Mon. May 16th, 2022

B2B marketer putting together pieces of the content marketing puzzle image.

B2B marketer putting together pieces of the content marketing puzzle image.

For B2B business, the pandemic was a magnifying glass pointing out the cracks in systems. We discovered just how fast digital transformation can be when our livelihoods are on the line. We found that global supply chains arent as resilient as we thought. We found that remote work is far more viable an option than wed been led to believe.

None of these realizations were brand newwe were just able to see them clearly for the first time

The same is true of B2B buyer behavior. When we talk about how the pandemic changed B2B sales and marketing, what we mean is that we can finally see what we have missed before.

As we rebuild whats broken and seek to evolve to the next level, we have a chance to put the buyer at the center of our efforts. Here are some of the biggest challenges ahead, and how we can meet them.

Solving B2B Business Problems with Content Marketing

1Communicating Empathy

You dont get through collective trauma like weve all experienced for the past two years without a few scars. People are still adjusting, processing, struggling, even grieving. At the same time, businesses have needs that your solution can meet, problems you can solve. But how can brands help without seeming insensitive?

Content marketing is our most powerful tool for communicating human-to-human, offering actual value. Now is not the time for bland corporate-speak, eithershowcase your people in your content, along with others in your industry who have earned respect and trust

Be helpful and kind in your content. Be a caring companion to your audience. After all, marketers are the keepers of datawe know these people and what theyre struggling with. Were in a unique position to create uplifting content.

[bctt tweet=”“Be a caring companion to your audience. After all, marketers are the keepers of datawe know these people and what theyre struggling with. Were in a unique position to create uplifting content.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

2Leading with Purpose

Lately, businesses have come to the groundbreaking realization that people care deeply about social issues. This is a discovery on par with the earth-shattering epiphany that B2B buyers are human beings who need emotional appeal as well as facts

This epiphany has led to serious discussions aboutpurpose.” What does your brand stand for besides shareholder profit? What issues are top of mind and how is the brand helping address them? How can we let people know that we share their values?

Content is key for a brand thats looking to lead with purpose. Its the medium to tell the brands purpose story, of course. But we can go deeper: Content can be a way to amplify other voices and help tell their stories.

A brand can post a Martin Luther King, Jr. day message, complete with one of his safer quotes. But a content marketer can publish a blog post from a leading voice in the Black community. A brand can say they stand with Ukraine. A content marketer can bring refugee voices directly to a sympathetic audience. That’s leading with purpose, not purpose as an afterthought.

3 Humanizing the Brand

Ive written before about humanizing B2B marketingspecifically about how easy it is to overthink the whole thing. Whats the line between relatable and unprofessional? Will we lose trust in our competency if our content is too lighthearted? How do we relate to our entire audience without alienating a segment?

Heres the thing: You cant humanize a brand.

I say again: You CANT humanize a BRAND.

[caption id="attachment_30862" align="alignnone" width="300"]Kool-aid man pitcher The exception that proves the rule.[/caption]

Brands are not humans. People are. Content marketing can feature people on behalf of the brand, rather than attempting to speak for the brand

Bring your executives into your content. Bring employees, influencers, external experts. BringIm begging youyour customers and prospects in as well.

If you want to truly humanize, let the humans come out from behind the brand. Content marketers can lead the way.

4 — Building Relationships

I have talked more about building relationships in a decade of being a marketer than I did in a decade of being single. But in the world post-pandemic (and our current world of ongoing but milder pandemic), relationship-building is an even more crucial part of success for B2B business. Repeat customers, referrals and brand advocacy are all a more reliable source of revenue than even the most targeted advertising.

Content marketing can help build these relationships. The first three points I made are all about laying the groundwork for a relationship. Content can offer helpful advice, information about the state of the industry, best practicesin other words, what your audience needs to succeed in their professional and even personal lives

The quickest way to build a relationship? Give your potential customer that crucial bit of advice to make them look brilliant in front of their boss. Give your existing customers recognition and highlight the awesome success your brand helped them achieve. The more you lift up and celebrate your buyers, the more they are likely to do the same for your brand.

[bctt tweet=”“Content can offer helpful advice, information about the state of the industry, best practicesin other words, what your audience needs to succeed in their professional and even personal lives.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Elevate Your Content to Solve B2B Challenges

Its been a rough couple of years. Human beings have experienced individual and collective trauma, and were still processing and rebuilding. Thats true both of the marketers creating content and the people consuming it

The way forward is to use content for what its really good at: Telling stories, amplifying human voices, and providing value. Thats not to say content should be doing all of the above instead of driving a business outcomeIm saying that helpful, human content is the way to drive a business outcome.

We have the privilege, as content marketers, to create something that serves both the brand and the audience, and might even be fun for us to create. Its a unique opportunity and one we should all embrace.

Check out our Content Marketing service page for more inspiration.

The post Fast-Forward: 4 Business Problems Solved by B2B Content Marketing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Original source: https://www.toprankblog.com/2022/03/business-problems-solved-by-content-marketing/

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