When I started at Mashup Communications six years ago, my goal was clear: write, conceptualize, and create social media posts for the beauty and lifestyle brands of this world! At that time, I was not only ignorant, but also had a very classical understanding of what an exciting brand should be – thanks to VOGUE and the like. Please no boring topics, I thought. But oh boy, was I wrong! Because B2B content marketing can also be exciting, if it’s presented in the right way.
But like me in general at the time, many B2B companies first have to be convinced of their good fortune. Phew, communicating on our own channels, do we have to? Yes, is the answer. Even if a company should be the only solution on the market at the moment, it still gives away the valuable opportunity to build a real connection with the target group and actively help them as a mentor. B2B content marketing in particular thus often degenerates into a freestyle activity, even though it should actually be mandatory by now. So to change that: My plea for more B2B content marketing!
All beginnings are difficult: Recognizing the need for content marketing
So I’m hardly telling you anything new when I say that at the beginning of my own hero’s journey at Mashup, it wasn’t at all clear to me what kind of potential some of our B2B clients had. The topics seemed far too incomprehensible and intangible to me at the beginning. It only became clear to me later that this doesn’t have to be the case and that it can be actively addressed through content marketing, for example.
And I’m sure one or two potential customers feel the same way. So even if companies don’t necessarily see the need to pick me up as a PR consultant in terms of content, this should happen at the latest with their own target group. Because they want to have a trustworthy partner at their side – especially when questions arise.
The discovery phase: using B2B content marketing across channels
With Billomat I got my first B2B client a few years ago. Digital accounting, great, just what I wanted…. Nope. To be honest, like many others, I had no idea about accounting. However, the client itself made it as easy as they could for me. In addition, there’s one thing you learn very quickly in an agency: strategies for becoming an expert on a topic in the shortest possible time. Especially when working with the team of the accounting tool, I quickly learned the importance of good content marketing. One of the reasons the brand was so successful was that it offered its customers really exciting content, and if they had any questions, they could be sure to find answers on the company blog.
It was this client and the meaningful and, above all, comprehensive use of the company’s own content that ultimately prepared my team and myself for further tasks in B2B content marketing. For example, a company blog was soon up for discussion at our long-term client, the good heathcare group. Finding and preparing the right content that would offer the target group added value was no problem at all. Now this content only had to be distributed to reach additional target groups.
The magic word here: secondary utilization! In most cases, there is rarely a lack of substantive content, but there is a lack of preparation or cross-channel use. Once companies have taken the trouble to create content, for example for a guest article in a trade magazine, it can be used again with little effort for their own blog, LinkedIn profile, or even Instagram, Facebook, and the like. After all, one’s own target group is often not necessarily homogeneous and should therefore be addressed via several channels.
But always keep in mind, even if the content or the topic itself works well across platforms, it is still important to specifically address the target group section found there and adapt it accordingly. For example, if a company wants to show potential applicants on Instagram what they can expect, technical terms should also be explained at least once. This, in turn, can be used for another post as an idea or a glossary that can be linked to. Finally, the own feed wants to be filled regularly! Then, for example, the blog post can be referred to. If, on the other hand, new customers are to be won on LinkedIn, it may be more professional.
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Where the journey is heading: Thinking outside the box
Even though it’s now more about the customer themselves – a good story and engaging people in the background can be found regardless of the industry – my fallacy from 6 years ago – that B2B is boring – is still with me today. With every newcomer, every new person who joins our team, I never tire of explaining that communication, especially in B2B and for such companies, is not only exciting, but can also make a real difference.
And anyone who thinks I’m exaggerating is welcome to ask my Earlybirds team. After a week at the latest, and as soon as I introduce my clients, I’ll give a blazing speech on why B2B content, messages and brands in general don’t have to be boring at all. From infographics to podcasts, there are so many formats to inform, entertain and inspire your target audience. In the best case, companies connect directly with potential buyers or users.
Many decision-makers and marketing managers have now understood this and – like me, by the way – are constantly looking for new ways to create content for their own audience. A great way to get inspired? Take a closer look at B2C brands! Since formats that work for the “mainstream” can also appeal to their own target group. More and more companies are turning to influencers or using podcasts as mentioned above.
But video formats in particular can make a real difference in B2B content marketing. For example, the good healthcare group shifted gears quickly with the onset of the pandemic! After on-site events and congresses were no longer possible, the company relied on livestreams to interact with their target group. In regular expert talks, people from the industry are invited to discuss exciting specialist topics. The highlight of this is that, in addition to a lively exchange, viewers can ask questions in the chat, which are then answered live.
And the effort is worth it! Potential customers can get a good impression of the expertise and at the same time establish a connection to the company. Not to mention the fact that no more questions remain unanswered! What’s more, the exciting content gained in this way can be reused for other purposes. B2B content marketing can therefore be a real win-win situation for the target group and the company.
I hope that my plea for more B2B content marketing has not only highlighted its importance, but also shown that it doesn’t have to be costly at all to offer added value to your own target group. To find out which content is a real all-rounder in B2B content marketing, click here.