Products and technology change fast, and the way we market them is changing even faster. Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is the marketing of products or businesses, for use in the production of goods, in general business operations, or for resale to other consumers.
Tactics of the Past
In the past, B2B marketing was primarily comprised of cold-calling. Call centres would be teeming full of motivated staff trying to secure a few leads or sales. However, the days of cold-calling are antiquated and unsuccessful these days; people don’t use landlines nearly as often. Thanks to mobile phones and caller identification, people don’t answer the phone if they don’t know who is calling. Although it had its time and place, this has always been a somewhat intrusive approach.
Speaking of intrusive, spamming e-mails was another approach B2B marketers would often utilise. In the early days of spamming, it was a receptive tool, but it’s receptiveness has died off. People’s inboxes are inundated with spam and the notion has simply lost its touch.
The Preferred Method
In order to touch base with potential businesses, B2B marketers are shifting their tactics towards content marketing. So, what prompted this change and how did content marketing become the go-to for marketing strategies? With an endless amount of information online, people looking for B2B products or services are turning to the internet. They want to research them first. By creating content, B2B marketers are trying to tactfully infiltrate their message, product, or service through words. The aim is to point potential buyers in their direction. The content can provide a thorough view of a B2B product or company to the potential customer. Content is often published on blogs and scattered throughout social media platforms.
This strategy works great in theory. However, it may not be for everyone and it may not be applicable in every circumstance. Yet, it is clear that B2B marketing is heading in that direction. It will need some fine tuning though. The amount of content, frequency, quality, and it’s return on investment are proving to be a big balancing act for content marketers. Some research points toward shorter content and less frequent content. That is up for debate and depending on some B2B companies, having longer content may provide these customers with the in-depth product research they were seeking.
Using Content Marketing Effectively
Be aware that content is more than just words on a website. It needs to be meaningful and informative. This content can instill confidence or it can turn someone away instantly. For example, poorly written content with bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or inapplicable information, may turn potential customers away. If someone is researching the best food manufacturing software but the website is riddled with spelling mistakes, the potential customer may not trust the quality of that software. Instead they will search elsewhere for a better food manufacturing software system. They might be attracted to a website that is not only grammatically correct, but one they connect with through applicable stories of product usage. Using appropriate and interesting language will secure their attention. In this scenario, a B2B business may not have the best food manufacturing software out there, but if they have a solid web presence and informative content, it can swing potential customers their way.