While both B2B and B2C content needs to be eye-catching and interesting, with B2B, it’s less about entertaining and more about assisting, inspiring, and educating. If you need better B2B content development ideas, it’s time to start measuring what you already have.
B2B brands should measure their blog and content success to understand how much traffic there is. It’s the most basic and important metric when it comes to analyzing the power of a blog, says Mehvish Patel, SEO Content Writer at Zen Media.
But what else can these brands do to improve the content they’re creating?
What’s unique about B2B content creation
“What I find unique about content creation in the B2B space is how targeted we must be,” says Kimberley Williamson, Vice President, Flying Camel.
“In B2C marketing, content creation involves designing campaigns with mass appeal — casting as wide a net as possible and hoping (or paying) for conversions or sales,” she says.
“With B2B, there is more research necessary in the audience building and target building phases. When we publish content for businesses, we must understand the business challenges and day-to-day operations almost as much as the proprietor does.”
B2B content needs to be detailed, show expertise, and ultimately encourage sales and partnerships. Your B2B audience needs to know the ins and outs of your products/services and be able to make an informed purchase decision based on the information you provide to them, says Amber Reed-Johnson, Copywriting Assistant at Giraffe Social Media.
“B2B content creation often involves more research, whitepapers, webinars, and other educational content that you don’t see as much in the B2C sphere. From this perspective, successful results will include video views, PDF downloads, lead form fills, and other conversions which indicate that a user has digested your content.”
Improving your brand’s content
Williamson says brands can ensure that they are successfully analyzing their content’s performance by looking at three key data points:
Engagement rates: While reach and engagement numbers are good to monitor, I find that engagement rates tell a more detailed story.
In an ideal world, your engagement rate would be 100%, meaning that everyone who comes across your content engages with it in some manner. However, this is likely not realistic. Depending on the industry, the platform, and the community size, strong engagement rates can vary.
If your engagement rate is 5% and getting better over time, that’s a good indication that your content is performing well. If your engagement rate is 150% and declining, you might want to look at your recent campaigns and ask some tough questions.
The balance of engagements: While all engagements are meaningful – and as marketers we appreciate all of them – some types show greater enthusiasm and affinity than others.
For example, on Instagram, a comment on a post is more valuable than a like but less valuable than a save. Similarly, a video view that is 100% of the duration of a video is more meaningful than a view that is only 25% of the video.
Tonal sentiment: How people sound when they discuss our brand or interact with our brand online matters. When people use positive language, it can spark positive word of mouth, while negative chatter does the opposite.
Under typical circumstances, most of the chatter around a brand is neutral – customers mentioning that they interacted with a company in neither a particularly positive nor negative manner. What great marketers should strive to do is to look at the neutral comments and to try and devise ways to turn these into positive interactions.
If a brand has a high proportion of negative discussion, it is typically a customer service issue that can be dealt with quite efficiently with a good customer service strategy in place. It sounds simple but in the B2B space, this is often overlooked.
Lastly, for brands who are unsure if their content strategy is working – just ask. Don’t be scared to solicit feedback – it’s the best way to get better.
Don’t skip the content plan
Charlotte Sheridan, Managing Director at The Small Biz Expert, says before pen is put to paper (or finger to keyboard), it’s wise to have a solid content plan in place.
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“Content should be split into categories by objective. For example, this may be SEO, thought-leadership, social media impact, and perhaps gated content. All of those will have different objectives — you may measure SEO-focused content on how it ranks for the selected keywords, thought leadership by time spent on page, and gated content by number of email addresses collected, and leads as a result.”
Not all blog content has the same objective, but if it’s not performing in any way it’s worth considering repurposing, or ditching it altogether if it’s not adding value.