12 Best-Practices for B2B Content Marketing

Content marketing is a newish term for an oldish idea: surround your clients with education and information they need to feel motivated to do business with you. Today, we have more ways than ever to do this: social media, blogs, email, websites,

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Content marketing is a newish term for an oldish idea: surround your clients with education and information they need to feel motivated to do business with you. Today, we have more ways than ever to do this: social media, blogs, email, websites,  video, e-newsletters, and so forth. These tools allow marketers to become publishers in their own right, and tend to be far more far-reaching and cost-effective than the more traditional communications channels of direct mail, public relations, and advertising.

Content marketing does have its drawbacks. It can’t be relied upon to create a direct cause-and-effect; i.e., running a blog piece will usually not result in an immediate sale. It’s also very difficult to measure the results. Content marketing is somewhat like PR in this respect. However, it’s not a “warm fuzzy,” either. Any marketing program should be using a mixture of channels to reach clients so that its messages come from multiple different sources. Content marketing is one of the many tools with which a company can deliver messages to its customers and prospects to “condition” them to purchase.

As in any marketing effort, be clear about who your clients are and what they will know. As always, have clear messaging and clear objectives for everything you do.

1. Avoid the sales pitch

Content marketing is not about selling. If all you do is talk about how perfect your product/service is, customers will quickly turn off your message. You should be offering insights and information that customers need. Are you in the local window treatments business? Create videos that teach customers how to install curtain mini-blinds and rods successfully. Are you a manufacturer of athletic equipment? Create a series of whitepapers about how to avoid sports injuries of various types and how to select shoes that will help people to stay healthy.

If you consistently offer solid information that solves customers’ problems—or better yet, helps them to avoid problems—you build a reservoir of trust and goodwill that cannot be achieved any other way.

2. Create content that solves pain points

Creating original content can be expensive and time-consuming. You may already have a treasure trove of content waiting to be exploited. Comb through your presentations library of white papers, articles, and videos. Reach outside of your area to see if other areas of the organization have content that can be worked for the purpose. Chances are, you can repurpose existing content for use across different channels before you ever have to build new content.




















In developing (or repurposing) content, keep in mind the problems clients need to solve, the information they need to make a selection, and what issues might be preventing them from purchasing. For instance, if you’re in the retail home improvement business, you may have many clients who enjoy DIY (do-it-yourself) projects and understand how to approach them. You might have more clients still if you provide detailed information on how to install drywall, build a brick barbecue or repair a broken window. The more clients rely on you for good information and answers to their questions, the more inclined they will be to do business with your company.

3. Leverage answers and questions for content ideation

Start with your website. This is where most clients will begin their quest for information. Make sure that your website content is useful and thorough. Monitor clients’ questions and assure that they can find and access the answers easily on your site. Some types of businesses may profit from an interactive “column” where they can pose questions and get quick answers. All of which are published on the site. Client questions and even customer complaints are an excellent way to gain insight into the type of content with which customers will resonate.

4. Add a blog for SEO





















Add once your website is full of useful content, start a blog. The blog should be published on your website for search engine optimization (SEO). If your blog is posted on a blogging service, every click and “like” will attribute to the blog service, not to your company. If the blog is on your website, you get the SEO benefit. Your blog should be refreshed with new content every 7 to 10 days to keep people coming back. Do not forget to announce every new blog post to Google+, Twitter, Facebook,  and other social media sites that work well with your business. The most blogging software allows you to set this up automatically.

5. Repurpose blog content for whitepaper creation

Whitepapers are longer pieces that go into greater detail than blog posts. They can be classified in many ways:

Announce availability on Facebook, Twitter,  Google+, etc., with links to the material on your website.

Write a blog with some of your top points, with a link to the whitepaper.

Provide your white papers to other, related websites and blogs (making sure there’re links back to the material and your website).

Some whitepapers can be offered to print or online publications as articles.

Create a YouTube video (three minutes or so) that covers the main points and provides links to your material. This does not have to be expensive, but you do have to have a punchy script and someone who is well spoken to narrate it. There’s a lot of inexpensive software (and even apps) to help create videos on a slim budget.

