Content Marketing for B2B Business Brands

Estimated Reading Time 13 minutes

During these challenging times, what can business to business (B2B) brands do to make the most of an environment where it feels no one is buying? Once this is clear, doing nothing is not an option. 

This post will look at:

  • Evaluating where you are
  • The changing landscape
  • Building a content strategy
  • People buy people
  • The importance of SEO
  • Multilayered content
  • Setting KPIs
  • Conclusion

When we look back at 2020, there is no denying it will be the year that people will remember as one of the most challenging.

As I write this and speak to colleagues, friends and family, the number one thing that people say is that it has made them think about themselves a lot more, what they do and the world around them.

Evaluating where you are

Survival of the fittest is a terrible term as it’s not always the fittest that survive, it’s normally the smartest and resilient. I wrote about business resilience last week and shared some hints and tips.

So equally, when we look back at this mad year from a business perspective, many will remember confusion; the need for survival as well as the urge to fight. By their very nature, businesses are fighters. We fight to win new business, innovate and look to refine and improve what we do.

There has not been one company that has not been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and the horrendous implications of Covid-19. Added to this, the lockdown that was implemented some 4-5 weeks ago, showing no sign of abating.

So on that premise, we have to be clear what we say to clients and prospects – more importantly, how we say it. Now more than ever, people are looking for real content with substance. With so much fluff around, there is a perfect opportunity to create impact.

The changing landscape

The world has changed – has your content? Content will play a vital role in B2B marketing. The worrying fact is that many companies are simply turning out the same old tired and hackneyed content that is less than empathetic and certainly not engaging. In many ways, this will hurt their brand.

The reality is that to win in an increasingly competitive B2B marketplace, organisations need to become less precious about the B2B tag and start looking at what makes people engage.

So, how can we start creating great engaging content that will bring us new customers? Let’s start at the beginning and think about the strategy and tactics needed.

Building a content strategy – start by thinking

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Before we go into the strategy and tactics, let’s think about 6 key areas we may need to focus on and what is important when creating your strategy.

  1. What problems or pain does my company help alleviate for other companies?
  2. If you have a content strategy currently, ask yourself – why do I use the strategy I do? Was it there before I started, how do I feel about it?
  3. What would a successful content strategy look like for me and my organisation?
  4. Which companies do I admire and the content they produce, why do I find it interesting and engaging?
  5. How am I measuring content currently? Do I really know what is working?
  6. How do I currently distribute content? What social channels do I use and which work best?

The process of thinking through and noting down areas that are pertinent is key to help start the process of what is important when looking to create a content plan.

People buy people

The old saying is that people don’t buy companies they buy people. Equally, people don’t buy what you do, they buy into ‘why’ you do it.

These two fundamental points are key in defining a content strategy and should be the underlying key in what you produce.

90% of top-performing B2B content marketers put the audience’s informational needs first.

Content Marketing Institute – 2019 B2B Content Marketing Research

The rise of the “influencer”

The rise of specialists or influencers in marketing has crossed over to B2B. Once the  domain for pure B2C, the influencer has always existed in B2B but now has a name.

The person of influence now has an important role in any organisation. They are the go-to people that people both internally and externally turn to when they are looking for help or advice.

Building a personal brand within your organisation allows potential customers to empathise and relate to your product or service.

The Importance of SEO

In the recent and highly respected Content Marketing Institute Research, the leading issue at the top of the list is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.

It is understandable that SEO is a major concern for content marketing and marketing  professionals as the fundamental point is key: there is no point creating content if no-one can find it.

content marketing b2b

Create Multi Layered Content

There has been a major shift in content marketing recently. People will engage with both text and visual content in different ways. In many cases, an image on LinkedIn for example, will be enhanced by the text that accompanies it – and vice versa.

As people move through the buying cycle and consume different types of content, it is important to have varying types of content to engage with the customer.

Different content types also work differently across different platforms. For example, strong visual content will work better on Instagram compared to the same content working on LinkedIn. Everybody learns differently and will prefer to consume different content mediums, e.g. video, long form content such as blogs, and short form content such as quick LinkedIn posts and comments.

A good way of understanding where your business customers are coming from and moving across your website is Google Analytics.

Once this is understood you can reverse engineer your content and marketing to match user behaviour. An example of a customer journey funnel is below.

customer journey digital clarity

Setting KPIs

Benchmarking and measuring is important to evaluate the content that is working well. Though there may be other elements that will determine what proves successful or not, like weather, time of day, world events etc, setting KPIs is the basis of understanding and setting goals.

So what and how do we determine KPIs? As every industry is different, there are no hard and fast rules as to what KPIs to set. It’s best to use a combination as a start point and refine from there. Some areas to look at are:

  • Pageviews
  • Shares and engagement
  • Followers and subscribers
  • Audience engagement
  • Inbound links
  • Number of leads – forms/emails/calls
  • Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Cost per lead
  • Time on page or dwell time
  • Click to conversion

Though the above are not definitive, they are a good starting point.

