B2B content marketing
Bloeise does B2B content creation, a specific part of B2B content marketing, what again falls under B2B marketing. On this page you will find all possible information, tips and explanations about this field. Use the table of contents above to jump directly to the correct section, or read from top to bottom. Prefer a shorter introduction? Here you can read about the Basis of B2B content marketing and the difference with B2C content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Bee content marketing (or content marketing, with space) you focus on the information needs of your target group and you respond to this with valuable content to bind new relationships and existing customers. It means saying goodbye to screaming ads and being positively distinguished as a company by really helping. That sounds great, but does it work?
Why B2B content marketing? - 4 reasons
As a new form of marketing, content marketing has unfortunately also been plagued by general promises and 'We van toilet duck' studies. Without concrete substantiation, the management will sweep one content marketing plan soon off the table with the first best critical article on content marketing. Use the following facts to convince your organization internally:
1. Content marketing is search engine optimization (SEO)
Customers want valuable information. According to Think with Google 57 percent of the buying process is completed before contacting the sales department. Forrester underlines this with her Buyer Behavior Helps B2B Marketers Guide. The average B2B buyer starts the buying process with a search. (DemandGen Report). That means that being well found in Google (SEO) is important in B2B marketing. Content marketing responds excellently with the focus on qualitative content for the target group. Exactly the way Google likes it.
Read more about SEO with content:
- Higher in Google with super content
- Content for higher in Google in 2019
- Content tips to keep your visitors happy in addition to Google
2. Content marketing supports thought leadership
With thought leadership you profile your company as a knowledge specialist by sharing valuable knowledge and insights for free. In other words: education. When your company is seen as an authority in your field, it has a positive effect on your image and turnover. The position as a knowledge specialist is especially valuable in the B2B market with complex and composed products and services. Forrester sees thought leadership as main means of discrimination in B2B marketing.
3. Growing interest in content marketing
According to Google Trends, there is more search in the Netherlands for “content marketing” (in blue) than for “content marketing” (in red), how it should actually be written. In any case, interest from the market is clearly growing.
Content marketing trends
As a profession, content marketing is certainly not standing still. On Bloeise you will find the latest content marketing trends:
4. Content marketing is a popular marketing tool
Research from 2013 by Multiscope under 357 Dutch marketing professionals commissioned by Lewis PR shows that:
- 18 percent of the marketing budget is spent on content marketing.
- The most important content resources that are used are: reference stories (35 percent), blogging (21 percent) and the results of market research (21 percent).
- A quarter of the marketers (27 percent) expects to spend more on content marketing and 8 percent expect a decrease.
There is no more recent research from The Netherlands. A number of interesting content marketing applications in the Netherlands:
- Wehkamp want it largest content platform from the Netherlands;
- Content marketing at IBM: quality over quantity;
- A practical case from law firm Kennedy van der Laan;
- Why lease company Athlon opted for content marketing;
- KPN focuses on content marketing with her talk show KPN Network Café TV.
For numerical support, I give a look at investigations from abroad.
Most content marketing research comes from the Content Marketing Institute. A figure like 71% from the companies believes that they present relevant content in the right place and channel (2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends for North America) soon seems like a cigar out of its own box. (as Hubspot researches and markets inbound marketing). Therefore a broader basis:
Gartner presented on her Digital Marketing Conference 2015 content marketing as a new emerging trend and states that:Marketers need to build a content marketing supply chain and determine how to create, curate and cultivate content. ”According to the hype cycle, content marketing is growing to the top of inflated expectations and will reach the level of productivity within five years.
The Economist Group provides research in its 2014 How to hit the mark with B2B buyers that there is a clear interest in content from companies. Reasons for companies to search for business content are:
- To investigate a business idea (75 percent);
- To gain insight into the marketplace (34 percent);
- To understand a complicated problem on both sides (24 percent);
- To gain more insight into an area of their own business (24 percent);
Good content has an impact on the perception of a company:
- 60 percent of the companies interviewed said that content "that helped understand a complex issue in simple terms" gave a positive perception.
- For 67 percent, this applies to usable content or the right content at the right time.
Content marketing works, it says Ascend2 in her Content Marketing Trends Survey. Nine out of ten companies interviewed who use content marketing indicated that this is 'successful' or 'somewhat successful'. In addition, Kapost made a nice numerical substantiation of Content Marketing Facts and made Curata this overview of Content Marketing Impact.
Content marketing per sector
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Content marketing strategy
Convinced that content marketing suits your company? Start creating a content marketing strategy right away. This will establish your objectives and approach, so that you can measure and adjust your efforts. That gives you focus and saves you time and budget.
