For B2B brands, having a content marketing program tends to be a given. But one of the challenges of having a baseline assumption is that it can be easy to lose sight of why content marketing became such a cornerstone of B2B marketing in the first place.
Let’s take a detailed look at why content marketing is important for B2B brands and how you can get the most from your content strategy.
1 — Content draws people organically to your brand
Consistent content creation supports your broader search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, making your brand more discoverable and authoritative in organic search results.
The more high-quality content you have, the better your website will perform overall. This is especially true after Google’s helpful content update that rolled out in summer 2022.
This update from Google is incredibly good news for B2B brands, because helpful B2B content is also intent-qualified content. In other words, if you’re writing what B2B buyers in your industry are genuinely looking for, and providing legitimately useful information, you’ll eventually start showing up higher in search results.
So, instead of cramming your blog post full of keywords, write something that is actually useful to your customers and you will be rewarded with additional organic traffic.
Research has shown that organic search accounts for more than half of all website traffic.
“Instead of cramming your blog post full of keywords, write something that is actually useful to your customers and you will be rewarded with additional organic traffic.” — Art Allen @punsultant Click To Tweet
2 — Content reinforces your credibility
Ranking well in search results is a good first step toward establishing your content’s credibility. But that initial goodwill only goes so far. To reinforce your brand as an authoritative voice in your field, you need to send signals to your readers that you are a credible source of information.
The baseline signal of credibility is being brand-agnostic and user-focused. If your content comes across as salesy and pushy, readers will move on quickly.
On the other hand, if your content prioritizes answering reader questions, includes relevant statistics, cites third-party sources, and links to other relevant content on your own website, you are much more likely to be seen as a credible resource.
If that’s not enough, you can supercharge your brand’s credibility by including influencers in your content marketing. Relevant quotes from industry experts are a potent signal to readers that you are interested in providing a holistic take on the topic at hand, and that your brand is in alignment with respected voices in your niche.
3 — Content helps you build relationships and loyalty
Performing well in search gets readers in the door, and reinforcing your credibility keeps them reading. If you keep doing this by consistently publishing relevant and valuable content, you can foster strong, long-lasting connections with your target audience.
But you can’t just address final decision makers or subject matter experts. You’ll want to have content that covers every stage of the marketing funnel and customer journey: everything from defining basic industry terms to deep dives on specialized, technical topics.
Why put all that effort into your content strategy? Because when you develop a trusting relationship with a customer, they’ll come back to you, again and again. Demonstrating your expertise via content marketing is one of the most effective ways to show your brand walks the walks, and can solve problems for your customers.
Content Marketing Institute has found that 78% of top-performing content marketers use content to build loyalty among existing customers.
“Demonstrating your expertise via content marketing is one of the most effective ways to show your brand walks the walks, and can solve problems for your customers.” — Art Allen @punsultant Click To Tweet
4 — Content helps you generate leads
You can leverage your brand’s credibility to capture contact information from a self-selected group of potential customers. Putting a piece of premium content, such as eBooks, whitepapers, and webinars, behind a lead gen form can be an effective way to entice readers to share their details with you.
The age-old technique of using gated content to generate leads only underscores the importance of the previous benefits we’ve covered: building trust and credibility around your brand will make prospects feel more comfortable sharing their information, more confident that the gated content will be worth their time, and ultimately more receptive to sales outreach.
Don’t overlook the value of ungated, upper-funnel content for your B2B lead generation strategy. It can play a critical role!
5 — Content is an investment in your brand’s future
Content designed to perform in search, especially evergreen content, can continue to drive traffic, engagement, and conversions over months — and years.
Unlike a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign that stops performing the moment the campaign is over, content marketing is always-on. When you continue to add content to your website, that investment compounds, especially when you are building topical authority by diving deep on key subjects.
Publishing pieces that address perennial topics or frequently asked questions in your industry ensures that your content will remain valuable and draw in new readers long after its initial publication.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that even the most evergreen of content does not always stay fresh and relevant year after year. To capitalize on built-up equity your post on a specific topic or keyword might have, we recommend going back and refreshing your content for accuracy, relevance, and optimization. Keeping older content up to date will further reinforce your credibility and bolster brand trust, while also helping it maintain strong traction in search.
6 — Content delivers measurable results
Before launching a content marketing campaign, you have to define clear objectives. These objectives should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
To measure these key performance indicators (KPIs), you’ll need to implement analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, or marketing automation platforms like HubSpot or Marketo. These tools provide detailed insights into where website visitors are coming from, what they’re reading, and whether or not they’re converting.
As your content marketing efforts progress, you should regularly collect data and analyze it against your defined objectives and KPIs. This includes tracking the performance of each piece of content, understanding user journeys, and identifying patterns and trends. With the insights from your analysis in hand, you’ll be able to optimize your current and future content strategies.
B2B marketing is built on content
As a B2B brand, your long term success relies heavily on a well crafted content marketing strategy. To make the most of your content, learn more about what goes into a high-performing content strategy with our forthcoming in-depth guide to B2B content marketing, and find out how we can help with your content marketing efforts.