A lot of companies involved in B2B supply chain products, like building materials, believe that digital content marketing is not really for them. It is for consumers who are buying products and services for their own personal use.
But nothing could be further from the truth. A huge number of B2B businesses (in fact, 88% of them) do use content marketing and find that it increases their customer bases and ultimate sales. They have found the right platforms and tools that engage potential customers, develop good relationships, and ultimately convert their leads into customers.
If you have neglected the power of content marketing, here are some tips that can get you started, set you above your competition, attract a larger part of your target audience, and ultimately boost your sales.
Here are six actionable tips to put yourself “out there” in the content marketing world.
- Your Target Customers Should Know Your Story
Too often, companies that deal in such things as building materials are “faceless.” They may engage in phone calls, emails, and even an occasional sales appointment, but these are all “business” with little-to-no company “personality” involved. It’s time to put a “face” on your business and develop relationships.
Often, this can be accomplished by telling your story. How did your company get started? What was the vision as you grew your company? Who are your team members? What are their backgrounds?
You actually may have several “stories,” all of which will make your company more “human.” These can be published on your website, on social media platforms, and even in a blog (and you should have one, for certain.)
Storytelling in content marketing takes some creativity. Many companies, especially small ones that do not have a digital marketing staff, outsource this content to specialists, such as those at TrustMyPaper, a writing service with an entire creative writer department. They can take the details of your brand stories and craft great content for you.
- Speaking of a Blog
Your customers are looking for solutions to problems they have in your specific niche of building materials. They are also looking to be educated, and perhaps a bit entertained and inspired. A blog can accomplish all of these things.
Look for popular topics in your niche. There are plenty of tools for this – some free, some fee-based. You can search by your niche and discover the most popular topics and conversations. Plan to use these in your blog. And you don’t have to stick to just information and education about your building materials. You can write about all sorts of related topics too.
Suppose you supply building materials for decks. Of course, you will want to keep your potential customers informed of all the new types of deck materials that can save their customers from regular power washing and re-staining. But how about a post on new deck designs? It doesn’t relate specifically to what you sell, but it is informative, and it may provide some inspiration to deck construction pros who appreciate those unique designs.
Set up a publishing calendar and stick to it. Your followers expect a regular supply of new posts. If you neglect our blog, they will fall off. Promote your blog posts elsewhere, especially on social media, and provide links to them.
- Using Social Media
Social media is no longer for individuals who want to find and converse with friends. Businesses have come to realize that these platforms are excellent resources for both B2C and B2B. The key will be to focus on the right platforms – those that your potential customers use. Certainly, LinkedIn is probably the first platform that comes to mind. And it should. It is a great place to connect with potential customers who need your products and services. And you can join discussion groups with would-be customers. But Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are now figuring more and more importantly. See what your competitors are doing on these platforms, and you will get plenty of ideas for how to use them yourself.
- Consider Video Marketing
This has long been an amazing tool for B2C e-commerce companies. You can use video to introduce your company, to show how your materials are manufactured, and how quality is controlled. You can show finished products that have used your materials. You can have happy customers talk about their great experiences with your company and how your materials made their jobs easier and resulted in their happy customers.
Video today does not have to be an expensive proposition. Anyone with a smartphone can create an amazing video. The key will be the script that is developed to accompany that video. Yours can be educational, informative, and even entertaining if it is done right. If you struggle with creative script writing (and most small businesses do), you can produce the video, write up the points you want to make, and turn it all over to experts who have the creative staff to produce that perfect script. Supreme Dissertations is a writing service that has a department of creatives who do this all the time. Check them out.
- Think About Podcasts
Your customers are busy and on the go. They often do not have time to read a lot of text that may be on your website and your blog. But with a phone and earbuds, they can listen to podcasts while commuting, during lunch, and at home in the evenings. Podcasts are a great way for you to introduce your company, provide information on products, especially new offerings, and keep potential customers updated on what is going on in your industry niche. Again, you will need to develop a compelling script and outsource this task if you do not have in-house expertise.
- Don’t Forget About Emails
There is a lot of research regarding the ROI of email marketing. And it is compelling. For every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses can expect about a $38 ROI. Where else will you get this?
One of the best ways to use email marketing is to obtain subscribers to a newsletter that you can produce and publish regularly. You can get subscribers via your website, blog posts, and even social media. If potential customers are attracted to your original content, then a CTA to sign up for your newsletter is a “no-brainer.” The task, of course, is to craft those newsletters with engaging articles about you, your team, industry news, etc. This will keep your company “front and center” when potential customers need the products you offer. Study some examples of great email marketing content for ideas.
Each of these tips can be implemented with some concerted effort, time, and commitment. But understand this: content marketing has become a major force for B2B businesses. You need to look at your options to get on board if you want to stay competitive in your niche. These six tips should get you started.
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