We love seeing research about the latest trends in marketing, which is why Regalix’s recent report on the State of B2B Marketing really caught our attention.
At TextMaster, we work with a lot of B2B players in their content creation (and translation) activities. This report reflects exactly what we’ve been seeing over the past years with our own customers. While facts and figures are great, it’s also important to dig a little deeper to see what the trends mean for the industry and for your business in particular. Before we get to our analysis, here’s a little infographic to give you a big picture view.
B2B Marketers Investing More in SEO
While SEO has been one of the top customer acquisition channels in the B2C sphere, an increasing number of B2B companies are seeing the benefits of having a strong SEO strategy. According to the report, more than half will be investing more in their SEO, both on the technical and content side. This is especially relevant today when small startups are able to outrun the bigger traditional companies through clever SEO tactics.
No matter which B2B industry you’re in, there will come a time when a competitor (new or existing) will ramp up their SEO and take the top position in search results that you thought you would also have. It’s important to put in place all the right technical details, but also remember that good SEO lives off of an ongoing stream of fresh, relevant content.
Best Online B2B Marketing Channels
Website content was ranked as the most effective method of achieving B2B marketing goals according to this study. Many businesses think of web content as being one and the same as SEO content but it’s important to separate the two, with SEO ranking at #3 in effectiveness. The difference is that pure SEO content merely boosts a website’s ranking in Google, but does not have the tone or persuasiveness to convert visitors once they get to your website. The days of keyword stuffing are behind us and Google is getting smarter about grading content based on the value to the reader rather than on technical finesse.
This is especially crucial in the B2B world, where sales cycles are longer and potential customers need to feel trust and see a true value before buying.
While SEO is an important aspect of web content writing, it’s more important that your website is professional, easy to understand and convincing. Website visitors need to see the benefits of working with you and get a clear idea of what your products or services can do for them.
Top B2B Content
Not surprisingly, web content was rated as the best tool for B2B marketers, followed closely by webinars, case studies, white papers and blog posts. What do all of these types of content have in common? They provide useful, in-depth information to your audience. The B2B crowd has a longer attention span than regular B2C customers and they are willing to learn and absorb a lot more information. B2B marketers are lucky in that way – they have more space to engage with their audience through longer content.
Effective content requires a significant amount of time and effort to research, write and format. It’s better to create a few stellar white papers than spreading yourself too thin with a range of mediocre content. Analyze your resources and limitations: do you have the writers and designers in-house or do you need to hire freelancers? Do you have the right tools and the budget to promote the content? To ensure that you can create high quality content, it’s important to make a strategy and plan ahead with your existing resources.
B2B marketers are slowly but surely shifting their efforts to online marketing, with a heavy focus on content. It may be tempting to jump on the bandwagon right away and start making a myriad of videos, webinars and case studies, but it’s important to invest in the quality of your content to make sure that your efforts don’t fall short.