How To Give Your B2B Content Marketing More Variety
In today’s dynamic content landscape you need to add variety to your B2B content marketing offering to beat the competition. Best-in-class marketers use more content formats and social media platforms than average marketers.
While it’s easy to keep using the same proven content marketing formats and promotions year after year, the problem is that this approach can cause you to lose ground to newer, more nimble players.
Based on 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends compiled by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, here are 27 different content tactics explained with actionable content marketing tips to improve your performance. (For a more up-to-date data, check out the Top 2015 B2B content marketing tactics.)
1. Social media excluding blogs
Facilitates content distribution. Provides target market feedback. Allows for prospect and customer engagement. Extends reach through social sharing.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Diversify the number of social media platforms you’re using. Tailor interactions to the specific platform, where resources allow.
2. Articles on own website
Offers useful information about your products to support the purchase process.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Make information human-friendly. Provide information for everyone involved in the purchase decision.
Enables regular, on-going communication with prospects, customers and others. Your housefile is a corporate content asset.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Segment your email file to better target your content based on reader needs.
Are on-going media platforms that can incorporate non-text media formats. Supports social media activities and search optimization. Allows customer engagement through comments. Even better, you can link to your products where appropriate.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Answer customer questions (Marcus Sheridan calls the secret sauce.) Also, feature your customers. (Here’s 7 tips to maximize blog reach.)
5. In-person events
Provide the opportunity for meeting prospects and customers face-to-face. They also allow you to establish your thought leadership. Includes small private gathers as well as conferences. (Here are 13 ways to create great content from a conference.)
- Actionable content marketing tip: Plan content offering around event content to maximize your opportunity. At a minimum, leverage attendee participation with photographs and follow up, including personalized engagement.
6. Case studies
Shows how your product or service has worked for another organization. The challenge is getting a customer to share their results.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Extend the power of case studies by re-imaging content for different uses. For example, create an interview to post on your blog and/or newsletter.
Provides an easy-to-consume format that allows you to show your product in action. It’s great for answering customer questions.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Include related text to ensure that video content can be found by search engines. Also, cross post on YouTube, the second largest search engine.
8. Articles on other websites
Leverages the power of other people’s audiences, both third party media and blogs (aka guest blogging). The goal is to provide promotion-free content that complementary audiences will appreciate.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Do your homework before you send out your inquiry letter. (Here’s more information on how to influence the influencers.) Incorporate one link back to your website or blog for a relevant article.
9. White papers
Offer in-depth, authoritative information on a topic related to your product or service. This has been a mainstay of B2B marketing for years.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Reduce the amount of information required to obtain the report to maximize the number of leads. Test this approach to see whether it yields greater sales long term.
10. Online presentations
Combines video and presentations to enhance the information conveyed in an on-demand format.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Extend the power of your brand in the video portion of your content. Where possible go beyond just having a talking head.
Is a virtual presentation that allows participants to engage with the presenter via chat functionality. Webinars require upfront promotion and can leverage media entities’ audiences. In addition to educating your audience, webinars provide a list of registrants that can be promoted later.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Use well known influencers as presenters to create excitement. Make an offer at the end of your webinar to encourage further action from attendees.
Shows information in a concise visual format. They became very popular in 2012 because they can be widely distributed and are effective for acquiring links to support search.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Support infographic distribution with blogger outreach and PR to maximize reach.
13. Research reports
Provides useful data on a specific topic related to your offering or hot trends (think newsjacking). It can be an annual report or ad hoc research.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Plan for content reuse in advance to maximize return on content investment. Also, support research efforts with PR to extend reach.
Functions as a discrete site. Consisting of one or more stand-alone pages, microsites can have their own URL or be part of a larger website.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Optimize your microsite landing page to drive appropriate activity.
15. Branded content tools
Solves a simple problem with an online application based on data. Companies generally distribute them for free. (Here are some brand content tool examples.)
- Actionable content marketing tip: Incorporate social sharing in your tool to extend reach.
16. Mobile content
Is any type of electronic media that can be viewed or used on mobile phones such as ringtones, graphics, games and GPS navigation. (Note: This includes mobile apps that are also mentioned below.)
- Actionable content marketing tip: Promote mobile content on your other owned entities to maximize distribution. (Here’s how to maximize multi-screen effectiveness.)
17. Print magazines
Provides targeted information in a traditional offline format. It can be a third party platform or a custom version. Use to supplement your online reach.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Cross-promote your online content. Also, extend offline information on online websites.
Are long-form content that’s often packaged in a visually appealing way. They can be distributed via owned platforms as well as via ebook platforms such as Amazon.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Maximize reach by uploading to Slideshare.
Establishes your organization as a thought leader and provides third party endorsement.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Plan your online and offline book tour. Think online webinars, Tweetchats, blogs and other engagement. Also, present at in-person events. At a minimum, books make a tangible calling card.
20. Mobile app
Provide targeted information or productivity service either for free or for a fee via a smartphone, tablet or other device. Use often depends on owner context.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Distribute and promote your mobile app via your owned and social media platforms. (Here are 21 tips to help you promote your mobile app.)
21. Digital magazine
Is a digital rendering of an offline magazine or an online only magazine that leverages the functionality of digital media. Digital magazines can be distributed via owned media or via online newsstands. Use to provide long form content and related media.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Promote your digital magazine via your owned and social media platforms.
Offers branded audio content. Podcasts give your brand a human voice and can talk to an audience of one. Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner is a major fan of podcasting and building an audience over time.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Incorporate a podcast into your blog to leverage the power of your existing audience. Also, use third party sites like iTunes to broaden your listenership.
23. Licensed/syndicated content
Provides information to other media entities or websites. This provides additional reach for the organization providing the information and deeper content for the entity displaying the content.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Extend the relationship by cross promoting the content via both entities’ owned media.
24. Virtual conference
Provides the power of live presentations without the cost of attending a live event. Additionally, virtual conferences can become evergreen content that can be accessed later. Like offline conferences, virtual conferences are a major content event and require lots of promotion. Unlike live events, attendees are more likely to forget about them.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Leverage the content creation process to develop additional related content to minimize content costs and extend the value of the event.
25. Annual report
Supplies financial and related information as required by regulatory agencies for public companies. Annual reports are expensive pieces of content distributed to the financial markets and shareholders.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Leverage annual report creation to develop other pieces of content to maximize return on your content investment.
26. Print newsletters
Are offline communications to your housefile. Due to its cost, it’s concise and targeted. Given the decrease in postal mail, print newsletters can stand out unlike online newsletters.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Offer subscriptions to your offline newsletter via your online owned media.
Provides information either as a by-product of a game or incorporates game mechanics to engage prospects.
- Actionable content marketing tip: Promote additional content within a game. Also, incent participants with special offers.
Explore some of these 27 B2B content marketing tactics to expand your offering. Remember to plan ahead to maximize return on content creation.
What other content marketing tactics do you use and why?
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