Thought content marketing was for B2C brands only? Think again. B2B content marketing can be every bit as effective as its consumer-facing cousin when carefully planned and well-executed.
Here are some examples of B2B brands that are using content marketing to grow, engage and convert audiences along with some key takeaways from each.
Welcome to Dublin, guys! Huckletree – a new arrival on the burgeoning "co-working" scene – presents its B2B content as a magazine/editorial style blog in keeping with the alternative/hip brand tone and positioning.
The site resembles a publisher rather than a company offering shared office spaces. Rather than simply listing clients and case studies, the company blog is structured as a series of editorial interviews with clients that give a sense of their brand identity – creating an impression of a cohesive community of clients with a shared aesthetic and is used to attract similarly positioned prospective clients into the mix.
Key Takeaway: Editorial style content is not the sole reserve of B2C brands. Showcase a portfolio of your past work or existing clients in more interesting terms than an 'our work' or 'case studies' section on your site with some informal interviews and personality, establishing the type of clients you want to work with/audience you want to attract.
Jobbio uses video content on its site to engage its audience and encourage an emotive connection. Understanding the importance of making content relatable to its audience, rather than just attributing a neutrally descriptive written testimonial to a brand with which they've worked, testimonials are made 'human' and brands are given a face for the target audience to relate to through video interviews. You can check out their content hub here.
Key Takeaway: Incorporate video into your B2B content strategy and make use of down to earth testimonials to portray your brand/team/clients as genuine and relatable - and therefore desirable to do business with.
The masters of B2B content marketing, hands down. Salesforce knows that content marketing success is about more than creating copy, it’s about adding value to its target audience. The world leader in CRM software focuses its content strategy around educating its audience in its various areas of speciality - namely sales, marketing and CRM.
On the marketing side of things, one of the most impressive resources offered is the Marketing Cloudcast podcast, a clever way for Salesforce to demonstrate its expertise and reinforce the brand as an authority in the arena.
Key Takeaway: Establish your brand as a go-to resource dedicated to educating your audience in your area of expertise. Create content hubs, microsites, guides, checklists, webinars that are discoverable, valuable and easily digested.
A world leader, based right here in Dublin.
Intercom delves into detailed problems that its products aim to solve with highly attractive, user-friendly, instructional content. Design is key, with strong, colourful graphics and interactive visuals. This is premium editorial content of the highest order, with the team to match – get lost in it here. And that's just the blog; there are also quarterly books, podcasts, videos and absolutely every other format under the sun.
Phenomenal stuff – and it's no wonder that 'be like Intercom' is the rallying cry of many a marketing director.
Key Takeaway: Just because your brand deals with software solutions or a product that could be considered aesthetically boring, design shouldn't be sidelined. Strong, effective design adds a layer of user-friendliness as pleasing visuals can break down and remove barriers to technical concepts. Use colour imagery, infographics, videos and interactive design elements.
"Being a part of the Phorest Family isn’t just about salon software. We strive to bring the most relevant, proven, up-to-date salon content to help you ensure that your clients keep coming back for more."
Phorest places community and learning at the centre of its B2B content marketing. An educational 'Learn' hub on its site is loaded with practical learning tools for business, while the blog - resembling an industry B2B magazine - is a platform for consistent and relevant industry commentary, establishing the service as an authority and leader in salon and beauty services – while the Phorest Hot Seat offers some of the most enviable tips within the field.
Key Takeaway: Ask yourself: what is your expertise and process? What has your team learned that makes you the best at what you do, and what skills or learning is needed to get there? Now turn that into content. In order to be an industry leader - lead.
"The industry's top wizards, doctors, and other experts offer their best advice, research, how-tos, and insights—all in the name of helping you level-up your SEO and online marketing skills." (Moz blog)
Moz has excelled at B2B content marketing by creating a highly-regarded platform where industry figures and thought leaders are published. By mining the knowledge and insights within its professional network and presenting tangible, teachable tips, Moz has built a loyal subscriber base within its target audience.
Key Takeaway: Not all content needs to be created in-house. Tap into and leverage your industry network of contacts and give them a guest blog platform from which to deliver key insights and tangible advice to your audience.
With a strong and long-held presence here in Ireland, IBM structures and tailors its B2B content marketing specifically to a wide variety of its key target personas. A highly detailed on-site blog searchable via vertical or product.
Key Takeaway: To create a content strategy for a business that has a number of specialties, serving a broad audience, segment, tailor and structure relevant content for your main target personas. Engage these personas and ultimately increase conversions by anticipating their various needs and providing the research necessary for them to make a decision before purchasing a product/service.
Learn some more...
Some of the best brands in the content game – including Intercom and Jobbio – shared their thoughts, insights and practices at our inaugural Publish or Perish event at the Science Gallery last year.
If you’d like to find out more – or discover how you can partner with our 2018 event – please click here.