- Here you can read everything about drawing up one content marketing strategy.
How do you use B2B content marketing? 11 Best principles
The necessary critical reports can also be found, such as Forresters'How Mature Is Your Content Marketing 2014 ', and Rand Fishkin's'Why Content Marketing Fails". Both argue that content marketing works, but is often not used well enough. Exactly the reason why Gartner indicates that the use of content marketing has yet to mature. Forrester's research indicates that 62 percent of B2B marketers only create content for campaigns and 47 percent say they are primarily creating content for their channels. Why focus on the customer? So the main question is: how do you apply content marketing?
1. The content marketer
Marketing with content is usually done by a content marketer. But what does the content marketer actually do? You can read more about this here the content marketer, the differences between the copywriter, the SEO copywriter and the content marketer, and an interview with content marketer Christian Slagter.
You are convinced of the reason why B2B content marketing: then the question is now how you tackle that. Content marketing has a number of principles and methods, so-called best principles that can be applied to a certain extent to most companies:
2. Customer journey
From a first look at an advertisement, web page or newspaper article to the purchase, service request and recommendation, the customer journey describes the route that a customer follows. This route is extremely short for the purchase of a pack of coffee, and the customer journey is complex for the purchase of a complete ERP solution. (For comparison: on average, the booking of a holiday only takes place after 72 searches) The customer goes through different phases through different channels. With content marketing, in every phase of the customer journey exactly the information is offered that is valuable and relevant at that time:
- Attention phase: becoming aware of a business need. Give your target group handles to determine your own needs. Help with mapping out real pain points. In the IT sector, problems are often first identified at operational level, but can only be addressed at strategic level.
- Research phase: the search for solutions. Provide practical information that supports the recognition of possible solutions. Which directions are possible? What are important criteria to consider?
- Purchase: choosing a supplier. Help with the selection with criteria, comparisons, demo and trials and the total cost of ownership. What does your target group need to make the best choice?
- Service: the user experience. See how you can help get more out of the product or service. Provide (self) service options and ensure an optimal experience.
The most important application of the customer journey is to focus on the information needs of your target group at a specific moment. A crucial point of attention here is the involvement of your target group: the involvement. In this article you can read more about how to use content marketing from low to high involvement goes. You are called the cohesion in your content and channels, focused on specific phases content strategy. You do not have to do that content strategist to be: it's all about how to get your audience from one phase to the next. So you also need to know your target group well.
3. Buyer persona
A buyer persona is a customer profile of a typical customer, often in a certain segment. Here you record what awakens your customer, the way of buying and looking up information, demographic and psychographic characteristics, career and role in the organization ... et cetera. Not everyone is a fan of applying a buyer persona, because correct determination and subsequent correct application can go quite wrong. The main question is: who are your customers and what can you do for them? What do they find interesting together? Only then can you also create and offer content that is really relevant.
This video briefly explains what a buyer or customer persona entails:
Not every company wants to use a full buyer persona investigation. So what's practical? Talk to your senior salesmen who really know the customer, or even better: talk to your customers! See what you as an organization can actually do something with, before you set up a whole bunch of buyer personas with countless data that you then never use. Research the behavior of your customers: which pages do they visit? Which tweets and Facebook messages have more interaction? Which white papers are downloaded a lot?
Consciously and unconsciously influencing your target group
There is much more to say about responding to the needs and characteristics of your target group. Because why does someone do the things he or she does? This used to be called the black box: the brain of the consumer that no marketer can control. Nowadays we know much better what works and there are so-called influencing principles. For example, we listen to someone in a doctor's coat faster because that radiates authority, for example. Thomas wrote the for Emerce Influencing principles of successful content marketing.
4. Search engine friendly
Google also likes to put the customer first, with its focus on an optimal experience of Google users. Google wants to offer the most relevant information. Do not look (only) how you get as high as possible in Google, but how you can help your customer as well as possible. Then Google will follow.
Make your content easy to find by applying keywords and context, so that your target group finds your content quickly and practically. Google applies 200 different factors in determining the search results. Brian Dean from Backlinko.com has them all listed. Because of the enormous importance of SEO for content marketing, Bloeise also offers a lot of articles about: keyword research, SEO-friendly blog posting, Technic, link building, website structures. and SEO trends.
5. Content promotion
I place the link above to Backlinko.com because it is exceptionally good content that is relevant in this story. This does not always happen. Good content is not automatically shared on social media and placed as links on relevant sites. A number of issues play a role in this: the reach of your own channels, the image of your company, the total experience of your target group. Is your content something they would share on their own? Can you stimulate that? Or should you also actively promote your content? The following overview will help:
The media you own as a company, these are typically your newsletter, social media and website. You decide what you distribute through these channels and in principle you do not pay for it.
