Three Reasons You Need Content Marketing Now

Why B2B growth will be driven by content marketing in 2021 and beyond

Borka Hajdin

June 15, 2021

It is safe to say that we can drop the word “digital” from digital marketing and just call it marketing. Because we are now officially living in a digital world. In 2020, worldwide online transactions in some sectors increased by 135 percent.

B2B companies that were previously dabbling in digital marketing to drive leads are now going all in. As more businesses invest in online marketing, the competition will be fierce. In fact, B2B paid advertising has increased by 22.6 percent in 2020.

But advertising is expensive. And, the famous research study conducted by Nielsen found that 53 percent of people surveyed don’t trust search engines, and 52 percent don’t trust ads on social media. The big spending on advertising will not be sustainable for most B2B companies in 2021. Cue content marketing!

B2B content marketing will deliver better ROI and resonate with people’s state of mind

The Content Marketing Institute asked companies what they will prioritize in 2021, and 70 percent said “content creation.” Content marketing is now the B2B priority because it enables businesses to:
• Tell their brand story, share their values, and make that personal connection
• Generate organic traffic and drive qualified leads across different channels
• Manage tighter budgets with cost-effective content options and a desirable ROI

It is also important to note that people’s attitudes have changed about marketing. They want less selling and more connections. Unlike ads, content provides value to people’s lives.

Let’s take a closer look at how people’s behaviors and perspectives have evolved, why content marketing is the central B2B strategy, and some ways you can use content this year and beyond to stay ahead of the pack.

How people’s attitudes and priorities have changed

More people are online for longer periods of time, but that is not the only shift that has taken place. According to a global study conducted by Bain & Co, people want to feel less anxious in every aspect of their lives. They are seeking out positive connections and stories that give them a sense of normalcy and hope.

With this in mind, the typical hard product sell or bombarding people with ads will no longer work. Instead, customers want to know more about your company’s values, how you treat your employees, and your community. A messaging strategy filled with empathy and generosity while providing the relevant information is what people are looking for.

B2B content marketing differs from advertising because its main purpose is to provide value—not overtly sell. Simply put, successful content marketing helps people by giving them what they need. Content can include anything that your company creates to make the world a better place, including blog posts, videos, podcasts, or even web apps.

content marketing survey results

By delivering content to your potential buyers at the right stages of the purchase funnel, you will attract the right visitors and generate leads. But people also want to interact with your business beyond simply making a purchase. Your goal is to make a personal connection with them and then maintain a relationship through your content.

Three reasons you need content marketing now

1. Focuses on your current customers

Acquiring leads has always been the main objective for B2B marketers. Marketing generates leads, and the sales team closes the deal. But in 2021, you want to make doubly sure your current customers are happy and staying put. A lot happened in 2020. Show your customers that they are your No. 1 priority.

Retention marketing tactics, especially things like customer education content, can increase both customer loyalty and revenue from the people who already trust you. According to Harvard Business Review, a 5-percent increase in customer retention can translate to upwards of a 95-percent increase in profits.

Customer-centric content includes onboarding, product tips, training, and appreciation programs, just to name a few. You can also use these content opportunities to ask for feedback about your products and the content itself.

Customer-centric relations in content marketing

Content marketing is a very effective retention strategy because it allows you to deliver value to your customers without having to pay for content distribution or promotion. You already earned the relationship! Now nurture it with high-quality marketing content.

2. Attracts new customer with your brand story

The first thing is first: Content marketing is proven to drive leads and grow your business. Based on a survey conducted by Semrush in 2020, the best metrics for measuring content marketing are organic traffic (76%), potential customers (62%), and conversion rate (47%).

Your content marketing can continue to attract new customers by using it to share your brand values. As we mentioned, people’s attitudes and priorities have shifted. They want a personal connection.

People want to see transparency, authenticity, and even a point of view on certain issues. In the same way that friends are made by sharing experiences and beliefs, so too will your customers develop a relationship with you based on shared ideals.

Content marketing ven diagram

Think about your current customers and what about your company resonates with them. Why do they love doing business with you? Share those same qualities with the world through your content.

You can accomplish this through your brand voice (personality), the initiatives you care about (shared values), and what your customers say about you (testimonials).

3. Saves money with cost-effective content

Last but not least, content marketing will not break the bank. Any business can write a blog or use no-code design tools like Canva to create graphics. Over time you can create enough content to distribute across your website, social media, and other communities to get the word out.

Although content marketing is generally considered inexpensive, it can take time to show ROI. So be patient. The longer-term strategy is well worth it when you consider content marketing costs 62 percent less than advertising and yields three times more leads than traditional marketing.

content marketing value graph

Here is one more interesting fact. The returns on your content work like the interest earned in a savings account. You get a compounding return on your content investment, which can grow significantly over time.

First published on the Zengrowth blog.

About The Author

Borka Hajdin’s picture

Borka Hajdin

Borka Hajdin is an Inbound Marketing Specialist and Digital Marketer. Hajdin loves to share interesting, inspirational and insightful content that hopefully lights the spark of curiosity with her community as well. In her free time, she loves to learn new languages, meet new people and cultures, spend time in nature and dance.