Especially these days during COVID-19, when face-to-face interactions are limited, content for the sake of content is not enough. Today more than ever, it is all about creating high-quality content with real added value for your target audience. COVID-19 forced salespeople to stay grounded. They can’t travel as they used to and they need to communicate digitally instead of using traditional ways. On the other hand, potential prospects have more time to read content, so it creates an opportunity for your company to convey its message and position itself as a thought leader.
Let’s talk about two of the most important reasons valuable B2B content is important.
- Content is how customers get to know you and your product or service.
From your content, customers can understand what exactly it is that you’re offering. They’ll understand what problems you offer solutions to, how the solutions work, and they’ll see the success your current clients are experiencing.
Your audience will also be able to tell how you differ from the competition out there. The market is packed and there’s a lot of noise – high-quality and well thought out content with real value allows you to rise above that noise and be noticed. Even if your product is nearly the same as your competitors, your online presence can make all the difference when it comes to decision-making time.
Most importantly, you get to tell your story. People want to know who you are, why you decided to create and share your solution with the world, and what exactly you’re offering. By connecting with your audience and branding yourself as a company for the people, you’ll have greater success standing out from the competition and getting the attention of the right customers.
- Content makes it easy for your customers to find you when they start looking for a solution to their problem or when comparing companies.
If someone is Googling a problem, it’s because they don’t have a solution and they’re looking for one. If they’re looking online to fix this problem, it’s gotten to the point of impacting business and they’re looking to learn how to fix it. With your content spread across the web, you’re likely to show up first as their solution.
Some potential customers might not even know they’re even struggling with the same or similar problems as your customers. But if you’re explaining a common issue that your customers have and it resonates with your audience, you’ll soon have leads getting in touch to address their similar issues, looking for your specific solution.
What type of content should you focus on for a B2B startup?
Content types vary based on which channel you’ll be using and what objectives you try to achieve. It’s important to make sure you’re focusing on the right B2B content for each platform.
3 Most important B2B startup content types to focus on
There’s nothing better than a client telling everyone how easy it was to work with you, how quickly you fixed, and may have even reversed, their problem, and how much money they saved or made by using your product or service. Testimonials convey trust. It is not you telling the world how great your company and product are; it is about others declaring this, which makes it much stronger and more trustworthy.
Testimonials should be placed throughout various places on your website. This could be written case studies compiled altogether in one location, made easily accessible, usually through your menu bar. Your case studies can be in the form of, or include, a video testimonial. Putting a face to the speaker makes the issue and the desire for a solution all the more relatable.
You can also have quotes from case studies placed on your home page, nurture emails, eBooks, and popular landing pages of your site. Customer satisfaction is a huge selling point for leads and it’s important to highlight this where it fits.
Another great place to have testimonials is on review sites. Just like we take to the internet to find the best restaurants around, people are now reviewing the products they use to make work-life easier. When you have high reviews on various websites (like Quora and Capterra), you’re bound to increase awareness of your company and attract the leads you’re looking for.
- Short & Long Form Articles or Blogs
Back in 1991 when the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was getting started, the marketing strategy was to keep it short and sweet, 250-500 words. But, as the internet started to get more crowded, the experts upped the necessary word count to 800-1,000 words. With even more online action, the recommended word count stands at 2,000-2,8000 words. While it’s important to meet the length requirements for SEO purposes and include all relevant keywords, make sure your content is still engaging, informative, and on topic with what your audience is expecting when they click.
If you’re not sure what to talk about in these pieces here are some ideas:
- The issues you address & fix and why you do what you do. What’s the purpose of your business and its vision?
- How your solution works – the technology behind it and the specific results customers can expect to see
- The long and short term benefits of your solution
- Tips to help customers successfully use your solution
- What makes you an expert in the field/industry and why you should be trusted
It may sound like rubbish to write a lot of long-winded articles and leave them sitting on a landing page, but this is far from the truth. The content you create represents everything your company does and the more your audience can read about you, the more likely they will be to trust and work with you.
- Social Media
In this day and age, your presence on social media is crucial. Social media doesn’t necessarily mean Instagram, though – think LinkedIn, Facebook, and Quora, too. Your posts on here should be kept short and sweet and they should highlight the action going on in your company. Social media is also a much more personal way to reach your audience. The more personal you get with your audience, the more engaged and interactive they’ll be.
Below are some great options for how to utilize your social media channels.
- Updates about your products/services
- Getting to know your company better
- What’s your company’s story?
- Who works for you?
- What’s your passion?
- Engaging with your audience
- Industry-related polls
- Can later be turned into infographics and unique marketing assets
- Relevant jokes
- Asking for their insight
- Industry-related polls
- Collecting and promoting your reviews
- Sharing written case studies
- Broadcasting images of your product in action
- Displaying case studies in video format
These days, the type of content you produce for your company is crucial to your success. Without engaging content, you’ll miss out on the chance to appeal to your audience and bring in the leads you’re looking for. Take ample time to focus on the content you place on your website to increase SEO rankings and make sure your social media is up to date and relevant. Don’t forget to link back to your website in every post because, at the end of the day, you want viewers to gravitate towards your site, bringing them one step closer to being a customer.
