Publication date: November 2, 2018

Ten B2B content marketing goals

One of the first questions I always ask focusses on the goal(s) of your marketing campaign. And this is no different when making your B2B content marketing strategy. The first step in creating a strong strategy is to determine your goals. What would be the point in creating, publishing and sharing content, if you have absolutely no idea what goals you want to achieve with it? Goals are necessary to measure results and/or make adjustments during the process to improve those results.

Content marketing goals

Enough about the importance of goals, let’s focus on the different kinds of goals with which you can shape your B2B content marketing strategy. A short investigation within our own team and online led to more than dozens of possible goals, so I bundled them up and will discuss ten common ones briefly:

1. Brand awareness
2. Thought leadership
3. Customer engagement
4. Brand loyalty
5. Traffic
6. Lead generation
7. Lead conversion and upsell
8. Removing roadblocks
9. Customer education
10. Talent recruitment

1. Brand awareness

Creating brand awareness, also known as branding, is a very common goal within B2B content marketing. Especially in a niche market, such as geomatics or hydrography, writing valuable and relevant content is of great importance. You can quickly reach a relatively large audience if you are able to show how your company can help them by sharing your expertise and knowledge.

The content marketing campaign that we did for Teledyne CARIS, has a clear goal to raise their brand awareness within the hydrographic market. The advantages and possibilities of their software is described in high-quality articles about successful projects, and were read by more than 7,000 people.

2. Thought leadership

This goal has many similarities with brand awareness, but has a slightly different focus. Where brand awareness often focusses on visibility, thought leadership is more about positioning your brand as the authority within your niche. Show that you understand the market and needs of customers by dealing with important issues. Answer questions that your target group is struggling with and become the thought leader that they care about.

3. Customer engagement

Customers want to do business with people, not with companies. This certainly applies to the technical B2B market, where loyalty plays an important role in the sales process. Content marketing is an excellent way to show your human face. By sharing knowledge, opinions and other relevant information about – and by – the people behind the company, you create a ‘personal’ bond with the target group and lower the barrier for personal contact.

4. Brand loyalty

Loyal customers who buy products or services on a regular basis are very valuable to a company. This may be even more true for niche markets, where many people know each other and reputation often plays a major role. Content can help with this enormously. By solving problems or answering questions that your clients are struggling with, you create a relationship of trust and stay top-of-mind.

5. Traffic

Actually, I would rather not put this goal on this list, but it is still too important not to mention. Without traffic, your content won’t be noticed and achieving your other goals will be a difficult task too. But be aware that content that is purely aimed at raising traffic, will soon be characterised as click-bait and damage your reputation with your target group. B2B content marketing should be focused on valuable and relevant content that helps your audience, or at least entertains them. Focus on that, ensure good distribution, and your traffic will rise automatically.

6. Lead generation

Hundreds of people read your content on a regular basis, but who are these people? To find out, you can use lead generation content. There are many ways to use your content as a lead generator, but all of them aim to generate an email address, phone number or other personal information. Consider, for example, filling in an email address to continue reading, downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a newsletter. Read this blog from HubSpot for a nice overview of lead generation content.

7. Lead conversion and upsell

Did you notice that the words conversion and turnover have not been mentioned yet? Well, here we are, because content marketing can also prove to be a very effective tool for these marketing goals. Nurturing leads with relevant content strengthens the relationship of trust, which will make it much easier to convert leads and create upsell with your current customers.

8. Removing roadblocks

The customer journey within B2B marketing may contain various objections, as a result of which, a prospect may ultimately opt out of a purchase. Content is a great way to remove these doubts. Content types for this goal are, for example, ‘how-to’ articles, customer stories, videos that show how your product actually works, statistics, reviews and ‘social proof’.

Tip: use your customer services and other colleagues to find out what doubts your customers are running into and what objections they may have.

9. Customer education

Nowadays, people often consult the internet first before seeing an actual doctor, and the customer journey actually works the same way. People will search online to find answers first, before contacting customer services or an advisor. A simple way to respond to this trend with your content, is to answer frequently asked questions and writing problem-solving stories that educates your customers.

10. Talent recruitment

Somewhat less obvious maybe, but content marketing can also be a great way to acquire new talent. By sharing information about your niche market, associated business processes and information about the people behind your company, you create a certain touchability and you show what you really stand for! Potential talent who feel the same way will be more inclined to apply for a job.

Which goal fits my strategy?

Probably you already noticed that most goals have a certain overlap with each other. Therefore, I think that it is impossible to create a strategy based on only one goal. My advice would be to choose one main goal with two or three additional sub-goals, and to build your strategy based on those goals.

Happy to help!

Do you need advice or help on technical B2B marketing issues? Feel free to contact us via [email protected] or by phone!