A mix of first and third party content is required to seal the deal.
B2B sales cycles are long, and the buyer’s journey is complex. Content marketing sits well with these aspects because it doesn’t go for a hard sell directly. Instead, it aims to educate and help prospects. A survey by FocusVision even found that the average B2B buyer may consume 13 pieces of content before choosing their vendor.
In 2020 with the world going virtual, content marketing saw an increased adoption and investment. B2B content marketers majorly pivoted to webinars as virtual events replaced physical counterparts and conferences.
But where are B2B organizations headed in 2021? Should you increase your content creation budgets? What kind of content should you create? And how should you structure your content team?
Well, here’s a quick overview of what works and is pursued by top-performing B2B content marketers:
- They have a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple departments in the company: A great example of this is the Intercom editorial team that facilitates their peers (designers, engineers, and the like) to write on the subjects they are experts in. If you’re just starting out, then outsourcing content creation and onboarding freelance SEO talent are fine. But aim for building a dedicated team in the long-term.
- They document their content strategies and measure their performance: It’s impossible to improve something you’re not measuring. So set key performance indicators (KPIs) for your team and align your efforts to meet them. You need to think beyond vanity metrics such as traffic and evaluate how your content efforts impact the bottom line.
- They focus on the middle and bottom of the funnel content creation: B2B content marketers tend to exclusively focus on brand awareness educational content simply addressing the top of the funnel. But content marketing needs to serve the complete funnel. In fact, content around your products (such as case studies, a knowledge base/help center, and even articles comparing you against your competition) are better starting points for content programs.
The infographic below on key B2B content marketing stats for 2021 discusses the above figures alongside insights on social media, COVID-19 impact, more. Use it to take stock of your current content strategy: