Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to drive traffic, increase leads, and capture more conversions for your B2B brand.
Done right, B2B content marketing increases engagement with current customers and builds brand awareness with potential new ones. But how can you ensure that your B2B content marketing strategy is adding value to your brand? And why are these digital marketing services so effective compared to other options like PPC?
We’ll explore 12 ways that B2B content marketing agencies can help you grow your company, establish a results-driven marketing strategy, and hit your target audience right where they live. Within that, there are plenty of B2B marketing services to consider—but first things first.
The Basics of B2B Content Marketing
To hire the right B2B content marketing agency for your brand, you first need to understand the basic elements of B2B content marketing. To that end, we’ll explore the following questions while delving into the specific benefits of hiring content marketing specialists:
- What Is B2B Content Marketing?
- What Are Common Types of B2B Content Marketing?
- What Are the Goals of B2B Content Marketing?
- How to Find a B2B Content Marketing Agency
What Is B2B Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a set of digital strategies used to create and distribute content. The goal is to drive brand awareness, engage an audience, generate and nurture leads, optimize conversions, and ultimately increase leads and sales for business-to-business companies. In recent years, B2B content marketing has developed into the cornerstone for a low-cost, high-return digital marketing strategy.
What Are Common Types of B2B Content Marketing?
Common types of B2B content marketing include:
- Email marketing
- Video marketing
- Press releases
- Case studies
- Social media marketing
- SEO (search engine optimization) marketing
- White papers
- And more
What Are the Goals of B2B Content Marketing?
Perhaps you already have clear objectives and KPIs in mind. If so, you’re ahead of the game!
If not, consider this list of typical goals—and simple definitions of each—that most professional content marketers focus on within the B2B marketing services they offer.
- Brand awareness: Share engaging, valuable content to reach new audiences
- Web traffic: Increase brand awareness to drive more visitors to your site
- Subject matter experts: Establish your brand as a trusted thought leader in your industry
- Customer engagement: Engage with customers to forge personal bonds
- Brand loyalty: Keep customers coming back for more—rewarding their loyalty
- Customer education: Answer frequent customer questions in FAQs and blog posts
- Reduce pain points: Identity, address, and fix customer issues with your brand
- Lead generation: Publish engaging content that gets customers into your sales funnel
- Conversion optimization: Reinforce customer trust to increase conversions and sales
- Recruit talent: Highlight your brand mission to attract like-minded potential employees
This list covers every part of the B2B buyer’s journey and also some helpful hiring tips.
But keep in mind that some of these goals are synchronous. You don’t need to focus on all of them at once. For instance, you can’t have brand loyalty without brand awareness first. Select your main goals and focus on the ones that best meet your needs at the moment. A successful digital marketing strategy builds from the ground up and works to create positive momentum for your brand. B2B marketing efforts that aim to swing for the fences out the gate, often neglect critical first steps. The beauty of content marketing is that it has the ability to fit into any level or position of an organization’s marketing needs/objects.
Now that you understand the finer details of B2B content marketing, here are strategies to help implement a content marketing plan to help grow your brand.
12 Ways a B2B Content Marketing Agency Helps You Grow
Working with content creation experts to assess, gameplan, produce, and implement various forms of content in select marketing avenues delivers your organization a laundry list of upfront and longtail benefits.
Brainstorm Content Topics
Creating high-quality content is hard. Brainstorming is where the process begins. The best content marketing agencies will help you brainstorm topics for your content that aligns with your goals, resonates with your target audience, and culminates in a holistic plan that aligns with any other marketing strategy you have in place. They’ll work to understand the interests of your customer base and develop relevant topics accordingly. This will ensure that the topics you choose are engaging, timely, and relevant to the industry or field in which you operate — and most importantly delivering value to readers.
Develop a Content Creation Workflow
In addition to helping you generate ideas for content topics, a content marketing agency can also help create a workflow for producing quality content quickly and efficiently. A content calendar is a valuable part of this process. Each piece of content within the calendar should state the goals of each piece of content, pertinent SEO details, keywords, main points to call out, and more.
A clear content creation workflow codifies best practices for creating high-quality, on-brand content. This allows you, your content team, and your B2B content marketing agency to focus on your most effective processes and methods. Not only will you save valuable time by letting an agency create the calendar but you will also ensure that the end product is top-notch.
Choose Content Types
Which content formats are best suited for your B2B audience? While the list above touches upon many of the options, you don’t want to spread your content marketing team too thin. You want to find the content types that work best and double down on those. Here is where content marketing agencies can flex their strategic consulting muscles. Your marketing partner can help provide data-driven analysis as to what content formats exist and what will perform best from a search engine and UX perspective.
You can also consider whether or not to gate your most valuable content. Gated content is simply an exchange—capturing email addresses in exchange for an Ebook is one example.
Incentivize Your Backlink Outreach
Effective backlink outreach is essential for SEO success. It is also something that many businesses struggle to consistently work on. A specialized content marketing agency will develop an incentive program (such as reciprocal backlinks, newsletter features, or podcast sponsorships) to encourage other publications and websites to link back to yours. This will boost your SEO rankings while also increasing the visibility of your brand’s content online.
