The most effective content distribution channels for B2B Marketing
B2B purchasing decisions don't happen overnight. Instead, senior decision-makers follow a well-established path to purchase that includes research and evaluation before they even consider committing to a sales call.
Understanding this journey and what messages B2B prospects want along the way will help you attract, nurture, and convert more of these high-value targets.
Let's get into it
Analysing the buyer journey
There are three distinct phases to the buyer journey:
- Awareness – A buyer realises they have a problem. They want to understand more about it.
- Consideration – A buyer starts looking for and comparing potential solutions to that problem.
- Decision – The buyer has decided to buy. They've put a shortlist together and are deciding on which option to go with
Creating content for each stage of the buyer's journey
B2B customers have different concerns and needs during each buying cycle stage.
Ensuring your content matches their needs during each stage is essential to keeping your leads on the pathway to purchase.
Let's look at each stage in more detail.
The buyer has a problem or pain point, and their goal is to alleviate it. But they're not thinking about solutions or providers yet; it's too early for that.
Instead, they're looking to contextualise their problem first, primarily through online research and Google searches. As a content marketer, you'll want to show up in those search engine results, establishing your authority and gaining buyers' trust during the first stage of their journey.
The best type of content for the awareness stage are social media posts, SEO articles, blogs, eBooks, and whitepapers.
The buyer has defined the problem and is committed to solving it. Now the real research starts. In other words, buyers are considering potential solutions.
The prospect is not yet ready to buy, but they know they want to buy. Your goal now is to explain how you are the solution to their problem.
Consideration stage content needs to be more detailed and product specific. At this point, leads want case studies, in-depth guides, product spec sheets, competitor guides, and free samples.
The lead has decided to buy. The only question is, "who from?"
If all your previous messaging is on point, you'll now be on a final shortlist of vendors. The goal of decision stage content is super simple and important: choose us, not our competitors.
Decision stage content needs to be company, customer, and deal-specific. Free trials, demos, consultation offers, free ads-ons, and discounts are excellent ways to persuade a lead that you're their best option.
Content distribution channels for B2B marketing
You know what type of content you need to produce - and when to produce it.
Now let's focus on getting that content in front of some eyeballs.
Here's a guide to the best content distribution channels for B2B marketing.
Blog posts should be a significant focus of your B2B content marketing. Producing regular blog posts is time and cost-effective, will help you rank higher on google, and establish your brand as a reliable and relevant voice within the industry.
More importantly, blogging will help you attract more leads. Businesses that blog generate 67% more monthly leads than those that don't. And they will be quality leads. And by quality leads, we mean those senior B2B decision-makers and accounts you want to reach.
The number of B2B buyers engaging with blog posts during their buying journey is up from 66% to 71%. The majority read three blog posts or more during the awareness phase.
The most influential blogs (the ones that nudge B2B buyers toward decisions) are value-driven. They educate your B2B leads, providing the information and data they need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Use SEO and marketing data for your keyword and intent research. This is how you identify what your target audience is searching for - and why.
Make these customers' wants, needs, and pain points the subject of your blog posts.
Post regularly - at least once a week. However, three to four times is better.
The length and level of detail will depend on your target audience/buyer stage. But whomever you're writing for, the message and structure of your blogs should always be the same. It should look something like this...
- We know you have a problem.
- We understand that problem.
- We know what solution you're looking for
- Here's how we can provide that solution
Social media is a great distribution channel for your content.
It allows you to post and share content and engage with your audience.
It also allows you to launch unique and original content campaigns that can reach thousands (and maybe even millions) of people for a fraction of your annual marketing budget.
McDonald's Question Time is an excellent example of social media content marketing. Through its social media platforms, Mcdonald's invited people in the USA to ask questions about how fast food is made - or what's in it. Mcdonald's promised to answer every question openly and honestly, which it did.
The campaign didn't talk about mouth-watering burgers or crispy chicken nuggets. Instead, it demonstrated corporate values, specifically openness, honesty, and transparency.
And it worked.
The campaign helped change the public perception of an often vilified brand and, by extension, eased people's guilt or concerns over indulging in the occasional fast food treat. In other words, people started buying more burgers, Mcflurries, and happy meals.
The McDonald's 'Question Time' campaign was selling without the actual selling. And this tasty little knowledge nugget is precisely what social media content marketing is all about.
Email is one of the most obvious distribution channels for your content. It's also one of the most powerful - providing you follow a couple of golden rules.
Golden rule 1# Personalise
Generic email and messaging just don't cut it anymore. B2B prospects don't want to be treated like another customer or lead. They want (and demand) the personal touch.
Simple touches like using someone's name in the subject line can increase open rates by 26%. Customers will also appreciate birthday messages and specific loyalty bonuses based on their account engagement.
Anniversary offers will also grab their attention - "Time flies. It's been almost a whole year since we started working together. Here's a special 10% discount offer to celebrate our first anniversary!"
Golden rule 2# Segment
The right content will only start to convert if it gets sent to the right type of customer. That's why you need to segment your email distribution lists.
Email segmentation divides email marketing subscribers into subgroups based on specific criteria. It's a vital personalisation tactic that allows you to deliver relevant content to your subscribers at the most pertinent point in their buying cycle.
With segmentation, you can send a welcome email to new leads and subscribers or content, offers, or product updates to reignite the interest of less-engaged targets. You also can send accelerator emails to high-intent leads in the final stage of the purchasing cycle. For example, a well-timed "sign up today for a free two-week trial!" message can persuade a lead to choose your company over a competitor.
You could - theoretically - segment your list manually. But don't. Please. Nobody has got time for that.
Invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, email marketing software, or upskill staff to make the most of your current systems.
Integrate video into your content creation and distribution strategy. It will increase engagement levels. And by quite a lot...
- Videos generate 1200% more shares than text and image posts COMBINED
- Videos on social media accounts increase user engagement by 33%
- Putting the word video in an email subject line boosts click-through rates by 13%
Video marketing means more leads and prospects will see your content and messaging. And they'll remember more of what they see; people retain 95% of a message when they see it via video, compared to just 10% when they read the same message in text form.
As a general rule, shorter is sweeter. The most effective B2B videos are two minutes or less. In terms of actual video content, you have loads of options that match different stages of the buying journey, including...
- Video ads
- Customer testimonials
- Product review
- Product demonstration
- Animated explainer videos
- Or just a friendly hello to new customers, introducing yourself and your company
When sharing videos, the most popular channels are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. And don't forget about LinkedIn because lots of marketers do.
AXD Marketing is a specialist B2B content marketing agency based in Manchester. We specialise in helping SaaS and tech companies create and distribute content that comes first on Google.
We create content that outlines what you do and why you do it better than anyone else. And that means more clicks, more leads, and more sales.
To find out more, book your free discovery call today.