As a B2B content marketer, you're in a unique position. You're tasked with creating and managing content that engages buyers, helps them understand your brand and its offerings, and ultimately encourages them to buy.
But what makes content effective in this context? How do you ensure people pay attention to and use your marketing materials?
In this article, we'll explore 7 habits of highly successful B2B content marketers who've used their skills to drive revenue growth by honing their content ideas and focusing on a target audience.
1. They Are Committed
If you run a B2B company, it's important to remember that your customers are not buying products; they are buying solutions to problems. Buyers want to know that the business is committed to their success, that they're not just selling something that will get the job done, but rather working together with them toward long-term goals and bigger wins.
For buyers to trust you as an expert in your field, they need to see proof of how much time and effort you've put into understanding their challenges.
If a customer doesn't feel like you care about helping solve his or her specific problem(s), he or she won't be interested in purchasing from you.
B2B content marketing is a long game. It takes time to build up and cultivate relationships, particularly with prospects further along in the buying cycle. Understanding the buyer's journey takes time, and staying committed to the marketing efforts that go into developing the rapport with a buyer can seem overly challenging at times.
This can be frustrating because you don't see much immediate payoff for your hard work. Sales are likely pressuring you to generate leads for the company consistently.
Still, it's important to remember that the most successful content marketers don't give up just because things aren't happening quickly enough for them.
84 percent of C-level executives and 75 percent of B2B buyers Today are incorporating social media as an integral part of their decision-making process.
Why it's important
Commitment is the best path toward content marketing success.
Staying dedicated over a long period of time is likely to be one of the most challenging aspects of the position. A business-to-business content marketing strategy can be tedious, depending on the topic, and is rarely as sexy as writing content for a consumer-facing brand.
However, your content marketing efforts are just as critical to the success of the business, if not more so, as the buying cycle is almost always longer and with more decision-makers involved.
2. They Deliver Consistent Content
The fastest way to build a loyal audience is by delivering consistent content. Don't wait for the perfect time, topic or idea. Don't wait for the perfect writing style or design. Just go ahead and publish it! A blog post a day is an incredible benchmark for what success should look like for most organizations. A weekly blog post is acceptable, but don't let your consistency slip past that.
The first few pieces of content you create may not be perfect, but they will still help establish your brand as an authority in your industry over time and build your audience's trust in you. Content creation takes time, and convincing content takes both time and consistency.
51% of the businesses that invest in content marketing publish content daily (The Manifest).
Why it's important
It's the best way to build relationships with leads.
One of the biggest reasons B2B content marketers must deliver content consistently is that it is the best way to build relationships with leads. Your lead has received tons of emails and marketing messages from your competitors, so he or she can be skeptical about connecting with you.
But when you deliver relevant, helpful content regularly (and not just once in a blue moon), you show them that your company cares and that you have their best interests at heart.
Plus, delivering consistent content gives you more chances to engage with your leads and improve the relationship over time. The more often you deliver quality information, the more opportunities there are for engagement through email campaigns or social media activity (like commenting on relevant posts).
Consistent content marketing helps build a positive brand experience.
Building trust with your audience is the key to success in B2B marketing, and you can do this by consistently creating quality content that they find valuable.
Consistent messaging builds familiarity, which improves retention rates, helps audiences learn about your brand, and allows them to identify easily with you as a brand.
Consistent content also builds trust with search engines because Google wants to provide the best experience for its users, and good content is one way it does that.
If people keep coming back for more content from you, it shows that they enjoy visiting your site and reading what's being offered (which is why we recommend publishing regularly).
Consistency helps you implement an effective content marketing strategy.
Keeping your audience engaged and informed will be challenging if you only create one piece of content every few weeks.
Consistency will help you stay focused on your goals if you have an effective strategy. It's easy to get distracted when creating content, especially if multiple decision-makers are involved in the process, all trying to pull the team in different directions simultaneously!
Staying consistent is also essential for avoiding burnout. Creating great B2B content takes lots of energy and commitment, and if one person does most of the work on their own (or with just two or three other people), that individual will inevitably become worn out.
3. They Outsource
One of the reasons why this group of marketers is so successful is that they outsource. Outsourcing allows you to focus on other areas and scale your business, both important when building a successful content marketing program.
“Scaling” your business means adding new employees or hiring contract workers, while “focus” means making sure that you're spending more time on what makes your company unique and less time on things that don't matter (or at least not as much).
Why it's important
Outsourcing offers specialized expertise.
Outsourcing is a great way to tap into the knowledge and skills of people with a lot of experience in a particular area.
A great example is if you're an expert at marketing automation, not social media strategy. It's best to leave that side to a company specializing in social media marketing. That way, you can concentrate on your core business while outsourcing other tasks and functions that are not part of your core competency.
Besides, having a true understanding of building multiple social media channels and keeping each performing optimally is best left up to an expert.
An expert will know how to promote content and leverage existing content in the promotions.
Outsourcing frees up your time.
Outsourcing lets you focus on what you do best and lets other people handle the rest of it, so you don't have to worry about research, editing, or publishing.
You can outsource your paid advertising campaigns and only have to deal with budget and lead matriculation and management. There are a lot of advertising platforms available, and they all require a level of skill and expertise to use effectively. They are much better off in the hands of a trusted expert.
Outsourcing helps you scale and grow.
Outsourcing can help you focus on your core business as you scale your business. This means that you'll be able to grow faster and more efficiently than if all of the content was produced by in-house staff.
For example, let's say that a large B2B company wants to expand its brand presence in China because it sees an opportunity for growth there. The company has already built an organic following on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Still, it needs someone who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese to handle its content strategy for this new market.
They hired a freelance writer specializing in translating English articles into Chinese. They don't need additional employees or overhead costs associated with hiring someone full-time at this point (they might later).
