Content marketing for B2B product sales is an incredibly useful way of boosting your business, as long as you approach it the right way.
You sell software as a service. You’ve invested in a sleek website to promote your even sleeker product, and on the advice of a colleague, you’ve created a blog with multiple social media accounts to drive traffic to your site. But creating content alone won’t do the trick. Content marketing for B2B product sales requires thoughtful strategies, engaging content, and most importantly, it must tell your story.
Remember that people buy from other people, not businesses. Even though your customers are businesses themselves, those businesses are still operated by people, and people want to connect with other people—especially people to whom they’re going to give money. As necessary as they are for completing a sale, product pages just don’t do the trick in the people department.
Enter content marketing for B2B product sales. Content marketing targets and engages your audience with your brand by delivering relevant, timely content that does more than just boast the benefits of your product. It connects people to your business.
Some of the more successful content marketing strategies that B2B companies have had success with are company blogs, Instagram posts, Snapchat stories, and LinkedIn posts.
Instagram and Snapchat
Historically, neither of these social platforms are known for driving B2B sales (as historical as you can get with such new platforms), but that’s changing quickly. B2B companies have come up with some clever ways to use both of these platforms to engage and connect with their audiences.
Consider Wistia, a video hosting and analytics platform. They use their Instagram account to post short how-to videos with targeted hashtags to draw audiences, and then they link to their company blog in their bio. By posting these how-tos, they offer their customers something more than just a product, which in turn engages their audiences in their brand.
The Instagram posts themselves don’t translate directly to sales, but by driving businesses to the company blog they are then in a prime position to close a deal that ultimately started with an Instagram view.
You can use Snapchat (and now Instagram Stories) in a similar way. Gary Vaynerchuk, who heads up social media agency VaynerMedia as well as other projects, uses both platforms to post clips from his show or his daily life, anything that connects him to his audiences. The result is that potential clients see a personal side to his brands, which then makes them look further into those brands. (Something that’s easy to do since Gary posts links to his website in his bio.) You can bet a number of new and repeat clients come from those leads.
Content marketing for B2B product sales through LinkedIn is a no-brainer. From simple status updates of a line or two to posting links to articles or informational videos, B2B companies can push a lot of content onto a platform designed for business in the first place.
Justworks is an example of a company that does this well. They post content almost daily, from useful tips on HR and payroll practices to information on compliance and benefits—all things that are the bread and butter of their business. Much of the content links to the company blog, but some of it connects to external sources, demonstrating a vested interest in providing their customers with useful information as opposed to just pushing a sale. And of course, the content that does link to the blog only increases the likelihood of a sale.
All this boils down to what is probably the most successful method of content marketing for B2B product sales, and that is the company blog. Blogs are unique in that each post essentially functions as a landing page, which you can optimize for search, and recycle the content over and over again. The content itself is only relevant to the product you offer, but when someone searches for that content, the result is a blog hit, which is easier to convert into a sale because you’ve now connected on a more personal level with your audience.
The other benefit to blogs is that while social media tends to reach people who already know your brand, through quality SEO, your blog will reach individuals who are new to your business, expanding your potential customer base. While Instagram and Snapchat build loyalty and brand awareness, blogs answer questions that people have, and when people feel helped, they intrinsically feel more connected to the source that helped them—in this case, your brand.
The best content marketing for B2B product sales will use a combination of all these platforms. Content marketing is about reaching as many people as possible, and the best way to do that is to creatively push that content on the right platforms. Don’t overdo it, of course, but don’t be afraid to re-post, recycle, and regenerate content that you’ve already published while always striving to deliver new content to the audiences that need to see it.