How to build a successful B2B content marketing strategy in 2022

How to build a successful B2B content marketing strategy in 2022

9 minute read

How to build a successful B2B content marketing strategy in 2022

9 minute read

How to build a successful B2B content marketing strategy in 2022

Afoma Umesi

GatherContent Contributor, Writer
B2B content marketing is booming. The spike in content marketing manager roles confirms that more B2B companies invest in content marketing.

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According to Statista, 66% of B2B brands plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2022.

But, does B2B (business-to-business) content marketing work? The numbers seem to agree. However, not everyone reports the same level of efficacy.

Research by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 86% of marketers report successfully creating more brand awareness with content marketing. However, it also showed that only 53% of content marketers credit content marketing for increasing sales and revenue.

So, what makes some B2B content marketing strategies more effective than others? If you’re building a strategy for your organization, what are some best practices to keep in mind? In this article, we’ll walk you through expert-recommended strategies for successful B2B content marketing.

What is B2B content marketing?

B2B content marketing refers to using content (written, video, audio, or other formats) to promote a brand’s products and services to other businesses.

An example of B2B content marketing would be a software company (like GatherContent) using content to promote its product to content agency owners and other businesses engaged in large-scale content creation.

Most people (especially outside the marketing world) are familiar with B2C (business to consumer) marketing, when businesses promote their products and services to consumers.

An excellent example of B2C content marketing would be a consumer brand company like Lowe's using its YouTube channel to promote the store and its services to potential customers.

What’s the difference between B2B and B2C content marketing?

In the past, many have reasoned that all content–whether B2B or B2C–is written for people, and thus should have the same content marketing strategy practices.

This isn’t entirely true–and most marketing experts agree. Whether with copywriting or content writing, B2B and B2C content marketing differ in a few major ways:

Let's dig in further.

1. Audience motivation

B2C audiences are often motivated by their needs, desires, and impulses. For B2B buyers, while there is a degree of emotional motivation, most companies rely on data and logic to make their final decisions.

As a result, freelance SaaS content marketer Michael Keenan believes that while “the return on investment (ROI) of B2B is money, the ROI of B2C is pleasure.”

2. Length of the sales cycle

The B2B sales cycle and content marketing funnel are more complicated and drawn out than the average B2C cycle. For most consumers, it’s as easy as "see it → like it → buy it," no questions asked.

But with more expensive B2B products and potential customers who often need to convince several stakeholders, B2B sales can take a while. According to MarketingCharts, 74.6% of new B2B sales take “at least four months to close.” Not exactly a see-click-buy situation, is it? As such, strategies need to be a bit different for B2B marketing.

3. Investment

Marketing and Brand Manager of Nibble Video, Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek, highlights the cost of B2B content marketing as another significant difference.

Most B2B writers charge twice as much as their B2C counterparts, for example. Kaminska-Paciorek also compares the price of B2B LinkedIn ads vs. Facebook or Instagram, which are popular B2C marketing channels. She says, "Because the investment is so high, most B2B marketers have to be much more careful with every penny they spend."

In both cases, you may be selling to humans, but B2B marketing clearly demands a different approach than B2C. What do you need for B2B marketing that works? We asked some experts.

4 Essentials to B2B Content Marketing Success, According to Experts

Many new B2B marketers feel lost when they begin their roles. It’s tempting to simply copy what everyone else (or at least what your competitor) is doing. That will only result in copycat marketing, and you don’t want that reputation.

Here are four tips you should follow instead.

Know Your Product

Sound basic? Not so fast.

According to Dominique Jackson, content marketing manager at Finmark,

"It’s not enough just to know what your product does. You need to know how it works and how your audience can use it to solve their problem beyond generic marketing copywriting. For instance, telling someone your product can save them time on reporting isn’t as compelling as showing them how to do it."
Dominique Jackson
Freelance SaaS content marketer

The best way to know your product well enough to sell it is by using it regularly. If you outsource parts of your content creation, it’s worth giving contractors free access to your product so they can understand how it works and learn how to present it to users.

Robin Nichols, content lead at 360Learning, highlights that “if you use your own tool/product internally, it’s easier to create stories around 'drinking your own champagne,' and provide step-by-step tutorials or actual results to show the value of your offer.”

