B2B companies have a unique opportunity when it comes to content marketing. Not only can they engage potential leads and drive conversions, but they can also become industry thought leaders through careful creation and curation of online content. Becoming a go-to source for trusted information on industry matters is extremely valuable for B2B organizations, and such status may not be far out of reach. A company that is considered an expert in its field can expect high online engagement from prospective leads and industry influencers. Using a good content marketing strategy can bring an organization to the top of its niche and allow it to reap the benefits of thought leadership.
Changing B2B content consumption demands online marketing
According to Search Engine Land, B2B buyers and decision-makers almost exclusively use the Internet to seek information that will influence their purchases. Print trade journals and catalogs are things of the past; instead, the sales journey begins online the vast majority of the time. It is vital that a company be present when buyers first begin to consider a purchase, and this means being online in a visible and engaging way. It is not enough to put a name in front of a searching user – marketers must also ensure that they provide valuable content that may drive conversions.
Create, curate and entertain
Content marketing encompasses much more than online sales pitches. To become an industry thought leader, a business must create content that is useful to its target audience in some way. This can take many forms. White papers on current issues in the field may perform very well for a portion of the target demographic, but few decision-makers have the time to read such reports often. Blogging and social media come in here, as both platforms allow a company to maintain its online presence in a way that users can comfortably integrate into their content consumption habits.
According to Social Media Examiner, Drillinginfo, a major oil and gas solutions company, has seen great success from blogging. The posts range from discussions of issues in the industry to fun lists of influencers and collections of memes. While the business sells software that aids in data gathering and analysis, its blog includes posts that range over the whole of the oil and gas industry. This broad reach is essential to thought leadership.
Maintaining thought leadership
A company working to establish itself as a thought leader must continuously update their online content. Whether created in-house, by an interactive marketing agency or found online and curated, new content should always be flowing into company blogs and websites. By engaging prospective leads continuously and interacting with industry influencers, businesses can achieve and maintain thought-leader status.