More than three quarters of B2B companies increased their content marketing budget from 2020 to 2021, according to the Statista Content Marketing Trend Study 2021. And in the B2C segment, too, more than half of the companies spent more on content marketing measures. The biggest goal here, in both the B2B and B2C segments: strengthening the brand and its image externally.
Strategies for successful content marketing
Content marketing is all about advancing strategic business goals through engaging content. The content should always create added value and usually address individual customer segments through tailored content.
At the beginning of all content marketing measures there is a strategy – aligned with the marketing goals. The B2B and B2C companies surveyed by Statista for the Content Marketing Compass have different strategies: In the B2C segment, when addressing end customers, the focus is on emotional storytelling, authentic reports and honesty instead of advertising. In the B2B segment, on the other hand, when addressing other companies as a target group, content marketing should offer genuine insights and knowledge transfer as well as explaining complex topics simplified.
The great commonality of both segments lies in the topicality of the content. And according to the Statista Trend Study, text formats are clearly in the lead: 84% of B2C and 90% of B2B companies rely on text in content marketing to reach their target group. But image formats, videos and infographics are also popular content formats.
Setting content marketing goals
To find the right strategy for your content marketing measures, you need to define your goals. Content marketing is particularly successful at the beginning of the customer journey, meaning when the first points of contact arise between the customer and the company. In the following, we have summarized five concrete goals based on industries that editorial content can help to achieve. It is also important to note that these goals are often interrelated or contribute to each other’s achievement. For example, positioning on core topics can also increase brand awareness – which in turn helps to win new customers.
1. Increasing brand awareness
Increasing brand awareness is by far the most frequently named goal of the marketers surveyed in the Statista Content Marketing Compass. With 86% in the B2B and 84% in the B2C area, brand awareness is cited as the goal in which content marketing has already been used particularly successfully.
Examples of content marketing, used to increase awareness, include tourism and the automotive industry in the B2C sector, as well as services such as IT security or telecom providers in the B2B market: Here, it is important to make a name for yourself as a brand in order to be considered when making decisions about a vacation, a purchase or a service. Only if potential customers know your brand can they decide in your favor.
What has already been mentioned with regard to strategy also applies here: In tourism, automotive & Co, brand awareness can be increased by reaching end customers with emotional storytelling and authentic reports. B2B customers, on the other hand, can be reached primarily with real insights and helpful knowledge.
2. Education and information
Especially in editorial content marketing, not everything should be about your company and your brand: First, the focus should be on the target group and their problems – to then present the solution in the form of your products or services. Content marketing can therefore also aim to educate and inform the target group in order to solve their problems.
In B2B marketing, this is a good method to enable knowledge transfer and to explain complex topics in a simple way. To stay within the example of IT security: An editorial text could, for example, point out the dangers and risks posed by hacker attacks – and then offer a service as support. But education and information can also be the way to go in the B2C sector: for example, in the pharmaceutical sector, when it comes to wounds, illnesses & Co, or in the banking and insurance sector, when it is necessary to classify the many offers on the market. Here, you can address the problems and concerns of your end customers through targeted information and thus build trust in your brand: This is exactly what “content with added value” is.
3. Awareness & acquisition of new customers
Convincing potential customers of your product: Content can also be helpful here. It is important to communicate the USPs, meaning the unique selling propositions of your product, to the outside world – in order to influence a purchase decision.
This goal can be well explained by looking at the food market in the B2C segment in particular. Your product may be on the shelf in the supermarket, but why should consumers choose you instead of the competition? Is your product perhaps vegan? Is it regionally produced or particularly sustainable? Does it have good nutritional values that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle? Or does it offer very special taste experiences? Through content marketing, you can let your customers know. If you hit a nerve, your product will be remembered – and the next time they shop, it might go straight into their shopping cart.
Companies in the B2B sector also like to use content marketing to acquire new customers: 84% of respondents in the Statista Content Marketing Trend Study said they pursue this goal. And here, too, your USPs should be the focus. Do you offer the best service? Do you have the best terms and conditions? Is your product the most innovative on the market? Let your target group know through informative content.
4. Brand loyalty and customer retention
Although content marketing is often located at the very beginning of the customer journey, it also plays a role in customer loyalty. As many as 55% of respondents in the B2C sector and 63% of those in the B2B sector stated in the Statista Content Marketing Compass Study that they had already successfully used content as a tool to strengthen customer loyalty and brand loyalty. The reason is obvious: The more you hear or read about a brand, the more you feel connected to it.
But what kind of content makes sense here? 67% of those surveyed by Statista stated that they rely on explanatory content for customer loyalty in the B2C sector, while in the B2B sector the figure was 55%. In the area of electrical household appliances, for example, customers can be informed about how best to use and maintain them even after purchase. This creates trust – and may lead to a replacement from your range being purchased the next time a device needs to be replaced. And business customers can, for example, be informed about current service topics such as winter tires, insurance & Co after purchasing or leasing a corporate car. In this way, you position yourself as a competent contact partner – long after the initial contact and purchase.
5. Image improvement & positioning for core topics
Maybe your brand is already known. But what should it stand for? More than ever, global challenges such as the climate crisis make it important for companies to participate in the general discourse. After all, public positioning on core issues can help improve your image. A good example of this is the issue of sustainability: more and more companies, from the retail and food sectors to the construction industry, are implementing sustainable measures – and communicating them to the outside world. This, in turn, can also contribute to brand awareness. However, honesty and genuine transparency are required here. Companies that claim to be green but do not actually implement the according measures run the risk of being seen as inauthentic and untrustworthy.
Incidentally, this goal of content marketing can also be important in employer branding: After all, a successful company must not only be known and liked by its (end) customers – it also needs good employees to be successful in the long term. If you position your company well as an employer, you also strengthen your chances of finding and retaining good personnel. This applies equally to B2B and B2C companies.
Good content is only the start
Once your goals and content marketing strategy have been defined, it’s time for production: The content – in many cases texts – should be designed according to your goal, be it educational, activating or inspiring. And then?
Then it’s time for distribution. After all, good content is only the first step. For those goals that are more at the back of the customer journey, such as brand loyalty and customer retention, your own platforms such as your own website or social media profiles are a good distribution channel. But goals such as brand awareness, new customer acquisition, or positioning on core topics are very difficult to achieve through organic reach.
This is where native advertising and our publisher network come into play: By publishing content in numerous online media, you can also target new people and potential customers. In this way, the content can unfold its potential and contribute to the achievement of your goals. True to the motto: “Content can achieve a lot. But only if the content also reaches people.”
Our content experts will be happy to advise you – from strategy development and content creation to live campaigns in the Content Garden publisher network.