Our 8 Favorite Tactics for B2B Content Marketing

February 21, 2024

One of the questions I field regularly from prospects, clients, and people trying to make small talk is, “What tactics do you see working best in the B2B content space?”

My stock answer is, “It depends.”

This is, of course, entirely accurate. What works for one business won’t necessarily work for another, since they’re marketing different solutions to different challenges for different customers in different industries.

However, absent any company-specific information on which to base a recommendation, there are several tactics that generally stand out.

Here are eight that should appear in almost every B2B company’s content marketing mix.


Write a Regular Blog

Plain vanilla? Sure, but who doesn’t enjoy a scoop of that?

Importantly, it can be topped with a thousand different things to create a unique experience.

And the metaphor works well for your blog.

Over time, you’ll assemble a veritable reference library of material that prospects and customers will come back to whenever they have questions

An audience that’s new to your brand and its solutions needs clearly presented, easy-to-digest, basic information.

This gets them up to speed on what you offer and why it might be of value to them.

The nice thing about a blog is that you can mix it up.

A post on the basics can be followed by a thought leadership piece on something visionary, and you can follow that with a nuanced post about a narrow but important aspect of your business.

Over time, you’ll assemble a veritable reference library of material that prospects and customers will come back to whenever they have questions.

In this way, your blog can underpin a broader content marketing strategy by acting as the central repository for much of your content.

How often you blog, what voice and tone you should use, and the exact topics you should write about are all questions that lead us back into company-specific territory.

Do your homework on the market and your target customers, then blend what you learn with a healthy dose of originality and authenticity.


Produce Helpful Videos

If you aren’t producing any form of video, you’re getting left behind

Various studies have shown that about 65 percent of the population are visual learners.

Of the rest, about 30 percent prefer auditory learning and the rest are kinesthetic learners (taking in information by touching things and using their body).

Within the visual domain, printed words are processed primarily on the left side of the brain (the logical side), while images are processed on the right side (the creative and emotional side).

Small wonder that video has become the fastest growing and most impactful form of content you can share—proliferating in recent years as sufficient computing power and sophisticated video-making tools have become accessible to the average user.

Today, if you aren’t producing any form of video, you’re getting left behind.

This can range from shorts filmed with a phone to 3D animations to longer-form videos shot and post-produced by a professional.

To hammer home the point, social media stats show that video posts enjoy higher rates of engagement and sharing than any other format.


Publish Original Research

Within the written domain, the most sought-after and effective content is based on original research.

That is, industry insights you have collected, analyzed, and summarized for the benefit of your audience.

For example, MessageUp could write a post titled, “We Analyzed 100 Companies’ Video Production Practices and Here’s What We Learned.

(We haven’t conducted such a study yet, but perhaps we should.)

Posts of this type attract visitors and backlinks (other websites adding links to your content), which means they are beneficial to both lead generation and SEO performance.

The price you’ll pay for those benefits is that original research takes a lot of time and effort.

You can’t shortcut this process, otherwise your content will end up providing nothing more than generic information your audience can easily access via Google or ChatGPT.

To ensure credibility, you’ll need to describe how the study was conducted, who participated, and how you evaluated the results.


Publish Detailed Case Studies

Another gold mine for high-performing content can be found in case studies.

They are similar to original research but focus on real-world applications of your solution rather than surveying your industry at large.

Once again, you mustn’t try to shortcut the process.

It’s important to make the customer the hero of the story

A case study that lacks detailed information—whether about the customer, their challenge, their status quo prior to implementing your solution, the results they obtained, or how things stacked up from a financial point of view—is of limited value to your audience.

This is why it can be difficult to write and publish effective case studies, especially if your customers are reluctant to contribute to a tell-all article.

To encourage their participation, it’s important to make the customer the hero of the story.

This should be a celebration of their doggedness, ingenuity, appropriate risk tolerance, and eye for a smart solution—more than a tribute to the wonders of whatever you sold them.

If your audience sees themselves in the customer you’ve described, their innate desire to reap the same benefits (a.k.a. FOMO, fear of missing out) will bring them to your door.

Informative e-books that guide prospects through their buyer's journey make very effective content

Write Informative E-Books

The last type of content I’ll mention is the comprehensive e-book.

