What does every B2B marketer think? Once you have a website, inquiries will start flowing in. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to help you increase your inbound inquiries. One of the key elements to be incorporated in any B2B marketing strategy is content. Content helps the potential buyers in the journey of their decision-making process.
If we put the entire journey of a potential buyer, it can be put into 3 buckets:
The next question that comes to mind for every B2B marketer is if the content is key then what kind of content should a marketer focus on? Well, it completely depends on the kind of marketing strategy and what your objectives are?
Types of Content
Let us go through a list of different types of content that B2B marketers can use as part of their marketing plans.
Blogs are one of the most sought-after modes of sharing content. A typical blog can be anywhere between 300 words to 2000 words. Blogs can be around the products or services that the business is delivering. However, the primary objective of a blog is to create awareness about the brand that is being promoted. Blogs must have:
- Relevant content that is in line with the subject
- Long-form content for providing comprehensive coverage
- Audio blogs help give a different dimension to the content
2. White Papers
White papers are content that is detailed and involves a lot of research work before it is curated and published. Whitepapers are created to deliver more value to the target audience. White papers are gated content, which prompts readers to share details to unlock the content.
3. Case Studies
Case studies are specific scenarios or used cases that are put in a structured format to share the specific experiences of existing clients with the brand. This helps in marketing specific content that potential buyers can easily relate to.
Sharing content is not just about written content. Sometimes, live presentation sessions from experts, in the form of webinars have proven to be more effective than everything. Here, marketers can reach out to a larger audience. With webinars, it gives a clear direction to the audience on what can they expect from the session and key takeaways for them.
Videos in the form of interviews, client testimonials, and product demonstrations can really help organizations to attract potential buyers. These are different means of sharing targeted content.
Companies also use videos to showcase their entire profile.
A very popular tool among B2B marketers is podcasts. It is one of the most promising content channels that marketers prefer. The audience who listens to podcasts is a well-informed group of potential customers. For example, one of the most popular digital marketers Neil Patil uses podcasts to share specific content.
Infographics are used by marketers to share visually appealing content in the form of diagrams, graphs, charts, and other creative methods. Infographics help the target audience to get a quick glimpse of the content to help them in the buying process.
If any company wants to share news about their achievement or any new developments, then articles are the best way to share the content with their target audience.
9. Email Marketing
A very traditional and cost-effective way of sharing content, email marketing is still one of the most preferred ways of creating and relaying content.
If marketers are looking to publish content around a defined theme, then newsletters are the right way of doing it. Newsletters are usually theme-based, and marketers can set up frequencies for publishing these newsletters.
If the quantum of content is very long, it can be broken down into chapters and converted into an e-book for the audience to read. However, we are also seeing a considerable usage of e-books in the IT sector, where technical teams prepare the user manuals in an e-book format.
While podcasts are gaining popularity, another way of publishing content is to convert the written content into an audio format and then publish it on various channels. This is quite popular in the education field, where we see audio content of various books available for students to study.
13. Images / Photos
While written content does provide a lot of meaning to the audience, if it does not have a proper structure, it can easily dilute the objective. Hence, marketers use images or photos along with written content. Occasionally marketers publish content with only images and a few texts.
Another traditional method of preparing and sharing content. Presentations can be a good way of sharing content such as company profiles, product brochures, and so on. There are many tools such as Canva, Prezi that can help marketers in preparing breathtaking presentations.
Quite popular in B2C marketing, but B2B marketers can also use promotional content as a means to reach out to potential buyers. This can be in the form of special announcements, discounts, and offers on certain products or services being offered.
16. Social Media Campaigns
Today social media plays a critical role for any organization. Hence, we see marketers publishing content on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and the list goes on. Every platform has a unique requirement, so marketers have to curate content accordingly.
In today’s digital era, it is a fundamental requirement to have a website. The website helps organizations to reach out to a large audience and can cover a variety of content. Businesses that plan to sell online use websites as a means to create e-commerce websites to sell their product.
Collaboration is terminology in marketing when you engage with multiple content creators and publish the content in a collaborative manner. Collaborative content is seen in ed-tech companies, where multiple contributors come together on a single platform and share educational material for students to learn.