6. Try to post a video




















In addition to acting as teasers for whitepapers; videos are an excellent way to push content to your marketplace. Depending on the nature of your organization you can educate clients about your service or product category, show them how to use products, or express a point of view. These can be posted on your website, on YouTube, Flickr or any number of other venues. Remember to keep videos as short and sweet as possible.

7. Promote content via social media

Social media is one of the best ways to spread content, and can be used in a variety of ways:

– Take short bits from your content and publish on Twitter, Facebook, etc. with links to the full content;

– If you have interesting product photos, post them.

– You do not necessarily have to create 100% original content yourself. Curate interesting content that corroborates or compliments your messaging with links to the original content. (Obviously, you want to avoid doing this with the competition’s content!)

8. Leverage content for an e-newsletter

If you’ve built a useful emailing list (and you should be doing this anyway), ask people to sign up for an e-newsletter. (Do not just send out a newsletter without opt-in, as this could be viewed as a violation of the anti-spam laws.) The contents of the newsletter can be stolen from existing content and curated content. Make it easy to read, light on graphics and optimized for mobile viewing.  Remember to give your clients information they can use to solve problems or use in their lives or work.

9. Optimize your titles for SEO

In a rush to get content out there, do not forget that you need to optimize it for SEO so that people can find it. Titles are critical because that is nearly all that people see in a search engine listing, so they need to be gripping.

As blogger Chris Irby writes it, “The title of your blog post is pulling double duty. It requires to be relevant for the benefit of the search engines, yet compelling enough to grab the attention of your human readers. Make your title too clever or obtuse, and it will become one of Google’s best-kept secrets. Make it too utilitarian, and your readers will be too busy yawning to click over to your blog and read.”

So your title has to be both attractive to the reader and contain keywords that people will use in searching for your topic (enabling search engines to find your content in the appropriate context).

Titles are often an afterthought, but they deserve as much care and attention as you put into the body of the content. Take time and do not rush it. Think through which words need to be in the title and then come up with something attention-grabbing as well. It will not do any good if the search engine reliably delivers your content, but the reader thinks it is going to be a boring read. The title should always pay off on the nature of the content; if you have an unusual piece, create a unique title. If your piece deals with a serious subject such as heart attack, the title should be cloudy but still compelling.

Also, assure that the critical keywords are spread throughout the content. Some writers start by listing the desired keywords, not a bad practice.

10. Do not forget the basics of grammar and punctuation

Stick to the basics of punctuation, grammar and other rules of good writing. We do not have room to go over it here, but it’s essential that your content is literate and carefully edited and constructed. Bad typos, writing, and bad grammar will turn your readers off. One of the best books on good writing is “The Elements of Style” (4th Edition) by William Strunk, E. B. White, and Roger Angell. It is short, easy to use, and you will never mistake a dangling participle for a dangling preposition again.

11. Segment your email list

Email is arguably the most effective way you can use to engage with a B2B audience. 53 % of B2B marketers claimed that email is the most efficient way to generate leads.

The key to creating a successful email marketing strategy and creating more personalized emails is to use email-list segments. With list segments, you will be able to generate specific groups in your email list. This’ll allow you to create targeted emails for each group with personalized messages.

For instance, if you have a list segment that collects the job title of the subscribers, you can create separate email campaigns to target people in different roles at a company, to deliver your message and promote effectively.

12. Gather data and metrics

When it comes to creating a content strategy that delivers continuous results, gathering data and measuring the content is what will help define how successful your content strategy becomes over time.

Understanding the ROI (return on investment) of your content efforts, along with which blog posts drive the most traffic, which lead magnets to generate the most subscribers and which emails turn to sales will help you create more winning content to develop a killer marketing strategy.

Here are a few helpful analytics tools you can use to measure your content ROI:

  • MonsterInsights;
  • Google Analytics;
  • HubSpot CRM;
  • HotJar;
  • BuzzSumo.


Of course, your B2B content strategy would not be complete without the right buyer persona to target the right people through your content. Even more important: Use the right platforms to create and promote your content.

When in doubt, do not be afraid to steal a few tricks from the content strategies of your competitors and other successful brands in your industry.

Share in a comment your experience regarding your best practice for B2B content marketing.