You get more reach on social media when you creates interaction: that is a way for a Facebook or Twitter to keep people on their platform longer. Another form of earned media is free publicity. In principle, press attention is free, but you have to earn it.
Actively promoting your content requires an advertising budget. You bet on that Google Ads, Facebook Ads, display, programmatic advertising, newspaper ads, Microsoft ads ... and sponsored content. You pay an editorial staff for writing or only posting content appropriate for the medium.
SEM: website + SEO + SEA
SEM stands for search engine marketing, or search engine traffic. That's right in the middle of this owned / earned / paid-media schedule. You have your website texts entirely in-house: owned. But to really score in Google you have good content, left and a technically good website required: earned. That's called SEO: search engine optimization. No time for that? Then put your budget to advertise in Google: paid. That's called again SEA: search engine advertising.
In this video, Rand Fisher of MOZ (an SEO tool) explains how to write content with keywords as a starting point: Google scores well:
Example: I found the list of Google's 200 factors by Backlinko via Google. It's exceptional quality (the only complete listing on the internet of something many marketers are interested in), interacting with the audience, creating relevant backlinks so that Google put this site high in its search results. In addition to good content, you also need links, which you can obtain with outsource link building: an external party builds valuable links for you in relevant places so that your content is found better in Google. Pay attention to a varied link profile: also links on nofollow, company name, “click here”, local sites and company guides. These are links that Google also expects.
6. Content channels: fish where the fish are
The channels through which you distribute your content naturally differ per company. Most companies have a number of marketing channels as owned media as standard:
- Responsive website: about 35 to 50 percent of all it internet traffic comes from mobile and tablet. Give your target group an optimal experience regardless of the device and make your website responsive. Google has also been looking at the mobile experience since 21 April 2015. You have complete control over your website and are therefore central to all marketing.
- Social media: B2B is also growing use of social media, especially LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook is possible, if passion plays a clear role with your target group. Don't just use social media as sales channels for your content, but use social media for interaction. Ultimately, you don't want likes or retweets, but bond with your target audience. Here you read the best content per social media channel.
- Email Marketing: remains the most successful for many companies marketing tool. Newsletter readers want quality, otherwise they will unsubscribe. E-mails are (in principle) always assessed briefly (on sender and subject) and are therefore better at generating reach. To get more newsletter readers, you have supercontent needed in the form of downloads.
There are countless communication channels. The web of contact moments before the target group decides to purchase - the customer journey - varies by market and company. For example, young people are now flocking to the TapTok, you can advertise very specifically in apps and games, through niche sites (such as unlimited4g.com for example, a project by Bloeise), et cetera. It's a bit much, and it keeps growing every year. Therefore, especially look at your target group: where are they? Where do they get their information about your market? Where are they open to your groceries?
7. Content calendar
Don't just start creating content, but plan it with a content calendar. With this you determine when you create which type of content, for which target group, which phase in the customer journey and for which channel. A content calendar is the practical translation of strategy and tactics into practice. It also ensures that you consistently and regularly publish content to your target audience, because you know exactly internally Who what should deliver when.
8. The content coordinator
Companies that focus on content marketing usually opt for a full-time content marketer, sometimes several. But this is not the case with every company, and content becomes an additional task of the online marketer, the marketing assistant or even the office manager. This extra role is called the content coordinator. This ensures that the content calendar is drawn up and that the content is created, published and promoted. Especially for the content coordinator we have prepared a reference work, with content strategy, the types of content, content promotion and useful tips to get from content to leads.
9. Analyze your goals
What makes content marketing successful? Recording your activities, measuring the results, drawing conclusions and adjusting your activities. This applies to all types of marketing of course, the question is actually: what objectives are achievable with B2B content marketing? An ideal moment to have a look at it above why of B2B content marketing. There are roughly two types of metrics:
- Soft metrics: likes, shares, retweets, comments and views. It gives a indication the success of your content. But a like is by no means a purchase.
- Hard metrics: the link with the business. What does a white paper ultimately mean for a company? For example, look at your organic traffic on your blogs, the percentage of website visitors downloading a white paper and signing up for a newsletter, the number of leads and the number of contact requests. Insight into the customer journey of your customers is nice for this, so that you can allocate a conversion in the right way.