Infuse Creativity

48% of B2B purchase decision-makers find B2B advertising boring, and 82% wish B2B ads were as creative as B2C advertising. Surprised? We’re not. Neither is Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek, who thinks that “most B2B brands look the same.” According to Kaminska- Paciorek, playing it safe (creating the same old boring B2B content) won’t help your results, “so if you have the flexibility to go bold, do it!”

How do you infuse creativity into your B2B content marketing? You can try:

  • Using other marketing channels (if they resonate with your audience). For example, video content, podcasts, or social media platforms.
  • Beefing up your long-form content by including quotes from experts, writing more creatively, using digital assets like infographics and illustrations, etc.
  • Creating a community to serve your audience

Remember: Thinking outside the box doesn’t have to mean going entirely off the rails. There’s a reason people keep re-using some marketing strategies–they work! So don’t re-invent the wheel entirely, just be open to trying new things.

Have a Distribution Plan

There’s no point creating content if no one’s going to see it. Before you invest in creating a massive content library, have a plan for getting it seen. Dominque Jackson finds having a distribution plan

"Particularly important when you’re getting content requests from other people on your team."
Dominique Jackson
Freelance SaaS content marketer

For example, higher-ups may want to create content on a topic that they think will be good. However, Jackson insists that “that opinion needs to be backed by data. Is it a topic people are actively searching for? Is it a popular topic on social media?” Content marketers need to create content that has the best chance of being seen, particularly when they have limited resources to create it.

Stuck on creative ways to distribute your content? Robin Nichols suggests partnering with non-competing companies with similar audiences to yours to help amplify your story.

bonusly and donut b2b content marketing
Bonusly and Donut collaborate to improve content distribution

For example, the employee recognition platform Bonusly regularly partners with fellow HR SaaS tool Donut on webinars and other content marketing endeavors since both tools are not direct competitors but share an audience.

Repurpose Content

Content distribution is closely associated with repurposing content, and repurposing can be a valuable way of doing the latter. Creating B2B content is not cheap, so you should never waste hard-won content. Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek recommends

“turning any content you already have into evergreen pieces.”

For example, she says, “A webinar recording, for example, would make a fantastic blog post or podcast. Then you can promote it via both paid social and by engaging with others (when appropriate)!”

This way, you can maximize the value of different types of content and reach your audience via multiple channels with essentially the same piece of content.

Still, these are only the most basic principles of B2B marketing. There’s more to B2B content marketing strategy than these elements. Let’s take a closer look.

How to Develop a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Now you know the essentials, but how do you develop an actual B2B content marketing strategy? Granted, this will differ from business to business, but our 5-step guide will help you brainstorm the best content marketing strategy for your product or service.

1. Figure Out Your Brand Positioning

It’s simple: You can’t convince anyone to buy if you can’t don’t know exactly what you’re selling. Before you can develop a strategy, decide how you want your audience to think about you. What specific problem would you be solving for them? Why should they choose your product over your competitors?

Brand positioning requires clear articulation of your unique offer and it serves as a clarion call to your target audience. They should read your copy and think, “aha! This is the answer to X problem I’ve been dealing with!”

2. Don’t Skip Buyer Research

Now that you know your product’s position in the market, it’s time to understand your target audience better. Audience research helps you create a buyer persona (a profile of your ideal customer), which in turn, helps you aim your marketing efforts. You can’t afford to skip this step.

Brett McGrath, VP of Marketing at The Juice thinks of audience research as

"the fast pass to identifying the people, topics, and pain points that you should be creating for."
Brett McGrath
VP of Marketing, The Juice

Instead of rushing into content planning and creation, Brent recommends that more content marketers “step back at the beginning to do more research if they want better marketing strategy results.”

