In 2018, around 91% of B2B marketers used content marketing to reach customers. Unfortunately, 2019 rolled up with the pandemics and fully thrown B2B companies out of their axis. But B2B content marketing didn’t derail during the crisis period.
The Content Marketing Institution conducted numerous surveys during the pandemic to analyze the content marketing landscape. As per their recent survey, B2B content marketing is more powerful today than ever before.
Source: Content Marketing Institution
However, we can’t ignore that 61% of marketers consider content marketing for B2B highly challenging. And now, in a new normal, when many new B2B content trends have emerged, content creation has become more complicated.
So, what to do then?
Well, to create a result-driven B2B content funnel, you have to remember two things—
- B2B content is different than B2C content
- B2B content has to balance three things — usefulness, engagement, and high quality
Well, don’t scratch your head, peeps. B2B content creation and marketing is simple; you just have to understand it better. And in this post, you will know how B2B content marketing is different, challenging, and a lot more. So, buckle up, and let’s get started.
B2B Content Marketing vs. B2C Content Marketing
As its name suggests, B2B content is created, distributed, and promoted to drive more sales or leads. The Business to Business content is generated to target professional companies. Like Amazon Web Services that provide on-demand cloud computing platforms to other businesses.
Now, the Business to Consumer model directly serves consumers. Therefore, their content marketing plan is based on their customers’ preferences. Such as Nike designs shoes for their customers, or Apple sells its products directly in the retail market.
Here’s a visual difference between B2B and B2C content marketing strategies for your better understanding.
Source: The Balance SMB
Let’s take real examples to gain a clear perspective. The Red Bull website is the perfect example of B2C content. They have a special “browse by interests” category where visitors can explore Music, Gaming, and many other topics.
Source: Red Bull
This is a great way to keep your users engaged, but it is not a good content marketing strategy for driving leads or sales.
Now, look at Cisco’s SuperSmart graphic novel showing a quest to deal with security loopholes in the comic style. This B2B content meets all three holy trifectas — usefulness, engagement, and high quality.
Top 7 B2B Content Marketing Challenges
Despite various B2B content generation techniques availability, marketers are still struggling to achieve the desired ROI. There are plenty of challenges that the B2B landscape has thrown marketers way, such as:
Challenge 1. Creating the Content that Customers Want to Read
The biggest challenge in front of B2B marketers is creating the content that actually pushes sales. Unfortunately, here most marketers make a mistake; instead of thinking about customers, they think about content. Worst of all, some marketers only think about pleasing their bosses.
This, in return, leads to zero sales or leads. Now, the solution to this problem is simple — just step into your customers’ shoes. How?
First, map out your customers’ journey and then draft keyword-studded content around it.
Remember one thing, just don’t focus on one type of content to reach your audience. Try to create a variety of content like case studies, infographics, etc.
HubSpot uses content diversity perfectly. They publish case studies, e-books, graphic content, and many other types of content on their website. This approach took HubSpot’s revenue to $0.883B in 2020, a whopping 30.85% increase from 2019.
Challenge 2. Producing High-Quality Content Under Limited Resources
Google takes content quality very seriously. Plagiarism, poor grammar, and irrelevant content are a big no-no for all search engines, including Google. Therefore, if you want your B2B content to appear at the top of search results, you need high-quality content.
For that, you need to hire professional copywriters with paramount experience. And that’s going to cost you a lot. Some of the best content writers charge around $35-$20 per hour. So, to constantly publish high-quality content online, you need a hefty budget that many SMEs don’t have.
Getting optimum quality content in limited resources is challenging for B2B marketers, but not impossible. You see, folks, if you think smartly and repurpose your content, you can drive more leads from one professionally written piece.
Here are a few content syndication techniques:
- Break your listiclesinto a series of individual blog posts.
- Turn your blog post into a presentation and share it on SlideShare.
- Using your post’s points, create a visually appealing infographic.
- Create a Pinterest instructographic to draw focus on how-to aspects.
- Republish old content on Medium or Quora for better reach, etc.
Challenge 3. Maintaining Your Content Authority While Beating the Competition
Competition is cutthroat in the B2B industry. Plus, today, everyone knows the worth of content marketing. So, every B2B company is busy creating high-quality content at full speed. In this, maintaining your content authority is a hard nut to crack.
You gotta here think out of the box while not losing sight of your company’s objective to maintain your content authority. This might sound a bit complex, but if CB Insights can come up with something so unique, you can produce unique content too.
This CB Insights newsletter is, first of all, very fun with Oprah as a meme. Secondly, the reader gets all the relevant information on the newsletter without the hassle of clicking on any link. Due to this innovative approach, CB Insights generates around $41 billion in revenue.
Challenge 4. Unclear Briefs and Frequent Changes
Unclear content marketing strategies are also a challenge for B2B marketers and content writers. Around 9 in 10 surveyed said ever-changing or unclear priorities are a huge problem in creating good quality content.
Many respondents said last-minute changes introduced by their supervisors often delay their work. Micromanagement can impact content’s emotional value, customer priority alignment, copywriting quality, and business’s message.
The solution here is trust and delegation. B2B companies, you have to show some faith in your marketers and writers and let them do their job.
Challenge 5. Meeting the Unrealistic Expectations
This B2B content marketing challenge is also related to management. Often management expects marketers to sway their wand and overnight deliver desired outcomes. The unrealistic expectations only increase pressure on marketers, which impacts their performance.
Where 27 million pieces of content are produced daily, it takes some time for your marketers to achieve their marketing goals. So, take a deep breath and wait for your content marketing efforts to come alive.
Challenge 6. Complications in ROI Measurements
Further elaborating the previous point, 52% of marketers said ROI measurement is also challenging for them. The availability of various measurement tools and techniques has made ROI measurement complicated for B2B marketers.
To simplify the B2B content marketing ROI measurement process, you need to ask yourself two main questions:
- What are you trying to achieve through content marketing?
- Do you want to generate more leads or improve brand awareness?
Once you have defined your content marketing goals next, you have to select the right metrics to measure your content marketing ROI. Some of the common content measurement metrics are:
- Lead Quality
- Social Media Engagement
- SEO ROI
- Web Traffic
- Onsite Engagement, etc.
Challenge 7. Ambitious Publishing Schedule
Regular content publishing is the best organic way to generate traffic. However, content marketers often set ambitious publishing schedules that put tremendous pressure on them. They include numerous blogs, social media posts, and whitepapers in their schedule to at least publish once a day.
This publishing schedule is an amazing content marketing strategy but hard to achieve. Even for the most seasoned content writer, adhering to a regular publishing schedule is tough.
Here you have two options to address the publishing schedule challenge—
- You can publish mediocre content daily
- Or, you can publish high-quality content once a week
As you might have already guessed, the second option is the correct one. Take Backlinko blogs for an example. Brian Dean publishes one blog in two weeks, but he maintains top-notch quality standards. As a result, Backlinko receives 430k+ unique visitors per month.
Final Take on B2B Content Marketing
Regardless of how different or challenging B2B content marketing may seem, it is an essential part of B2B marketing today. Without high-quality and engaging content, businesses can’t generate leads or boost their sales.
Plus, all B2B content marketing challenges are achievable. You simply need the right approach and strategy to customize a B2B content plan. So, you should prepare your B2B content marketing funnel prioritizing quality, usefulness, uniqueness, and engagement factors. And wait for your business to bloom online.
If any important topic remains untouched in the post, comment below to remind us so we can together help B2B companies to grow.