Maybe you stumbled upon the words “B2B content marketing agency” when reading a Forbes article. Or, perhaps an unknown voice whispered them to you in a dream. It may have even been that friend of yours — the one who’s full of sage, practical advice — who uttered them during a recent conversation.
But do you know what all those words and acronyms, when used together, mean?
Well, you’re about to.
In this post, you’ll learn what expert B2B content marketing agencies — like WordSmiths, Inc.! — do all day.
Firstly, I’ll go over what B2B content marketing is, what B2C content marketing is, and what SaaS content marketing is, too. Then I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of the different types of content, and how the world’s most successful companies use B2B content marketing as part of their arsenal. Last but by no means least, I’ll cover how B2B content marketing agencies use their content know-how to help their clients thrive.
Read these sections to get completely clued-up:
- What is B2B content marketing?
- The different types of content marketing
- Why and how the world’s best companies utilize B2B content marketing
- How WordSmiths, Inc., a B2B content marketing agency, can help you
Let’s get started.
What is B2B content marketing?
First thing’s first: ‘B2B’ stands for business-to-business. A B2B company sells products or services directly to other businesses.
As an example, Shopify is a prime example of a B2B company, as their platform enables sellers to set up shop quickly and, well, sell their products more effectively!
When it comes to B2B content marketing specifically, a whole host of content — from SEO-optimized blog posts to eye-catching infographics, groundbreaking whitepapers to engaging social media content — is used to clinch leads and sales from the stakeholders of other businesses.
While the main aim of B2B content marketing is to bring in leads and convert stakeholders into customers, thereby adding $$ to the B2B company’s bottom-line, there are so many other brilliant advantages to this unique form of marketing, including:
- Shortened sales cycles.
- More web traffic.
- Larger brand audience.
- Improved brand affinity.
- Presence on the front pages of Google.
B2B content marketing vs B2C content marketing
With a solid grasp of what B2B content marketing is, it’s time to look at the other side of the coin: B2C content marketing.
‘B2C’ stands for business-to-consumer. A B2C company sells products or services directly to consumers.
To illustrate what B2C is, cast your mind back to my Shopify example I wrote about a few moments ago. The seller who has used Shopify to set up shop will be selling directly to the end-user, making them a B2C company — no matter if they’re a fairtrade clothing startup or an artisanal baker.
Now, concerning content marketing, B2C content marketing is by-and-large the same. It’s just that, instead of being put in front of business stakeholders, it’s put in front of end-users.
And just like B2B content marketing, B2C content marketing works incredibly well. As the Content Marketing Institute found:
“86% of B2C marketers use content marketing and 55% of B2C marketers plan to increase content marketing spend next year.”The Content Marketing Institute
The magic ingredient, then, is content marketing itself!
B2B content marketing vs SaaS content marketing
‘SaaS’ stands for software-as-a-service. Slack, HubSpot, and Sumo are all well-known examples of SaaS products, as they offer on-demand software that helps others do whatever it is they need to do — like communicating with people, or growing an email list.
SaaS content marketing can either be B2B- or B2C-focused, depending on who the audience for the SaaS product in question is.
Though, the bulk of SaaS companies — and especially the most successful ones — are B2B companies, and thus need their content to be B2B-orientated. (If you’re interested in Slack’s B2B content game in particular, Herbert Lui has written this deep-dive.)
What is a B2B content marketing agency?
A B2B content marketing agency helps SaaS companies — and any other B2B company — plan and then execute a results-led B2B content marketing strategy.
By outsourcing the work to an expert agency, the B2B company can retain a ton of money, not be as stressed (especially as they won’t need to quickly hire an entire internal content marketing team), and also hit the ground running. This is why 49% of companies outsource their content marketing!
With their roster of writers, marketers, growth hackers, designers, creators, and strategists — all of whom have years of industry experience, and proven results — a B2B content marketing agency like WordSmiths, Inc. knows exactly how to pique the interest of business stakeholders.
The different types of content marketing
A B2B content marketing agency’s toolkit is full to the brim with various types of content that can be deployed.
Different types of content are used at differing times, though.
For instance, blog posts are more top-of-funnel (i.e. content that creates awareness of a service or product, usually via education), while webinars are middle- and bottom-of-funnel content (i.e. content that directly facilitates evaluation and conversion). This is something the founder of WordSmiths, Inc., Andrew Miller, talks about in greater detail — and in a controversial way! — on his podcast Decision Science.