Juliana Casale, content strategist at Wave agrees. She recommends that marketers

"Get to know customers inside and out–what segments or verticals they belong to, what they struggle with, what excites them, where they spend time, what drives their buying behavior and how they prefer to receive information."
Juliana Casale
Content Strategist, Wave

3. Focus on the Customer

Yep, there’s more customer insight to be gained. The best content marketing results come from a focus on serving the customer. Michael Keenan’s number one B2B marketing strategy is for marketers to

"Focus on helping customers win with your product or service."
Michael Keenan
Freelance SaaS content marketer

Focusing on your customer can also be an excellent way to generate content ideas. Joshua Oakes, creator and principal of Who First thinks many content marketers miss out on this content source. Oakes says,

"Your customers will always be your best source of ideas and priorities for your content, so interview them. In most cases, even just 5-10 interviews can fill and prioritize a content pipeline with repurposable content for 6-12 months. And sometimes, you'll learn your existing content is off base."
Joshua Oakes
Creator and principal, Who First

Focusing on your customers can be the difference between creating content that drives clicks, reshares, and general awareness versus content that’s dead on arrival.

4. Harness Teamwork

As a content marketer, you might not be as customer-facing as you’d like. This can make it harder to create useful content. Often, content we imagine will be a hit may fall through. Let your team help out with your blind spots.

That’s why Robin Nichols recommends “talking to everyone internally–product, sales, customer success–as well as customers. Figure out why your product wins over the competition, what your clients love about it, and what's on the roadmap.”

5. Use the Entire Marketing Funnel

We get it; everyone wants to “drive sales,” but as mentioned before, B2B marketing is far from instantaneous. You’ll need to learn to make the best use of every part of your content marketing funnel to sell your product.

John Short, CEO of Compound Growth Marketing says this is a common marketer blindspot. He mentions that many marketers

"Don't think about the full funnel and get too focused down low in the funnel. They miss out on building demand through SEO, Linkedin, Newsletters, and other forms of media."
John Short
CEO, Compound Growth Marketing

Experiment with different content and keep your customers center stage as you do.

B2B Content Marketing Best Practices in 2022

We’ve covered a ton of B2B content marketing tips so far, but there’s more. The marketing landscape is ever-changing. If you’re building a strategy, keep these best practices in mind:

Use SEO

You didn’t think we’d get through this piece without mentioning search engine optimization (SEO), did you? Love it or hate it, search engines are here to stay, and organic traffic is major for many top B2B sites. In this digital age, most professionals learn a lot by Googling.

SEO goes hand in hand with backlinks, so building backlinks should be a part of your B2B digital marketing strategy. Some ways you can use search engines to improve your content include:

  • Doing keyword research to see what your audience is looking for information about (tools like Semrush and Ahrefs are great for this)
  • Running competitor analysis to see what your competitors have written on the subject and find gaps you can plug
  • Setting up Google alerts for industry keywords like Estelle Barthes, the content expert at PickYourSkills does

Barthes benefits from that final tip. She says, “Every day, I receive a dozen of automatic emails from google with news on each of these subjects and have used the information to create unique pieces of content over time.”

Don’t Rely on SEO Alone

While SEO is powerful, it cannot be your only content strategy. You should still create content that may not be search engine darlings if your audience will benefit from them. For example, thought leadership content resonates with more and more readers and can help a B2B company build trust in potential customers. But not all thought leadership content will be a hit with Google.

Also, avoid compromising the quality of your content in favor of keyword stuffing and oddly crafted sentences. You’ll only deter readers, which will increase your bounce rate and negatively impact your search engine ratings anyway.

Choose the Right Channel for You

TikTok is hot right now, but are your customers there? Michael Keenan says this is a significant mistake marketers make: “Going after the next shiny marketing channel.” There’s no harm in experimenting with new channels, but make sure to choose marketing channels based on data and not following the crowd blindly.

It’s also worth it not to do too much too quickly. Start with one or two marketing channels, nail them and then move on to new ones.

Play the Long Game

We all love quick wins, but content marketing is a long game. Juliana Casale says,

"There's a heavy bias for short-term gains vs. long-term growth strategy even if the long game provides higher ROI"
Juliana Casale
Content Strategist, Wave

While lead generation is important, great content can do other things too.

Casale recommends instead, “more investment in the long game. For example, more or equal focus on retention of existing customers over acquisition since retention also leads to increased revenue.” While making short-term investments like social media content or bottom-of-the-funnel content, don’t neglect those that pay off in the long run.

Audit Existing Content

How’s your content really doing? Are you checking the performance metrics? It’s great to use multiple channels and create consistently, but it’s all pointless if, after months of creating, you still don’t know which kinds of content resonate the most with your audience.

