Businesses have relied on B2B content marketing to gain interest from new customers for a long time but everyone in marketing will suffer from the occasional writer’s block or lack of creativity, which could see you struggle creating content altogether.
During these times as a B2B marketer, it’s important to make sure you are one step ahead of your competition so we’ve pulled together 7 top tips to help your B2B marketing stand out from the crowd, helping you outsmart the competition and win more business.
#1 Be organised
There are a few ways you can be organised in your B2B content marketing. Setting up a content calendar will allow you to prepare seasonal or cleverly timed posts in advance and before the competition. Ensuring everyone knows their role means content can be produced quickly. Keeping your tone of voice and messaging consistent will help create recognition. Prepare an audit on your competitors, too, to identify any content gaps you can take advantage of.
#2 Be generous
Although it can be difficult for B2B businesses to offer special deals and promotions, there certainly are a number of ways to reward your customers and position yourselves as the ‘nicest’ company in your market place.
Being forthcoming with advice can go a long way. If you’re a closed book, it won’t get you anywhere in B2B content marketing so you need to offer something of value for customers to engage with you, whilst taking the attention away from the competition.
Discounts, competitions, giveaways and special offers for current (as well as new) customers are just some ways to be generous and potentially bring in more business too.
#3 Be unexpected
Together with offers and promotions, customers love to be surprised. We’ve previously published a blog post on how to create eye-catching content to help grab your prospects’ attention.
Likewise, controversial content, themed content and innovative content formats (such as icon packs, free Excel templates or quizzes) can be a great way of engaging new prospects before your competition do.
#4 Be connected
Don’t be afraid to offer advice to new prospects and audiences via email marketing. If your content offers free and valuable advice and you promote that advice, you should feel confident the content gives someone enough value that they’ll take 10 minutes out of their day to read what you’re saying.
Lead nurturing is also a crucial part of the follow-up process once someone is engaged. For example, if a prospect interacts with one piece of content, having one or two extra pieces of content to offer them will help you stay in touch. Use content marketing to encourage the sharing of information before passing leads through to sales.
#5 Be human
What makes your company stand out? Showing your audience that you have some character and personality can go a long way. Whether it’s an approachable online presence through social media or regular blog posts, your audience will soon take notice. It’s also a chance to have some fun!
To help with this, B2B could learn a lot from B2C marketing. When you’re marketing to a business, you are still trying to connect with someone on the other end. Whether it’s an email or a call, there’s a one-to-one connection taking place. This ‘human-to-human marketing’ can set you apart from your competitors.
#6 Be current
Every year holds a number of opportunities to get creative with your content: Christmas, New Years, Easter, Halloween and Bonfire Night are a handful of the regular go-to seasonal events, but why not shake it up? Being in tune with ongoing or upcoming sporting events, fashion shows, music festivals and so on can spice up your content and give your audience something different, whilst remaining relevant.
This also means staying up-to-date with the latest news. For example, IT managers across the UK, were recently shaken up by the NHS cybersecurity threat – resulting in many tech marketers jumping on such topics. Other examples could include regulation updates (employment law changes) and political events (Brexit and UK General Election).
#7 Be reflective
Finally, it’s important to take a step back and view your achievements. Recapping on the past year, whilst preparing and predicting for the next, can refresh your brand and content. This can be a valuable asset for your audience.
It’s also useful to continually review performance to identify what’s working – and what isn’t – to shape yout future content strategy. Reflect on the current market environment too. This could mean introducing new types of content that your competitors have not yet explored, such as infographics, webinars, video marketing etc.
These 7 tips illustrate how you can accurately assess your current performance and strategy to outsmart your competitors and keep your audience happy at the same time. Keeping ahead of the content strategy game is more difficult now than ever before so recognising how to improve your technique, whilst still having fun, can give you the advantage to produce the best content for your audience.