According to 71% of B2B marketers, content marketing has grown in importance in their businesses over the past year. Companies like yours seize this strategy of engaging buyers through content that answers their questions and fulfils their needs; it fills your pipeline and leads to more sales.
However, as you prepare for 2024, you want to ensure your content marketing strategy captures the latest best practices. Let’s explore what you need about B2B content marketing for the coming year.
Understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of B2B content marketing
As companies within the B2B sector set out to produce content to engage their target audience, they commonly encounter challenges. Knowing what obstacles you might face as you develop your content will make you feel more prepared to counter them.
A survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that for B2B content marketers, engaging the audience at each step of the buyer’s journey presents one of the biggest challenges. In other words, you must know how to produce content that will interest your target audience as they start looking for solutions and keep them interested through the conversion phase.
Marketers also commonly report challenges while measuring their progress. They say that it can be difficult to integrate the data they collect across multiple platforms. Often, their organisation doesn’t have set KPIs that they can measure their success against as well.
Let’s look at some of the content marketing strategies B2B marketers can employ to overcome these challenges.
1. Create targeted content for B2B audiences
To excel in B2B marketing, having a set strategy is one of the most important steps you can take. Nearly 3/4 of marketers say that they have developed a plan for their content marketing, with over 70% saying that they always or frequently aim to differentiate their content from the competition.
To make your content unique, you must align your material closely with your targeted buyer. They will remember content that addresses their needs. Achieving this alignment, however, often seems like a pipe dream.
Customers often move through sales funnels differently from how businesses envision. They might look at a white paper indicated for the awareness stage when they get ready to purchase or glance at a pricing page early in the sales process before they feel prepared to buy.
Therefore, it helps to think about what people want to accomplish when they look at the content.
- Do customers engage with this type of content when they want to learn something?
- Will customers look at this content when they want to make some change in their own business? Or when they want to know what to do to accomplish a given kind of change?
- Are customers interested in purchasing or learning how a purchase might impact them?
Knowing the intention of your customers and pairing that with their position in the sales funnel can help you better identify and match content with your users.
2. Use thought leadership to establish credibility
As you consider the type of content you want to produce, thought leadership should also be at the top of your list. LinkedIn and Edelman found that thought leadership is one of the most effective strategies to demonstrate your value to your target audience.
To begin creating this type of content, however, you need to know what thought leadership is and what customers want to see.
With thought leadership, you use your unique industry knowledge and experience to create your strategies and points of view. You build a reputation as a leader in the industry by presenting ideas that will capture people’s attention and show that you are a forward thinker.
Businesses want to see that the companies they trust and buy from have a demonstrable understanding of the significant pain points that their organisation experiences. They also want to look to companies that can help them find new opportunities to build their revenue. Thought leaders who identify industry trends and help their target buyers generate ROI, even in challenging economic conditions, have tremendous opportunities to build trust.
3. Implement account-based marketing for personalised outreach
Account-based marketing, or ABM, has attracted attention in recent years, particularly as the importance of personalisation in marketing has become a significant trend. According to one survey, 71% of businesses planned to increase their ABM spending in 2024.
As technology and businesses have become more sophisticated in tracking customer data and consolidating and using that information, the potential for ABM and personalised marketing has similarly increased. Companies can use emerging marketing technology to combine customer data from several platforms, providing more significant potential for personalisation. You can go beyond using customer names and companies in emails. Instead, you can reach out to your leads with the type of content they want to read at the right time, laying the foundation for your relationship moving forward.
As you build these customer relationships, note that 48% say consistent, reliable experiences are essential to build loyalty. Therefore, this personalised attention should not only apply to those in the buyer’s funnel. In 2024, look also for ways to engage your existing customers and demonstrate that you continue to answer their needs and care about their experiences.
4. Avoid creating any new content
This one may come as a bit of a shock, especially coming from a content agency, but we’re serious – maybe the focus for 2024 needs to not be on creating anything new. Instead, it should be on repurposing what you already have.
The art of content repurposing holds the key to maintaining a robust online presence, without continually spending budget on new content creation. Armed with your pre-existing assets, such as blog articles, videos, proposals or pitch decks, and client testimonials, you can generate enough ‘new’ content to drive engagement on LinkedIn and within your email marketing campaigns. Your blog articles can become impactful LinkedIn Pulse articles that offer insights to your professional network. Your existing videos can be recut and reshared in new ways that will grab your audience’s attention. You can create new tiles and carousels for LinkedIn to share reviews and testimonials, or even create an short animated video to collate them all into an engaging reel. Then, of course, you can repackage all of this into your email marketing strategy. By repurposing your pre-existing content, you’ll save budget and time, while portraying a consistent thought leadership narrative in your distribution channels.
Measuring ROI and evaluating the success of B2B content marketing
When you prepare to implement these content marketing shifts for 2024, make sure that you have a plan to measure your progress. As mentioned above, measuring success remains one of the biggest challenges for marketers. However, you don’t know where to invest your resources moving forward without accurate measurements.
- Outline the goals you want to achieve with your B2B content marketing strategy. You might note sales goals, engagement goals, and customer retention goals.
- Use these goals to select relevant KPIs showing whether you have achieved these standards.
- Regularly track and monitor your KPIs.
- Evaluate your content marketing strategy at regular intervals. For example, you might have a brief monthly meeting to look at metrics and successes and then meet quarterly to determine if anything needs to shift.
Content marketing strategies for B2B businesses for 2024
As you make your marketing plans for the coming year, consider how the cornerstones of targeted audiences, thought leadership and personalisation fit into your content plans. Knowing what your customers want to see will give you the insight to keep them interested in your business, bringing in leads and creating customers.