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Why Do B2B Companies NEED Content Marketing?

By: Featured Author

Are you responsible for generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs) for your sales team? If you’re heading the marketing efforts for a B2B company, especially in the technology or healthcare sector, you’re tasked with penetrating a sales cycle that’s among the most complex in the business world. Not only are your sales huge investments for your customers —  for most decision-makers, time and research are required to make an educated purchase — but your marketplace is more saturated than ever. As a result, traditional marketing efforts for many B2B tech and healthcare companies have been underperforming since 2016 and once-successful SEO campaigns are plateauing.

If these scenarios sound familiar, it’s time to add content marketing to the mix. But what is content marketing and why does it work?

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an inbound marketing methodology that distributes valuable and relevant information across the particular Buyer’s Journey for your industry. Its foundation is keyword-rich content that is geared towards a defined audience, which allows leads to find you when they’re ready. This methodology eschews the idea of placing an ad in front of someone who isn’t necessarily in the market yet for your product or service. Examples of content to house relevant keywords include articles, blogs, checklists, eBooks, videos and whitepapers.

Why Do You Need Content Marketing?

Unlike traditional outbound marketing, content marketing lets a customer find you, instead of you finding the customer. Because of this idea, content marketing has become a key tool in building brand awareness and maintaining a strong brand reputation. Creating high-quality content made specifically for your target audience attracts qualified prospects who you can then nurture into leads and customers.

Consider these top three B2B content marketing benefits:

1. Optimizing the B2B Sales Cycle to Truly Compete

For B2B technology and healthcare companies, the sales cycle is more competitive than ever because startups and Fortune 500 companies have successfully tapped into these money-making markets. As a result, it’s easy for a B2B company to get lost in the shuffle and pushed back into the abyss of Google’s search results. But supplementing your strategies with content marketing can help bring you to the level of these top competitors.

Because the products and services your company sells are complex, it’s necessary to provide content that explains your offerings and the benefits they bring to consumers. For technology companies, it’s not enough to provide technical sell sheets and software demos for IT personnel who are equipped to understand product details and complexities. Instead, you need to simplify your offerings and the language you use to describe them by optimizing your content and adding visual content to the mix, like infographics that appeal to the average decision-maker.

2. Tracking Results and ROI with the Click of a Button

Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing offers instant results. There are many ways to track campaign outcomes, but you should focus on measuring only the KPIs that directly inform your marketing objectives. For example, if your goal is to build brand awareness, you’ll want to see content reach results through metrics like content offer downloads and site visits through blogs and social outreach. Other traceable data might include unique visits, geographic reach, bounce rates, time spent on a page, click patterns, page views, social sharing and noise – all metrics that can be instantly measured with the click of a button.

With this said, it’s much easier to track and improve marketing ROI with content marketing than with traditional channels. Since you have easy access to your data when using a content marketing platform like HubSpot, you can see which tactics are performing well and which aren’t. From there you can adjust your efforts instead of wasting time and money on a campaign that continues to use poor-performing elements.

3. Improving Your Integrated Marketing Strategy

The best way to build a brand is through integrated marketing and undeniably, content is at the forefront of a full-service marketing strategy. It’s the driving force behind any inbound marketing effort, supplying the materials prospects need and opening a gateway for them to obtain your expertise, products and services.

Because of the keywords you’ll use to enrich your content, these informative offerings also become a big factor in overall SEO performance. Search engines rank websites higher when they consistently host fresh and relevant content in line with what they sell. Content is just as important in paid search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns; the better the content is on your landing page, the higher it will rank on search engines and help convert prospects into leads. Content marketing and social media also go hand in hand. Social media is a great platform to share your campaign and position content in an even more relevant context.

Remember, content marketing doesn’t build brand awareness overnight – it’s a long-term strategy and wise investment.

The beauty, however, lies in the highly qualified leads that this method generates; by the time a lead reaches out to you, they’ll already be fairly informed about their options because you’ve supplied them with educational material about your product or service. They’re almost at the end of the sales cycle, ready to begin forming a final decision. Believe in the tactic: define your goals, produce high-quality content, distribute it to the right channels and be patient. One SQL is all it takes.

For more information on content marketing, download our latest whitepaper: What Is Content Marketing and Why Do Technology Companies Need It?

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Are you interested in B2B content marketing services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.