Content marketing is everywhere. It's in your social feeds, your email inbox, and on your favorite websites. Take your dog to the veterinarian, and they'll probably remind you to check out their latest blog post on your way out the door. Whether you need to fix the drain in your kitchen sink, grow bigger tomatoes in your garden, or learn more about the types of material used in dental fillings, five seconds on Google will lead you to marketing content telling you how.
Content marketing is popular because it works, but its ever-growing popularity also presents a real challenge. How do you make your content stand out, when everyone else in your sector is producing content, too?
The folks at TrackMaven compare it to the cable TV dilemma. Cable TV offers far more channels today than ever before, but studies show that most people still watch the same number of channels as they did 20 years ago. They're just choosing those channels from a wider selection. With that in mind, let's look at three B2B growth strategies for content marketing tips that will ensure your content makes an impact on your target buyers.
B2B Growth Strategies: Compelling Content Solves a Problem
Content should be promotional, but not in the traditional advertising sense. In other words, you don't just want to say “our product is great because of A, B, and C.” Instead, you want to lay out a common problem your buyers face, and show how your product or service solves that problem. As a B2B salesperson, you have the advantage of knowing your audience better than your B2C counterparts.
Use that knowledge to identify the best problems to tackle, and present your solution in the best possible light.
If your feeling stuck for topics, browse through your sent emails. Which questions and concerns are you addressing most frequently for your clients? Your sales team might also have some valuable suggestions.
Find opportunities to take a deeper dive on key topics of interest. Create white papers, webinars, eBooks, and other long-form content, and offer that content on a landing page in exchange for e-mail list sign-ups or contact information you can use to generate leads.
B2B Growth Strategies: Promote Your Content on the Right Channels
Creating compelling content is a great start, but it's still just a start. If you want your content to make an impact, you also need to promote it in the right places. Try to focus your efforts efficiently, and promote on the channels your target buyers use regularly.
Promote on social media. Share your stuff. Easy, right? The challenge is identifying the social networks your customers use most.
LinkedIn is a great place to start, especially for providers of professional services. Twitter is another valuable option, especially if you're willing to build lists and mine hashtags for topics.
You can also promote content by using it to answer questions on Quora. With Quora, you can check off the “solve a problem” and “promote your content” boxes in one swoop.
Inbound is the name of the game, but outbound still has its place in content marketing. Use your best content in prospecting emails for outbound lead generation.
B2B Growth Strategies: Use Your Content to Generate Referrals
You've created problem-solving content, and promoted it in all the right places. Now it's time to reap the rewards. Referrals are solid gold in the business world, and content marketing is no different. When a prospect shares your content, they endorse it implicitly. Their friend or connection clicks through knowing that what they're about to read has the approval of someone they trust.
Encourage sharing by making clients the stars of your content. When you're laying out a problem and solution, show how you solved that problem for a specific client. Doing so helps generate referrals, and shows readers the practical, real-world applications of your solution.
The golden rule of referrals is that it never hurts to ask. You can ask people to share directly, or place a request in the copy itself. “If this content helped you, please share it with your friends.” Always include share buttons to make the process as simple as possible.
There's no one-step process for making your content stand out in today's crowded market, but taking a comprehensive approach will keep your content from getting lost in the noise. Create content that solves a problem for your readers, and share it in the places where your prospects are most likely to find it. Once you've got great content, put it to work in generating referrals. Put in the required effort, and you will deliver marketing content that outshines the competition.