How to Create Content that Attracts B2B Buyers – Part 1

Posted on August 23, 2013

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Content marketing is the latest buzz in the inbound marketing world. In it’s simplest form, content marketing is the generation of magnetic content that helps draw potential customers to your business and convert them into paying consumers.

But what is content marketing, REALLY?

You’ll find a lot of generic articles on the web that tout the benefits and value of content marketing, but that provide little insight into what content marketing actually is, or how to use it successfully.

This two-part article will take a deeper look at the steps to developing an effective content marketing plan (Part 1), and the type of content that actually attracts B2B buyers (Part 2).

But before we go into how to create a killer content marketing plan, we need to understand what content marketing is not.

Content marketing is NOT:

  • Mass blasting spam emails
  • Pushing promotional ads
  • Pumping out press releases
  • Advertorials disguised as eNesletters
  • Creating content for the sake of having MORE

Businesses that begin a content marketing campaign with a “more is better” mentality will see little to no success. Content marketing takes time and effort. Simply publishing more of the same, or pushing out the wrong type of content for your market, will do little to attract B2B buyers and result in wasted time and money. Remember, when it comes to content marketing, quality is king.

So how do you determine what type of content will attract buyers?

1. Listen.

Take the time to do some research. Find out where your customers go to ask questions and get advice, and visit those places. Read what your customers are saying, ask your own questions and take note of their responses. Linkedin groups are great communities for asking questions and getting quality feedback.

Talk to your current customers. Ask: What tools or services would help to make your life easier?

2. Identify Needs.

Knowing the present needs of your customer base will give you a big edge over the competition!

Your customers’ needs may be different now than they were several years ago. By listening to their feedback and identifying their needs, you will gain a better understanding of how to help your target market. Identifying your customers’ needs could even bring to light a current service gap in the market, and lead to the innovation of a new product or offering!

3. Solve Problems.

You’ve listened to your customers. You’ve identified the needs of your target market. Now use that information to create content that helps solve their problems!

If the message of your content helps to solve a problem, it will be much more likely to attract readers and induce action. You are telling your customers that you understand their needs and have a solution to their problem. What is better than that?

Creating a killer content marketing plan.

When developing your content marketing plan, you should try to avoid creating content that shows how your product or service can solve problems (that is what your website and sales team should already be doing).

Instead, focus on creating content that helps solve problems for free, without the need for the customer to spend money with you.

Remember, your customers can smell an advertisement from a mile away. They are more likely to build trust in a company that demonstrates their expertise and insight in a free technical article, than one that promises a magic fix-all solution for 3 easy payments of $29.99.

I may not be ready to buy now, but show me I can trust you – you want to help me and not just sell to me – and I’m much more likely to come back to you when I am ready.

And building trust, not making a direct sale, should be the ultimate goal of a good content marketing campaign. It’s trust that will ultimately stick with your potential client base, and it’s trust that will keep them coming back to you throughout the B2B buy cycle.

So now that you know how to identify the topics most likely to draw an audience and build trust, what type of content should you create? In part two of this article, we’ll talk about the types of content that help keep your B2B business in front of buyers.

Written by: Michelle Thompson

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