April 4, 2014: For many B2B companies, just simply having a blog at all has been a huge accomplishment. However, now that content marketing has become one of the most popular strategies in digital marketing for 2014 (and hopefully beyond), it may be time to step your content marketing game. Marketers and buyers alike agree: content marketing now goes beyond a few simple blog posts. In KoMarketing’s 2014 B2B Web Usability Report , 38% of buyers consider case studies, white papers, articles, and blog posts as “must have” content.
Below are some areas B2B marketers can expand to if they want to add on to their content strategy. These places aren’t new; but they can archive revived success thanks to the additional emphasis on content quality.
White papers are a great area for B2B marketers because it allows them to showcase their research, results, and case studies of specific clients, which provides real-world proof that they can meet client expectations. Including a call-to-action at the end of the document can only increase the chances that white papers can be a guaranteed sales revenue source.
According to the 2013 B2B Marketing Benchmark report, 57% of B2B marketers say that white papers are an effective tactic in content marketing. Furthermore, Matt McGee of MarketingLand reports that a study by Business.com showed that B2B marketers thought white papers was one of the top lead generation tactics.
In order to make white papers a useful content marketing strategy, many marketers create a “requirement for entry,” meaning that users have to give their name and email in order to down the content. Other marketers have had success with giving white papers as a bonus to new clients or those that have signed up for a newsletter or email mailing list.
Email newsletters are a great way to put a focus on providing information as a trusted resource, without explicitly trying to sell the recipients specific products and services. As we reported in March 2014, Experian found that email newsletters (sometimes called e-newsletters) had a higher open and click-through rate than traditional promotional email campaigns.
Industry contacts enjoy learning new tactics and strategies from trusted companies they have worked with or heard of before, and email newsletters are a great way to capitalize on that. From outlining specific articles of interest to providing unique content that the company has produced for the e-newsletter and in other areas (like blogs and news portals) can increase credibility and provide ongoing interest for mailing list contacts.
If you want to move beyond white papers but aren’t ready (or don’t want) to start producing e-books, creating a tutorial library full of long-form, robust content can be a great option. For B2B companies that have a complicated or technical product and service offering, an article library full of long FAQ explanations, step-by-step guides on how to use products, and advanced strategy implantation suggestions can be a godsend to customers. Because a customer’s first stop for help with a product or service is usually its source, it is important to have an extensive library of information that can help them, without having to go somewhere else.
Additionally, like white papers, long-form content can be a way to prove the success of previous or current clients through extensive case studies with actionable results.
The Content Marketing Institute has called content libraries the “next big challenge” that B2B content marketers are going to have to tackle, so get a head start on it before it becomes a requirement for an marketing strategy. Some forms of content that make sense in a resource content library include:
- How To Guides
- Case Studies
- E-newsletter archives
While e-newsletters, content and resource libraries, and white papers aren’t the only ways marketers can step up their content strategies, they are easy and natural progressions to move past blog posts as the sole focus of any B2B content marketing strategy. With 93% of B2B marketers using content marketing as a way to drive revenue and leads, expanding your strategy is a great way to take advantage of all that content has to offer.
About Kelsey Jones
Kelsey Jones is a writer and search/social media marketing consultant as MoxieDot and Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal. She enjoys writing and consuming all kinds of content, both in digital and tattered paperback form. Connect with Kelsey on Twitter @wonderwall7.