Content marketing for B2B businesses – time to get personal

Marketing a B2B business? You’ve probably heard that it’s hard. Because typically, business-to-business is more, well, businessy, and maybe just a bit less fun. But we’re here to tell you that’s not quite true. Business people are humans too – here are our tips to connecting with them.

Business people are humans too – here are our tips to connecting with them through content marketing for B2B

Using content marketing for your B2B business? You’ve probably heard that it’s hard. Because typically, business-to-business is more, well, businessy, and maybe just a bit less fun. But we’re here to tell you that’s not quite true.

The reality? Businesses are still run by people. While you need to focus less on whizzy brand messaging and more on slow-burn cred-building activities, you’re still talking to humans. They value connection, emotion and entertainment as much as someone you’d put into a ‘consumer’ box. And they still want easy-to-read, valuable, and well-targeted content.

Recent research found that 92% of the most successful B2B content marketers think their organisation values creativity and craft when creating content.

So how do you do send out valuable, creative, readable content?

Here’s how.

Download Guide

Know your audience

Just like with B2C marketing, you need to zero in on who you’re talking to, understand what they’re going to find valuable and then deliver on it – content marketing for B2B businesses is no different. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of the top content marketing performers put audience needs over their sales messages. So, it’s crucial that you truly understand your audience, so you can make everything about them – from the messages you send, their level of complexity and where your content appears, to the flow, language and tone you use.

Try: sitting down to really think about who you’re targeting, what they care about and what pain they’re trying to solve.

Build personal relationships

77% of B2B marketing and sales professionals believe personalised marketing builds better customer relationships. And they’re not wrong. Include people’s names when you’re emailing them, build in personalised data where you can, and ultimately find a way to really connect your business with those you’re targeting.

Try: segmenting your database so you can tailor your messaging to different groups.

Make it authentic

Ever seen a business with 5.0 stars out of 100,000+ reviews? Kind of fishy. Even the most loved brand in the world will have a few negative reviews. But that’s not a bad thing – it creates a sense of authenticity. If you’re transparent about feedback – and about everything you do – you’ll build your cred instead of undermining it.

Try: sharing behind-the-scenes content – like customer success stories or business updates – that reveals something about who you are and what you do.

Educate your audience

Make sure customer education is part of the mix. I’m not talking about content that educates people about your particular product or service. I’m talking about helping prospects and customers get more conversant with, thoughtful about and skilled in the issues surrounding your industry or theirs.

Try creating content that helps upskill your audience, even if it feels like giving expertise away for free.

Keep it interesting

According to a study by The Harvard Study of Communications, we have precisely seven seconds to make a first impression on another human. And when it comes to content marketing for B2B businesses, this same rule applies. You’re still talking to humans, and humans respond to creativity.

Try: adding interest to your content with humour, storytelling, imagery, graphics or video.

Check your grammar

Grammar is important. Nothing new there. If someone spots a mistake, your marketing will appear to be careless, and you won’t have much chance of winning them over. Double or triple-check every piece of marketing to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Try: getting a colleague to read through everything before you push go.

Make space for open communication

Content marketing for B2B businesses is much more communicative and back and forth than B2C. There’s space for discussion to see if your businesses are a good fit for each other. Use this time to point out the most positive attributes of your business and make comparisons with your competitors – it could be the final push you need to win their business.

Try: creating honest and objective comparisons between what you offer compared to competitors.

Perfect your business tone

Although you’re trying to sell to another business, it’s still people who’ll be doing the reading. Really get to know your business – how would it speak if it were a person? Answer: without jargon, with a bit of informality, and totally human. Take us, for example. We’re a B2B business, but we’re writing like people talk.

Try: create a character that represents your business, then read your content aloud – does it flow and feel like natural speech?

Nail your content marketing for B2B, grow your business

People will tell you B2C is totally different from B2B. But we know that behind the brand, you’re still just talking to people. And people value connection. When marketing B2B, you still need to build relationships, create tailored and personal content and keep that content interesting. Your business will thank you for it. And you can thank us later.

Check out our other WFB blogs for more tips and tricks on all things copywriting.

Helen Steemson

The lead copywriter and creative director at Words for Breakfast. She spends much of her time working with the copy writing team across a variety of projects.