If you’re a newbie to b2b tech content marketing, it might help to go over the basics.
I like to boil things down to their essence:
- Content teams attract leads.
- Sales teams close leads.
You need to pound these two points into your head before you even think of fretting over SEO, analytics, toolsets, personas, platforms and everything else.
It’s all about the revenue it hauls in. If you stay focused on helping your company or client make more money, you’ll have a massive lead over the people sweating out everything else.
So now that we have that housekeeping out of the way, let’s look at the three core components of B2B tech content marketing.
Business to business
B2B involves buying and selling, but it’s a planet unto itself in the marketing solar system.
- Products and services can have mind-boggling complexity.
- Sales timelines can run months to years.
- Sales volume can be remarkably low — some B2B tech companies might sell a hundred of their products in a year.
- Transaction totals can be out-of-this-world high — into the hundreds of millions or even billions.
- Closing results from deep relationships between sales professionals and their clients.
- Sales pros must have a sophisticated understanding of the technologies their companies sell.
- Marketing messaging focuses on helping potential clients understand the appeal of choosing specific technology options and explains how technologies work.
In the B2B tech space, marketing is about promoting tools that improve business outcomes.
- The fundamental appeal of technology is buying tools that repay the investment many times over in better cash flow, efficiency and profitability.
- Automation means a job that costs $50 this year will cost only $30 next year.
- Information technology service providers free up companies’ IT staffs to focus on core business initiatives.
- Despite the emphasis on tools, techniques and the benefits they deliver, B2B tech marketing is fundamentally about people — helping buyers make smart decisions this year so they’ll keep coming back year after year.
- Hard facts and cold logic drive the messaging, but marketers do address emotions: fears, anxieties, pain points, all the stuff that keeps leaders up at night. They just don’t oversell to smart people who have well-calibrated BS detectors.
Busy tech leaders need help deciding which technologies mesh with their business goals. Content gets them there.
- It’s more than blogs, videos, trade show booths and other popular B2B technology channels. Content is best thought of as an experience that educates prospects, builds trust and moves people toward a purchase decision.
- Blogs are a productive venue for top-of-the-funnel content that summarizes broad issues.
- White papers provide in-depth guidance that explains the essential issues buyers need to think about before they close a deal. They are more middle-of-the-funnel.
- Thought leadership pieces burnish companies’ credibility by proving they have people who are plugged into the most important challenges confronting their industry.
Making it all mesh
To succeed in B2B tech content marketing, you need to be:
- Strategic: Success flows from a firm plan of action built on effective tactics for finding prospects, nurturing them along their buyers’ journey and then getting them to the dotted line. You have to know your target audience and speak to them directly.
- Practical: You’ve got to be able to convey the appeal of a technology while reassuring prospects you can tell a server from a service bulletin. Technical-minded people tend to flounder on conveying appeal, while marketing-minded people get tripped up by the details of how technologies work. You’ll do best if you can do both.
- Analytical: Data drives all successful B2B tech content marketing initiatives. You need to measure how long people stay on your pages, which links they click on, which keywords and articles reveal their interests.
Well, that’s a serviceable introduction. The best way to learn is to jump into the deep end of the pool and start swimming.
- Here for the first time? Check out my welcome page.