As online audiences consume massive amounts of content daily, more business-to-business (B2B) marketers recognize the power of content marketing to connect with customers. That’s not surprising, considering that content marketing enables enterprises to influence their target audiences, establish themselves as thought leaders, and boost conversions.
But it is all easier said than done, even for large businesses with lots of resources. Large enterprises often face unique challenges producing content marketing campaigns. From producing high-quality content consistently to measuring return on investment (ROI) over the long term, managing a successful content marketing strategy without straining company resources is tough to accomplish.
This comprehensive guide will examine these B2B content marketing challenges in detail while offering actionable strategies to enhance your content marketing campaigns.
B2B Content Marketing Challenges for Large Companies
According to a 2022 Content Marketing Institute research report, 71% of surveyed business-to-business (B2B) marketers say that content marketing has become more important to their organization in the last year. However, to be successful and reach their goals, they also need to contend with B2B content marketing challenges, including the following:
Challenge 1: Producing High-Quality Content Consistently
High-quality B2B content shares compelling stories and case studies about how your business’s product or service helped solve a customer’s problem. Good content offers insights that change how a reader thinks about a particular business issue. And this content may offer surprising and inspiring ideas for how to solve a business-related problem.
High-value content is difficult to produce and even harder to create regularly. Nevertheless, offering your audience consistent, high-quality content maintains audience engagement, improves your visibility on search engines, and builds a trustworthy brand for your company.
Overcoming the Challenge
- Tap into customer feedback and data analytics to discover the issues that matter most to your audience and create content to address their most important needs.
- Develop a comprehensive content calendar that provides a strategic content creation and distribution framework. This allows you to plan for the type of content you need to produce months in advance, making regular quality content more feasible.
Challenge 2: Scaling Content Production
From reports to e-books to infographics and podcasts, the amount of content produced by large B2B companies is considerable. This scale of content production doesn’t simply mean producing more content but also involves maintaining the balance between quality and quantity.
Overcoming the Challenge
- Outsource content creation to external agencies or freelancers to ease the strain of producing multiple types of content and targeting multiple markets completely in-house.
- Make your in-house team responsible for maintaining your company’s brand voice in this new content to sustain quality as you scale up your content production.
Challenge 3: Measuring Content Marketing ROI
While content marketing boosts conversions and increases brand recognition, these benefits often materialize over the long term. This makes it difficult to measure your content marketing strategy’s return on investment (ROI) in the short run and determine which types of content produce the best results.
Overcoming the Challenge
- Align your content marketing goals with your overarching business objectives.
- Use advanced analytics tools to track macro (sales) and micro (social shares, likes) conversions.
- Map out the customer journey to identify which content pieces drive conversions and where your potential customers may drop off. Such tactics help you identify which pieces of B2B content produce positive results and which still need improving.
Case Studies: Enterprises That Mastered These Challenges
Some of the most well-known B2B companies have overcome content marketing challenges by focusing on their audience’s wants and needs. By doing this, they’ve attracted large followings, as the following case studies show:
IBM Content Strategy and Results
Listen to IBM’s Wild Ducks podcast and you’ll hear stories about how creative uses of technology are helping to improve everything from business practices to medical diagnoses. What’s great about this approach is that, instead of making their episodes all about IBM technology, the podcast places the spotlight on the schools, companies, and institutions that are helping other businesses through their own innovations.
This motivates these companies to link to the podcast since by promoting IBM they’re also promoting their own brand. For instance, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center ran a story on how IBM’s super-computer Watson is being used to help treat people with cancer. Likewise, Certus Digital mentions a Wild Ducks episode covering advancements in digital banking. By putting the good work they do first, everyone gets to raise awareness of their brand.
General Electric Strategy and Results
Take a look through General Electric (GE)’s daily online media portal GE Reports, and you might find a story on how Australia’s hydrogen power plants are helping to decarbonize the country. Or how a personalized pancreatic cancer vaccine is helping to stave off tumor regrowth. Or how the next generation of robots could be programmed to help people with dementia find misplaced items.
What do all these stories have in common? They focus on telling stories about the technology rather than promoting the GE brand. By doing so, they manage to engage their target audience and built a following of over 100,000 subscribers and 3.7 million monthly visits in 2021. Some of its content has also gone viral on Reddit multiple times, increasing its reach and building GE’s brand as a trustworthy source of valuable information.
Implementing Solutions Into Your Content Marketing Strategy
How can you make sure your own content produces results like those listed above? For starters, you should develop a clear content marketing strategy and make sure your entire team is on the same page. Keep the following steps in mind:
Step 1: Define Clear Goals
Make sure everyone on your team understands what you want to accomplish with your content marketing. Do you want to:
- Nurture leads?
- Enhance brand awareness?
- Improve customer engagement?
Accomplishing any one of these goals informs the way you develop and promote your content. For example, improving customer engagement while also enhancing brand awareness might actually mean not mentioning your company in every single content piece, but rather focusing on telling intriguing stories and getting people to share them on Reddit or Quorra. By doing that, you’ll increase the number of links leading back to your website and create a more sharable brand.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Creating buyer personas based on what you believe your audience needs and wants is a good first step, but don’t stop there. Reach out to your clients and ask them for feedback on what they’d like to read and learn about in your content. The less you speculate and the more you base your content creating decisions on facts about your audience, the better content you’ll produce.
Step 3: Embrace Data
Analytics tools reveal how your audience responds to your content. Study the data to learn:
- How much time visitors spend reading your blog posts or listening to your podcasts
- What type of content leads to more conversions
- What CTAs in your A/B testing to see if certain CTAs perform the best
By analyzing the patterns revealed by this data, you’ll gain important insights into your audience’s behavior. From there, you can continue promoting the content readers prefer while also revising strategies with a poor ROI, ensuring you use your resources wisely.
The Future of B2B Content Marketing
Ultimately, the future of B2B content marketing is not about creating more content; it’s about creating the right content. This is particularly relevant for large enterprises that need to regularly produce high-quality content that increases their brand awareness and conversions without depleting their resources.
It’s easier and more affordable than ever to produce content across a wide range of mediums. From blog posts to podcasts to social media videos, you can let your audience consume information in any way they prefer. What’s more, modern analytics tools let you adopt a data-driven approach that reveals exactly how your target customers prefer getting your content. Get started with ClearVoice today and find the right content creators to help navigate B2B content marketing challenges for your business.