Engaging content is not only important for B2B marketing — it’s expected. Today’s B2B customers — a whopping 94% of them, in fact — are using online content as research when deciding on a purchase, with 67% of B2B customers say that a business or brand’s digital content is the biggest influence on their decision to buy. Also, more than 70% of B2B marketers report that they can prove, with numbers, how effective content marketing has boosted their audience engagement and increased qualified leads. In this article, we’ll discuss the top three most effective types of B2B content — written articles, optimized social media posts, and video — and how to leverage each to get more qualified leads and engagement.
We’ve heard it for years: content is king/queen. But just how effective is written content in this visual world? Let’s look at some statistics. A reported 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information from an article rather than an advertisement. And 81% of businesses report their blog as vital for their B2B lead generation. On top of that, 82% of B2B buyers viewed at least five pieces of content from a vendor before purchase. With these kinds of stats, it’s no surprise that written content is a crucial part of any effective sales and marketing strategy.
But customers don’t want to wade through pages of content to find useable morsels. They are looking for content that adds value, addresses their specific business needs, and is both engaging and convenient to access. B2B customers are typically looking for ways to improve their return on investment (ROI) and make their workflow more efficient. Address those needs with well-written and well-researched landing pages, newsletters, blog posts, LinkedIn articles, eBooks, how-to guides, case studies, and white papers.
And don’t just diversify your content: diversify your message. Include content that addresses all stages of the B2B buyer journey, from awareness to consideration to decision. Consistently publishing well-thought-out written content in a variety of formats and channels will not only widen your audience, it will establish your brand as a thought leader in your field.
Optimized social media posts
Your company’s social media platforms are like the loudspeakers of your brand, spreading your message far and wide. Social media is used to distribute content, like the type mentioned above, but it’s a great tool for sharing bite-size thought leadership content, posing questions, sharing polls or surveys, highlighting a story or thought, and more. Social media posts are an effective way to start conversations, attract leads, and broaden your audience.
LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms for businesses, though you might also use others like Pinterest and Snapchat, depending on your industry and audience. But whatever the platform, social media is vital for B2B marketing. In fact, 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support their purchasing decisions. And a reported 45% of businesses have acquired customers through LinkedIn. Businesses that are on Twitter generate twice the amount of leads than those not on the platform. And keep in mind that the most successful businesses are on five or more social media platforms!
We know social media is effective for B2B marketing, but how do you make your posts stand out among the crowd? The most effective social media posts use eye-catching images and videos. In fact, posts with images are proven to double your social engagement! But not just any images will do — your audience wants to see that you’re authentic and creative. Consider re-posting photos of happy customers using your product or service. Share behind-the-scenes shots of your team and sneak-peeks of new products. Post photos of company events and trade shows. Get creative with images or gifs to show your brand’s personality. Give a face to your brand — keep it positive and authentic, and watch your audience respond.
Video marketing has seen a tremendous increase over the last few years. And although written content is still very relevant, studies show that 59% of B2B decision-makers prefer watching a video over reading content. And B2B prospects watch an average of 1.5 hours of online video a day! Plus, video helps with SEO (search engine optimization). Some studies suggest it’s 53 times more likely to rank on Google than any other content. So it’s no wonder that 85% of businesses are planning to increase their video marketing budgets this year alone. What types of videos are most likely to reach B2B consumers?
Share the excitement of a new product release through video. To build interest and anticipation, you may want to provide small “sneak peeks” in several short videos in the days or weeks before the release. How-to videos also are extremely popular as they show current and prospective clients how they can use and benefit from your products and services. Webinars are a great entry point for leads who are looking to understand your product or industry better. Quick interview-style videos or podcast snippets (with video of the guests) can help your business share quick tips or insights from industry leaders and subject matter experts, elevating your authority and credibility in the industry. Live streaming videos also are a great way to encourage real-time engagement by getting up close and personal with your audience. These are just a few of the many ways to use video in B2B marketing; the wider variety of videos you use, the more chances you will have to engage with a larger audience.
Looking for more ways to grow your business? Need support securing meetings with potential customers? It may be time to consider outsourcing some of your lead generation activities. At Roikings, we serve as an outsourced sales team that takes care of all the details, from marketing to setting up appointments with qualified leads. We’ll help sell your business so you can focus on what you do best: running your business. Contact us today to get the conversation started.