9 Reasons Why Content Marketing Should be Part of Your B2B Strategy
Content marketing is a B2B marketer’s secret weapon to engage your industry, generate leads, and close deals. It’s an amazing way to make your customers’ jobs easier, and a proven way to help you grow your business. Below are some of the benefits of content marketing and nine reasons why content marketing for B2B should be a formal, documented part of your marketing strategy.
What is content marketing?
Did you know your business is in the publishing industry? Whether you realize it or not, B2B marketers in every industry are now in the business of creating valuable content for their prospective and current customers. It’s called content marketing, and it’s a win-win for you and your customers.
Content marketing is an umbrella term that includes:
- A social media post talking about your attendance at an industry conference
- A piece of thought leadership on industry trends
- A recorded webinar with valuable information about a marketing tactic
- A blog post with 5 tips on tackling an industry challenge (like this blog post!)
- A white paper on yearly trends
- An email newsletter with tips and reminders
All of these pieces of content are not ads (and good content should not read as an ad); they are valuable in and of themselves to your prospective or current customers. In short, content marketing is any piece of content that makes your customers’ jobs easier.
Content marketing is on the rise not just for its benefits to your customers, but because of the real results it can deliver to your marketing and sales organization. From new lead generation to customer retention to thought leadership, here are nine benefits of content marketing to your business.
How can content marketing help my B2B business?
1. Content marketing generates new business leads
According to Hubspot, B2B marketers with blogs generate 67% more leads than B2B marketers without blogs. Good content marketing is that effective. By publishing new and relevant content on your digital channels, you can improve the likelihood of new customers finding out about your business, its services, and the value you can bring them.
2. Content marketing gets you new customers
More than half of marketers have acquired new customers because of their blogs (also Hubspot). Whether your content is what first caught a prospect’s eye on Google, or a white paper they downloaded on your site tipped them over the edge, content marketing plays an important role in the B2B purchase lifecycle.
“Today’s B2B buyer might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to a vendor,” says Lori Wizdo, a principal analyst at Forester Research. B2B vendor research happens online, and what will move the B2B buyer down the pipeline is valuable content being published on your web, email, search, and social channels.
3. Content marketing improves search engine ranking and discovery
Search engines thrive on new, relevant, indexed content. When you host your content on your website – whether blogs, white papers, or web copy – you can improve your search engine ranking and the likelihood customers will find your website. According to Ignite Spot, a blog on your website will lead to 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. By increasing your indexed pages and links, you’ll make your site more reputable in a search engine’s eyes. Higher search engine ranks means interested prospects are more likely to discover your site when they search for relevant keywords.
4. Content marketing efforts drive web traffic.
Search engine discovery combined with social posts that point to your site can increase your web traffic considerably. According to Hubspot, if you’ve got 51-100 pages on your website (consider each blog post to be a unique page), you’ll generate 48% more traffic than if you had under 50. Increased traffic means increased engagement means increased revenue.
5. Content marketing cultivates a thought leadership culture
By charging your organization with creating new content on a regular basis, it will foster a culture of research and thought leadership. In a rapidly changing industry, content marketing can help force your team to stay up-to-date on changes and trends. That knowledge can become invaluable in your new business and product development efforts. It is not solely the marketing team’s job to generate all the material used in your content marketing efforts. In fact, account managers, subject matter experts, and even long-term clients can be engaged to help create great content for your marketing efforts.
6. Content marketing will actually save you time
“That sounds great, but I don’t have the time,” is a common complaint of B2B marketers about content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers cite lack of time as a challenge in creating great content. In reality, content marketing will actually save your marketing and sales teams time in the long-run. How often does a potential client ask for a conference call, product demo, or detailed information? Content marketing actually allows your company to save time. By recording your product demo on a webinar and making it available on-demand, prospects can engage with your products and services on their own time. With a bit of up-front investment, creating great content can save you valuable time in the future.
7. Content marketing improves customer retention
According to Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, 61% of consumers feel better about a company that delivers custom content to them. Content marketing includes delivering personalized, segmented, and relevant content to your existing customers. By keeping your current customers engaged and updated with great content, you’ll improve your long-term customer retention.
8. Content marketing builds a community
When your business shares valuable content on social media channels, it becomes a hub for new, relevant information. Plus, social channels have the added benefit of allowing your existing customers to interact with one another. According to Inbound Writer, content is one of the top 3 reasons why someone follows a brand on social media. Further, 6 out of 10 consumers will recommend a brand they follow via social media. By fostering a customer following that is on social media, a B2B marketer can create a community of enthusiastic users of your services.
9. Big Data opens the door for incredible customer insights.
When prospects download a white paper, visit a website or register for a webinar they generate Intent Signals®. This behavioral footprint can be monitored to create an interest benchmark of prospect companies.
Our secret weapon for content creation happens when we combine that intent data with our database of 30 million B2B marketers to give you a level of insight a B2B marketer has never been able to achieve.
When a company “surges” in interest level for a given topic, we have the intelligence about the people doing that online research to build personalized content, and automate email campaigns to the right people at the right time. This is very exciting news for marketers and a way to reach your audience more effectively.