Content marketing is more than just blogging. It’s about energizing people, building engaged audiences, and developing powerful bonds with potential customers.
But what about businesses that are selling to other businesses instead of consumers? Isn’t that supposed to be boring?
“In B2B marketing, is it not as simple to provide catchy material, as your job is to present a specific area of expertise,” communication expert Erin Nelson wrote in a Content Marketing Institute blog post.
Is it possible to combine suits, business cards, and profitability with good old fashioned fun? Absolutely. Here’s how the most loved B2B brands are wooing their leads.
Decision makers are always looking for new ways to make more money. Help them do just that. Here’s an example to follow.
KISSmetrics is an analytics platform that helps businesses track individual-level website visitor data. Through their blog, the company shares valuable best-practices related to marketing, data analysis, and lead generation.
How’s it working?
“Our blog at KISSmetrics generates over 70% of our monthly traffic,” KISSmetrics co-founder and VP of Marketing Neil Patel said on the company blog. “That traffic generates leads for our sales team who then close on customers.”
People love to learn. It’s how analysts become managers, and how managers become directors, VPs, and eventually, CEOs.
Solid information and teaching materials, however, are few and far between. Fancy graduate degrees and certificate programs can cost tens of thousands of dollars. While education is in demand, the barrier to entry is high.
Here is where a B2B company can step in to bridge the gap. Blogs are invaluable for sharing information and teaching people.
“If you’re giving away useful content that creates value for others, they’ll start showing interest in you,” Martyn Chamberlin said in a ProBlogger post. “People care about you in as much as you help them.”
As an example, consider CopyBlogger, a company that provides scalable WordPress solutions. They’re blog is, essentially, a content marketing teaching tool that attracts more than 100,000 unique visitors each month, according to Compete’s analytics.
Over time, teaching builds trust.
3. A Humorous and Energetic Voice
A business blog’s typical audience spends most of the day sitting behind computer screens. They’re falling asleep, so they find your blog when they need a brain break.
Why so serious? Get people to laugh. It will make their day.
Frequently highlighting the web’s funniest memes and publishing headlines like “10 Marketing Jingles that Make Your Ears Bleed,” the inbound marketing experts at HubSpot radiate wit.
“Voice is one of the most important elements of a successful blog. Period,” said middle school English teacher Joy Tanksley in a blog post for CopyBlogger. “Without voice, new arrivals to your blog won’t read beyond the first paragraph.”
B2B should never be boring.
Blogs enable people to talk to each other through comments and social media communities. Leverage content to attract like-minded businesses and industry-specific influencers.
“Your blog is a tangible representation of the knowledge you have about your industry,” Internet marketing consultant Doug Rice wrote in the 12most Blog.
“If someone is looking for a partnership of any kind, do you think they are going to throw darts at the Yellow Pages or come to you?” he says. “A blog can quickly become a virtual referral group.”
As an example, American Express OPEN Forum has built a content-driven community of small business owners to share perspectives and learn from one another. They are a discussion hub, based on a business.
5. Perspective Beyond Sales
Content marketing should never be an excuse to beat people over the head with sales pitches. Teach now, convert later — that is the million-dollar goal.
Citrix is an example of a business brand that has distanced itself from the equation.
“Citrix’s unique blogging strategy is all about adding value…Citrix downplays their involvement,” according Amy Porterfield in a blog post for Social Media Examiner. “Instead, they’ve put their audience’s needs first and have created a space that resonates with their audience’s needs and interests.”