- Complete Guide to Successful Outsourcing
- How to Find a Freelancer and Achieve Breakthrough Business Success
- A Practical Guide to an Effective Content Marketing Plan
4. They’re Always Improving
The B2B content marketing industry is a dynamic place. New technologies and new research findings change constantly, so it's crucial that your skills keep up with the changes.
There are also plenty of practical reasons for always improving your knowledge and skills as a B2B content marketer. A few are the pace at which your business customers evolve. It's more than likely that the needs of your current customers will change 6-12 months from now.
You will also find that your competition is constantly finding new ways to connect with the same business audience and, in many ways, better than you can. You don't want your prospective customers to become their prospective customers, let alone your existing customers leaving.
Why it's important
Your competitors are doing it.
One of the most important reasons why B2B content marketers need to be improving constantly is because their competitors are.
You have to keep up with the competition, and showing that you are better than them will help you win more business.
Your customers and prospects expect it.
As a B2B content marketer, your customers and prospects expect you to improve continuously. They expect your content to be up-to-par at a minimum and always provide valuable information. Here are some content characteristics to check when creating new content.
- Content needs to be up-to-date
- Content needs to be credible
- Content must always be trustworthy
- Content must be helpful
You want to ensure your content marketing strategy includes:
- Engaging content
- Timely content
- Strategic guidance
- Visual content
- Optimized content
- Valuable content
You need to stay ahead of changes in the B2B marketing industry.
You should continually improve because the B2B marketing industry is constantly changing. To succeed as a content marketer in today's environment, you must keep abreast of the field's developments and continually develop fresh ideas.
If you are not constantly improving your skills, your competitors will eventually overtake you with their more advanced knowledge and experience.
5. They Value Growth
Growth is one of the most important metrics for content marketers. It also signifies success, improvement, customer satisfaction, and increased brand awareness.
If your marketing strategy doesn't include growth as a key metric, then you're missing out on valuable insights about what you can do to improve your content marketing strategy.
Why it's important
It's a great way to attract new hires.
As a B2B content marketer, you should always value growth, which is a great way to attract new hires. Building a content marketing strategy that attracts new hires is important because it's one of the best ways to ensure your company doesn't just survive but thrives.
You can establish credibility with potential customers by creating a compelling brand personality across all channels and forms of content (from videos to blogs).
It's a fantastic strategy for improving the company culture.
A company's culture can significantly boost when you start seeing success with a B2B content marketing strategy. It can become a rallying point for an organization to see its marketing goals come to fruition as a team.
Suppose you're marketing material to other businesses. In that case, you should always emphasize goals and objectives within your own company because it's one of the best methods to motivate your staff to perform at their peak.
6. They Are Realistic
Successful B2B content marketers are realistic about what content marketing can and cannot do. They know it's not a magic bullet that will solve all the challenges in the marketplace, nor is it a replacement for other activities like sales or paid ads.
Most great marketers incorporate content marketing into their overall plan because it is so useful for gaining the trust of potential clients and customers. It is a great way to show key differences to your target customers, and creating content is a true differentiator for many businesses.
Successful marketers recognize that content marketing is a crucial aspect of their strategy for attracting and retaining clients, but they also know better than to rely on it alone.
78% of B2B marketers employ keyword research for SEO while creating content (CMI).
Why it's important
It will set a bad example for the rest of the organization.
Making unrealistic demands of yourself sends the wrong message to other people in your organization. Your coworkers will feel like they can’t do their job if their manager doesn't recognize that they have a life outside of work.
Your boss might interpret your unrealistic expectations as evidence that you're not being a team player and will lose faith in your commitment to the company's goals. And worst of all, coworkers may conclude that they can’t trust you because you seem so focused on self-promotion rather than team success.
You'll feel more stressed out and less productive.
In the long run, you'll feel more stressed out and less productive than if you were realistic about your capabilities. When you set unrealistic expectations for yourself, it can be hard to meet them. You'll feel like you have to work extra hard to get by, affecting your health and well-being.
You'll also have more trouble managing your time because you won't be able to prioritize tasks effectively. You may even make mistakes that could negatively affect you or your colleagues.
7) They Focus on the Entire Project
Highly successful B2B content marketers understand where the focus needs to be. They know that the main focus is the business and that the content marketing strategy is only one part of a larger marketing strategy.
They think about how all these things work together to create a cohesive experience for customers and prospects. When you're looking at your own process from this perspective, you can identify where there might be opportunities for improvement in your own organization's approach to content marketing.
Why it's important
Content marketing is a long-term focus with long-term gains.
A content marketing program will not turn into success overnight. Content is closely related to SEO. Content that needs to increase organic traffic or is tied to other SEO efforts will take more time than other strategies like paid ads or influencer marketing.
Writing content, promoting content, repurposing content, and learning how that content wins the hearts and minds of your target audiences is a long-term driver of success for a B2B content marketing strategy, but it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Learn more about how a content marketing strategy can boost SEO value.
Holistic measurement of the entire program is critical.
A content marketer should know that measuring the pieces and parts of the program is important but measuring the entire content marketing strategy is how B2B content marketing succeeds.
Whether you employ Google Analytics or another measurement solution, understanding what to measure and how to interpret the data is the most critical element to keep a content marketing strategy moving in the right direction.
Highly Successful B2B Content Marketers Wrap-up
There are many ways to create great content, and companies will always find new ways to improve it. The key is to stay flexible and keep testing new approaches so that you can keep up with the ever-changing world around us.
Investing in content marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy is vital in today's markets. There is not a single industry that isn't touched by some form of content daily.
When you truly understand your target audience, you will find ways to leverage your content to move them through the buyer's journey and convert them into customers.