What do timeless songs have in common with a strong content marketing strategy? You remember them long after the song ends. In B2B marketing, is it not as simple to provide catchy material, as your job is to present a specific area of expertise. However, the methods you choose to represent your business and B2B message are not limited to dry facts.
The type of content you can create when pursuing a content marketing strategy is, quite literally, endless, as the nature of successful content marketing rests in the ability to produce something original. Compelling content comes in many diverse forms: text, picture, video, graphics, and more. Yet the vast amount of material circulating throughout Web 2.0 makes the task of producing strong content increasingly vital for creating a business reputation that stands apart.
What differentiates content marketing from offline or traditional techniques is that it gives you, the B2B professional, the unique opportunity to present yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field to an audience that can spread this notion. This is a critical element for B2B brands that traditionally have a hard time reaching potential business connections. The more consistently you communicate your industry leadership to your desired audience, the stronger your reputation becomes.
So how can this be done?
The culmination of your online and social media content (company website, blog, presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) should come together to present an extensive profile that demonstrates your expertise and offers a glimpse of who you are and what your company represents. Your audience will begin to trust your leadership once they understand where you invest your energy, findings, opinions, and motivations.
Below are a few examples of stellar B2B content:
A story that illustrates solutions
Social media strategist Britton Edwards recently wrote a blog post on ways celebrity chefs have found success through the use of social media. In her article, Britton demonstrates her knowledge of relevant trends — and of how to address common social challenges — by discussing the difficulties chefs encounter when trying to achieve a noticeable social presence.
By sharing stories of chefs who overcame these obstacles, she proves her ability to recognize and decode how and why these specific elements proved successful. Britton doesn’t specifically state that she has the answers to address the entirety of online challenges, but her awareness, analysis, and willingness to present solutions creates an environment where her readership is eager to ask for more.
An illustration that tells a story
Great content is not limited to article text. Often, the most useful business tidbits are represented through graphics and other visual representations.
An infographiccreated by Inside View and presented via Social Media B2B, effectively educates a B2B audience on facts that are relevant to their marketing ventures. The graphic pairs data with images that depict just how influential social media is for B2B professionals — touting facts on the most frequented networks, where leads are generated, and how deals can be accelerated. The graphic is clean, simple, informative, and inspires its target audience to return to the Social Media B2B site to gain additional valuable information. It also effectively plugs Inside View as a leader in digital design. again illustrating key B2B expertise.
Blogging that shares expert knowledge
Technology and communications advisor April Dunford runs a popular blog that provides information on product marketing news for start-up professionals. In her post, 6 Skills That Will Get You A Start-up Marketing Job, she lists marketing skills that will help enhance job placement for those looking to enter the marketing industry and offers a healthy reminder for those already in the business (or looking to hire for this position).
The article offers tangible examples of how to build competency in the area of start-up marketing, aiding those professionals who identify with this role and are eager to seek improvement. Dunford balances thoughtfulness with a concise tone, giving her marketing-oriented audience the key information they need to become more competitive professionals. Applying this method in each of her articles, Dunford establishes herself as a marketing advisor who can provide useful industry insight.
Content that visually demonstrates expertise
Animation Mentor is an online school that teaches professional animation skills and techniques. While headquarters are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the school’s educational content reaches animators around the globe. The company is “B2B” in the sense that it is not marketing to a mass audience; rather, it sets out to attract a very specific target group that is looking to enhance a professional animation skill set.
As a company whose reputation is entirely based on the influence of its content and expertise, Animation Mentor’s YouTube channelis an excellent illustration of how its students have successfully learned to organize and present video content like a pro — skills that are vital to creating the top-notch animation material required to land a job in this industry. The school uses its social video channel as a way to say, “We have what you need to become a successful professional in the industry of your dreams.”
As your content marketing strategy develops and you become familiar with other leaders in your industry, you will find there is no right way to produce high-quality B2B content. Like any good musician, your job is not to mimic the sound of others, but rather to listen to the songs of cutting-edge innovators and use this to inspire something entirely of your own creation. In B2B content marketing, it’s your job to share stories, illustrations, and demonstrations that display your knowledge — and make your competitors unable to match your level of achievement.
Want more content marketing inspiration? Download our ultimate eBook with 100 content marketing examples.