There is also a third way to look: the relationship on the long-term (customer lifetime cycle). This allows you to look past the first sale and take the entire customer relationship into account. You can do that in terms of sales, but also in the form of relationship and bonding. Regardless of how you set your goals and how you measure your results: the marketing budget is usually finite and that is why you want to use that optimally. Choose fixed moments to measure your results.
Content marketing and storytelling are often mentioned in the same breath. But they are not the same. I see storytelling on the one hand as part of content marketing, and on the other as the overarching method of marketing:
- Storytelling as part of content marketing: stories fascinate our audience. Storytelling brings your story in a way that matches the experience of your target group. Just as with content marketing, the interest of the target group is central. You can see the customer journey as one story.
- Storytelling as an umbrella form of marketing: storytelling goes beyond the form in which you bring written and visual content (the what). It asks questions about it why of a company: what is the story of the company? Why do you exist? To what extent do you connect with the values and experience of your target group? These are questions that you do not answer as quickly as you enter a company blog.
Learning to apply storytelling is a valuable application of content marketing and helps you better align your added value as a company with the target group. Read on about storytelling.
11. Quality is king - always go for quality
The saying "garbage in, garbage out" fully applies to content marketing. Go for quality or else do not start with content marketing, because bad content will scare your target audience rather than help you further. Quality means a number of things:
- Make it exceptional. Don't just create content. Create the best content ever! Content of which your target group Wow says. Content that your customers would pay for. Because that is content that is appreciated and that is shared.
- Avoid hard sales. Nobody listens to a sales story with love. Your target group wants to be helped. Talk about their problems, their experience and their experiences. Translate your product or service into solutions. You translate your sales channels into availability and price into added value.
- Don't talk about yourself. Nobody is usually interested in that. For example, a good letter (including content) has the words 'we' and 'our company' as little as possible.
- Sellers sell, writers write. Have content made by the right specialist. A marketer today must already meet a growing list of talents and skills. Is writing not your thing? Have it done by a specialist, internal or external. Go for the writer, the photographer and the filmmaker.
- Use hard data. Are you going for the real transfer of knowledge? Provide real numbers and research that will solidify your story. Especially in B2B there is a quick chance for opinions that are presented as facts.
- Help your client. Consider your content marketing as a part of your product or service. So make it easy for your customer and help save time and money. Respond to the information needs. For each content you ask yourself: how does this help my customer? What other information could I help with? How can my target group continue? What's the next step?
Content creation - What do you use for B2B content marketing?
Only when you have a clear vision of how you will use B2B content marketing, you can ask the question what to fill in. What exactly are you going to do? This is Bloeise's main area of activity: we produce high-quality texts based on interviews and desk research, in the form of blogs and white papers with which our B2B customers inform their customers. Our specialization is in communication for digital agencies, IT companies and financial companies. These markets are characterized by products and services with impact. And that requires good content. Sound boring? When you focus on passion, it is anything but that!
Content marketing is not a new cold way of marketing companies where you look at the "what's in it for me". That puts the focus exclusively on the added value of the company, while content marketing puts the information needs of your customers at the center. You will not bother your customers with your products, but rather help them with their needs.
Let me put it another way: why do you go to work in the morning? Do you do what you like? How bad would it be if your company ceased to exist? If your motivation goes beyond just making money, you will soon come across passion. A drive, a feeling, something you just like to do even if you did it for free. Passion can be shared and is therefore a great basis for content marketing content. If you are not passionate about a subject, then your reader will just notice it. With passion you really make a connection with your audience. Emotion also plays a role in the B2B market; B2B does not stand for boring to businesspeople.
2. A good story
What can you tell about yourself? Which products do you push forward? That are the wrong ask. The main question is: what does your target group need? That depends not only on the phase in the customer journey they are in, but also the market. A common slogan in content marketing is therefore: think like a journalist. Ask yourself or your colleagues challenging questions to get inspiration for valuable stories.
Every company has relevant content! Your colleagues from the sales and customer service departments have daily contact with your customers. They know which questions they have, what they find important and what their considerations are. Involving sellers is an important step, especially as companies are increasingly investigating themselves (via Google) before contacting them. Now sellers are mostly talkers and not writers. So how do you do that? Easy: talk to your sellers. Interview them, hold a conference call regularly and have a cup of coffee together. In short: ensure an oral transfer of knowledge. That requires an investment that not every manager or seller will support. As a marketing department you will have to explain and be able to defend your working method.
| The market
The target group
|Your added value
3. The questions and needs of your customers
The (information) requirement is central to all the above questions. That is why direct customer contact is so important. Kennedy van der Laan law firm therefore simply asked its customers the question: what makes you awake at night? Other ideas:
- #DTV or # venture questions. Add your product group and check Twitter for any questions. This resulted in Bloeise Facebook Friday.
