Content is now the cornerstone of any marketing strategy, especially for business-to-business organizations. When developing the means to get companies interested in a specific product or service, marketers have to essentially become author and publisher at once. There are various ways of developing new content, but repurposing or aggregating other content usually isn't enough to satisfy the demands of the audience. It also does little to help with the company's SEO on the most popular search engines. What marketing teams have to do is create custom content for their potential clients, which can take several different forms depending on the needs and industry involved.
Branding through thought leadership
Companies should be well aware that there is an oversaturation point for content. There is more than 27 million pieces of content created and shared each day (1). It's only a matter of time before the yearly output of content will exceed the entirety of recorded history. With this in mind, it becomes all the more important that content marketing needs a custom focus in order to actually compete, let alone succeed in the B2B scene. With the amount of content that buyers have to read on a daily business, there is a premium on establishing a company brand that stands out through what is being offered to potential clients.
More importantly, custom content is both a lifeline and a direct connection to the intended audience (2). Through thought leadership, marketers can actually educate the clients and leads on a variety of subject matter that is relevant and important to the products being sold. By demonstrating subject matter expertise, a marketing team provides buyers with information they may actually need. Problems and solutions can be brought up in a blog post, for example, or a webinar can discuss new ideas and concepts within a given industry. This builds trust between the client and the business, which can greatly influence the relationship both before and after the purchase.
Just as well, the content aligns the interests and desires of the audience with the company's ultimate goals. By knowing ahead of time what is a common thread or trend among purchasers, there's a great chance that the business can pick up and retain clients much better than the competition.
A full arsenal for deployment
Custom content isn't limited to blog posts and landing pages. If a company wishes to make the most of their content marketing strategy, they need to provide something that is substantial. A good example of this is e-books, which can be used to discuss major topics, ideas or products. It can also be treated as an educational tool for both prospective and existing clients.
For something on a smaller scale, a white paper serves a similar purpose. Often, it focuses on solving a simpler yet more common problem that an e-book would only briefly cover. However, that problem may be necessary to get a client interested in what's being offered. In fact, 33 percent of businesses claim this content as one of the top five most valuable assets that a company can provide to clients (3).
There is also more visual content that can make a distinct impact. If there's a need to concisely yet visually spell out a specific situation, there is always the infographic, which is becoming a dominant approach among many B2B marketers. Such graphics can be used not only as a method of outreach through social media, but as a tool for the press to use as well. For a more compelling response that can yield a higher conversion rate, video may be the way to go. As the costs of producing and uploading video decline dramatically, it's much easier to put something together that draws a purchaser's attention easily.