What Does Content Development Look Like for B2B Companies?

Posted by Katie Steelman on Wed, Jan 11, 2017

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Technical Writing that Generates Leads

One of the first things we discuss with clients after positioning is their content. Content includes blog posts, white papers, tip sheets, and any other pieces of writing or video that are educational in nature as opposed to sales-related.

 

Why is content creation important?

Content often establishes a buyer’s first impression of your company. The majority of today’s high tech B2B customers prefer to research your company online before they reach out to a salesperson. The latest research indicates that the research process is 71% complete before Sales is contacted. Prospects are forming an opinion based on whatever content is available, whether that’s your website, your blog, white papers, videos, or news releases. If your content is not understandable and useful, they will move on to their next Google search.

Content marketing can also help nurture prospective customers as they make their way through your sales funnel. Particularly in the B2B space where purchase cycles are longer, staying top of mind with prospects is vital. Automated email nurture programs can keep prospects engaged until they are ready to buy. Of course, you need their contact information before you can email them.

 

How do I create content that converts?

Valuable content not only attracts visitors to your website, but it also persuades them to give you their contact information in exchange for additional content. For example, an R&D engineer might read your blog post on choosing the right components for their design, and then download a white paper that explores the topic in greater detail. There are a few content types that work especially well for B2B lead generation:

  • white papers
  • how-to videos
  • webinars
  • long-form blog posts
  • data/research

So how do you create awesome content that converts your web visitors into leads? Start with audit and brainstorm. What content do you have, and is it still relevant? Can it be updated and turned into something else? For example, you may have an old case study that, with a more recent set of data, can be made useful again. A resource guide could be repurposed as an eBook. Beta testing data could be used to create instructional YouTube videos. Your content brainstorm should focus on upcoming innovation as well as business goals. A product launch or new technology can provide excellent fodder for a variety of content types.



Want to attract more B2B leads? Download our Guide to Writing Technical White Papers.

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How do I get my engineers to write content?

Finding engineers who can write is a tricky task. Your technical staff is an essential resource for content, but due to busy schedules or differing writing styles, they might not be the right people to develop that content. To get the most from your experts, we recommend starting with an in-person interview or phone call to gather key information. Your marketing or content manager conducts the interview, drafts the piece, and then hands it to the technical expert to review for accuracy. This saves time while still ensuring the necessary quality for the content.

Another tactic is to go back to your content audit. If your staff scientist has already written a paper for a trade journal, you can work with them to turn it into a white paper or tip sheet.    

If your team doesn’t include a dedicated marketing person who can interview and write content, you might consider outsourcing. While you could hire a freelancer, it is best to find a company with knowledge and experience in your particular industry. An experienced outsourced writing partner can get up to speed on your business and start producing high quality content quickly.

 

I’ve developed some killer content. Now what?

Once you have created your content, you need to make sure your target audience can find it. Start by publishing it on your website, and add it to your Resources or Downloads page if you have one. Include call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your homepage or relevant web pages to drive visitors to your content offer. What about prospects who aren’t already on your website? Keyword optimization/SEO does provide some assistance, but it will only get you so far. Promoting content through your social media channels is a great way to send visitors directly to that content; plus, it puts it in front of your followers, people who already have an interest in what you have to say. Most B2B marketers (63%) say that LinkedIn is the most effective B2B social media channel.

You can also submit your content to relevant trade websites and resource centers, such as Laser Focus World’s new Optical Engineering Exchange. Take time to review websites and publications thoroughly to make sure your content is a good fit and will offer value to their audience.

 

Check out our FAQ page for answers to more common questions.

 


Launch Team has experienced technical writers from a variety of technical backgrounds, from optics to materials science, as well as certified content and social media experts. Want to discuss your latest article or need help with a content audit? Request a consult.

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Topics: Content Development