- Immediately ask the question: what do you want to know more about? You can do this via social media, forums and email marketing.
- Talk to an event. Provide real interaction at an event and ask your customers what is going on with them.
From the practice of Bloeise as a content creator, a list of interview questions with which you can go into depth:
Company in the market
|Case / project
4. The right content form
Many types of content are possible. A small list from small to large:
|Article or blogs
Column or opinion piece
Demo / trial
Presentation and slideshow
Video (instruction) or animation video
|Community or forum
Online or print magazine
You can publish a good subject in several forms. In fact, why limit yourself? Your target audience consists of different people who take information in different ways. Point of attention is to accompany visual content of text so that Google also sees where it is about. In addition, each channel brings its own limitations: Twitter with 140 characters, Facebook with a focus on popular and visual content, LinkedIn for its business character, texts must be rollable, etc.
'The medium is the message'
How a message arrives can vary per medium. A well-known example is it debate between John F. Kennedy and Nixon, who according to radio listeners was won by Nixon and according to TV viewers by John F. Kennedy. On TV, people saw Nixon with the flu and not a good makeup artist. Kennedy was young and energetic. People heard a Nixon on the radio bringing strong arguments and facts.
A separate form of content is branded content: the sender (the brand) is strongly linked to the content. Like a cool movie from Red Bull, for example, which combines entertainment and brand well.
5. Whitepaper marketing
Additional explanation of the marketing tool that itself provides additional explanation: the white paper. The use of white papers is very common in B2B content marketing: a PDF in which a common problem is treated and solved. Bloeise supports with setting up and writing white papers. To learn more about white paper deployment, read the following articles:
- You write a good whitepaper like this
- Whitepaper marketing: this is how you put your whitepaper on the market
- The white paper baker makes them brown
- How to get more effect out of your whitepaper - 4 practical tips
6. Native advertising & sponsored content
Paying for posting content is called native advertising. The budget for this is increasing, according to Marketers. The advertorial is a typical form of this: a we-van-wc-duck story, which still works very well in some subjects where authority plays a major role - such as medicines, for example. For most topics, however, you have to be careful not to just put your content away as an advertisement. The point is that you tailor your content to your target group, to the right phase in the customer journey and that it is valuable content.
In this short video, Vice Media CEO Shane Smith explains how they partner with brands to produce branded content:
Do you have the content fully written by the editors? Then it is called sponsored content. You sponsor the production of content. Without a name, it is especially effective for SEO: so-called SEO influencing. See here an example on Bloeise about the SME absenteeism insurance. Do you want to have your name mentioned for the branding? That is called specific branded content. For this we use a commitment with personal explanation at Bloeise, as about this conflict with the tax authorities where FT Advocaten gives an important tip. Read more about sponsored content:
- Advertise on Bloeise with sponsored content and advertorials
- The differences between branded content, advertorials and sponsored content
- sponsored content tips for advertisers
- The power of SEO influencer marketing
- How effective is sponsored content as a marketing strategy?
- Improve your branded content with these 5 tips
You can advertise directly on Bloeise with sponsored content, but also via SEO influencer marketplaces such as Hulc.nl, Linkpizza, Blogbrains, ALLtheWayUP and Juulr.
"Content marketing is not part of online marketing because content marketing works just as well offline."
Do content marketing yourself
On this page you have been able to read a lot about the content marketing profession and how it really works in practice. Informative, extensive and for studs. Because as you now know: that is how content marketing works. But our chimney must of course also smoke. We therefore offer you two different ones call-to-actions: request the practical content plan & checklist with which you sign up for the monthly Bloeise newsletter, see the banner below. And our services as a B2B content creator underneath, with services such as regular blogs, website texts and white papers.
Outsource B2B content marketing
Convinced of the power of content marketing but not sure about the content? Bloeise supports companies with setting up a content strategy, creating quality content (ranging from SEO texts to interviews) and sponsored content. Read more about outsourcing content marketing here:
- This is how you outsource business blogging
- Do you want to outsource or outsource content marketing?
You can contact Bloeise for the following content marketing services:
Underlying content marketing categories
Content Marketing is a main category on Bloeise, where we emphasize the B2B side. The following content marketing categories are included. For each topic you will find a number of articles in which the topic is fully covered or cited as an additional topic.
Are you missing certain content topics on Bloeise? You are very welcome as a guest blogger! See the rules and possibilities of guest blogging on Bloeise. Below are all content marketing blogs from the main category Content Marketing and the underlying categories.