It is 20 years since Bill Gates wrote his essay Content is King looking at the value of online content for revenue generation, particularly in a Business to Consumer (B2C) environment. You can read the original essay here – reproduced by Dan McLeod on LinkedIn in 2015 Over the past 2 decades his prediction has proved true in some ways but less so in others. Many websites are still struggling to find a model where they can directly charge people for accessing content but there is an ever growing number of sites which use attractive content to attract readerships numbering into 6 and 7 figures which can then be monetised through advertising. This approach has proved very successful for some (admittedly not very many) B2C websites but with most Business to Business (B2B) sites attracting much smaller audiences, equivalent opportunities are more limited.
Why is content is king for Business to Business (B2B)?
The essence of effective B2B marketing is building a community of contacts who know your business and can benefit from your products and services. Most important, this community must have confidence in your business and what you offer. This confidence maximises the likelihood that they will come to you when they have a need and also protects from the influence of competitors Good content is the key resource you need to build awareness, understanding and, most important, confidence in your community of contacts.
Use your website
Modern websites are readily updateable and dynamic. You should be using this capability to regularly add new, relevant and interesting content to your website. This content doesn’t need to always be about your business, you can talk more widely about your sector and market place. By publishing ‘sector’ content as well as ‘company’ content you can grow your sector credentials, establishing you as an expert in your field. This is a great way to grow confidence in your audience.
Keep your website at the heart of your marketing
I have talked before about the importance of being proud of your website. It is just as important that you a ‘precious’ about your site too. Your site is your single most powerful online tool to communicate with your ‘community’ and wider market. You should aim to integrate all of your carefully crafted content into you site so that it is there for visitors. I am also a great fan of reusing content where possible. I have worked hard to create it to I want to make the most of it! Publish content from your website on Social Media, ensuring there are links back to your site. Your goal should always be to encourage readers back to your site. This is where they can read your wider story and get a more complete picture of who you are, what your business is and how it can be of benefit to them.
Review your site
As well as regularly publishing new content – ideally at least 2-3 times a month or so – don’t forget to take a step back every now and again to look at your site and wider web presence as a whole. Take a look at the content and context. Even better, get friends, family, work colleagues or clients to take a look and give you feedback. This ‘free market research’ can be immensely valuable and give real insight into how others see your business through its online presence. Try to take time to do this sort of review at least 2 or 3 times each year. It is likely that much of your regular new content will be added as blog articles or social media posts. This is great but don’t forget the rest of your web content. I recommend you spend a bit of time focussed on your website every few months. You don’t necessarily need to change things if they don’t need changing. The aim is to ensure your site and wider web content properly reflect your business.
Help is at hand
Regularly and consistently creating new relevant and interesting content is one of the biggest marketing challenges facing many SME companies – and a key reason why a marketing process for a business fails. BSA Marketing have tackled and addressed this issue and have been creating quality content for both ourselves and our clients for over 10 years, not only producing the material but also ensuring it is consistently and effectively used as part of a sustained marketing process. For more ideas on how to create and use your own content, take a look at www.bsamarketing.com – or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Happy creating!