Using Content Marketing to Nurture B2B Relationships
When it comes to B2B content marketing, many professionals find they aren’t creating original content because they just don’t have the time. We get it. Writing blogs, drafting white papers, creating infographics, and designing online guides all take precious time. However, many B2B professionals may be surprised to learn that content marketing is actually an easy, effective way to build strong relationships with current and potential clients.
There are a variety of different types of content you can share, each with its own purpose and targeted end goal. At Propel Business Solutions, our goal is to help your business create engaging content that answers questions, creates knowledge, educates, sells, and builds greater client loyalty. Each content marketing piece should serve a specific purpose and add value for your potential clients, your existing clients, or your own firm.
Creating B2B content marketing pieces is a simple process, provided you have a clearly defined content strategy for your business and what you want to achieve. The content strategy will guide what types of content you create, where you share it, and the topics covered. Our team of marketing experts can help your business develop and implement a content marketing strategy that provides real results - all while helping your business nurture and maintain important B2B relationships.
Whatever your current content marketing strategy is, here are a few tips on what types of content your business can be creating and sharing--and how to leverage that content specifically for B2B professionals.
1. Share the Wealth (a.k.a. Knowledge)
You have a ton of knowledge about your services and industry. So, why aren’t you sharing that wealth of knowledge with your audience? Are you afraid that if you share all your secrets and tools, clients will leave and your new clients won’t need you? In a B2B content marketing strategy, the idea is to give away as much information as possible. To site an old adage “Sharing is Caring,” and by providing useful and engaging information to your audience, you engender trust and build your authority as an expert. Positioning yourself and your business as a thought-leader and expert in your industry is key to a successful B2B content marketing strategy.
2. Be Useful and Likable - Stop Thinking B2B, Think P2P
There is nothing worse than being seated next to an arrogant, know-it-all at a dinner party. The same holds true for businesses that project the persona they know everything and are better than everyone. No one likes to work with those companies. By creating content that is both useful and relatable to your audience, you are creating a positive perception and showing them that you want to help them.
To make content marketing work for your brand, you may need to change the way you look at B2B customers. No doubt, in a B2B transaction, you’re dealing with a business. But, you have to remember that every business in the world is made up of people. Regardless if the focus is on B2B or B2C, business transactions take place between people -- and that’s where the concept of P2P (people-to-people) stems.
To engage people, your content needs to address the “human” side of businesses. Just like consumers, an increasing number of business buyers conduct some form of online research before purchasing. In fact, according to a recent Acquity Group report, the number’s impressively high, at 94 percent. With the enormous amount of content produced daily, you can’t rely on cut-and-dry marketing any longer. A content marketing strategy that engages your audience in a more “human” way and provides valuable solutions to their problems is a winning formula for B2B content marketing success.
3. Stay Consistent
We’ve said this a gazillion times before and you’re probably tired of hearing it. A business gets pumped up about content marketing and starts creating blogs like crazy and then they drop off as priorities shift. The easiest way to continually foster relationships with your existing and potential clients is by consistently sharing great content. If it’s impractical to publish a blog every week, publish one every other week, or even just once a month if that’s all you can afford to get started. The number one key is to be consistent, reliable, and on rhythm. Being consistent means that people can rely on you and go to you as an expert resource they can count on.
4. Answer Questions
The best type of customer service is the type that answers customer questions effectively, efficiently, and accurately. A successful B2B content marketing strategy involves content that answers client questions. It should cover the most common questions about services, the industry, or your company. This type of content builds trust with potential clients since it lets them know you understand them and are willing to take the time to explain.
First, you want to identify the problems and challenges that plague your target audience. If your content provides answers to the questions your audience needs answers for, they’ll stop and listen. Business professionals love to be educated about anything that might help them work faster, better and more efficiently. White papers, how-tos, webinars and even slideshares are all excellent mediums to share with your audience. These can be about best practices or new skills related to your industry, or even about the kind of products/services you sell. However, remember not to overdo the promotional bit (see tip #2). When your content offers real value, and less selling, it will be more appreciated.
5. Keep It Simple
No matter how complex your industry is, your content should be simple and straightforward. Creating simple, straightforward content for your audience shows you know what you are talking about and that you can relate to them. Accessible blogs, guides, articles, and white papers can be instrumental in convincing a potential client not only do they need your services, they need to work with your company.
Brands in the B2B space need to realize that their goal isn’t only to educate or inform through content marketing…but rather to create an emotional bond with their clients. In fact, this emotional connection may ultimately take your brand’s content marketing from simply floating around on the Internet to being consumed, appreciated, and shared by a thriving community of brand advocates.
Building relationships through B2B content marketing is a great way to attract new clients and retain existing clients. Remember to Share, Be Useful, Stay Consistent, Answer Questions, and Keep It Simple to reap the many benefits of content marketing. Visit our Capabilities page to see how Propel Business Solutions can make your content marketing come alive and boost your branding and marketing success!
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