B2B content marketing statistics, strategies, and examples: How companies exploit their growth potential through content and become big players in B2B.
B2B content marketing is not an irrelevant buzzword, but a vital strategy for B2B companies to stay relevant, and even more: to become a big player.
The way to the future is to become a big player; In the global race for competitive advantage, companies with no visibility are left behind.
The Most Important B2B Content Marketing Statistics
B2C companies are now ahead of B2B companies when it comes to content marketing:
- First, the bad news. Yes, B2B marketing lags behind B2C marketing in content marketing. While around 60% of all companies in B2C are already doing content marketing, the proportion in B2B is 47%. This is less relevant for the B2B area than the lower average willingness to innovate in marketing.
- However, it is significant that the most successful B2B companies invest significantly more of their marketing expenses in content marketing. The most profitable B2B companies have spent 13% of their spending on content marketing over the past two years, while the less profitable companies have only used 9% of their funds.
- The proportion has now risen to 20%. In the next two years, the rate is expected to increase by another 10% because You have understood that content marketing has to be thought of in the long term.
Content marketing requires patience and perseverance – whoever owns it achieves a long-term advantage. The effects of content-driven communication only become visible over time and lead to lasting success. Therefore, the strategies should be expanded.
B2B content marketing is becoming more important for the most profitable companies, while performance marketing in B2B is given less focus. While the most profitable businesses are stepping up
- the SEO (50%),
- on social media campaigns (30%)
- or blogs (12%) focus,
- These companies invest significantly less (37%) in the placement of Google ads than the less profitable companies (44%).
Why? Because successful business relationships in B2B are based on trust. In the case of products and services for large sums, in particular, a bond with the customer must first be established. In B2B, the potential customer informs himself beforehand on his initiative about the commercial offer, weighs up, and calculates the added value.
In performance marketing, results must be generated in real-time to be able to classify measures as high-performance. This means that closing (the short-term conclusion of a contract) is in the foreground of communication. “Book Now” is a common phrase in Google Ads. This quickly becomes dubious in the case of products and services with a five- to seven-digit budget. Now one can claim that communication can also be made more serious in performance marketing. But that does not correspond to the medium, which is designed for short-term performance.
Measures like Google ads are the wrong means of communication here because they aim to achieve short-term results. They are aimed at impulse purchases, not at building a relationship between prospects and companies. On the other hand, content marketing aims for a long-term and lasting relationship with the target group, high-quality lead generation, and profitable lead nurturing.
In the book “Spin Selling” by Neil Rackham, it can understand that behavior that pushes for a closing achieves less success. According to Rackham’s study, customer calls with only 1.4 closing behaviors are 69% successful, while calls with an average of 5.8 closing behaviors only lead to the desired results in 37%. Accordingly, the outcome of customer contacts in all channels in B2B has a low closing behavior. Those who are less “pushy” will end up getting more closings.
B2B Content Marketing Strategies
B2B companies must communicate their offer to other companies as relevant solutions. Especially with large sums, the price must be perceived as justified in advance. The added value of the offer must be profiled through content to present the price as proportionate. On the one hand, problem perception can be created through content with needs-oriented added value for the potential customer, and a company can position itself as a problem solver. A trust is created between the target group and the company, the bond is strengthened, and purchase arguments are strengthened.
The path to purchase begins with a conversation starter: The most profitable companies rely on press releases, networking events, and workshops as well as congresses.
Companies become big players when they build trust and spread conversation starters.
The most profitable companies build their trust with the target group through online measures such as specialist articles or studies.
- Specialist articles give the target group a high level of information use, which is already very much involved in the topic and is looking for insights for decision-making.
- Studies are of great value for the target group of B2B companies because they provide original information that any other institution has not yet determined and at the same time contain targeted answers to the relevant questions in the industry. Studies exude a serious authority and reflect this on the company.
- Offline: Print publications and cooperation with associations and industry-relevant institutions are the top measures in B2B content marketing to strengthen the target group’s trust in the company.
- Print publications offer a hectic experience; the published information appears to be higher quality and more serious. The print product has a branding effect on the company’s brand.
- The cooperation with industry-relevant institutions also serves to brand a company by reflecting the credibility of the cooperation partners on the brand of the company.
Formats such as e-books offer the target group high added value. They offer the user a need-oriented added value, which at the same time links the interests of the user with new approaches to the company’s commercial offer. Seeding is another online conversation starter: through the proactive distribution and strategic placement of content, the target group is aware of a company. The aim is always a high level of user engagement to increase brand awareness, loyalty, and economic outcome.