Analyze existing content, see how they’re performing on search engines, perform content refreshes where needed, and pivot to focus on more productive channels as necessary. Tools like Google Analytics can help you keep track of existing content.

Strong Examples of B2B Content Marketing

While many B2B marketers are doing many of the same things, there are several stand-out examples to learn from. Here are some of our expert-recommended B2B content marketing examples.

Ahrefs

ahrefs blog b2b content marketing
Ahrefs blog provides clear, actionable content

Ahrefs content is a no-frills resource center focused on serving its customers. The brand excels at using several marketing channels: blogging, webinars, and YouTube. Michael Keenan appreciates Ahrefs’s “product-led SEO approach.”

He says,

"Ahrefs focuses on only writing about problematic topics that their product can help with directly. So even if someone finds a top funnel article in search, they’ll see Ahrefs product in use and can learn how to use it to solve their problems."
Michael Keenan
Freelance SaaS content marketer

For Dominque Jackson, Ahrefs outdoes its competitors by

"Hiring content marketers with SEO industry experience. As a result, the content is much more detailed, helpful, and they’re able to clearly show how their product can be used to solve their audience’s problem."
Dominique Jackson
Freelance SaaS content marketer

Upwork’s Hey World Marketing Campaigns

Upwork, “Hey Mr. President!” by Duncan Channon

This is a brilliant example of creative, fun B2B video content. Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek agrees. For her, “it doesn’t feel like an ad at all.” Upwork promotes its platform in less than a minute, highlighting its brand positioning and reaching its audience effectively.

Shopify

shopify blog b2b content marketing
The Shopify blog focuses on serving existing and potential customers

The Shopify blog understands what its audience needs and produces top-notch content to educate and inspire wannabe, new, and veteran Shopify store owners. It’s obvious that the content marketing team listens to the users.

Your Most Valuable Content Marketing Asset

Where do we come in? We’re here to support your content marketing efforts and help you reach your goals.

GatherContent is designed to make your content production a breeze. After you’ve done the hard work of strategizing and planning your content, you and your team can work together on refining it in your GatherContent hub.

Leave comments, assign tasks, set deadlines, and keep everyone in the loop as you work. With GatherContent, you can even create a content calendar, set up customized workflows, and build templates for all the content types you create. Whatever your content marketing use case, GatherContent is up to the task.

Ready to try it out? Start your free trial today.

According to Statista, 66% of B2B brands plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2022.

But, does B2B (business-to-business) content marketing work? The numbers seem to agree. However, not everyone reports the same level of efficacy.

Research by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 86% of marketers report successfully creating more brand awareness with content marketing. However, it also showed that only 53% of content marketers credit content marketing for increasing sales and revenue.

So, what makes some B2B content marketing strategies more effective than others? If you’re building a strategy for your organization, what are some best practices to keep in mind? In this article, we’ll walk you through expert-recommended strategies for successful B2B content marketing.

What is B2B content marketing?

B2B content marketing refers to using content (written, video, audio, or other formats) to promote a brand’s products and services to other businesses.

An example of B2B content marketing would be a software company (like GatherContent) using content to promote its product to content agency owners and other businesses engaged in large-scale content creation.

Most people (especially outside the marketing world) are familiar with B2C (business to consumer) marketing, when businesses promote their products and services to consumers.

An excellent example of B2C content marketing would be a consumer brand company like Lowe's using its YouTube channel to promote the store and its services to potential customers.

What’s the difference between B2B and B2C content marketing?

In the past, many have reasoned that all content–whether B2B or B2C–is written for people, and thus should have the same content marketing strategy practices.

This isn’t entirely true–and most marketing experts agree. Whether with copywriting or content writing, B2B and B2C content marketing differ in a few major ways:

Let's dig in further.

1. Audience motivation

B2C audiences are often motivated by their needs, desires, and impulses. For B2B buyers, while there is a degree of emotional motivation, most companies rely on data and logic to make their final decisions.

As a result, freelance SaaS content marketer Michael Keenan believes that while “the return on investment (ROI) of B2B is money, the ROI of B2C is pleasure.”

2. Length of the sales cycle

The B2B sales cycle and content marketing funnel are more complicated and drawn out than the average B2C cycle. For most consumers, it’s as easy as "see it → like it → buy it," no questions asked.

