B2B Content Marketing Playbook

When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) companies, the role of content marketing has become more crucial than ever. Your business’s digital presence is synonymous with market relevance and a content marketing strategy can help you establish your brand, highlight your expertise, and grow your audience.

In this article, I will define B2B content marketing, the importance of content marketing for all B2B businesses, and the steps you can take to create and carry out a successful content marketing strategy for your own business.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the creation and dissemination of various forms of media that are relevant to your brand but go beyond mere advertising. Types of media leveraged in content marketing include written content (blogs, newsletters, ebooks, etc.), videos, podcasts, social media, and more.

The purpose of content marketing is to increase brand awareness, interest, and lead generation through media that informs, entertains, or otherwise highlights your brand.

What is B2B content marketing?

B2B content marketing is a specialized form of content marketing tailored for businesses that focus on selling products and services to other companies. The distinguishing factor in B2B content marketing is the audience; while business-to-consumer (B2C) companies target individuals, B2B companies target entire businesses.

Why does B2B content marketing matter?

B2B content marketing can help businesses become established as authorities in their industries, build and maintain relationships with other businesses, and increase visibility, audience reach, and lead generation. Even further, creating high-quality media that is informative or otherwise provides value to your target audience and highlights your specific industry knowledge can increase your trustworthiness, improving customer loyalty and ensuring greater chances of longterm success.

As an effective B2B content marketing strategy comes with many benefits for your business, a lacking or nonexistent content marketing strategy can harm your business. Businesses that do not develop a content marketing strategy risk slower growth, losing out to competitors, and leaving money on the table. As more of our world moves online, not standing out from your competitors can mean failure for your business.

If you don’t currently have a B2B content marketing strategy, you’re not too far behind. While over 70% of B2B content marketers report that content marketing is only becoming more important year to year, less than 30% report that their businesses are very successful when it comes to their current content marketing strategies.

B2B content marketing requires consistency, deep knowledge of your industry, and clear, measurable goals in order to be successful. While it can be intimidating to begin implementing a content marketing strategy, or to completely revamp an ineffective content marketing strategy, there are concrete steps you can take to identify your business’s needs and better represent yourself online.

B2B Content Marketing Checklist

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to content marketing, and a strong foundation will help ensure that your business has clear goals and the bandwidth to carry out your B2B content marketing strategy. Below, I have outlined the key steps you should take to create and implement a strategy that works for your business.

  1. Know Your Audience

Audience guides your marketing strategy. Who you are trying to reach informs every aspect of marketing, and valuable information can be gleaned from your target audience.

To identify your target audience, assess your current customer base. Take note of their industries, company size, length of your relationship with them, and any other information that can help you create a general idea of the customers you tend to appeal to. Are there identifiable differences between satisfied and dissatisfied customers? Who in the business tends to be your point of contact when making sales? Are there certain industries that are represented more than others?

Once you have identified your current customers, consider: do your current customers reflect what you would expect, or your “ideal” customer? If not, what would you hope to see represented by your customers?

From this information, both from current customers and thinking about an “ideal” customer, you can create a profile (or multiple profiles) that can serve as a representation of your audience.

  1. Set Clear Goals

Goals not only keep you organized as you begin to carry out your B2B content marketing strategy, but can help you measure your success and adjust if certain aspects of your strategy aren’t working.

To establish goals for your business, start big and break them down into smaller, more actionable objectives. Common long-term B2B content marketing goals include increasing brand awareness, increasing lead generation, establishing your business as a thought leader or authority in your industry, and outperforming competitors in search results.

If your business’s large goal is to become a thought leader in your industry, smaller goals could include regular content creation, active attempts to secure earned media coverage, applying for awards in your industry, networking and attending conferences, and much more.

Once you have identified your large and small goals, consider:

  • What forms of media you would like to leverage to achieve your goals
  • What can be improved in your current processes to help achieve these goals
  • The timeline (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) you would like to achieve these goals within
  • How you can measure success

Because a content marketing strategy is a long-term, iterative process, short- and long-term goals can help you maintain your focus and ensure you are carrying out the best strategy for your business.

Once you have established your goals and how you plan to achieve them, document your strategy. Despite how important and valuable this can be to achieving your goals, only 40% of B2B content marketers report documenting their strategy.

  1. Create Quality Content

This advice may initially be both obvious and too vague to be helpful, but it is vital that you keep it in mind at all stages of your B2B content marketing strategy. While consistency is vital, particularly for B2B businesses, you should never sacrifice quality for quantity.

To ensure you can maintain a consistent media schedule while producing high-quality content, assess your experience, resources, and bandwidth. Smaller marketing teams will likely want to focus on one or two forms of media, while larger teams can produce multiple forms of media.

If your business wants to begin a content marketing strategy, but does not have an internal marketing team, you can consider working with an agency like Status Labs. An agency will bring valuable insight and experience to your marketing strategy, and will ensure that your strategy is customized to help you achieve your goals.

In the context of B2B marketing, high-quality content is content that is relevant to your business, provides value to your customers, and shows expertise in your industry. This is particularly true for B2B businesses, as you are likely interacting with companies that have a deep understanding of their industry and their organization’s needs, and you will likely have to convince more than one person within the organization to make a positive impression and generate leads.

A report published by the Content Marketing Institute states that “B2B buyers seek comprehensive, expert information to inform their purchasing decisions. Content must be more in-depth.” Additionally, content must maintain a professional tone that uses industry-specific language when relevant. Unlike content marketed to consumers, which may leverage more humor or emotion, content that is targeted towards businesses should be driven by data and clear understanding of the issue you’re trying to solve.

  1. Utilize a Multi-Channel Approach

There are several channels that can connect you with your target audience when it comes to B2B marketing, such as social media, email, and search engine results. Leveraging content across multiple channels will not only widen your reach, but allow you to get more out of a single piece of content.

As with your content, you will need to ensure that your marketing team has the bandwidth to consistently distribute and promote your content. Additionally, you will need to consider the best channels to reach your audience. For some, email will be the best way to put your business in front of potential customers, while others may see more success with social media.

To use different channels in your content marketing strategy, be sure to maintain a consistent voice across all channels while also adjusting for the channel itself (for example, sharing something on Linkedin may have a more conversational tone than sending out a newsletter, but what you are saying should not vary much).

  1. Work with Feedback

Just as identifying your target audience can give you a direction, feedback can be a valuable resource to identify blind spots and help you better understand and serve your customers.

You can receive customer feedback through online reviews and testimonials, customer feedback surveys, as well as less direct contexts, such as ongoing client conversations and or information around which offerings have higher or lower sales success and retention.

If you notice a pattern in the feedback you receive, whether directly about your marketing strategy or more generally about your business, it can be worthwhile to consider what needs to change and if you are able to make that change. The insight you gain from your feedback can help you let go of marketing channels that aren’t providing you with leads, rework content that is giving customers an idea about your business that is not in-line with your desired branding, and generally better align your B2B content marketing strategy with the goals you hope to achieve.


As our world continues to move more and more of its processes online, the importance of content marketing only grows. To set yourself apart from the competition and establish a clear voice for your brand and business, you cannot only do exemplary work, but create content that highlights that.

As you begin to form or refine your B2B content marketing strategy incorporating the above advice, determine what is and is not possible for your business. Status Labs is here to help, whether it’s guiding you through the process, providing feedback on your current strategy, or helping you execute a marketing plan from start to finish.

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