Essentials of B2B Content Marketing

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Content Arrows ConceptAs a B2B company, you know that effective content marketing is an important element of your success. However, many of the strategies that work for B2C companies won’t work for B2B companies and vice versa. It is important to consider these nuances, otherwise you could come up with a strategy that isn’t as effective as it could be. Here is an overview of the essentials of content marketing for B2B companies:

Perform a Content Audit

Before you can start creating more content, it helps to perform an audit on existing content. This will help uncover any areas that need attention and also help you assess what is being done well and what isn’t. Also, you’ll want to take stock of existing topics on your website so that you don’t create any duplicates. You want all your new content to be unique, which is not only better for your readers, but will also help you in the search engines.

Don’t Create Duplicate Content

According to Google, it is best to avoid duplicate content, whether malicious in intent or not. At the very least, duplicate content will affect the way your content is indexed. Here’s some information straight from Google:

Google tries hard to index and show pages with distinct information. This filtering means, for instance, that if your site has a “regular” and “printer” version of each article, and neither of these is blocked with a noindex Meta tag, we’ll choose one of them to list.

However, if they determine that the duplicate content was created on purpose, there will be consequences. Here’s what Google says about that:

In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.

Make Your Content Unique

The bottom line is, you need to work hard to create content that is completely unique. Otherwise, it will impact your website negatively. The problem is, with B2B topics, it can often feel as if you’ve already covered every topic.

How do you churn out new content when you feel as if you’ve already covered everything? When you perform the content audit, you may find topics that still need to be covered. It’s also a good idea to ask your sales department for ideas – they could have insights as to the types of information that their leads are interested in.

Target Every Aspect of the Sales Cycle

With B2B companies, the sales cycle can be rather long. In some cases, it could take over a year for a lead to convert into a sale. At this point, it is the role of the content to nurture this lead until they’re ready to become a paying customer. Get to know what your sales cycle is and the types of information your leads will want to know about.

Let’s say you have a software development company that creates customer relationship management programs for large companies. The sales cycle may look something like this:

  • Leads. Your works to gain as many leads as possible.
  • Contact. The new lead then makes contact, or you make contact by setting up an appointment.
  • Qualify. At this stage, you assess whether the lead is likely to use or need the product.
  • Present. In the next phase, your sales team will pitch the prospect and address any objects.
  • Close. In this stage, the sales department will close once the prospect is ready to buy.

Only your company knows how long each prospect will stay in each of the cycles. This is why it’s so important to have content for each stage – to keep them engaged with your brand long enough for you to close the sale.

Keep these essentials in mind when putting together your B2B content strategy. When we put together a content marketing plan for all of our full service B2B SEO clients, we always take these strategies into consideration.

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