What Is B2B Content Marketing? Strategy Guide & Best PracticesJesse Sumrak
Business-to-business (B2B) content marketing might sound like a buzzword or trend, but we encourage you to look past the mouthful of words and explore what it can do for your business.
So what is B2B content marketing? Well, you’re reading a prime example of it right now.
We’re a business—and you’re a business (likely). And we’ve created content to provide you with value and attract you to the services we can offer. However, it’s not sneaky like subliminal messaging or psychological advertising tactics. B2B content marketing is straightforward, concise, and with a dash of self-promotion.
And we’re not ashamed of it—you shouldn’t be either.
Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about B2B content marketing—including what it is, why it matters, best practices, and how to get started.
What Is B2B content marketing?
B2B content marketing refers to the content you produce and market to businesses or organizations. When you write an article about chocolate bars, you create business-to-consumer or B2C content. But when you write an email newsletter about human resource software, you create B2B content.
Behind every business is a decision-maker, and that person will change depending on your product as well as influence your marketing strategy. For example, if you sell project management software, you might write B2B content for a product marketer. And if you sell cybersecurity products, you might write B2B content for an information technology team lead or security manager.
Why content marketing is important for B2B
You likely have an endless to-do list for your marketing strategy—so why should content marketing be at the top? Here are a few reasons content marketing is important for B2B:
- Build awareness: You can’t get people to buy your products if they don’t know about them. Content marketing helps drive new customers to your website, giving them an opportunity to explore your solutions.
- Generate leads: You can trade free content in exchange for your potential customers’ contact information.
- Drive conversions: Your well-written content (whether in a webinar, email, video, or blog post form) can convince customers to try or buy your products.
- Nurture customers: Your content allows you to build trust with your customers and lead them gently along the buyer’s journey. B2B content marketing isn’t about sealing the deal after the first conversation—it’s about feeding the customers what they want (when they need it).
- Provide value: You want to provide value to your customers ultimately. If you can do it with free content, they’ll likely expect your paid products and services to deliver even more value.
How to create a B2B content marketing strategy
There’s no one-size-fits-all B2B content marketing strategy. You’ll have to build a program that fits your industry, products, and audience. Some customers might like sitting down and watching webinar content, while others prefer to read a blog post—and others might want to consume content from their social media feed.
You’ll have to tailor your strategy to your customer’s unique needs and interests.
Below, we’ll walk you through a few of the universal top channels and general best practices for B2B content marketing. Use these tips and recommendations to create your targeted B2B content marketing strategy.
Top 4 channels and tactics for B2B content marketing
There are countless channels you could use for B2B content marketing. But you can’t afford to create and distribute across every channel—whether a startup or enterprise.
We want to help you get the most out of your content marketing. So we recommend starting with the following channels. If you find a high return on investment (ROI) with these channels, continue to scale them. And if you don’t, feel free to experiment with other options:
- Email marketing
- Blog content
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
1. Email marketing
Email marketing produces an average of $38 return on every dollar spent—that’s an incredible ROI, especially if you can scale it. It’s also a versatile tool. You can use email to create or distribute content—or both.
However, unlike other digital promotion channels, customers must opt in to your email marketing campaigns. You can’t just send messages to them like commercials or advertisements. They must consent to receive your messages and can choose to unsubscribe at any time. That’s why you’ll have to maintain focus on quality and engagement.
Here are a few ways you can use email marketing for B2B content:
- Email newsletter: Update your customers on the latest and greatest content you’ve published, whether blog articles, guides, videos, or social media posts.
- Promotional campaigns: Let your customers know about discounts and deals to save them money.
- Thought leadership: Spread awareness and build trust with your audience with thought leadership emails from your executives, managers, or industry experts.
- Product updates: Give your customers an update when you release a feature, patch a bug, or create a new product.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is a proven strategy that involves creating guides, blog posts, and product pages on your website to target specific search terms. Most of the time, SEO acts as top-of-funnel B2B content marketing, but it can vary depending on the search term and user intent.
It’s also a long-term game. You won’t see results from your SEO efforts overnight—you might not even see them for months. However, once your content begins ranking for valuable search terms, you’ll score new customers without paying an extra penny.
You can also use content on your website for the following:
- Building trust
- Generating leads
- Converting leads
- Building awareness
- Answering questions
- Onboarding customers
Video content requires a larger upfront investment but can be a powerful conversion and engagement channel. You can share your videos across video platforms (like YouTube), social media (like Facebook), and blog posts. Plus, you can even slice and dice them to work in different formats, such as Instagram stories or TikTok videos.
4. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
PPC advertising, which involves purchasing ad slots on digital channels where your audience spends their time (e.g., social media, search engines, popular websites, ecommerce stores, and blogs), may be worth your while. Here are a few popular PPC tactics to consider:
- Search engine marketing (SEM): Buy ad space to put your content on top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for your target keywords.
- Social media advertising: Purchase ads or sponsored posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
- Display advertising: Put your ads across various websites, blogs, and digital stores relevant to your products and services.
5 best practices for B2B content marketing in 2023
Follow these best practices to maximize the ROI of your content marketing efforts:
- Keep a regular cadence: Find a smooth consistency. It’s better to publish content once per week rather than sometimes twice and other times not at all.
- Maintain your brand: Keep your brand’s presence consistent across all channels. Your voice on LinkedIn should be the same as the voice of your website’s pricing page.
- Focus on all stages of the funnel: Create content for every stage in the buyer’s journey—from those who’ve never heard of your business to customers considering an upgrade.
- Assign a specific goal to each piece of content: Determine the purpose before you create the content. Every piece of B2B content you produce needs to have a purpose—whether sales, awareness, leads, or onboarding.
- Repurpose your content: Juice every piece of content for all its worth. If you produce a podcast, repurpose it into a video, article, and social media post. If you create a lead magnet guide, create smaller distributable blog posts.
Start distributing your B2B content with Twilio SendGrid
Twilio SendGrid can help you with the following B2B content marketing:
- Automation: Automate your welcome emails, onboarding emails, and drip campaigns.
- Email newsletters: Deliver email newsletters to your subscribers with your best-of-the-best B2B content.
- Sign-up forms: Convert more of your content viewers with sign-up forms built for engagement.
- Email designs: Create on-brand email designs with a drag-and-drop, code, or hybrid editor.
- Statistics: Learn which content resonates with your audience the best to scale your successes.
Ready to distribute your B2B content at scale? Sign up for a free Twilio SendGrid account.