But with more expensive B2B products and potential customers who often need to convince several stakeholders, B2B sales can take a while. According to MarketingCharts, 74.6% of new B2B sales take “at least four months to close.” Not exactly a see-click-buy situation, is it? As such, strategies need to be a bit different for B2B marketing.

3. Investment

Marketing and Brand Manager of Nibble Video, Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek, highlights the cost of B2B content marketing as another significant difference.

Most B2B writers charge twice as much as their B2C counterparts, for example. Kaminska-Paciorek also compares the price of B2B LinkedIn ads vs. Facebook or Instagram, which are popular B2C marketing channels. She says, "Because the investment is so high, most B2B marketers have to be much more careful with every penny they spend."

In both cases, you may be selling to humans, but B2B marketing clearly demands a different approach than B2C. What do you need for B2B marketing that works? We asked some experts.

4 Essentials to B2B Content Marketing Success, According to Experts

Many new B2B marketers feel lost when they begin their roles. It’s tempting to simply copy what everyone else (or at least what your competitor) is doing. That will only result in copycat marketing, and you don’t want that reputation.

Here are four tips you should follow instead.

Know Your Product

Sound basic? Not so fast.

According to Dominique Jackson, content marketing manager at Finmark,

"It’s not enough just to know what your product does. You need to know how it works and how your audience can use it to solve their problem beyond generic marketing copywriting. For instance, telling someone your product can save them time on reporting isn’t as compelling as showing them how to do it."
Dominique Jackson
Freelance SaaS content marketer

The best way to know your product well enough to sell it is by using it regularly. If you outsource parts of your content creation, it’s worth giving contractors free access to your product so they can understand how it works and learn how to present it to users.

Robin Nichols, content lead at 360Learning, highlights that “if you use your own tool/product internally, it’s easier to create stories around 'drinking your own champagne,' and provide step-by-step tutorials or actual results to show the value of your offer.”

Infuse Creativity

48% of B2B purchase decision-makers find B2B advertising boring, and 82% wish B2B ads were as creative as B2C advertising. Surprised? We’re not. Neither is Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek, who thinks that “most B2B brands look the same.” According to Kaminska- Paciorek, playing it safe (creating the same old boring B2B content) won’t help your results, “so if you have the flexibility to go bold, do it!”

How do you infuse creativity into your B2B content marketing? You can try:

  • Using other marketing channels (if they resonate with your audience). For example, video content, podcasts, or social media platforms.
  • Beefing up your long-form content by including quotes from experts, writing more creatively, using digital assets like infographics and illustrations, etc.
  • Creating a community to serve your audience

Remember: Thinking outside the box doesn’t have to mean going entirely off the rails. There’s a reason people keep re-using some marketing strategies–they work! So don’t re-invent the wheel entirely, just be open to trying new things.

Have a Distribution Plan

There’s no point creating content if no one’s going to see it. Before you invest in creating a massive content library, have a plan for getting it seen. Dominque Jackson finds having a distribution plan

"Particularly important when you’re getting content requests from other people on your team."
Dominique Jackson
Freelance SaaS content marketer

For example, higher-ups may want to create content on a topic that they think will be good. However, Jackson insists that “that opinion needs to be backed by data. Is it a topic people are actively searching for? Is it a popular topic on social media?” Content marketers need to create content that has the best chance of being seen, particularly when they have limited resources to create it.

Stuck on creative ways to distribute your content? Robin Nichols suggests partnering with non-competing companies with similar audiences to yours to help amplify your story.

bonusly and donut b2b content marketing
Bonusly and Donut collaborate to improve content distribution

For example, the employee recognition platform Bonusly regularly partners with fellow HR SaaS tool Donut on webinars and other content marketing endeavors since both tools are not direct competitors but share an audience.

Repurpose Content

Content distribution is closely associated with repurposing content, and repurposing can be a valuable way of doing the latter. Creating B2B content is not cheap, so you should never waste hard-won content. Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek recommends

“turning any content you already have into evergreen pieces.”

For example, she says, “A webinar recording, for example, would make a fantastic blog post or podcast. Then you can promote it via both paid social and by engaging with others (when appropriate)!”

This way, you can maximize the value of different types of content and reach your audience via multiple channels with essentially the same piece of content.