Guest or guesting is a marketing terminology that allows marketers to invite experts to come to share their knowledge in the form of curated content. This acts as a strong reference for the target audience as they get confidence in the product or service that they are planning to buy.
Conducting interviews with specialists or experts in relevant fields can act as a great testimonial too. It brings a strong sense of authenticity on the subject that is discussed, and the audience can reach out to the company.
21. Question & Answers
Here, there is a panel that is defined, where a team of experts sits in the panel and addresses questions that are asked to them on specific topics. These questions are usually asked by the audience that is listening attentively to these questions.
FAQs are another way of presenting content, where you can predefine a set of questions that your target audience may ask. With these questions, you can also share your responses so that it makes the job of the buyer easy.
Even though quotes are very unique to some specific sectors, it serves the purpose of providing inspiration and motivation to the target audience. It creates a boost on social media posts.
These are direct references and feedback shared by existing customers of the organization. Testimonials are published on websites or on specific landing pages for greater visibility to the potential buyers.
News is a specific content type, which is used by marketers to share important achievements or development about an organization. In a listed company, certain news content is mandatory because the shareholders are supposed to be aware of the same.
26. Product Announcements
Businesses who are into products, such as IT companies use product announcements to talk about new releases, enhancements, and features.
Comparative content is again used in the case of products where companies share a comparative analysis of their products with their competitors.
Another creative way of publishing content is where businesses can encourage their potential customers to participate in these contests. Of course, they are rewarded but it also is an opportunity to engage with the target audience.
E-Courses are technology-enabled digital content that helps the audience to learn through digital platforms.
The short of Search Engine Optimization, allows marketers to optimize various forms of content and make it available easily when the audience searches based on some specific words – known as keywords.
On some websites, marketers can use calculators to help the audience with some fundamental arithmetic to compute some specific KPIs. For instance, we can see the ROI calculator on this website indicated in the screenshot below.
Forums are common platforms, that encourage the target audience to raise questions and get clarifications on different questions.
33. Landing pages
One of the most prominent ways of promoting specific content through a website is by creating landing pages. These pages are used for brand building and increasing traffic.
34. Press releases
The specific type of information that needs to be shared with the media is done through a press release. A very old school method but still very effective and in some cases a pre-requisite.
35. Feature page
This is another type of landing page, which is designed exclusively for a particular product that describes the product, its features, and its value proposition.
If there is a lot of web content to be shared, then marketers can create small microsites to publish the content and promote each of these sites.
Wikis are user-driven content platforms. It allows your target audience to gain and share knowledge among their peers.
38. In-App Notifications and messages
In the case of businesses who are using applications such as SaaS products, they can see messages popping up within the application with promotional content.
Earlier we saw blogs that were one of the ways of publishing content. Here we will throw light on some of the types of blogs that form the type of content that marketers can use.
List blogs are contents, which are shared in the form of listed items. This will be used for topics such as 10 Best Digital Marketing Platforms.
40. How To
This blog type is a typical educational blog that helps the reader(target audience) on how the subject of the blog will solve a problem.
The topic of the blog is usually in the form of a question, and the answer to the question is described in the body of the blog.
42. New Method
In this type of blog, marketers use a combination of content along with search engine strategy to reach out to the audience.
43. Why Blog
Here, marketers use this kind of blog primarily for sharing fact-based explanations and opinions.
44. Compiled Research
There are times when the target audience has many questions. This is answered by publishing an exhaustive blog, which is an outcome of extensive research.
45. Roundup blogs
Here marketers first find out an existing blog post, which is very niche to the specific subject. Then they write a list post that will be linked to the niche blog post. These roundup blog posts are scheduled with different frequencies.
If you want to publish original content, then as a marketer you need to conduct extensive research, which involves gathering a lot of primary data. By publishing such original content, the creator can gather a lot of backlinks.
47. Best Practices
Usually, this kind of content is used when there is not much data to back up. This is where marketers create best practice content. Best practice content also includes methods and procedures.
In this type of content, organizations provide complete clarity on their process and the journey. Marketers in startup companies usually use this to showcase their journey, content around investments, and so on.
