When it comes to inspiring decision-makers in the B2B segment to make a purchase, a content-focused marketing approach has shown to do the trick. Many companies on the B2B market have already recognised this – and are proving in an exemplary way how content marketing in the business area can work.
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B2B content marketing as a growth market
Over the course of the last decade, content marketing has become well established and, today, is an integral part of the marketing mix. The biggest growth spurt is currently coming from the B2B area. Many companies in this sector are currently in the throws of digitalisation and restructuring, which is also having an effect on their external communications. Whereby the focus used to be on public relations from an entrepreneur point of view, the content published now is geared towards the needs of the respective target group.
However, the content marketing discipline has also become more demanding. A few search-engine-optimised texts alone are not enough to achieve successful content marketing. Three aspects are important: the content should …
- ...address the target group in a specific and precise way,
- ...appear on a channel which the target group uses, and
- ...be produced in a format that the target group likes to consume.
If a company neglects these points, content marketing can turn on them, as shown in a study by Boston Digital. Irrelevant content is usually the reason why users no longer follow a company in social networks. But when content marketing is used correctly, it can contribute to a company’s success – which several B2B companies have already proven with very different campaigns.
Many companies in this sector are currently in the throws of digitalisation and restructuring, which is also having an effect on their external communications.
Content marketing: 4 B2B models of success
1. Maersk: authentic storytelling
The logistics corporation Maersk launched a content marketing campaign under the banner “All the way”. At the heart of this campaign are not only facts, but also an elaborately staged and entertaining video with real employees. The storytelling touches on a challenge that many companies are currently experiencing in times of digital transformation: the maintaining of structures on the one hand and the change of them on the other. Here is where Maersk stages itself as a company which has mastered these challenges to the benefit of their customers. The campaign was advertised on the career network LinkedIn, amongst others.
2. Union Investment Institutional: from customer magazine to image tool
The capital management company Union Invest has turned their customer magazine Weitwinkel into an image tool which encompasses facts, topics and information for institutional investors. Not only does it feature a premium style, the content also sets benchmarks. Even holders of the Nobel Prize in Economics contribute. The printed magazine is supported by a digital version. The online issue takes the stories further and supplements them with new perspectives, such as with videos or email interviews. For the Best of Content Marketing Award 2019, Weitwinkel won gold in the category “B2B Magazine Finances”.
3. Deloitte: blogs, newsletters and podcasts
The auditors from Deloitte leverage content marketing in a particularly extensive way. Using several topic-specific articles, the company conveys its high expertise and thus increases its general visibility on the web. For instance with the Brexit blog, which sketches out the consequences of the UK’s exit from the EU for German companies. A target-group-specific newsletter as well as the podcast Future Talk support the brand’s relevance on top. According to the company, the comprehensive content marketing campaign pays into visibility and into the strength of the brand, above all.
4. Franz Haniel & Cie.: company values transported via a customer magazine
The German investment holding Haniel has launched a multi-award-winning magazine in enkelfähig, whose name says it all. Thanks to consistently sustainable investments, Haniel is ensuring excellent future prospects for many generations to come. The Duisburg-based company advertises its values and its perspective with this magazine. In terms of content, it focuses primarily on economic decisions and the consequences of these for society. The topics are communicated using informative graphics, reportages, and interviews with experts. According to Haniel, the magazine makes a sustainable contribution to winning new customers who have become aware of the company through the content. The printed version of enkelfähig was available up to 2019; today, the magazine is only available in a digital format.