Content marketing has become one of the most important tools for B2B services and sales in recent years. With this increase in urgency, the difference between B2B content marketing and B2C content marketing has also grown. But where exactly are those differences? And how do you do that, form a good B2B content marketing strategy? In this blog we explain the basics.
What is content marketing?
That starts with the most basic question: what is content marketing? As you yourself may recognize as a consumer, purchasing many products starts with the availability of information about that product. That may not apply to an ox sausage sandwich or a tube of toothpaste, but it does apply to a large houseplant, a new television or a car.
Content marketing is the production and distribution of informative, usable content that supports one or more steps in the sales funnel. This can be the orientation phase, but also the persuasion phase or the decision phase. Examples are product descriptions in web stores, infographics in which products are compared, instructional videos about the intended use, and so on. In general, the better your content marketing is, the better you will be able to bring your products and services to the attention of your target audience in an effective way. Result: conversion and therefore turnover.
How do B2C and B2B content marketing differ?
Experts have now agreed that B2B content marketing requires a different approach than B2C. However, not all entrepreneurs know how to put this insight into practice. The differences are many, but the three most important are:
- The sales funnel is much longer;
- The relationship with the company is just as important as the product;
- Existing leads are invaluable.
What does this mean in practice? How do you convert these insights into a solid foundation to build your B2B content marketing?
Dealing with a long sales funnel
A long sales funnel means you more content must bet, via different formats and on different moments in the trajectory. Months can pass between the initial contact (the start of the orientation phase) and the closing of the actual deal. During all this time, you want to surprise with relevant content that hits the right chord at that specific moment.
The fact that that content must be relevant does not mean that you have to constantly talk about the product or service that you have put on the market. Naturally, the specifications and objective characteristics of your service provision play a role when a business relationship chooses you as a supplier or partner or not, but you do not have to bring them to the attention again and again.
B2B content marketing to tell your business story
Instead, you mainly want to tell your company story: storytelling. That may sound a bit vague, but many companies would like to do business and establish relationships with similar entrepreneurs. In other words, with companies that pursue the same goal or at least understand the customer's wishes.
Business customers buy your products or services because they want to (indirectly) earn or save money with them. For example, because they can use it to simplify their own processes or facilitate their employees. Then it is useful that as a supplier you also make it clear that you have wishes, challenges and objectives understands. Targeted content is extremely suitable for this. Think of info videos in which you show successful cases from the past or product demos in which you directly respond to the daily practice of your customers.
Provides a good introduction to the principle behind storytelling Simon Sinek in this acclaimed TED talk about the why of companies. He says that you should not focus on the first need, but on the underlying need. What motivation is behind buying your product or service? What goal does your business customer want to achieve with this? Ask yourself why. And then set it again. And again. Until you get to the essence. That is your business story.
Do you have an interpretation of Sinek's for yourself? Golden Circle created, then you have a perfect starting point for completing your B2B content marketing.
Keep leads warm
B2C content focuses on large groups of people: the target group. By keeping your target group large and then maximizing your conversion, you optimize your turnover. B2B works radically differently, because your target group is narrow (sometimes even a few parties, or in extreme cases one party). Conversion is therefore a relative term: it is sometimes 0% or 100%.
You want to generate and distribute content that helps keep existing leads warm. Even if a business relation chose a competitor just a week ago. It is still a lead, because that contract will expire once. In such a case, it is therefore valuable to immediately work on your relationship again, by offering content in which you clarify what you will be working on in the coming years and why such a business relationship should choose you next time. .
The basis of B2B content marketing differs radically from B2C content marketing in these three aspects. Are you going to review or design your B2B marketing strategy for the first time? Make sure to use these basic principles as your guide. with good content marketing strategy if you take this into account, you will certainly be successful!
Want to know more about B2B content marketing? Then go to our pillarpage B2B content marketing with an in-depth explanation of all facets.