What’s the difference between a user’s journey and a sales cycle when it comes to B2B SaaS? Whether you’re talking about fintech or tech startups, they all have experienced the long sales cycle at least once due to the time it takes to onboard a customer from their first touch-point as a prospect.
So, to answer the question, there isn’t much difference. While we won’t go as far as saying that content marketing can significantly shorten the sales cycle right away, it definitely can steer your buyer's journey mapping in the right direction, so you’re speaking to the correct set of audiences throughout the funnel. And that ultimately helps to close the sale sooner/quicker.
How? Glad you asked. We’re here to save the day! Before we get into some highly effective B2B content marketing ideas that you can implement right away, let’s first understand why you’re here.
These numbers aren't bad, but they could be better. It's critical to have a content strategy to guide your brand's overall growth, but it's not enough to just talk about — you've got to write it down! If you're ready to document your B2B content strategy, here's how to get started:
What Are the Goals of Your B2B Content Marketing?
If you’re among the 13 percent, 4 percent, or 47 percent from the graph above, then let’s begin with understanding your goals first to know what to document after all. Typically, these are a few goals that content marketers mainly target to make sure they’re achieving the results they wanted to through this content marketing process:
Organic Growth: 85 percent of large SaaS businesses own a blog and 36 percent of SaaS companies use their blog to share content that educates, according to SaaSX. Look no further than content marketing if one of the goals you’re looking to achieve is organic growth in terms of traffic and conversions. Content marketing offers a great opportunity to target your buyer persona through all stages of the funnel with highly personalized messaging.
Branding: Especially true for SaaS fintech and tech startups, branding is an integral part of their marketing strategy. How are they communicating with their prospects? What is the user experience like? How easily can a prospect establish a brand recall with the business? These are some of the questions SaaS marketers are asking themselves to create a branding strategy alongside PR.
Customer Loyalty: Content marketing is more than producing an ebook and putting it behind a form to collect leads. Today’s customer is educated and highly intelligent and at the same time approachable, quick, and informed. When done correctly, content marketing can bring about customer loyalty that is usually not possible or that comes naturally with growth hacking. It helps you establish a relationship of trust when you work with dynamic content that’s highly personalized.
B2B Content Marketing Ideas That You Can Implement NOW
Infographics just aren’t a way of presenting the content in a visually attractive manner — it’s also an intelligent way of using visuals to pursue an outstanding user experience. Let us explain. Ever seen a bunch of emojis on a customer feedback email/form that resemble happy, sad, and neutral faces? If you’ve ever tried answering any of those questions, you would know the ultimate ease they offer — to both navigate the emojis and consume all the information it offers.
Why is that? Simply because infographics put content into intelligent, easy to consume, and visually appealing ways that people love to receive. What more? It doesn’t require you to build a whole team from the ground up to get started. There are plenty of free templates available, such as Visme, that’ll help you create stunning data-driven content pieces in the form of infographics.
Micro Content — Stay Small for Big Impact
No, it’s not new industry jargon. Micro content has been around for ages and lately hasn’t seen much appreciation, thanks to the prevalence of long-from content and consumers’ affinity towards video content. But micro content or short-form content is making a comeback.
It went out of scope earlier since it wasn’t always associated with providing SEO value. But look at LinkedIn! If that isn’t a great example of micro content, then nothing is. Some of the most successful content on LinkedIn is usually a quick 30-second video, a SlideShare of only five slides, or simply a post content of no more than 250 words. Bite-sized copy and videos are making a comeback — are you in?
Video Tutorials — “How to” Do That?
For any SaaS B2B business, how-tos are a big part of their product marketing — starting from educating the prospects on the products and services to trial demos. You could create a help center or a knowledge base with the content answering all kinds of how-tos, but it’s really the videos that have got the beat — quite literally. With 62 percent of marketers in the B2B tech sector saying creating content is their biggest challenge, video tutorials are a great form of content to include in your content initiatives.
While it sure is hard to create content that resonates with your buyer persona and also shows great organic growth for SEO, social channels, and business overall, video content provides necessary respite from getting stuck in the whirlwind of not always knowing the next best blog post to write or whitepaper to create.
Webinars and Podcasts — User Onboarding Anyone?
It’s simple — your B2B content marketing strategy needs a webinar or a podcast...or both. On one hand, we’re proposing bite-sized content, and on the other hand, we’re also suggesting creating a webinar or a podcast and not shying away from the long format they provide. Why? Because no one strategy works for two brands and no two strategies work for one brand.
While podcasts offer opportunities to engage the audience that doesn’t mindlessly scroll through social media, webinars also help you repurpose a lot of content in different ways — and both offer unique ways to go super niche in your space and hyper-target your audience. Podcasts, such as the “Hypergrowth Podcast Network” by Drift, are also a way of giving you free access to some of the greatest leaders in your industry.
Web Chats — Robotic or Humanistic?
It’s not technically a piece of content, but web chats are becoming an essential part of the overarching content strategy. Gone are the days where web chats were only limited to the sales teams. Now everyone in marketing — content, lead generation, growth marketing, user experience, customer service, and sales — can glean wonderful insights from web chats about how well your content is aligned with sales enablement. Web chats are also faster than emailing or calling up customer care and are super convenient to use (or at least should be). HubSpot’s service hub offers amazing tools for chatting up your prospects and customers and resolving their queries in real time.
Don’t Miss Out on Content Marketing — You Can Begin Right Now
Although the best day was yesterday, it’s still not too late to begin a content marketing strategy now. Whether you’re starting from scratch or have been into content marketing for some time, you can always start implementing fresh ideas and strategies that align with your overall goal. Try podcasts and webinars if you think your audience might be interested in this type of content; create a microsite if you’re focusing on a particular topic, product, or service; or simply infuse videos, infographics, and web chats into your strategy to make your content and user experience richer.
So, where do you start? With an agency that provides top-notch content strategy services, of course. We've been awarded the “Best Content Marketing Program Strategy” by the Content Marketing Institute for our outstanding work. And we would love to partner with you to craft a content marketing strategy that will grow your B2B brand organically. Let's get started!