If you’re a B2B company, there’s a high chance you are using content marketing as part of your marketing strategy. However B2B content marketing is less straightforward than B2C. If we look at a shampoo brand selling their products in a drugstore chain it is easier to imagine what type of content a regular consumer will find interesting. The game changes when you are the marketing manager of the shampoo brand company, but have to persuade the acquisition manager of the retail chains to place your product in their stores.
This is B2B marketing and that’s where it needs a slightly different approach. But maybe not as much as you might think.
B2B Customers are Human Too
B2B deals are not done for one or two bottles of shampoo. Companies and services exchanged between businesses are usually complex, orders of magnitude bigger, can highly technical and are customized as well. As such the marketing process also becomes more complex and is business-oriented.
However, keep in mind that B2B customers are also human just like the consumer in the drugstore. The contract proposition is different, but deals are still concluded between real persons. What persuades people into buying anything? Just like for the end-user; stimulating emotions by providing stories with authenticity and probably providing a good value proposition.
Therefore the main factors influencing content marketing in a B2C medium are also present in the B2B industry. You should always aim to have a differentiating story about your brand and highlight the value you can bring to the customer.
Multiple Decision Makers
In B2B marketing it’s important to understand that you might have to convince several persons to make a sale. In B2B industries, companies might have up to 7 decision makers in order to sign a collaboration agreement. All of them will have to be convinced by the solution or product you provide and probably in different areas of their expertise. For B2B content marketers, this presents a unique challenge — and a unique opportunity.
Identify what kind of content will position your solution as ideal for each decision maker. The product manager, for example, might be interested in the technical features and benefits. The finance manager on the other hand might focus on how your product will help his company save or make money.
There are various content formats and channels for distribution. Content marketing is a great opportunity to experiment to find the right balance in serving the right content to the right decision makers and win them over.