Content marketing is often talked about online in the context of big consumer brands like Red Bull and GoPro. But let’s face it – when your content strategy involves throwing a man out of space with a parachute, it’s easy to get people talking.
But what about B2B content marketing? What about the brands or small companies who target other businesses? Who is doing content well in this particular area?
Here are some B2B content marketing examples I absolutely love.
- Tax Assist – brilliant business blogging
- Simply Business – great guides
- Intercom – ebook excellence
- Moz – industry leading cheatsheets and guides
- Insperity – ebooks and expert advice
- Start Up Loans – making the complex simple with templates
- Xerox – revenue through a digital magazine
TaxAssist Accountants – Smart Business Blogging
We have a tendency to think of content marketing as hero style content – big design and interactive pieces with a huge investment. But let us not forget how important basic blogging can be.
It’s perhaps not as “glitzy,” as a bit interactive or a tool, but it can be effective.
TaxAssist Accountants offers accountancy and tax services to small business and their B2B blogging is a great example of using content to win visibility and customers.
They have a Questions and Answers section as well as an Articles and Guides part of the site too:
It’s simple in its execution. But let’s take a look at the visibility this is driving. TaxAssist.co.uk, at the time of writing, holds the following positions:
- Salary or dividends – 1
- Overdrawn directors loan – 3
- Directors loans rules – 2
- Limited company tax advantages – 3
- Tax on directors loan – 3
And those are just a small sample of literally hundreds of queries of that nature.
TaxAssist Accountants advised me that they employ a qualified accountant on a full time basis to produce content for the website and to write features and editorial for third party websites. In addition, the hard work resulted in Google News acceptance in 2009, which adds to the traffic and potential leads. They added that their content activity is very much designed to support their SEO, social media and newsletter.
It’s smart content. They’re queries that imply the searcher is exactly Tax Assist’s target market and is looking for some sort of financial advise.
Sensible and simple, yet super smart.
Simply Business – Great Guides
Simply Business has long been considered a superb example of B2B marketing. That’s because they’re putting a huge amount of excellent content that’s genuinely useful for their target audience out there. They share a ton of knowledge on their website in the form of articles, blogs and more interactive guides. And it’s the latter I want to particularly reference here.
One of my personal favourites is their Small Business Guide to Linkedin.
It is effectively content curation, with much of the content within this piece existing on 3rd party websites already. But Simply Business adds a layer of value by organising this in a way that is easy to follow, digest and act upon.
They’ve been producing guides of this nature since 2012.
Guides are over talked about in content marketing. People tend to refer to a guide as an idea, when in reality it is just one particular format of content. The value in what Simply Business have done here is they’ve identified areas that their target customers could benefit from learning more about and they’ve determined that this type of guide is the most effective format to educate them. And it works!
Simply Business has built hundreds of links and thousands upon thousands of social interactions to various pieces of content across its site – all of which contribute to its excellent organic visibility. Add to that the fact that content like this engages a relevant audience who could later become your customers, and it’s easy to see why the brand has invested in this type of content for close to 5 years.
Intercom – Using Ebooks for Lead Generation
Intercom is a company that provides technology to allow businesses to communicate better with their customers online. They’ve adopted e books as a content marketing lead generation tactic and they do this to great effect. One of the several examples on their site is this book on Customer Engagement.
Intercom have clearly spent time on designing a simple yet compelling landing page for their books too, with a great testimonial from the CMO of a well known brand. This is again simple but really smart stuff.
Of course, there’s an email requirement to get the book:
By making the landing page compelling enough, they certainly entice users and your email address seems a small price to pay for the content you’re expecting from them.
These are great quality ebooks too, so users won’t be disappointed.
Moz – Cheatsheets, Guides and Whiteboard Fridays
It’s an obvious one, granted. But Moz has done a phenomenal job of building a huge community around its brand. And the brand uses content incredibly effectively.
Regular (and incredibly useful) blog content is just the start. There’s an annual rankings factor survey, weekly actionable Whiteboard Fridays and a series of top notch guides.
The Moz Beginners Guide to SEO is something I still recommend to this day that our entry level staff read cover to cover.
The Moz Developer’s Cheatsheet is another superb example of creating something genuinely useful for an audience that has been downloaded “tens of thousands of times.”
Insperity – Ebook and Advice
Insperity is a HR services provider in the US. Their resources section of their site is stuffed full of resources. Between downloadable ebooks (email address required – thus generating leads) and blog posts, Insperity offers employers advice on the common issues they face with HR.
Even simple blog posts (available to all without email address requirement) like this generate inbound links from relevant external sites. And that’s because it’s great content that simplifies an otherwise complex subject for people who are looking for an actionable solution. That post ranks number 1 in the US for “employee development plan”
Start Up Loans – Helpful Templates
Start Up Loans does exactly what it says on the tin – loans for start ups! In order to successfully achieve such a loan, the applicant must meet certain criteria and must also have a business plan and cash flow forecast.
So Start Up Loans has simplified what start up founders might find a complex or potentially daunting process by creating templates. Its cashflow forecast template ranks first in Google UK for “cashflow forecast template,” and a host of other similar searches, driving incredibly relevant audiences to the site.
The company also has an ebook – ‘The Essential Guide to Starting a Business,’ for budding entrepreneurs:
This download requires a name and email address from the user, thus building a database of people who are obviously at least considering a start up – a hugely relevant database.
Xerox – Chief Optimist
Xeros went a step further than most and started publishing its own digital publication – Chief Optimist.
What makes this such a powerful case study is the fact that Xerox credit the campaign with 20,000 new contacts, over 1,000 scheduled appointments and over $1 billion in pipeline revenue.
Not bad, eh?
What makes great content marketing?
It’s up for debate, of course. But for me, good content marketing is just the use of content to hit marketing goals (directly or indirectly). Content that generates something you can see a tangible benefit from (revenue, visibility for certain phrases, access to a relevant audience) is what it’s about, in my view.
And it isn’t all about big hero sized pieces of content. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to investing thousands into all-singing-all-dancing interactives or videos. The format should ultimately be led by the goal, the audience and the idea.
In fact, some of the best examples of content used well is just simple blogging with a solid strategy behind it.
Send me your suggestions
I do intend to expand this list as I come across other great B2B content marketing examples. If there are any I’ve missed, give me a shout!