Opinions are feedback or comments on specific content or subject, which people share on various blogs.
50. How I Did…
These blogs are usually the personal journey of any content creator and his or her accomplishment on the specific subject. A simple thing like, How I increased traffic on my WordPress site?
Reviews are generally associated with products. This can be seen both in B2B or B2C marketing. However, in B2B marketing these reviews are usually shared on common platforms. For instance, software reviews can be seen on Capterra.
52. Cultural Blogs
These are blogs that talk about the culture of the organization. Companies share stories about their teams and talk about how their journey in the organization.
Metaphors are used in content to keep engaging with the target audience with the same set of content. It is a method of repeating the same content in different ways so that the person viewing gets a feel of having read that earlier.
These are data-driven content used by organizations to submit a forecast on the impact of situations and conditions on their business operations.
Comments are a pretty common way of capturing market sentiments. These comments can be from a customer to a business, or it can be on an ongoing discussion on any topic.
Marketers pick up old blog posts that were published a long time back and refurbish them and publish them with added content and enhanced graphics and images.
We all know that email is one form of sending communication and sharing content. Within this framework, there are multiple variants of email communication.
57. Blog Post Emails
This is a combination of blogs with emails. Herewith every blog post, you follow it up with an email. An ideal way of executing this is by sending the blog post to your readers via email. These readers will be the ones who have already clicked on previously shared content.
Email automation is the simplest way to manage the content that your target audience is subscribing to. A basic process will be to send a welcome email to anyone who subscribes or clicks on the link to the content.
Just like we looked at options in email content, let us look at the options in Video content.
Vlogs are nothing but blogs shared in video format. Very effective for marketers who want to share explainer videos about products, features, and benefits, and so on.
Another use case of video is sharing of product demonstrations. A very effective way of showcasing a walkthrough of a product – with all its features and usability.
61. Live Streaming
Companies that are conducting events on a large scale, can look at publishing the content being shared in the event, using live stream videos, quite easily available on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram.
62. Culture Videos
These are videos that are talking about the organizational culture. Here you can see examples where employees come and share their experiences about working in the organization.
Another way of publishing and sharing content is by participating in events.
Countdowns are another form of content, which can be delivered online as well as physically. Used in case of the launch of a special product or a specific announcement around the business.
Workshops are extensive sessions, again conducted in offline and online mode. These are used for conducting training or even counseling sessions.
A large-scale event that has multiple participants, experts, and companies participating and sharing knowledge around a wide variety of topics. Conferences can lead to a call-to-action such as follow-up meetings, product demonstrations, and so on.
Short and quick meetings with a defined set of audiences are meet-ups. Here, content is shared on specific topics and discussed among the focus-group audience.
67. Twitter Chats
Here you can see businesses sharing content through tweets and using a hashtag it creates a series of chats and discussions on Twitter.
68. Certification Programs
Companies like HubSpot create specific programs, which marketers can avail themselves, and they get certificates. on completion of such programs.
69. Challenge based events
Here companies organize challenging events for the target audience to participate. This way the company can engage with the target audience and also attract them by giving takeaways and freebies.
When you visit a website, you can see a chat window that pops up. This is a live chat where the visitor is interacting with the marketer and sharing his requirement or asking queries.
Content on social media also has different flavors. Let us look at some of them.
71. Forums (Quora/Reddit)
Today we see online forums such as Quora and Reddit where visitors post questions and experts share their answers on those questions. Reddit and Quora some of the most popular forums as of date.
72. Social Networks
Marketers share their content on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and so on.
Collaborative content has different forms and types. Here are a few for your reference.
Syndication is a method when you take articles from your existing website and share it on other platforms. This way marketers can increase their brand exposure.
74. Guest Podcasts
Marketers conduct a collaborative podcast by inviting guests to the podcast sessions and sharing their opinions, reviews, feedback on specific subjects.
75. Guest webinars
Here is an expert, you can share your knowledge and expertise on webinars organized by other businesses; sometimes it can be on competitors.
76. Guest Blog
As an expert, you can share your knowledge through detailed written content in the form of a blog on other company’s blog pages.
