Wondering what types of content to include in your B2B content marketing strategy?
Here’s what we recommend including in your content strategy. Some may fit, some may not. For many B2B companies, it’s often a mix of different types of content.
Note that content creation covers a wide category of media and encompasses everything from written copy to videos to emails and podcasts, webinars and guides. While we are primarily concerned with written content here, most, if not all, can be adapted for other media.
This type of content is original and uses the expertise and experience of your internal team. Thought leadership content provides fresh, new perspectives or industry insights that are valuable to professionals in your industry.
It requires access to subject matter experts in your company and usually requires a professional copywriter to synthesize the information and create content that is accessible to your target market.
Instruction / education
If you are considering creating this type of content, keep guides and best practices in mind. We have often heard from our customers that they fear that their audience might find this type of content boring or too basic. However, the opposite is true – this can be one of the most popular pieces of content on a company’s B2B website.
Instructional and educational content can be technical or high level depending on your industry, your products / services, and the specific person you are speaking to. Because this type of content can vary widely, it can also be created for professionals in a company, from end users of your product / service to C-suite decision makers to mid-level buyers who influence the buying process.
Use cases / case studies
Often times, as prospects move on their buyer’s journey, they want to see how your product or service is being used and what value it offers. Use cases or case studies are the best way not to tell your potential customers, but rather to show what they can expect from your product or service.
This type of content is critical to improving completion rates because the main person interested in your product or service may have to justify the purchase or the budget required. This can be great content for your sales team to send to leads they nurture or recently chatted with.
Showing that your company understands your industry and your potential buyers goes a long way in building trust with your prospects and customers.
Content created around industry research is also valuable to a wide audience, not just potential customers. Potential partners, providers, industry editors, existing customers, trade organizations and potential investors are always looking for research on your industry. Well-thought-out industry research helps establish your brand and company as a valuable participant in your industry and can lead to other opportunities.
Many business development folks know that once a prospect becomes a customer, you need to work on retaining them. It’s a great way to stay motivated and really deliver a great customer experience. Therefore, it is important to include customer onboarding documents in your B2B content marketing strategy.
You may be wondering why these are part of a content marketing strategy rather than a service delivery strategy. It really is both. From a marketing perspective, you want all customer or potential content to be consistent. So it is a good idea for the marketing team to work closely with your customer service team to prepare all the necessary documentation for new customers.
Sales sheets should be part of a content marketing strategy because potential customers need branded content. The intent is to create content that the sales team can use to help prospects make a purchase decision.
Yes, this type of promotional material is more sales driven than educational, but it’s still influential content that can lead a potential customer to buy. Incorporating sales sheets or other sales documents into a content marketing strategy ensures that the sales team has what it takes to nurture leads throughout the buying process.
Product guides / data sheets
B2B companies tend to sell fairly complex products. For this reason, when creating a content marketing strategy – especially when creating a new B2B website design – product guides or specifications should be considered. Often times, prospects looking for product guides or datasheets are more advanced along the way to the purchase, but these can still be crucial for various marketing campaigns, lead nurturing, and email campaigns.
Company insights / press releases
When we think of content marketing, we usually think more of the end user and their needs or challenges. However, company-related content such as company insights or press releases should also be included in content marketing strategies – especially newsworthy articles or significant achievements such as ISO certifications or industry awards.
These types of content create credibility with prospects and confirmation for existing customers that they made the right decision to use your product or service. The only caveat is that these should be part of the content strategy, not the main part of the strategy.
When done well, interviews are a great part of a content marketing strategy. This can include interviews with in-house subject matter experts, partners, thought leaders in the industry, customers, etc. The overall goal of the interview, whether it is a video, audio, or text interview, is to convey new insights to the audience. Avoid conducting interviews that are obviously made up of pre-made questions and answers or that lack substance.
frequently asked Questions
Many successful B2B website designs include an FAQ section or page. Frequently asked questions work well in a content strategy from both a user and SEO perspective. The questions should be actual questions that customers or prospects have about your product or service. The answers should be clear and not just a selling point or they have no value.
FAQs are also great for the entire buyer journey, especially if a prospect has been shut down or a larger internal team is involved in the decision-making process.
Content with purpose
Effective content marketing plans include a variety of content types to not only answer questions throughout the buying process, but also to train prospects to meet the needs of all internal stakeholders in that prospect’s business, and to answer any questions that a potential customer could have about your products or services. We recommend creating content not just to create content, but focus on creating content with a purpose. Before creating any content, always ask, “Who is this for and what do you want them to get out of it?”