I saw this question over on Quora and thought it would be a great one to answer here on the Net-Results blog. Why? Because for a long while I’ve worked at a B2B SaaS business and a lot of my focus has been on content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.ContentMarketingInstitute.com
It’s so important that we actually did a whole Lightning Talk about it a while back! Check it out below.
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But let’s get back to the question! The short answer is, of course, that content marketing is very important for Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing.
I think it’s easiest to talk about what content marketing can look like for each part of the customer journey — from first website visit all the way through.
1. The importance of marketing content in the awareness phase
Content marketing is a pivotal part of any awareness-phase marketing campaign; whether it’s organic or paid, both types of marketing campaigns really require a smooth operational framework of marketing content because content acts as the magnet to draw visitors to your organization’s website.
When it comes to organic campaigns, practices like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reign supreme. Creating blog posts, videos, and articles that answer commonly searched questions or are relevant to commonly search phrases increases the efficacy of your content and, should the ever-powerful Google algorithm like your content, that means more eyes on your website as well. The relevance and utility of your content can also increase organic reach and may lead the website visitors, amplifying your reach. Imagine all those people who’ve now visited your website who maybe hadn’t heard of you before!
And maybe there you target them with some retargeting ads — and this is where the paid portion of content marketing can come in, too. Sure, we can just show audiences ads that are relevant, but you can also use your carefully curated content to build a further relationship of trust with those visitors and create
2. The importance of content marketing for lead generation
While we’re moving down the funnel into the interest, consideration, and intent portions of the customer journey, content is still king! Creating a trusting relationship with your leads and prospects means providing value, and not just continuing to sell them on something without giving them something in return.
Creating useful content for your sales and marketing teams to use can increase conversion rate — and when I say can, I really mean will increase your conversion rate. The more well-written and well-produced pieces of content, even very general or very niche pieces of content, will allow more of that trust to be built and for your leads to think of you as a great solution to all their problems. After all, you’ve been solving them the whole way through all that relevant and useful content you’ve been providing, right?
3. The importance of content for customer retention and loyalty
Let’s take a little hop skip and a jump over conversion and direction into advocacy.
Creating content for customers and allowing your Customer Success and Support teams to utilize your content is a great way to keep your customer’s happier for longer.
For example: having a flow of content that continues to help your organization not only engage but also educate your customers, leading to more customer satisfaction and retention. Content marketing can also take the form of an ambassador or affiliate program here, allowing your biggest advocates to share more of your content or create their own around your business.
Content marketing can also create the best kind of feedback loop ever: using content marketing to generate user-generated content to then use for more content marketing. (Would making an Inception joke right now age myself?) Something as simple as review campaigns for your business can help to increase your future conversion rates; 73% of consumers use online reviews to make purchase decisions! This works for B2B organizations just as well, as the barriers to purchase for B2B decisions are often even higher than the barriers might be in the B2C sector.
All of these implementations of content marketing can lead to some things we’d all like a little more of, including:
- Increased sales
- Better conversion rates
- Higher ROI
- More customers who fit your ICP
- Elevated customer loyalty
So back to the question: how important is content marketing for B2B business? Well, I think we answered it pretty thoroughly. Content marketing in the B2B world means more of what you want: leads, conversions, and revenue generating activities. Hope
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To your success,
Sarah & The Net-Results Marketing Team