A detailed guide is exactly the sort of thing a prospect early in their buyer’s journey is eager to find.

What better than a single source of truth from which they can learn about quantifying the challenge they face, potential solutions, how to evaluate the benefits, and what steps to take next if they’re ready to move forward?

Given the obvious alignment between this type of content and your prospects’ needs, why aren’t such e-books more prevalent?

Unfortunately, it’s because many of them languish behind a sign-up form, as “gated” content.

Their audience appeal makes e-books a prime type of “lead magnet”, which many content marketers take to mean “a chance to snag personal information.”

In today’s hyper-private world, those forms have become blockers to many would-be readers.

If you’re going to publish a comprehensive guide, do so freely, without demanding contact information in return.

Use more subtle nudges, such as newsletter sign-up prompts and embedded links within the content to bring engaged prospects from the e-book to your digital properties and opt-in opportunities.


Promote Your Content on LinkedIn

With high-quality content to share, you need to get the word out.

LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media channel for B2B marketers because it’s where most B2B buyers can be found.

Is it a ubiquitous solution? No.

Is it a great place to start? Absolutely.

Some niche audiences are remarkably underrepresented on LinkedIn, for reasons best known to those sub-communities.

This should, however, become apparent when studying your audience (or buyer personas) in detail—especially where they like to hang out when looking for new information.

If LinkedIn doesn’t show up in that analysis, probe deeper and switch channels accordingly.

Remember that posting consistently is almost as important as posting frequently

For those who do want to promote their content on LinkedIn, remember that posting consistently is almost as important as posting frequently.

Businesses posting as infrequently as twice per week have seen valuable audience growth and reader engagement when putting out relevant, helpful content on a consistent basis.

And to the point I made earlier, LinkedIn posts that include video perform very well.


Be Visible at Industry Events

You could be forgiven for assuming that B2B content marketing is an entirely digital endeavor.

In many B2B sectors, however, in-person events—a.k.a. trade shows—are still a vital part of the ecosystem.

To some extent, this is a function of demographics. The participants in heavy industrial sectors tend to be older and less technology-first than in newer, faster-moving sectors such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

If that’s valid for the market segment you’re targeting, using content to generate visibility at industry events is likely to deliver meaningful rewards.

This goes beyond the booth backdrop, printed collateral (yes, still a thing), and branded giveaways.

Consider sponsoring to display your logo on frequently viewed items such as signage, room keys, cocktail napkins, or coffee cups.

Include copies of your latest research, case history, or e-book in delegate registration packs or as an insert in the conference program.

Yes, these things cost real money—but so does every other form of content marketing. Don’t get fooled by some costs getting spread out over time while others (including many trade event fees) hit all at once on a single invoice.


Send Regular Emails

Did I save the best tactic for last?

No, I didn’t, because statistically you’re unlikely to read this far!

That said, I do believe there’s a lot of potential left in good old email.

The main benefit of newsletter-style emails is brand recognition

Companies that send regular email updates—weekly or monthly newsletters, for example—find them effective at nurturing leads and keeping existing customers engaged.

The main benefit of newsletter-style emails is brand recognition.

You’re reminding email subscribers that you exist and why they should remember you.

This captures mindshare for your brand, which you can convert into market share once the reader is ready to make a purchase.

The next most important benefit is content awareness.

What percentage of your target audience knows that you’ve published a particular piece of content?

Unless they obsessively visit your website and social media pages—which only a few oddballs will do—the answer is probably quite low.

Bringing important pieces of content to their attention in a regular email helps ensure subscribers notice things that are relevant to them.

This greatly increases the chances they will act in response to the content you’ve produced.


The Bottom Line

None of the tactics I’ve shared here are particularly novel or complex.

This isn’t a “magic formula” post that will assure you of instant content marketing success.

Nor can I guarantee that any individual tactic is sure to work for your business.

Nevertheless, if you implement a portfolio of tactics drawn from this list, you will stand a better than average chance of generating positive return on your efforts.

From there, like always, it’s a never-ending game of experimentation and optimization.


Stay in the Know

Sign up today for our free Substack newsletter, in which we share our latest blog content, a selection of B2B content marketing insights gathered from across the web, and quick, actionable tips for taking your content marketing to the next level.

Sign up here!


Image credits: Adobe Stock


View all Posts