Consistently generating engaging content for not just your website, but social media pages, can be a significant challenge, particularly if yours is a B2B company. A B2B company that primarily provides services or industry-specific, complex technologies typically has a much harder time coming up with snappy content that is relevant to its customers than your average B2C company. Nevertheless, B2Bs can no longer afford to shy away from the practice.
Just ask Sharmila Chatterjee, senior lecturer in marketing and the academic head for the Enterprise Management Track at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In a recent Huffington Post article, she presents B2Bs with the most compelling reason to engage in content marketing. She states, plainly, that great content marketing will “help your salespeople sustain relationships with existing customers and generate solid potential leads.”
Done properly, content marketing is a highly effective way for a company to become a trusted resource and routinely connect with its customers. It is also a great way to enhance the B2B sales cycle. If you’ve been wondering whether investing in content marketing would really be worth your while, keep in mind that great content has the potential move customers through the sales cycle, and, in some cases, to move them all the way through to the final sale—without ever necessitating that they speak to an actual sales representative.
There are many reasons to engage in content marketing, but its relationship to sales is certainly the most obvious and important one. Despite the inherent challenges that go along with engaging in solid B2B content generation, the value it has the potential bring is difficult to ignore.
Interestingly, smaller B2B companies are more reluctant to invest in content marketing than their bigger competitors. They’re also less likely to outsource content marketing functions. According to a recent study put forth by the Content Marketing Institute, “Just 39 percent of B2B small business marketers outsource content creation, compared with 65 percent of their enterprise peers who rely on outsourcing. “
It stands to reason that some smaller B2B companies may not be able to afford to outsource their content marketing functions. It also stands to reason that if your B2B has the budget, outsourcing its content marketing functions may be the very thing that enables you to get the most out of a practice that has already become standard.