Let’s now take a look at varying types of content, delving into why they’re useful (read: super effective) in a B2B context.
The world is hungry for content.
And it’s interesting, enlightening, and educational content that can bring in people from all over the globe, turning readers into customers. And as long as they’re SEO-optimized, great blog posts can even steal audience members away from your competitors, too.
Blog posts normally contain some sort of advertisement, helping to persuade readers into taking a certain action through subtler means. And it works, which is why 86% of content marketers, whether they’re in-house or at an agency, use blog posts as part of their content marketing strategy.
Newsletters aren’t just lead-generation machines. They also further your brand’s voice, cultivate pre- and post-sale relationships, and maximize the opportunities to get eyeballs on your business’ previous and current content alike.
In recent years, the usage of newsletters has dramatically boomed — as I said a few sentences ago, the world is hungry for content! And considering newsletters are so easy to make, there’s no reason why any business, especially a B2B business, should skip out on newsletters.
eBooks, just like whitepapers, are longer-form content that demonstrates a company’s authority in a particular area. They’re easy to distribute, easy to create, and they establish credibility and expertise.
What’s more is that a good eBook will undoubtedly be referenced by others in blog posts, on social media, or even in physical books!
Social media posts
Twitter. LinkedIn. TikTok.
No matter who your target audience is, social media is where the people who don’t know about you yet congregate. Seeing as people aged 19-29 spend 3 hours, millennials spend 2 hours and a half, and those aged between 45 and 54 spend 1 hour and a half on social media each day, not posting content to social media means foregoing a ton of potential business opportunities.
An infographic — which is a visual representation of information and/or data — is one of the most effective content weapons out there.
On social media in particular, infographics can spread like wildfire due to their eye-catching, engaging, visually appealing nature. To boot, infographics instantly tell people something, making them inherently shareable. As long as an infographic is branded and states your company’s name, prepare to see a ton of folks liking, sharing, and using your infographics.
Emails and newsletters, although the same medium, are different. A newsletter is usually a round-up of events or other pieces of content, while emails themselves can be used to update subscribers, educate them, provide them with discounts, and much, much more. Think of it as a nifty, action-based notification that lands straight into a subscriber’s inbox.
For instance, if a SaaS company releases a new feature, it’s not a newsletter that needs to go out on launch day — it’s an announcement email, letting subscribers know that the product they use and love has been upgraded, and that they should check out the new feature themselves.
Webinars are inexpensive, social video content that can be hosted from home.
And they can be incredibly powerful.
A whopping 81% of marketers have said that webinars have helped them to acquire new leads for their companies. And when it comes to B2B specifically, the majority of B2B buyers (66%) said they prefer to watch a webinar before buying a product or service.
Need I say more?
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of types of content that can be used.
These are, however, the big-hitters when it comes to content that’s used for B2B content marketing. But only if they’re created with intention and care, and as part of an overall content marketing strategy.
This is why, next up, I’ll explain how a handful of exemplary (and not to mention prosperous!) companies are going about it all the right way.
Why and how the world’s best companies utilize B2B content marketing
Shopify. HubSpot. SAP.
You may have heard of these companies once or twice before…
What am I saying; you’ve probably heard of these companies multiple times, and may have even used their products or services yourself!
But did you know that, when it comes to B2B content marketing, they’re all shining examples?
Here’s why and how.
How Shopify go about B2B content marketing
I used Shopify as an example when providing the definitions of ‘B2B’ and ‘B2C,’ and I’m not about to stop using them as an example now.
Shopify, which is a Canadian success story, powers over 1 million businesses in over 175 countries. And considering they’ve got such a huge audience — and want to attract even more people, still — their content marketing output needs to be rather phenomenal.
And it is.
But it’s not just the sheer quantity in which they’re releasing content that’s having a positive impact. It’s that they’re smart about how they go about their B2B content marketing, too.
Firstly, their informative, interesting blog puts out posts at least once every business day, meaning they’re targeting relevant keywords consistently.
Secondly, they have a plethora of SEO-optimized ‘quickstart guides’ that provides helpful advice to the lay reader (or rather, lay businessperson) on how to find a niche, how to sell inventory, how dropshipping works — you name, they’ve got a guide that’ll tell you how to get started.