Still, these are only the most basic principles of B2B marketing. There’s more to B2B content marketing strategy than these elements. Let’s take a closer look.

How to Develop a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Now you know the essentials, but how do you develop an actual B2B content marketing strategy? Granted, this will differ from business to business, but our 5-step guide will help you brainstorm the best content marketing strategy for your product or service.

1. Figure Out Your Brand Positioning

It’s simple: You can’t convince anyone to buy if you can’t don’t know exactly what you’re selling. Before you can develop a strategy, decide how you want your audience to think about you. What specific problem would you be solving for them? Why should they choose your product over your competitors?

Brand positioning requires clear articulation of your unique offer and it serves as a clarion call to your target audience. They should read your copy and think, “aha! This is the answer to X problem I’ve been dealing with!”

2. Don’t Skip Buyer Research

Now that you know your product’s position in the market, it’s time to understand your target audience better. Audience research helps you create a buyer persona (a profile of your ideal customer), which in turn, helps you aim your marketing efforts. You can’t afford to skip this step.

Brett McGrath, VP of Marketing at The Juice thinks of audience research as

"the fast pass to identifying the people, topics, and pain points that you should be creating for."
Brett McGrath
VP of Marketing, The Juice

Instead of rushing into content planning and creation, Brent recommends that more content marketers “step back at the beginning to do more research if they want better marketing strategy results.”

Juliana Casale, content strategist at Wave agrees. She recommends that marketers

"Get to know customers inside and out–what segments or verticals they belong to, what they struggle with, what excites them, where they spend time, what drives their buying behavior and how they prefer to receive information."
Juliana Casale
Content Strategist, Wave

3. Focus on the Customer

Yep, there’s more customer insight to be gained. The best content marketing results come from a focus on serving the customer. Michael Keenan’s number one B2B marketing strategy is for marketers to

"Focus on helping customers win with your product or service."
Michael Keenan
Freelance SaaS content marketer

Focusing on your customer can also be an excellent way to generate content ideas. Joshua Oakes, creator and principal of Who First thinks many content marketers miss out on this content source. Oakes says,

"Your customers will always be your best source of ideas and priorities for your content, so interview them. In most cases, even just 5-10 interviews can fill and prioritize a content pipeline with repurposable content for 6-12 months. And sometimes, you'll learn your existing content is off base."
Joshua Oakes
Creator and principal, Who First

Focusing on your customers can be the difference between creating content that drives clicks, reshares, and general awareness versus content that’s dead on arrival.

4. Harness Teamwork

As a content marketer, you might not be as customer-facing as you’d like. This can make it harder to create useful content. Often, content we imagine will be a hit may fall through. Let your team help out with your blind spots.

That’s why Robin Nichols recommends “talking to everyone internally–product, sales, customer success–as well as customers. Figure out why your product wins over the competition, what your clients love about it, and what's on the roadmap.”

5. Use the Entire Marketing Funnel

We get it; everyone wants to “drive sales,” but as mentioned before, B2B marketing is far from instantaneous. You’ll need to learn to make the best use of every part of your content marketing funnel to sell your product.

John Short, CEO of Compound Growth Marketing says this is a common marketer blindspot. He mentions that many marketers

"Don't think about the full funnel and get too focused down low in the funnel. They miss out on building demand through SEO, Linkedin, Newsletters, and other forms of media."
John Short
CEO, Compound Growth Marketing

Experiment with different content and keep your customers center stage as you do.

B2B Content Marketing Best Practices in 2022

We’ve covered a ton of B2B content marketing tips so far, but there’s more. The marketing landscape is ever-changing. If you’re building a strategy, keep these best practices in mind:

Use SEO

You didn’t think we’d get through this piece without mentioning search engine optimization (SEO), did you? Love it or hate it, search engines are here to stay, and organic traffic is major for many top B2B sites. In this digital age, most professionals learn a lot by Googling.

SEO goes hand in hand with backlinks, so building backlinks should be a part of your B2B digital marketing strategy. Some ways you can use search engines to improve your content include:

  • Doing keyword research to see what your audience is looking for information about (tools like Semrush and Ahrefs are great for this)
  • Running competitor analysis to see what your competitors have written on the subject and find gaps you can plug
  • Setting up Google alerts for industry keywords like Estelle Barthes, the content expert at PickYourSkills does

Barthes benefits from that final tip. She says, “Every day, I receive a dozen of automatic emails from google with news on each of these subjects and have used the information to create unique pieces of content over time.”