How should B2B startup content be prepared?
Before you start writing any B2B content, you have a big decision to make. You’ll need to choose and style and tone for your content and keep it consistent over all platforms. You might decide to sound younger, using a more laid back and cool vocabulary. On the other hand, you could choose to keep a professional and serious tone for your content. Neither is the wrong option, just be sure to keep it constant!
Now, to really get started, you’ll need to prepare your B2B startup content marketing strategy. While there are a lot of moving pieces to this process, it’s actually pretty easy. Most of it is determining specific details and then fine-tuning your process. Follow these tips to design your content creation strategy and you’ll be good to go!
- Set goals for each piece of content
- Who is your audience? It should be clear who you’re trying to reach with your message.
- Who are the users? Who are the decision-makers? These are not necessarily the same people. They have different needs and different motivations. The more granular you are with your content, the better results you’ll achieve.
- What do you want people to think about after reading this piece? Have a clear takeaway and call to action.
- Choose topics for your content
- What’s your competition writing about? While it’s important to keep your content original, you’re still competing for better SEO rankings.
- What are the challenges in your industry? Be aware of the struggles your audience faces and make sure you’re using these pain points to reach them.
- Where does your expertise lie? Figure out how you’re different from the competition and set yourself apart with a distinct angle.
- Tips for writing your content
If you’re choosing to write your content yourself, rather than outsourcing to content writers, it’s important to know what works best for you. The following tips will help you accomplish your highest quality work.
- Find a comfortable place that’s conducive to your workflow. Some prefer a quiet environment, while others get their motivation and inspiration from the hustle and bustle of a lively atmosphere.
- Create an outline. This could be extremely detailed or a simple bulleted list of ideas that you’d like to touch on. Either way, this will help you keep your content organized and your train of thought flowing.
- Start writing but don’t expect your first draft to be perfect. You’ll edit and re-edit and might even have some other eyes on your work to do some more editing. Be patient and your final product will be worth the time.
- On the tech side of things, it’s important to do keyword searches to know what words you’ll need to include in the title and throughout your article or blog to have an impact on SEO ratings.
- If you’re working on your marketing efforts alone or you’re not confident in your English skills, consider hiring a content writer. There’s certainly no shame in this and when you hire a professional, you’re ensuring your content will be top-notch!
- Make your content stand out
There’s a lot of content out there and you need to make sure you’re being heard through all of the digital noise. Your B2B content marketing strategy should allow your content to be seen – here are some tips on how to do that.
- One of the most important pieces of your content is the title. Without a captivating title, there’s nothing grabbing your audience’s attention and pulling them in to click and read your content. Make sure it’s not vague – they need to know the must-know information it contains is relevant to them.
- Use subheadings for easy reading. Many people will be interested to know what you have to say but won’t want to spend time reading your whole article. Use brief headings and bullet points for those just looking to skim through.
- Make sure your image is thought-provoking and relevant. You’ll want it to grab your reader’s attention. You can have your image relate to the content in your article or go along with your title, just make sure it’s not too stock-like.
- When you’re sharing your content on social media, come up with something that’ll help it stand out and give a clear idea of what your piece is about. It could either be a sentence from your article or an original text specifically for captions.
- Partner with other publications
- When other websites link back to your site, also called backlinks, this improves your SEO ranking. So, when someone else refers to one of your blogs and links to you, you’re increasing your internet visibility.
- Partnering with other publications also creates more places for potential leads to find you. Just like it’s important to place your content on various channels and platforms, having your content on different sites is helpful.
- If another publication trusts you and is willing to put their brand on the line by broadcasting your content, potential clients will be more willing to trust you, too.
There’s a correlation between the decision-making funnel and the kind of content you produce.
As you start out, you’ll need to adapt the type of content you’re publishing. Your starting content will be more educational, explaining what your solution is all about. You’re still looking to attract your audience and leads.
After more leads are converting to customers and you’re building your digital presence, you’ll want to produce more content that highlights the value proposition and builds interest. Your newer content will put a spotlight on statistics and numbers to demonstrate your product’s value, what it’s done for your customers, and allow leads to evaluate your product or service.
Once you’ve shown them the numbers and what your company can do for theirs, it’s time to produce content that breeds commitment. Compare yourself to the market and give them a glimpse into what life with your product or service will be like.
Until Next Time
Your content strategy will be ever-evolving but it is the basis of your marketing and online presence. It’s important to always make sure that your content is relevant, direct, engaging, diverse, and gives the overall impression that you’re looking to give your audience and customers.
If you’re looking to develop your B2B marketing strategy and use content as a vehicle to drive sales and achieve business goals get in touch with SAGE. We’re the start-up nation marketing experts!