Thirdly, their podcast Shopify Masters is one of the most appreciated and listened-to podcasts in the realm of entrepreneurship. In fact, there have been over 300 episodes and it has a user rating of just over 4.5 stars, meaning Shopify users are truly engaged by the podcast.
Shopify, then, publishes a lot of content all while ensuring it’s relevant and helpful for business stakeholders.
How HubSpot go about B2B content marketing
Founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006, HubSpot is a company that develops and markets a range of software products for marketing, sales, and customer service. (Fun fact: it was HubSpot that coined the term ‘inbound marketing’!)
HubSpot is lauded by marketing teams across the globe — especially those in the tech and SaaS space. The reason why is that their content dominates Google’s front pages, always being consistently high in the rankings — and this goes for their legacy content and newly-published content, too.
But their strategy is pretty simple.
Essentially, they focus on top-of-funnel content and create a ton of blog material on a range of subjects — inbound link-building tips to sales prospecting strategies. Their blog posts are incredibly rich, with lots of definitions about previously confusing words, information regarding tricky concepts, and actionable advice for both lay readers and pros alike.
HubSpot also has a wealth of more middle and bottom of the funnel content, including ebooks, guides, courses, and even customer success stories to really seal the deal.
HubSpot’s content marketing prowess has meant that they’re bringing in a huge amount of revenue. In 2020, the figure was $883m.
How SAP go about B2B content marketing
SAP is one of the largest software companies in the world. Based in Germany, SAP offers a wide range of software solutions to businesses across the globe, including tools for network and speed management and supply chain management.
You’d have thought that, considering how broad they are as a company, their content game wouldn’t be strong.
But it is.
SAP is very precise about the content it publishes; they have 19 customer segments, and their content is tailored specifically to all these segments. This means, then, that they’re never putting content out online and crossing their fingers that it’ll reel in readers. Before even writing a blog post, ebook, or whitepaper, SAP’s content marketers know exactly who their audience is, what kind of struggles they’re facing, and how to persuade those business stakeholders to use one of SAP’s software solutions.
It’s not rocket science, but it sure does work.
After looking at these three examples, it’s easy to see that they’ve all found success by ensuring their content is helpful, actionable, and provides solutions. To boot, they all publish a range of different content for different people, so no matter if people enjoy reading, listening, or watching the most, there’s content there for them to enjoy.
Now, all these companies have internal content marketing teams, working day-in, day-out — and on rather high salaries. Unless your company brings in millions upon millions — or even billions upon billions — of dollars, you won’t be able to have a content marketing team like them.
Instead of attempting to build out an internal content marketing team yourself, why not save your money, save the stress and pain of it all, and work with an expert B2B content marketing agency so your business can publish the content that business stakeholders want?
After all, it’s what we do best here at WordSmiths, Inc.
How WordSmiths, Inc., a B2B content marketing agency, can help you
We’re WordSmiths, Inc.
We’re an organic growth B2B content marketing agency that can create exceptional stories that attract, retain, and grow your audience. It’s what we do all day, every day!
Are you a B2B business that’s never worked with a B2B content marketing agency before?
Collaborating with us and achieving great results is easier than you think.
Here’s how it works.
Once a conversation starts, we’ll ask you to jump on a call or two. By doing this, we’ll be able to get a good sense of how, exactly, we can help you. We’ll also send you a questionnaire, so we can better understand your business’ previous B2B content marketing efforts.
From our side, we’ll start performing comprehensive site audits, undergo brand and audience research, and create a bespoke content strategy for your business. Due to our SEO skills, link acquisition expertise, conversion optimization know-how, and content mastery, rest assured that the content strategy will be high-impact and highly-effective.
In terms of specifics, the strategy will help take the following areas to the next level:
- Search engine optimization.
- Guest post management.
- Ungated and gated content creation.
- Online PR management.
- Reporting and analysis.
- Overall strategy.
Our team members have worked with the likes of Nissan, Oracle, and the aforementioned Sumo, and we’ve helped businesses such as Idyoma and 1937 Hemp Store to grow their businesses exponentially.
Check out these case studies to discover how:
- Case Study: How Idyoma Secured Downloads and Visibility With Wordsmiths, Inc.
- Case Study: How 1937 Hemp Store Turned Traffic into Sales With WordSmiths, Inc.
Our talented team is ready to forge brilliant B2B content for you, securing your business’ growth.