Don’t Rely on SEO Alone

While SEO is powerful, it cannot be your only content strategy. You should still create content that may not be search engine darlings if your audience will benefit from them. For example, thought leadership content resonates with more and more readers and can help a B2B company build trust in potential customers. But not all thought leadership content will be a hit with Google.

Also, avoid compromising the quality of your content in favor of keyword stuffing and oddly crafted sentences. You’ll only deter readers, which will increase your bounce rate and negatively impact your search engine ratings anyway.

Choose the Right Channel for You

TikTok is hot right now, but are your customers there? Michael Keenan says this is a significant mistake marketers make: “Going after the next shiny marketing channel.” There’s no harm in experimenting with new channels, but make sure to choose marketing channels based on data and not following the crowd blindly.

It’s also worth it not to do too much too quickly. Start with one or two marketing channels, nail them and then move on to new ones.

Play the Long Game

We all love quick wins, but content marketing is a long game. Juliana Casale says,

"There's a heavy bias for short-term gains vs. long-term growth strategy even if the long game provides higher ROI"
Juliana Casale
Content Strategist, Wave

While lead generation is important, great content can do other things too.

Casale recommends instead, “more investment in the long game. For example, more or equal focus on retention of existing customers over acquisition since retention also leads to increased revenue.” While making short-term investments like social media content or bottom-of-the-funnel content, don’t neglect those that pay off in the long run.

Audit Existing Content

How’s your content really doing? Are you checking the performance metrics? It’s great to use multiple channels and create consistently, but it’s all pointless if, after months of creating, you still don’t know which kinds of content resonate the most with your audience.

Analyze existing content, see how they’re performing on search engines, perform content refreshes where needed, and pivot to focus on more productive channels as necessary. Tools like Google Analytics can help you keep track of existing content.

Strong Examples of B2B Content Marketing

While many B2B marketers are doing many of the same things, there are several stand-out examples to learn from. Here are some of our expert-recommended B2B content marketing examples.

Ahrefs

ahrefs blog b2b content marketing
Ahrefs blog provides clear, actionable content

Ahrefs content is a no-frills resource center focused on serving its customers. The brand excels at using several marketing channels: blogging, webinars, and YouTube. Michael Keenan appreciates Ahrefs’s “product-led SEO approach.”

He says,

"Ahrefs focuses on only writing about problematic topics that their product can help with directly. So even if someone finds a top funnel article in search, they’ll see Ahrefs product in use and can learn how to use it to solve their problems."
Michael Keenan
Freelance SaaS content marketer

For Dominque Jackson, Ahrefs outdoes its competitors by

"Hiring content marketers with SEO industry experience. As a result, the content is much more detailed, helpful, and they’re able to clearly show how their product can be used to solve their audience’s problem."
Dominique Jackson
Freelance SaaS content marketer

Upwork’s Hey World Marketing Campaigns

Upwork, “Hey Mr. President!” by Duncan Channon

This is a brilliant example of creative, fun B2B video content. Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek agrees. For her, “it doesn’t feel like an ad at all.” Upwork promotes its platform in less than a minute, highlighting its brand positioning and reaching its audience effectively.

Shopify

shopify blog b2b content marketing
The Shopify blog focuses on serving existing and potential customers

The Shopify blog understands what its audience needs and produces top-notch content to educate and inspire wannabe, new, and veteran Shopify store owners. It’s obvious that the content marketing team listens to the users.

Your Most Valuable Content Marketing Asset

Where do we come in? We’re here to support your content marketing efforts and help you reach your goals.

GatherContent is designed to make your content production a breeze. After you’ve done the hard work of strategizing and planning your content, you and your team can work together on refining it in your GatherContent hub.

Leave comments, assign tasks, set deadlines, and keep everyone in the loop as you work. With GatherContent, you can even create a content calendar, set up customized workflows, and build templates for all the content types you create. Whatever your content marketing use case, GatherContent is up to the task.

Ready to try it out? Start your free trial today.

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