Content marketing belongs in every stage of your B2B sales cycle. No matter how large, small, manual, or automated your sales approach is, strategically placed content can boost your efforts and maximize your ROI. Throughout the sales funnel and after the sale closes, here are some content ideas to get you started.
Top of funnel B2B content
At the top of your sales funnel your goal is generating brand awareness to attract potential customers. Content in this portion of the funnel is aimed at all of your market share so it will need to be wider in scope than other content your team produces.
Here are a few examples of content and tactics that fit into the top of your sales funnel:
Blogging about industry news shows potential customers that not only are you in their industry, but that you are aware of the latest news in the industry. You can write about the latest trends, reactions to industry reports, or predictions for the next few quarters given the economic climate. Writing about industry news also helps position your company as a thought leader which can help push prospects further down the funnel.
Guest blog posts
Instead of just blogging on your own company website, you can also look to see if you can get in front of more prospective customers with guest posts on other websites. Choosing websites your target market already uses will allow you to reach a larger audience faster than trying to reach that same number on your own platforms. Guest blog posts also give your content added credibility since someone outside of your organization had to give the green light to publish the content. Similar to industry news, the actual content of these guest posts can be wide ranging in topics relating to your industry.
Answer commonly asked questions
As the global advertising icon Leo Burnett once said, “Keep it simple.” You may have a complex product or operate in a very niche industry, but your job is still to clearly and simply communicate your product’s value. Your customers have questions, issues, problems, whether they know it or not. Your job is to distill these complex products, industries, and issues into clear-cut problems and solutions (with your products as the solutions). Making it simple for potential customers to understand their problems or get their questions answered, even if they are only tangentially related to your actual products or services, will give you brand awareness and goodwill with prospective customers.
Mid-funnel B2B content
Prospective customers have heard of your business. They may have even visited your website before and read a blog post! But the work is not done. It’s time to educate your audience in order to prepare them for the later in the funnel when you show them that your products or services are the perfect solutions to their ailments.
Downloadable educational materials
Hopefully you found a way to capture emails or contact information on top of funnel contact to start working prospective customers. But if not – fear not. Trading valuable content offers for contact information is a long and storied tradition in content marketing for a reason. It works.
Create infographics showing common industry pain points and solutions, PDFs outlining step by step guides to improve processes, or documents geared toward teaching readers about more intricate niches of the industry. Your goal with mid-funnel content is to get readers to correlate your business with being knowledgeable about the industry. If prospective customers think your company knows what they are talking about and provide useful resources for free, they’ll be more willing to connect with you when they have a need that you can fill.
Bottom of funnel B2B content
Customers have found your business online and they’ve given you their contact information in exchange for helpful or educational resources. Now it’s time to show them how you are different from the competition.
Whereas resources mid-funnel may have had some light branding, these resources should be heavily branded. You are no longer educating the prospective customer, but advocating why the way your business handles their problem is the best way to handle it. Whether it is through innovative product design, distribution networks, customer support,or something else, detailed whtie papers are a way to clearly distinguish yourself from the pack.
Case studies detailing customer successes and application stories are a great way to highlight to prospective customers that not only do you know the industry, and the customer, but your solution also works. The more detailed picture you paint of different types of customers and different types of solutions and successes the easier it will be for prospective customers to see themselves in the picture.
After the sale
The content marketing doesn’t stop just because you closed a new deal! Continue delighting your customer with more helpful materials to make their lives easier and overcome challenges that your product doesn’t directly address. If they have a unique story to tell you may even want to consider your new customers for case studies.
Need more content help? See more of our B2B content marketing resources here.