Conclusion

In conclusion, B2B content needs to be treated like most other content and have a core structure at its heart. That structure should always be:

  • Why am I doing this content?
  • Does this fit into the larger plan? (e.g. wider business plan or marketing plan/ strategy)
  • What do I hope to achieve from this? (goals and objectives)
  • How am I measuring it?
  • What are my success metrics? (KPIs)
  • What happens next?

If we stick to these fundamentals throughout the content planning and execution phase, we have a measurable and tangible asset that can be referred back to. Looking back over a period of time and adding other factors like seasonality and general business sentiment, we can take an intelligent view of what may be working in our content strategy.

If any of these areas are of interest or you would like to learn more about content planning, please feel free to contact the team.

Reggie James
Having built and sold various technology businesses over the years, Reggie heads the consultancy and commercial side of the business. Approachable and pragmatic, Reggie previously ran the first dot-com to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange as well as developing business strategies for brands whilst at AltaVista and Yahoo! before launching Digital Clarity. As a passive investor, he is also involved in the US public OTC markets.
Today is 1st June 2020 - the meteorological first day of summer and half-way thr
Today is 1st June 2020 - the meteorological first day of summer and half-way through the year. Though it will not be business as usual . 
Today is also the day that many of the lockdown restrictions in the UK are being eased and businesses that have been trading, prepare to awake from their slumber . 
What will you business look like as we prepare to head into the second half of the year . 
Have you embraced and enhanced your digital framework to transform your business . 
Learn how we can make your next 6 months successful - contact @digitalclarity | info@digital-clarity.com | +44148 338270 .
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Posted 4 hours ago.

Today is 1st June 2020 - the meteorological first day of summer and half-way through the year. Though it will not be business as usual . Today is also the day that many of the lockdown restrictions in the UK are being eased and businesses that have been trading, prepare to awake from their slumber . What will you business look like as we prepare to head into the second half of the year . Have you embraced and enhanced your digital framework to transform your business . Learn how we can make your next 6 months successful - contact @digitalclarity | info@digital-clarity.com | +44148 338270 . . . . #business #thenewnormal #digitalgrowth #businessgrowth #ppc #seo #newnormal #b2b #b2c #marketingagency #google #consulting #digitalmarketingagency #socialmediaagency #digitalagency #growth #planning #digitalconsulting

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All good things must come to an end
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Clap for the NHS is no longer a thing but
All good things must come to an end
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Clap for the NHS is no longer a thing but it will never be forgotten
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It would be

Posted 3 days ago.

All good things must come to an end . Clap for the NHS is no longer a thing but it will never be forgotten . It would be "beautiful" to end Clap for Carers after its 10th week, and make it an annual event, said Annemarie Plas, organiser of the event . Here’s to the heroes 👏👏👏 . . . . #clapforourcarers #clapfornhs #nhs #nhsheroes #guildford #royalsurrey #clapforthenhs #clapforcarers #countyclub #isupportguildford #surrey #nhssurrey #theroyalsurreycountyhospital #theroyalsurrey

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Deepak Chopra often talks about seeing opportunity when we sometimes see no futu
Deepak Chopra often talks about seeing opportunity when we sometimes see no future. He mentions that this opportunity is increased if the other areas in our life like health and mental wellbeing are in tune
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Back in 1980s Chopra was disillusioned within Western medicine’s sometimes short-term approach and after desperately trying to give up smoking, turned to meditation to help
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This quest led to a chance meeting in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Ayurvedic medicine - Chopra seeing this as an opportunity to bring this to Western society .
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Posted 4 days ago.

Deepak Chopra often talks about seeing opportunity when we sometimes see no future. He mentions that this opportunity is increased if the other areas in our life like health and mental wellbeing are in tune . Back in 1980s Chopra was disillusioned within Western medicine’s sometimes short-term approach and after desperately trying to give up smoking, turned to meditation to help . This quest led to a chance meeting in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Ayurvedic medicine - Chopra seeing this as an opportunity to bring this to Western society . The rest as they say, is history . . . . . #quotes #wisewords #opportunity #quote #motivationalquotes #thursdaymotivation #win #hustlehard #resilience #content #digitalclarity #marketingagency #digital

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A creative powerhouse in your pocket
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The iPhone has revolutionised how we crea
A creative powerhouse in your pocket
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The iPhone has revolutionised how we create on the move and run our business
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Whether you are creating a post, writing a blog or running a report, the phone in your pocket; connects you to the world, your business and your customer
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Digital Clarity work with CEO’s and owner managers of business to help them and their teams in the digital economy
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Learn how we can help you grow
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Call: +441483 338 270 | info@digital-clarity | @digitalclarity
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Posted 5 days ago.

