Build the buzz using social media
A whopping 92% of B2B marketers say that social media is their number one go to medium to generate buzz and get noticed. This number goes up to 93% when it comes to small B2B businesses. While most small B2B marketers use an average of 6 social media platforms, the top spot goes to LinkedIn with 97% of marketers choosing it as the top destination for distributing content.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
It’s clear that content cannot be ignored for the small B2B business. But, what kind of content works best? Research has proven that most B2B marketers rely heavily on blogs, but when it comes to the format of the content, there is one type that rules the charts: listicles.
And since visual content has become so much more popular among marketers( popularity of infographics has gone up from 51% last year to 62% this year), here’s a graph that clearly shows how listicles are preferred over other content formats.
Include content in your marketing budget plan
Interestingly, on an average, only 29% of small B2B marketing budgets are dedicated to content marketing spend. Though this number does go up slightly among those marketers that have a documented content marketing strategy, it’s clear that the need to have a dedicated focus to content marketing in your overall budget, is a given.
Clearly, most of this spend goes on social media tactics and blogging, but in the absence of that ‘magic formula’ most B2B marketers believe in mixing and trying out different forms of content.
Consistently create new content
92% of companies who blogged multiple times in a day say that they have acquired customers through their blogs. A dull and rarely updated blog is a crime when it comes to content promotion, second only to a dull social media page. Or maybe just as bad.
Here’s what research tells us about how frequently small B2B marketers post content:
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Be willing to take risks
The biggest success stories in content marketing( especially when pockets don’t run too deep) have been when marketers have been willing to take a risk. Just as any other kind of content, marketing content also works best when it stands out from the rest and is bold and real.
In the context of content marketing, Eurostar’s Lionel Benbassat put this point across succinctly when he said “You want people to engage, so you need a great insight. The new mindset is to be willing to take a risk.”
Engage with your audience
Think about it, when you enter a store and someone greets you with a smile, doesn’t it make you feel a lot more special? Turn that around to the digital medium, and the rules still stay the same. The brands that really stick in the minds of the audience are the ones that go out of their way to truly engage with them.
Simple tactics like this one from Any.Do go to show how a small gesture can go a long way in winning over your audience. They sent out this picture to one of our colleagues who stopped using the app abruptly, after being a customer for 3 years. It’s different, it engages with the customer, is personal and stands out from the clutter.
Works, doesn’t it?
While the importance of a documented well thought out content strategy is without question, it also makes sense to be flexible when it comes to content creation. An overall plan is good to guide you towards your goal but on the flip side, small businesses can benefit from piggybacking on trends and making it part of their content schedule.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook make this easier by giving you a list of trending topics for each day. Pick one that is relevant to your industry and turn it into an informative post or even a funny gif.
Put your content out there. Again, and again.
It’s clear that small business marketers understand the importance of social networks in their overall strategy. But it isn’t enough to just put out your content once and forget about it. The social media universe is one that is choc-a-bloc with countless conversations, endless updates and many points of view.
Guy Kawasaki put this point across when he mentioned the reason why he chose to repeat his tweets multiple times a day. Comparing it to popular news networks, he says “I repeat my tweets because I don’t assume that all my followers are reading me 24 x 7 x 365. This is the same reason that ESPN and CNN repeat the same news stories (without updates, simply identical reports) throughout the day. I’ve examined the click-through patterns on repeat tweets, and each one gets about the same amount of traffic. If I tweeted stories only once, I would lose 75% of the traffic that I could get.”
So there you have it, 8 tips that can help you build better content for your business. If you’ve tried these out for yourself or found some other tips that have helped your business, do let us know in comments. Spread the good word.
And yes, keep writing.
Find popular content, people and channels of distribution for content marketing here.