Like the customers of their businesses, B2B content and B2C content are not the same. It may sound simple, but many marketers forget about it when sharing their expertise.
Here is a simple infographics which breaks down the differences between B2B and B2C companies:
It is clear that B2B and B2C audiences are different. While one audience seeks efficiency and expertise, the other seeks offers and entertainment. This means that B2B and B2C businesses need to see their content marketing differently.
That said, the content that engages the reader is basically the same no matter where it comes from. In this article, we’ll take a look at five ways to engage your audience with great B2B content that converts.
1. Sell the story before the product
Companies buy your products for a reason: it either saves them money or it makes them money.
Your content should focus on the value an employee can bring to their manager or a manager to their executive. It should convey this undeniable value to your reader.
But this is not your only job; you also need to engage your readers.
Often times, marketers can focus so much on creating value that they lose sight of reader engagement. This poses two problems:
- The content is so value driven that it is no longer engaging.
- Each piece of content looks like a sales pitch.
There is nothing wrong with trying to sell your product. But if that becomes your only message, no one wants to read it.
So how do you add value to your content without hitting readers over their heads with all the reasons your product will make them money?
Through tell a story.
Stories can take many forms: they can be funny and witty; they can be entertaining and memorable; they can educate the reader on something; they can even pull on your sensitive cords.
So engage your readers with a story. You can’t expect readers to share your content with their manager or executive if they fall asleep while reading it.
2. Connect your story to your brand
Engaging your readers with a great story is important, but the goal of any content should be to move your reader from point A to point B and eventually convert.
Your content should move them through the sales funnel. Every piece of content you write can’t just be about solving a particular problem; at some point you need to explain to your customer what makes your product worth and stand out from all of your competition.
Connecting your story to your brand is one way to move your customer forward through your sales funnel. People like products, but they love brands. Connect your story to your brand and build customer loyalty.
These (B2C) companies have learned to tell a story that connects to their brand:
- Starbucks. He doesn’t sell coffee; it sells an experience.
- Geico. It has nothing to do with geckos, but the animated gecko reminds you of the brand and the tagline.
- Nike. He only uses three words to tell the story of his brand.
How to tell a story about your brand (B2B)?
3. Guest contributors can create content that converts
Once you’ve created content, you need to distribute it. You want as many people as possible to see it. One of the most underrated platforms for this is the guest blog.
When you share your content on another site, it establishes you as an authority. When people see your brand in multiple places, it builds brand recognition. Your content can also provide backlinks to your site to help move leads through your sales funnel (and improve your SEO).
Many B2B companies may find it strange to promote on other sites, but it is one of the most effective ways to establish themselves in the industry. Guest messages go where the readers are, and they connect readers to your story and your brand.
So share content with guest contributions and take advantage of the audience that other brands have already built.
4. Diversify your content
There is more than one way to get your message across, just like there is more than one way to promote your business. Your content is no different. If you want to engage your audience, you need to be prepared to diversify your content.
What does it mean to diversify? It means using text, images, and video.
Sometimes the best way to get your point across is to write a well-written blog post. Other times, you might be able to communicate that same message more effectively with an infographic, like the one we shared at the start of this article. And if neither will do, video is a great option!
Think about your content and be strategic in how you present it: what’s the most effective way to get your point across? Which medium works best?
Diverse content will engage your audience in different formats and attract different types of people.
5. Track your content metrics
When you start implementing your content strategy, you’ll find that some content doesn’t drive as much customer engagement as you might think. It’s OK.
You might want to try reusing it in another way. If you’ve written a blog post, repurpose it as a video or infographic, then compare their performance. The numbers will tell you which format was the most efficient.
You have to test things out to see what your audience prefers to consume; then double that form of content. That takes time. Remember the infographic above? B2B is about the long buying cycle.
So be patient, track your metrics, and multiply what works.