How to Create B2B Content That Works

By Morgan Norris

Technical audiences require technical content, and there’s no denying that the types of content you produce and the sources where that content is published influence the perception of your brand.

Based on information from a recent Forrester webinar B2B content that works (for your and your customer) and research from TREW Marketing and IEEE, here are four tips on creating B2B content that actually works.

1. Make digital content a priority this year

Digital marketing is the new normal. B2B buyers don’t want sales to be their primary source of research and powerful content is a necessity for any B2B marketing strategy. Based on Forrester’s research:

  • 75 percent of buyers will search the internet before engaging in person. 
  • 53 percent of buyers find going online superior to interacting with a salesperson.*

TREW Marketing and IEEE also found that technical audiences are simply more likely to o business with companies that produce new and current content. This content, when focused on what the customer needs, is seen as a valuable asset and an influencer in the customer’s purchase decision.

92% of engineers are more likely to do business with companies that regularly produce content

 

2. Focus your content on the customer

54 percent of Forrester’s IT and line-of-business technology buyers and influencers say much of the material they see is useless. To create content that matters to your customer:

  • Avoid immediately writing about yourself
  • Understand that your reader is not buying your product up front, they're buying your approach to solving their problem
  • Let the buyer drive their content experience so they can get the information they need when they need it
  • Let your content make your customer the hero – they should be better at their job, or more informed to talk to their co-workers or management with the information they’ve gathered from you

 

3. Get your message in the right content format

Knowing what content sources your audience frequents and trusts is key to making your content work for you. Forrester found that case studies, white papers, and ROI data are the most valuable to inform buying decisions.

How valuable are these types of content as you make technology buying decisions

Similarly, case studies and white papers were most critical with TREW and IEEE’s research:

Report from IEEE and TREW's research

Lastly, if you have the opportunity to use PR efforts to promote content on third-party sites, or the opportunity to work with other organizations, consider Forrester’s top sources for reputable content:

Top sources for reputable content

 

4. Customize your content across the buyer journey

Technical audiences expect to have at least four interactions with a company before communicating directly with the company.

Interactions with a vendor before communicating directly

Because your audience is already expecting these engagements, a thoughtful content program should include increasingly customized content as the buyer moves down the funnel.

Customize content as the buyer moves down the buyer's journey 

Marketing automation platforms like HubSpot can help you easily see your customers’ interactions with content on your site and automatically offer targeted CTAs throughout their journey.

 

BONUS: Something to consider – interactive content.

As digital marketing advances, Forrester found that buyers appreciate interactive content.

Buyers appreciate interactive, dynamic content

Interactive assets are advanced digital content that can help tell your core message with visual elements. One example of this is Wineman Technology’s aerospace and defense interactive graphic, which allows readers to see the company’s applications and solutions across the spectrum of an entire plane. From avionics test to engine simulation, readers can explore for themselves Wineman’s comprehensive solutions.

Wineman Technology's interactive aerospace graphic

 

Forrester also offered recommendations for interactive assets like polls and dynamic infographics:

Forrester interactive assets 

Sources: *Forrester/Internet Retailer Q1 2015 US B2B Buyer Channel Preferences Online Survey, **Global Business Technographics® Marketing Survey, 2016 

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