If you own a small or medium sized business, chances are you are either doing your marketing yourself, or you have a limited budget for professional help from marketers and content writers. But there’s no reason why you can’t use some of the same tactics and platforms that the experts do. Read on for some interesting research findings, and a few effective places to publish your B2B content.
How can B2B publishing be used effectively?
B2B or business-to-business marketing refers to the ways in which business owners market their services and products to other businesses, rather than to individual customers. B2B marketing is often seen as being a less emotive and a more rational aspect of marketing, since it does not involve targeting the personal needs and desires of individuals.
Publishing B2B content is a key part of B2B marketing, and can assist with a number of business activities, including lead generation, market education, the sharing and gaining of information, acquiring new customers, building brand awareness, attracting website traffic, building and strengthening business relationships and partnerships, attracting a following and networking with other professionals.
A few facts and figures
According to recent research at the Content Marketing Institute, Australian marketers are increasing their investment in online content marketing, and there’s a pretty good take-home message to be learned from that for anyone who does their own marketing. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have been shown to be the most popular social media platforms for B2B, followed by YouTube and Google+. Popular marketing tactics include website articles, social media, e-newsletters, articles on other websites, case studies, videos, and blog posts.
A report on the outlook for B2B publishing in the digital age, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), also found more and more business professionals are now preferring to receive information – including research, in-depth information and support tools such as tips and tricks – through online methods rather than print.
In addition, more than 60% of the 200 business professionals surveyed for the report said they visited portals weekly in order to stay up-to-date and to access quality information. Direct purchasing of products through portals was low at 6%, which may indicate that business relationships, education and information sharing hold a higher priority.
So, where to publish B2B content?
There are a number of good places to publish B2B content, here are just a few to consider:
- LinkedIn – since this is a social networking site with a business focus, it makes sense to make good use of this platform. Through LinkedIn you have access to a large professional database, and you get to directly engage with other business owners, and to share information and provide links to your main business site.
- Facebook – while Facebook is a site designed for individuals rather than businesses, this does not mean it cannot be used for publishing your B2B content. In addition, if you set up a business page, Facebook Insights enables you to track activity through Page Post Metrics.
- Google+ – this platform provides a rather unique and useful feature for B2B marketing through its use of Circles, which enable segmentation of audiences, who can then be targeted in specific ways. This feature can be very useful for the development of business communities with whom to engage and share information.
- Twitter – while seen as a ‘micro-blogging’ site, Twitter enables the succinct and creative use of words to help you build a business following and alert your network to useful information.
- YouTube – We humans are very visual, and videos are becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool. YouTube is the ideal place to post how-to videos, or explain your product or service to other businesses.
- Small business community sites that allow you to submit your own articles for publication – such as Flying Solo, and the Small Business Forum.
The importance of top-quality content
According to the PWC report, B2B publishers state that online content that is “rich and executable” is more likely to provide added value for customers, and to generate more income, exclusivity and profitability for the business. Simply put, this means the written content of both your B2B marketing collateral and your main website should be of a very high quality, professional standard. This ties in with the statement by Google in their Search Engine Optimisation Starters Guide that compelling and useful content is more likely than any other factor to have influence on a website’s search rankings.
If you lack the time or skill to write content yourself, you can utilise an article writing company and get a professional content writer to do it for you. It doesn’t have to break the budget, and the results can be well worth it not only in terms of saving you time and stress, but also in ensuring your content is useful and engaging. Why not talk to us about how we can assist with writing content for your B2B marketing efforts?