B2B companies must become content engines

By Anders Björklund

B2B companies must become content engines

Do you realise why many B2B companies are entering the editorial space? Do you understand that they will win?

B2B marketing is shifting.

B2B marketing has gone through some significant phases in the last decade. What started focusing on decision-makers has evolved into a more community-led approach leveraging media and publishing.
Many B2B companies follow a product-, solution- or service-led growth approach, in which the offering attracts customers and drives retention. 

The ad space is oversaturated.

Ads no longer get the impact they used to. Everything in marketing comes to a point where it becomes saturated. So, when people think, "I've seen this before, it's no longer authentic or relevant". 

With the exceptionally high cost of running ads and uncontrolled competition, this begs the question: Is focusing on ads for customer engagement, conversion, and acquisition your best play? Instead, investing in creating relevant, high-quality content and distribution tactics, it's the only way to ensure longevity in the online space. 

Think about it this way

You can invest in an ad campaign, but when it ends, so does your lead generation. So instead, you should invest in building a content team that will produce evergreen content bringing in leads long after they're published.

Meet your target groups where they are

Every company should strive to attract its desired target groups organically. While using social media is the most popular way to achieve this – and the approach that offers the quickest response and engagement – building a content engine is the most reliable and sustainable.

Why? 

First, it removes the reliance on third-party applications to reach your target groups. What happens if you solely rely on LinkedIn and YouTube if they are down for a while? Or do your customers lose interest and transition to a new app platform? You'll adjust your approach based on the platform and try to hit a moving target.

When you build your content engine, your target groups come to you.

Second, you will attract and engage several personas using varying mediums. 

For example, those who view or listen to your vodcast or your podcasts can have different needs and challenges from those who read or listen to your knowledge articles.
When you're in the editorial space, you may tailor your content and assets to each user and where they are in their buyer's journeys. However, on social media, you're throwing out content and hoping it reaches the audience that the content will resonate with most. 
The challenge is that the editorial space is a long-term play, whereas social media is quicker. When you are building a media arm, you won't see results quickly – it will take months to a year to see the impact of your content work, so for many B2B companies, the wait can feel like a waste of money and time. So, be patient.

However, long term, attracting your target groups organically through relevant content will be the most cost-effective and sustainable method for growth.

Establish yourself as an industry knowledge leader:

One of the good ways to stand out in the B2B space is to become a knowledge leader, branding your colleagues for guidance on expertise, customer knowledge, trends, innovative approaches, and more.  

There are many technology companies in B2B where their pace of being able to innovate and create technologies is swift. Hence, it would be best to have content and storytelling to differentiate.

For Zooma, content is integral in our work – e.g., our knowledge hub, The Onlinfication Hub, being our first point of contact for many potential customers. We've expanded to podcasts, voice, videos, and newsletters. Expanding like this is crucial when growing your B2B company. The most underrated skill in B2B in the future is relevance in your editorial direction. This refers to knowing what will resonate with your desired target groups and how to execute it.

Once you've gained your desired target group's attention and added value to them, they will trust the products, solutions, and services you recommend – even if it's yours. That's enough for any B2B company to enter the editorial space and become a content machine.

Content creation guide

If you want to raise the quality of your company's content or become a content engine, this guide is an excellent place to start.

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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