When most people think of content marketing, its applications in the world of B2B marketing don’t always come to mind. Truth is, B2B audiences are some of the best suited for content marketing. In fact, it’s likely you experience great B2B examples of content marketing on a daily basis.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” B2B examples of content marketing tend to come to life online via blog content, videos, webinars and social media.
Many organizations get it wrong. After all, I’m not writing a blog about it because it’s easy. These next three B2B examples will help show who gets it right, and what you can apply from their example to your brand.
B2B examples of excellent content marketing
If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve read one of HubSpot’s myriad blogs about everything from marketing automation to video marketing statistics. Most would agree they’re the king of content marketing. Why? They add value. Sure they have content and materials about their product and services. But what makes them great is that their resources extend much further than that. They have an extensive blog presence, they host webinars, and they even offer a suite of certifications that help educate both marketers and sales people about marketing automation, agency selling, and other industry best practices as a whole.
How to apply this B2B example: Think of your target personas. What’s valuable to them? Of course, your organization’s offering will be one need, but what else? Helping your audience address needs outside of just what your product or service can is a great way to add value and form positive connections with your target personas.
With their massive scale, IBM has created a rich digital content experience spanning industries. One example is a series of video resources, featuring internal and external thought leaders who highlight industry trends and projections. What’s most interesting about it is that the industries range from Aerospace to Travel, Education, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and more.
The series helps inform their audience, while at the same time positioning them as authorities and true thought leaders in innovation—a staple of their brand.
Within their industries series, there are a number of additional resources, including case studies, reports, news updates, and even social media contact information for “IBM Experts.” These resources add more depth to the series and help move users from awareness to conversion.
How to apply this B2B example: Every strong organization has something they stand for: a mission, goal, or a brand proposition. Communicating this can be a challenge without content marketing. Providing proof points in the form of case studies, interviews, testimonials and other visual content are great ways to help B2B decision makers understand why they should consider you, and support them along the buyer journey.
- Virgin Pulse
This tech company helps cultivate good lifestyle habits for businesses’ employees. They have a great resources page with gated content targeting HR managers who need hand helping employees to get fit. These resources help support not only the HR manager’s decision, but also the ultimate decision makers in their organization.
In addition to more commonly available e-books and webinars, Virgin Pulse collects and organizes primary research into valuable reports like this Employee Wellbeing Culture and Engagement report. This is an example of their gated content, which supports them with additional content marketing tactics like email nurture, and even retargeting on social channels. Data capture from gating these resources can also support them with their lead scoring efforts, a process vital to success in the B2B space.
How to apply this B2B example: Remember to make the most of your efforts. It’s not enough to just create the content itself. Strategize ways to repurpose your work on other mediums, share it via social and targeted email campaigns, and ensure you’re capturing data from your audience in exchange for valuable information. All of these elements contribute to the ROI of your content marketing strategy.
What can we learn from these B2B examples of content marketing?
If you read our blogs regularly, you’ve heard this before: always add value. That’s the bottom line. Once you’re able to add value to your audience, remember to use your content to help communicate your brand and key differentiators to those considering your organization. And finally, be sure to make the most out of your content marketing efforts. Capture data, repurpose your content and utilize effective channels to distribute it to those who are looking.
Sarah Johnson is the Director of Digital Marketing Services with Incentric. She’s a recreational sports enthusiast and is driven by the opportunity to connect people through truly impactful digital strategies. You’ll know it’s her by her “irresistible” fake British accent and steady stream of quips.