We see this a lot in SaaS companies, where companies share referral URLs that clients can share further, and against that, they receive discounts on product pricing.
78. Public Service Announcements
Also known as PSAs, where content is shared to a mass audience through prominent channels such as radio, television. Usually, content is shared, which is informative in nature and educates the public.
79. Pitch Packets
These are ways of selling expertise in niche areas. One can see pitch packets in areas where marketers share expertise and a modified version of the content, which they have experienced or developed.
It is said that awards are a way of recognition, but what it also indicates is an opportunity to create a brand presence among the target audience.
Polls are simple surveys that companies conduct to seek responses from the market. These consist mainly of multiple-choice options to help to participate audience to respond easily.
Companies who want to launch something new using the help of surveys to gather information. Here, they create a lengthy questionnaire covering different aspects of the information that they are seeking and capture responses either through online survey engines or physical surveys.
A quiz is another form of content that helps in reinforcing the knowledge gained through other channels. These are also a means of engaging the audience and associating them closely with the company.
84. Curated Content Hub
There are many tools such as Uberflip and Pressly that help people read curated content, which is not published by their company. However, since they are curated, it helps readers to get valuable insights.
While we talk about digital content, we must not forget about content in print form.
There are companies that still subscribe to magazines. These magazines are available in various genres that businesses can subscribe to.
86. Fliers & Brochures
Small businesses prefer to use fliers and brochures so that when potential buyers walk into their offices, they can hand it over to them for quick reading.
B2B marketers maintain a balance between organic content and paid content.
Sponsorship is a paid methodology for promoting your brand. This allows more brand visibility and thereby resulting in inquiries from potential buyers.
88. Paid Advertisement
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram offer various paid advertisements options for marketers to share the content to specifically identified audiences.
Paid search engine campaigns through Google AdWords help in getting more visibility of your website. It helps businesses to have an enhanced online presence when buyers search using keywords.
90. Sponsored Content
Usually used in the case of magazines and other similar channels. Here, businesses pay the magazine publisher to give space in the magazine for publishing content in a specific area.
Imagine you visit a website and don’t buy anything. However, when you visit another website or apps, you see an advertisement for the website that you visited earlier. This is called remarketing.
A very traditional mode of sharing content is through billboard advertisement. These are those large advertisement hoardings that we see while we are driving on the freeway.
Furthermore, there is gated content provided by marketers. Here the objective is to provide a takeaway to the audience, by asking them to share their demographic details and credentials.
A guide is essentially a lengthy blog post that is converted into a readable PDF file. These types of content are very informative
In continuation to a blog post, there are some activities or processes to be followed by the target audience, which they must do on worksheets. These worksheets are gated content so that audience provides some.
These complement any blog content where the audience is required to enter data. Alternately, marketers give away the templates for data capturing as takeaways, against information that the visitor has to provide.
If the audience has got a list of specifics that they are looking for, a checklist helps in ensuring that every aspect of their requirement is taken care of. Helps the audience to process the information in a step-by-step manner.
Again, a very extensively researched content, which marketers don’t prefer to give it away as it is. Hence, they ask the audience to provide some credentials to access the content.
There is image-based content available for specific industries. It is not possible for companies to give it away as it is, hence, they are gated.
99. Mobile Apps
Usually, gaming companies have their mobile apps, which have certain restrictions. However, either through a financial commitment or some other details, the audience can access the gated information.
100. WordPress Plugins
These are different sets of components used in creating a WordPress-based website or blog. However, to access these plugins, one must have an account with WordPress.
101. Chrome Extensions
While we think that these are freely available, one must provide your credentials to Google before you can start using these extensions from Chrome Web Store. While we looked at some of the content types that help in organic as well as paid marketing, within this umbrella, there are many content types, which are gated, and marketers use different mechanisms to share the content and also find touchpoints for engagements.
Kits are ways by which marketers provide a package of various documents, guides, notes, and templates for various purposes. It is a great way of promoting one’s brand for faster recognition.
Companies create a variety of tools that can be used for various purposes. The tools are shared along with other content but are given as a takeaway, not before capturing details of the target audience.
After having provided all tools and kits to the target audience, marketers can create a library of resources that encompasses articles, kits, templates, documents, and many more such useful items. You can set up a gated mechanism where the audience can access the library only if they share the credentials.
Although we have covered an exhaustive list of content types here, there are a few, which we would like to highlight here as they fall under a specific category. The following gives you an overview of such content types
|105. Audio Blog Posts||There are variants here. Either you can convert your entire textual blog into audio file or have intermittent audio inputs within the text blog|
|106. Interview Podcasts||In this, marketers usually invite a guest and conduct a Q&A session with them.|
|107. Segment Podcasts||Here there are two co-hosts who basically conduct the session and engage with a guest. Sometimes the co-hosts themselves interact with each other and share knowledge.|
|108. Solo Podcasts||A single person who is speaking and sharing knowledge and content on a specific subject|
With the advent of social media, the concept of marketing has undergone a paradigm shift. Today we see different types of content being posted and shared on social media platforms. Let us look at some of the different types of social media content that marketers publish.
A very popular way of sharing content, which we have seen lately is memes. Though people call it a comic mode, but it does bring out the creative best of marketers to publish content.
Sometimes, when marketers are running short of text-based content, they use GIFs to create short animations that convey the message. Some of these GIFs are easy to create and they are also entertaining.
While we all know that the social medial platform Snapchat was the first one to start with the concept of stories, which has been adopted by every other social media platform such as Facebook, Linked In, Instagram. The concept of stories is to share short snippets on a temporary basis. It allows marketers to use various tags to make the story visible to a larger audience.
112. Influencer Collaboration
Social media influencers play a significant role in helping other viewers in buying products. We see the usage of this content type in cosmetic products or jewelry where we see celebrities, who are social media influencers and even brand ambassadors talk about products.
We also see marketers inviting these influencers to various collaborative videos for advocating the products.
A very crucial type of content because it conveys a concrete message to the audience. These types of content are very informative in nature.
114. Post Collabs
Marketers sometimes feel that sharing the content in a silo can be a tedious task. Hence, they invite other marketers to collaborate and present content on various social media channels.
115. User-Generated Content
Here, the content is actually created by users, and it is reposted or reshared by marketers as they feel that this post resonates with the product or service that they are offering. The original creator of the content needs to be given the credit, which goes without saying.
116. Trending Topics
Marketers constantly keep a check on the various trends in the industry related to their business. These trending topics can be shared on social media platforms so that the audience can know what is happening in the industry. Moreover, they also know who shared this content thereby making it a brand promotion activity.
117. Ask Me Anything (AMA)
Here, marketers can invite the followers to ask questions about individuals or the company. As a marketer, you are encouraging the followers to ask questions practically on anything. There are various ways, which can be adopted to set up AMA, such as:
- Live streams
- Status Updates
118. Video Testimonials
While we know written testimonials on the website do add a feather to the cap, but a video testimonial is a different game altogether. It gives a tremendous boost to the brand and also immensely builds credentials.
119. Product Promotion
It is estimated that people spend over 2 hours a day on social media. Marketers leverage this to the best of their ability and promote their products through photos, videos, and other methods on social media platforms.
120. Research & Findings
In case you find some research findings, there is a possibility that your target audience does not have insight into the findings and the subject per se. Hence, sharing such research findings will be a great way to share meaningful content and also promote your brand.
Best Case Scenario for using B2B Content
B2B content marketing can be a daunting task and a bigger challenge is to continuously create engaging content. One of the most effective ways of having B2B content is to ensure its applicability. If content cannot be used by the reader, then it does not serve the purpose.
What is more effective is that B2B content has to be well thought off and well researched before it gets published. You can’t have a run-of-the-mill kind of content. However, with all this, there needs to be a systematic method of publishing this content. Here are the steps to be performed to ensure your content marketing process is effective:
- Identify the target audience
- Develop new content
- Review content using social validation
- Promote your content
To summarize, B2B content marketing is a meticulous task, that consists of multiple elements. As a marketing professional, one must look at various aspects such as the nature of your business, target audience that you are planning to reach out to. However, before you get into any of these areas, it is imperative for you to have a clearly defined marketing strategy. Rest all can just orbit around this basic element.