All online measures are complementary to establishing contacts at conferences or trade fairs.
- Targeted networking creates an asset that enables the content to have more multiplication effects and initiates the conversation between the company and the target group. In this way, content can only get into circulation, and viral effects can be made possible.
- Lectures are another important measure to enable the exchange with a target group with a high level of topic involvement. Recipients who are specifically looking for added value in lectures will also pay attention to the commercial offer behind them.
B2B Content Marketing Examples
Saxo Print Study
In cooperation with Infratest, the online printing company Saxoprint has carried out and published a study on marketing in medium-sized technology companies. Infratest acted as a door opener for further cooperation with high-quality associations, which ultimately linked the study and gave the media seeding a considerable boost. This, in turn, resulted in high-quality traffic.
HubSpot Online Blog
The B2B service provider Hubspot offers companies solutions for integrated online marketing with a focus on inbound. The company itself shows how it works. A separate online blog is integrated into the homepage. Articles with tips, insights, and learnings are not only regularly published there, but the content is also offered for download. Anyone looking for B2B content marketing best practices will come across an article in which ten examples of successful B2B content marketing are presented. The real highlight; a link leads to a download offer. Hubspot offers a whitepaper with detailed explanations of other best practices to deepen the subject – against the exchange of contact details. This is how the company generates valuable leads through content.
IBM “THINK Marketing.”
At disco 2016, IBM presented its new Marketing HUB “THINK Marketing.” The special thing: With the help of the in-house supercomputer Watson, thousands of content are analyzed and evaluated every day to determine interesting and relevant trends from the industry and then recommend them to the user on the site. Besides, Watson constantly ensures an improved user experience because it analyzes the behavior of each user on the website and registers which articles are read. As a result, every user should receive a personalized, individually relevant news feed and a tailor-made curated content offer. Here, IBM cleverly combines the added value for the target group with the USP of its commercial offer, the IBM Watson computer.
Siemens YouTube Channel
Siemens has understood how to bring its products together with the personal stories of people who, on the one hand, are involved in the work and, on the other, benefit from the products. Until 2016, the company operated the YouTube channel answers. The challenges and dreams of individual people were portrayed, and the company was able to position itself as an approachable solution provider.
In the meantime, Siemens has created a new YouTube channel in which, however, equally moving and exciting stories are told. The viewer is looked behind the scenes; Processes are portrayed like those involved who make the innovations possible. Simultaneously, the perspective of the people whose environment is positively influenced by Siemens technology is also taken. This gives the company a face and becomes tangible for the target group.
Five B2B Content Marketing Trends
Lead Generation Becomes The Top Priority Of The Company
Improving brand awareness and increasing user engagement are essential goals in content marketing. From the newsletter registration to the e-book download: Ultimately, however, all measures aim to generate leads that benefit the funnel. After all, a high reach and a lot of interaction are of no use if those are not addressed who have the will and purchasing power for conversion. As an inbound marketing agency, we are happy to help! We support the creation of buyer personas to optimally accompany the target group along the conversion funnel and offer relevant content.
Video Content Will Increase
B2B content marketing will increasingly take place through audiovisual formats. 68% of all companies already use video content as a central means of communication. In B2B, this trend will continue to grow and expand in a targeted manner. Whether explanatory videos or live videos, whether 360 ° or augmented reality, moving visual content is very popular. Classic corporate films hardly stand a chance. Rather, companies will communicate an experience, a feeling, or a message by addressing as many senses as possible and inspiring the user as much as possible to interact.
Content Marketing In B2B Is Becoming Increasingly Systematic
Companies will comprehensively document their measures and their successes to evaluate the input concerning the outcome. This is the only way to discover weak points and improve content marketing strategies in a targeted manner using specific adjusting screws.
B2B Content Marketing Will Increasingly Address Emotional Levels
In B2B, factual information counts, but companies are increasingly relying on an emotional approach that complements the impression of factual competence. Siemens shows how storytelling profiles a brand more sustainably than information use, which can quickly lose its relevance and relevance.
Quality Comes Before Quantity
Companies will increasingly deal with integrated communication that takes channel, format, and content equally into account. In the abundance of information that flows into the target group through all possible channels, only such content is perceived that provides relevant answers at an appropriate point. The target group’s expectations must be met formally, but the user is left with an upgrade in terms of content. This is the only way to create sustainable user signals.