
I would argue that B2B content marketing is harder than B2C content marketing.
You have to demonstrate that you are an authoritative voice on a subject; therefore, you can’t spread yourself across too many niches. So you need to read everything available on your chosen topic to make sure whatever you create is of the highest quality.
A B2B audience needs useful content. Infographics, video tutorials, how-to guides and webinars have all successfully delivered information and educated a professional audience. But, you need to make sure that your content answers any questions that your audience has.
Proper keyword research is an easy way to go about this. It’s the quickest and most successful way of delivering useful content.
Last but not least, web content has to be engaging. With so much information available, your audience will happily jump to one of your competitors if your content is boring and difficult to read.
Writing engaging content for a B2B audience is hard work. You are trying to demonstrate your expertise by using jargon and talking to your audience in their language. Too much tricky text is a turn off, but not enough depreciates the quality and usefulness of your work.
And that is the holy trifecta. To target a B2B audience successfully, your content must be:
- High Quality
How To Balance The Holy Trifecta
You might have noticed the biggest problem already. These three factors don’t naturally sit together.
Your article can be extremely entertaining and engaging, but it might not be very useful. The highest quality content will likely be lacking in the engagement factor. And, to top it all off, other people are busy producing content every day.
Even when you think you’ve mastered it, it is only a matter of time before someone comes along and creates a higher quality, more engaging and more useful piece of content.
How To Create Useful Content
To make sure the content that you are creating is useful to a B2B audience, there are three questions that you should ask yourself. Is it relevant? Is it educational? Does it add value?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions then you’re good to go. If not, then your content needs a bit of work.
Luckily, creating useful content is fairly easy.
Keyword research helps you identify the words and phrases that your audience are typing into Google. You can ensure that you are creating relevant content by answering the queries that most people are searching for.
Creating educational content is easy. Answer a question in the simplest way possible. You will become an expert on these subjects, thanks to a lot of research, so put what you know onto a page.
Finally, your content will always add value if it is relevant and educational. You are teaching an audience something that they are actively looking for, what’s more useful than that?
How To Create Engaging Content
To create engaging content, you have to make sure that it attracts or involves the audience’s attention. If not, they’ll leave.
That’s the problem with content marketing. If yours isn’t good enough, someone else’s content will be. And they’re always just a click away.
To engage your audience, make sure that you create content with search intent in mind. If your content is useful then it is already highly relevant, educational and adding value. Now, just make sure it aligns with the audiences’ needs.
Are they searching for information or a specific answer to a question? Do they want to see a comparison between one thing and another? Are they generating ideas? What does your audience need from the content you are creating?
If you master that, and your content is useful, you’re on to a winner.
How To Create High Quality Content
I have three rules when it comes to high quality content.
1. Do your research
Number one. Do your research. You’ve already researched your keywords and your audiences search intent to get this far. Now it’s time to research your competitors.
Google your keyword or phrase. Read everything on the first page and most of what’s on the second.
Check Bing. Check Yahoo. Check the images and the news tab. Watch a few videos. Now go away and create something better than anything you have seen, read or watched.
2. Be you
Number two. Be You. Anyone can write in proper English. Grammarly is even free.
But having your own voice and your own personality through the written word is a skill. It’s the reason that we’re content marketers, not journalists. And it’s the reason people stick around to see what we have to say.
If you want to end a sentence in the middle then do it. You are allowed to start a sentence with But. Or Because. Read your content out loud. If it sounds natural, you’ve nailed it. If it sounds like you are reading a college assignment, have another go.
Note: I don’t support bad grammar; I just think that we can relax the rules a bit when it comes to web copy. Spelling is another ball game. You should be able to spell correctly (unless the words are “calendar”, “immediately” or “definitely” because I hate those words.)
3. Get to the point
Number three. Get to the point. You’re not writing a book.
The world is getting busier and people are pressed for time. If you can’t tell them what they need to know in under 60 seconds, they’ll go somewhere else.
Use the meta description, headline and introduction to your advantage. Tell your story in a sentence. Then let the audience decide if they want to read on.
If you can create a well-researched piece of content with a conversational tone that expresses your personality and summarises the point right away, then you’ve done a good job. Simple enough, right?
Balancing The Holy Trifecta
And the best part: If you’re creating content that is high quality, engaging and useful the search engines will love you.
Your professional business audience will be able to find your content if you are on the first page of the search results.
They won’t if you rely on Facebook and Twitter as distribution channels.
Not only does balancing the holy trifecta help you create the best B2B content marketing strategy on the web, but also it ensures the right audience finds you.
So there we have it, I’ve given you everything you need to know on how to create the most useful, engaging and high quality content on the web.
Good luck with your B2B content marketing strategy. You’re going to be great!
Finally, if you can spare 5 seconds to share my post with your colleagues, friends and family, I would be very grateful.
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