A creative powerhouse in your pocket . The iPhone has revolutionised how we create on the move and run our business . Whether you are creating a post, writing a blog or running a report, the phone in your pocket; connects you to the world, your business and your customer . Digital Clarity work with CEO’s and owner managers of business to help them and their teams in the digital economy . Learn how we can help you grow . Call: +441483 338 270 | info@digital-clarity | @digitalclarity . . . . #iphone #digitalmarketingagency #ppc #seo #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia #instagrammarketingtips #facebookads #instagrammarketing #googleads #creative #design #digitalagency #socialagency #createdonthate

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SEO is often thought of as free. The fact that you don't pay for the clicks has
SEO is often thought of as free. The fact that you don't pay for the clicks has led to this perception, but how much does SEO cost? .
On the face of it that could suggest it is free or at least a much cheaper channel compared to PPC
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However, search engine optimisation requires time, effort, expertise and therefore money - whether doing it in-house or outsourcing - our latest blog takes a look at what the possible SEO costs are and why they can vary so much - LINK IN BIO .
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Posted 6 days ago.

SEO is often thought of as free. The fact that you don't pay for the clicks has led to this perception, but how much does SEO cost? . On the face of it that could suggest it is free or at least a much cheaper channel compared to PPC . However, search engine optimisation requires time, effort, expertise and therefore money - whether doing it in-house or outsourcing - our latest blog takes a look at what the possible SEO costs are and why they can vary so much - LINK IN BIO . . . . #seo #seotips #seoagency #befound #google #bing #organicsearch #ppc #searchengineoptimization #marketing #digitalagency #digitalconsultancy #digitalclarity #digitaltransformation

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This quote from the American investor, business tycoon, and philanthropist, Warr
This quote from the American investor, business tycoon, and philanthropist, Warren Buffet has so many applications
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In the main, it addresses two main points .
1. the the need for medium and long term planning
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2. The joy in giving and helping others. 
Warren Buffett is normally known for his investment strategy prowess and the returns he has made for the firm Berkshire Hathaway. 
Sometimes less known for his philanthropic work where he intends to give away all his wealth on his death to charity
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Posted 1 week ago.

This quote from the American investor, business tycoon, and philanthropist, Warren Buffet has so many applications . In the main, it addresses two main points . 1. the the need for medium and long term planning . 2. The joy in giving and helping others. Warren Buffett is normally known for his investment strategy prowess and the returns he has made for the firm Berkshire Hathaway. Sometimes less known for his philanthropic work where he intends to give away all his wealth on his death to charity . . . . #warrenbuffett #berkshirehathaway #philanthropy #philosophy #wisewords #begood #mindfulness #creative #quotes #quotestoliveby #wisequotes #instragram #digitalclarity #contentcreators #guildford #surrey

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For those that don't know yet, businesses around the world can now set up a sing
For those that don't know yet, businesses around the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, with no fee, on Facebook and Instagram - that's nearly a million businesses in the UK alone
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The stores will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and through targeted ads
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This is one of a number of initiatives social media channels are using to attract business - learn more:
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E: info@digigtal-clarity.com | +441483 338 270 |@digitalclarity
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#facebook #instagram #ecommerce #ecommercebusiness #b2b #b2c #instagrammarketing #facebookads #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia #socialmediaforbusiness #digitalclarity #retail

Posted 1 week ago.

For those that don't know yet, businesses around the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, with no fee, on Facebook and Instagram - that's nearly a million businesses in the UK alone . The stores will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and through targeted ads . This is one of a number of initiatives social media channels are using to attract business - learn more: . E: info@digigtal-clarity.com | +441483 338 270 |@digitalclarity . . . . #facebook #instagram #ecommerce #ecommercebusiness #b2b #b2c #instagrammarketing #facebookads #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia #socialmediaforbusiness #digitalclarity #retail

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Are you ready to ‘create’ your business for the new buyer? .
What will your
Are you ready to ‘create’ your business for the new buyer? .
What will your business look like in June 2020 and beyond? .
As people shift behaviour - prepare your business for the new way of working and doing business - pivot and create
.
Learn more: @digitalclarity | info@digital-clarity.com +441483 338 270 .
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#newbusiness #newnormal #resilience #digitalmarketing #digitalconsulting #digitalmarketingagency #creative #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia #instagrammarketing #facebook #google #googleagency #ppc #seo #analytics #guildford #surrey #london #pinner #horsham #southampton #basingstoke #woking

Posted 1 week ago.

Are you ready to ‘create’ your business for the new buyer? . What will your business look like in June 2020 and beyond? . As people shift behaviour - prepare your business for the new way of working and doing business - pivot and create . Learn more: @digitalclarity | info@digital-clarity.com +441483 338 270 . . . . . #newbusiness #newnormal #resilience #digitalmarketing #digitalconsulting #digitalmarketingagency #creative #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia #instagrammarketing #facebook #google #googleagency #ppc #seo #analytics #guildford #surrey #london #pinner #horsham #southampton #basingstoke #woking

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