4 ways to make sure your B2B brand is thriving
B2B content marketers can use modern publishing technology to ensure their brands stay relevant
For B2B brands, seldom able to command the same number of eyeballs-on-pages as their B2C counterparts, demonstrating continued relevance can be difficult.
Content marketing is ultimately about driving sales, but adds value by offering useful and engaging materials to nurture brand loyalty along the way. This is what’s meant by “relevance,” and highlights why content is so crucial to it; B2B readers can adapt to and profit from the changing needs of their clients via the content you provide.
But the counterpoint to providing niche, highly tailored content is that your performance can look lacklustre in other areas: namely, the much-maligned vanity metric.
Living as I do in the insight echo chamber, delving into how content is being used feels like useful and important work. But proving success here is difficult. Whopping sessions growth, on the other hand, makes for a more readily presentable figure. And clients often use the latter to assess their continued growth and relevance.
As a result, publishers risk chasing KPIs that don’t prove the success of their long-run strategy – and may even compromise it, by muddying the waters over who’s using content and how.
So in the quest to remain relevant, do you dash for growth and undermine content quality or play it safe and risk the ignominy of an anaemic KPI? Herein lies the B2B insighteer’s existential quandary.
Fortunately, catch-22 this is not – relevance and growth don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Modern publishing technology offers an answer.
I see more of Google Analytics than my own family. Why? Because I absolutely love insights, that’s why. Despite my affection for the software, until recently I wasn’t making the most of it.
Experimenting with Google Tag Manager has breathed new life into our staling relationship with analytics in the Progressive Content offices. It’s a free and user-friendly way of making your reporting go further. You can set up events, track goals and much more at the touch of a button.
One of our newfound favourites is scroll depth. Being able to illustrate how far someone has scrolled through an article is a compelling addition to tired metrics like session duration and bounce rate. You may be surprised by just how engaging your content is.
We all know there’s more to brand awareness and credibility than advertising. That’s what content marketing is all about! But with many publishers still reliant on banner ads and MPUs as a revenue source, a little bit of innovation can go a long way.
The inRead video format – originally built by French ad-tech company Teads – is one example of this. It allows you to embed a short video midway through an article – for example to a brand or some longer-form content on your own site. Similar to Google Tag Manager, it then offers enhanced analytics options like impressions and completion rate.
Since we rolled out Teads last year, it’s far exceeded the click through performance of our other advertising units. A colourful and effective complement to our existing content, it’s a sure way of proving your continued relevance to clients next to the bland banner ads of their competitors.
When you’ve spent a long time refining a content campaign, social media can be an afterthought. It’s certainly something we’ve been guilty of in the past – using Twitter and LinkedIn as a kind of glorified RSS feed for our content rather than as a way of reaching out to clients.
One way we’ve got round this is by introducing a “quote of the day” feature across our accounts, repurposing content from the past week by pulling out key insights. More surprising is the success we’ve seen on new platforms. We knew Instagram was on the rise in the business community, but trialling an Instagram account with one client paid dividends pretty much immediately. During industry show season, for instance, you can harvest hundreds of followers within days.
Diversifying your social media offering can take engagement with clients to new heights. And, by providing a springboard into the world of sponsored social posting, it’s enhancing profit margins too.
This is the golden ticket for traffic that is both relevant and rising. But the whiff of mystery around SEO thanks to Google’s clandestine algorithm fiddling means it can be hard to get editorial teams on board.
We’ve found that B2B websites, while lacking the explosive traffic of their B2C counterparts, actually have a lot of leverage to play with when it comes to SEO.
Because content on B2B sites tends to deal with very niche industry news and insights, harvesting backlinks from similarly niche sites along the way, they can quickly build up search engine authority in specialist areas.
If this sounds like a lot of jargon, it’s actually very simple. Staggering content around an event, for example, and embedding hyperlinks to direct users to other posts on your site, will see you rise up the rankings for relevant queries. A tool like SEO Centro can show if you’re on the right track.