Produce Case Studies That Spotlight Your Brand
Highlighting customer success stories through case studies is an excellent way to show potential customers what they could achieve if they use your B2B products or services—and it’s something that a good B2B content marketing agency will have a process for doing.
Case studies require a blend of technical understanding of marketing KPIs, the ability to explain their relevance, and a knack for clear writing. With this in mind, content marketing agencies specialize in highlighting your past successes and creating visuals (like infographics or videos) showing how specific products or services have benefited others in the past.
Audit and Update Existing Content
Chances are that you already have valuable pieces of content on your website or blog. Content that your audience still finds valuable but that is either hard to find or slightly out of date. A comprehensive digital marketing plan will incorporate content updates and revisions to ensure outdated information isn’t tainting SEO performance or reader experience.
A B2B content marketing agency fleshes out previously high-ranking or effective content. They then update it to make sure it reflects current trends and best practices. To do this, the agency performs a content audit of all of your existing content, breathing new life back into content that still registers with your audience and that still generates engagement with your brand.
Identify Your Most Valuable Marketing Channels
Most brands have no problem finding marketing opportunities. The hard part is sifting through the myriad of opportunities across the many marketing channels available to prioritize those with the best potential ROI for marketing.
For example, LinkedIn is generally a more effective channel for B2B marketing than Instagram. Hiring a B2B content marketing agency helps confirm anecdotal evidence like this and makes sure you aren’t ignoring the channels where your audience spends time.
Ways to prioritize the opportunities and options: by costs, your ability, the timeline, ROI calculations based on whatever data you have, or hire a content marketing agency.
Generate Customer Personas
To choose the right content formats and channels for your brand, you need to start with a deep understanding of your audience. A customer persona is a semi-fictional profile of your ideal customer. Also called buyer personas, most brands have at least a couple of these that cover their entire customer base in as much detail as possible. You create your personas based on data and research on the customers you already have—and on your competitor’s customers.
Why do customer personas matter? Because today, your audience expects hyper-personalized messaging that speaks to their personal beliefs, demographics, biggest challenges, favorite pastimes, and more. A customer persona is how you make sure you’re doing that. Due to a content marketing agency’s deep understanding of multiple industries and their past experience in writing for the web, they are able to help cultivate and solidify customer profiles for all your buyers.
Create Content for Buyer Cycle Stages & Audience Segments
There’s little value in just creating content just for its own sake. Content should be inspired and have purpose — not just made because everyone else is doing it. Content should also be targeted at a specific place in the buying journey. No one wants to read content that was only created just to fill in a content calendar. If you’re going to make it, make it the right way.
Great content, like this Digital Marketing Pricing Guide (our highest-trafficked piece of content), solves a persistent problem for a specific segment of our audience. It helps brands who are considering hiring a digital agency understand the average industry costs for various digital marketing services. That brings Credo, by default, to their attention.
Building an engaged B2B audience is difficult. By creating content aimed at fixing specific problems for specific people at a certain place in your buyer’s journey, you’re able to attract a new audience—and also keep your existing customers engaged.
Promote Your Content
By now, you probably know you can’t just publish content and expect results. Sure, maybe you can publish a video, blog post, or infographic that goes viral. But do you know exactly what made that happen? Do you have a surefire way to repeat that process? Probably not.
Unless you’re dedicating a large number of resources to creating video content, infographics, blog posts, or other content that people get excited to view—or have die-hard brand evangelists who share and engage with all of your organic content—you should hire a B2B content marketing agency to create a content promotion strategy. You don’t need to break the bank but that old saying holds true: you need to spend money to make money.
Competitor analysis is a cornerstone of growing any B2B business. Without understanding what your competitors are doing to drive traffic and users to their site—who ultimately purchase their products/services instead of yours—you will struggle to gain traction.
Tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs are powerful tools to expedite competitor research. While these are powerful tools that can provide insightful marketing data on your competitors, they come with a price tag of their own. And a steep learning curve. By hiring a content marketing agency, these tools are included in their B2B marketing services.
There’s no way to improve your B2B content marketing strategy without data. Likewise, you can’t double down on what’s working best. Measuring results means looking at those KPIs you established in the beginning. That’s the only way to truly measure the progress of your content marketing efforts.
Metrics such as views, read times, bounce rate, and conversion rates (if you establish them with your analytics tool) can let you know what’s working and what’s not. A content marketing agency monitors results regularly and adjusts your content strategy accordingly.
Hiring The Right B2B Content Marketing Agency For Your Brand
Working with a team of B2B marketing experts is one of the most effective ways to ensure success when developing a digital strategy for any B2B business—large or small. Long story short, they specialize in content development so you can get back to running our business
From brainstorming new topics all the way through executing strategies such as incentivized backlink outreach campaigns, there are plenty of great ways that a content marketing agency can help grow your business quickly and efficiently. You’ve wasted enough time, let a team of content specialists take it from here!Find the right B2B content marketing agency for your organization.