B2B marketing, or business-to-business marketing, refers to the marketing of any product, service or solution from once business to another, hence the term B2B. This form of marketing differs from its sister, of business-to-consumer (B2C) with it’s intended audience of other organisations rather than a traditional direct consumer of the product or service.
There’s plenty of arguments over the B2B and B2C scene with which one can be more difficult, which one needs more time, effort and budget and which should be the focus of any individual company, but the methods can differ dramatically between each form of marketing.
With the most successful companies opting for crafting content that aligns with their mission and their audience, it’s clear that valuable, relevant and consistent content is within the recipe for success to drive profitable customer action. But how each company scrambles to get to the top of their industry can often be a bit of a mystery.
Whether it’s lucky guesswork or plain and simple hard work that powers new ideas and builds great results, one thing’s for certain, it’s the content marketing that’s making the gears run with successful B2B marketers. With a whopping 93% of successful organisations claiming to be extremely/very committed to content marketing in 2019 (according to CMI 2019), it’s no surprise that those without are slowly slipping and falling away to extinction.
But with such low percentages of companies having an actual content marketing strategy plan in place for the rest of the year ahead (39%), what can be done to boost the results between companies? Looking for a little bit of inspiration? Here are 5 of the very best marketing experiments that every company should be trying out in 2019.
1. The rise of audio/visual content
If 2019 is going to be remembered for anything in the digital marketing space, it’s going to be the rise of audio/visual content for the masses.
With a whopping 64% of B2B marketers recording an increase in the use of audio/visual content from 2018 to 2019, it’s going to be no surprise that it’s our first recommendation to experiment with. There’s a whole host of pros associated with the use of audio/visual content when it comes to B2B marketing, but maybe none so salient as the exposure that it can generate.
With video, companies, or rather the people in those companies will see, listen and remember your message much more effectively than simple text-based media. There are the added benefits of an increased level of trust, an emotional connection, better SEO, an improved click-through rate and, ultimately, more conversions. All from playing around and experimenting with video.
There are worse ways to spend a Sunday.
2. The utilisation of the right content marketing tools
There’s no sense in putting all of your eggs in one basket, but if you’re putting them in the wrong baskets, you’re doing nothing but wasting time.
It’s important, therefore, to experiment and look at the data associated with each of your content marketing tools to see which areas are ripe for success. There are a plethora of tools you can use to gain an edge with content marketing, but the holy trio comes in the form of:
- Social media analytics
- Email marketing analytics
- Search engine analytics
Keep the three wise analytical tools happy and keep reactive, adapting depending on what you’re seeing to maximise your results. View what reactions are received from different topics, images, posts etc. and hone in your content for the perfect target market. It’s a lot of experimentation, but it’s for a handsome reward.
3. Document a content marketing strategy
No matter what your content marketing strategy looks like, whether it’s video after video, blogpost after blogpost or a mix of 18 different forms all swirling around the web together, it pays to have them documented so you can keep track of where you’re at and how to get where you want to be heading.
Without a documented content strategy, resources can go to waste, results can stall, employees can lose morale and everything will feel just a little more sluggish. Instead, by creating a road map with the full picture of company goals, the steps and strategies required to reach them and, maybe most importantly, the budget required, you can be sure to keep everything ticking over as it should be.
By writing down goals and using an editorial calendar (something that over 50% of companies are on board with) you can maximise your content marketing strategy so you’re not leaving anything on the table. It’s something to experiment with at the very least…
4. Create content based on a sales funnel
The most successful B2B content marketers prioritise their audience’s informational needs over their sales and promotional message – but why when this feels like the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve?
Well, actually it’s pretty simple. You’ll know yourself that when someone’s trying to sell you something online, you can tell from a country mile away, but if something answers your questions and provides you with the information required, you’re less likely to click away with foul language in the air.
In fact, adding value and catering to all stages of the sales funnel (Awareness, interest, decision and action) you can hold the customer’s hand through each step of the journey. Be useful, not pushy and the sales and conversions will come.
5. Put your money where your mouth is
Last but not least, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and experiment with each marketing technique with an adequate (generous) budget.
The most successful of all content marketers are said to have spent more hard-earned cash on content creation than any other area of content marketing. It’s not hard to imagine either, with more and more content available and put out to the world, more people see it, more experiments are able to be conducted and more data available to analyse.
There’s a reason that great content marketing requires a generous budget, it’s because it takes time to find the sweet spot of what works best for each individual company.
Experiment with the budget and you’ll experiment with everything else too!
This article comes from Julian Gnatenco @ JGBilling.