6 Benefits of Content Marketing for B2B Organizations

I once read an inflammatory, jarring statement about marketing. My initial response was confusion, maybe even offense. But then, as I thought about it, I realized I agreed with it. Or at least, I sort of did.

“There’s nothing artistic about marketing.” 

It’s controversial, I know. A statement like this is a bit abrasive, but it certainly got my wheels turning. 434 Marketing started because we’re passionate about delivering real results to our clients. And as we have evolved as an organization, we identified Content Marketing as a leading tactic in the growth strategies we deploy. 

As I’ve mulled over this statement, I’ve realized that I’m thankful for the sentiment even if I don’t entirely agree. The best marketing efforts are impactful because they’re well-executed–and the visuals matter. Content should be informative and beautiful in order to really leave a lasting impression on readers. That’s why every piece of content we design is thoughtfully laid out, optimized for UX, and aesthetically pleasing. (Read more: link to the importance of design in content marketing) 

We’re a creative, passionate team but we understand that really, marketing should be an extension of sales efforts. Sales and marketing are most effective when they’re interwoven, and we believe the perfect tactic that marries the two is content marketing. If you haven’t considered content marketing as part of your strategy, you should. Here are 6 reasons why.

1. Content marketing is measurable.

Being a sales or marketing executive for a B2B organization is hard. Your job is to generate quality leads that contribute to your organization’s bottom line. Demonstrating ROI on every tactic is essential, but unfortunately, a lot of marketing efforts just aren’t measurable. Fortunately, with content marketing, we can meticulously track our efforts, report on tangible wings, and adjust our strategies as we need to.

Generally, Content Marketing is deployed using a digital medium (ie. your website, email, social media, etc). Most platforms have built-in tools that allow you to track many different metrics to evaluate success or failure. (Link to How We measure content effectiveness when available.) At 434, we group each piece of content we create into a three-stage content funnel. So, we focus on metrics tied to each stage of that funnel––Top, Middle, and Bottom.

2. Content marketing correlates to revenue growth.

Does Content Marketing correlate to revenue growth? The short answer is: yes. But people love to joke I can be a bit long-winded, so if you want to nerd out with me, I want to unpack this together. 

Attributing revenue growth to any individual growth tactic in a complex B2B sale can be a challenge. Leaders have a bad habit of attributing success to the last touchpoint of a sale (I’ve been guilty of that, too!) But, after conducting over 30 in-depth customer studies and implementing numerous growth strategies, I’ve learned the B2B buying journey is much deeper than that last touch. 

To evaluate the connection between revenue growth and a specific growth tactic, I like to apply an incremental sales lift approach. This involves measuring the difference between existing demand and new demand driven by, in this case, content marketing.

I use a combination of different types of information including: site tracking, sales, and lead data. With this information in hand, I create a control group that represents Native Demand. From there, I can create a New Demand group that has touched a client’s content marketing engine at some point in their journey.

By comparing your Control and New Demand group by revenue generated over a given window of time, we can determine the effectiveness of content marketing engines. We’ve done this with several clients over the years, and after amassing enough data, the results show that yes, new demand increases after employing a comprehensive content marketing strategy.

3. Results are gradual which allows organizations to grow well. 

As a CEO, I can personally attest that too much growth too fast isn’t always a good thing. Dollars in the door are always appreciated, but so is growing well. Operational choppiness can occur when an organization experiences semi-regular spurts of massive growth and your existing team cannot keep up with demand. 

Content Marketing is a long play, and we’re always up front about that. It requires a long-term commitment, where results (i.e. leads) tend to compound over time. This allows for a smooth transition for operations as new customers are generated and a marketing moat is developed.

4. When done right, you’ll learn more about your customers than you ever have before.

B2B sales are highly complex. No matter what industry you’re in, you need to understand why your customers buy and what they’re looking for. Your marketing efforts, content or otherwise, will always fall flat if they’re not rooted in research. 

At 434, we’re a curious bunch and obsessed with learning. We believe this makes our team well-positioned to thoroughly research your audience, understand your sales cycle, and create winning strategies that align with your goals. In order to write effective content, we have to learn about our customers, who they serve, and the market surrounding them.

We don’t believe in gatekeeping our research. We’re here to help you generate leads and close deals–if we set out on a research expedition for content writing purposes, we want to share that with you. We’ll meet with your team and walk you through anything we learn that we think might be useful, from industry trends, to buyer insights, and anything in between.

5. Content marketing can reduce acquisition cost over time by self-qualifying leads.

A colleague of mine compares every marketing tactic to standing on a street corner with $10 bills, paying oncomers to listen to a 60-second pitch. Of course, this is a joke, but it gets right to the point: every tactic has a cost and that cost should not outweigh the lifetime revenue you will receive from the sale. 

In the context of a complex B2B sales process, attributing the cost of acquisition to one tactic is hard to do. Throughout our partnerships with clients, we often hear them express that their lead quality has drastically improved thanks to the content we’ve written. We love content marketing because no two leads have the same journey, and with a robust library of material to consume, leads can pick and choose what they want to learn about. The more we educate a potential buyer with content, the more likely they are to self-select in or out. 

Based on my analysis, as you get more efficient with marketing tactics, they should inherently reduce in cost. With Content Marketing, I see two distinct reductions in overall cost.

  • First, operation costs. For example, when content helps a visitor realize they are a poor fit for your product/service, they’re less likely to fill out an inquiry form, and your sales team doesn’t waste time. Instead, they get to focus on the right leads. 
  • Second, content has a long lifespan that compounds. Recently, we looked at some of the top-performing Search Optimized articles we prepared for clients. Using average data, we found over a two-year period our client would have paid $45,000 in AdWords spent to reach the same audience we did with $8,500. 

*Net Present Value checks out here too, even with the significant upfront cost. Feel free to play with this calculator.

6. Content marketing can be used for acquisition and retention.

There’s no other nine-letter word that gets me more excited than retention. You’ve probably heard the stats around winning a new customer versus keeping an existing one. For most businesses, retention is absolutely critical. This is even more true in B2B environments where purchases are often expensive and ongoing. 

It’s incredibly important to try to maximize the amount of retention that you have. The content we create can serve multiple purposes. The same article could draw in potential users all while supporting your existing user base. Content marketing also provides excellent fodder for social media and other promotion channels.

Content marketing is a must-have strategy for B2B organizations.

And we’re just the team to help you supercharge your digital presence. If you’d like to meet with me, I would be more than thrilled to have a conversation. 

Schedule a Consultation