You actually know what content marketing is now but you’re more of a visual learner, or you like to learn from example. Lucky for you, I’ve done the leg work and rounded up some awesome examples of B2B content marketing.
I always thought August was an interesting month for businesses. Besides signifying the end of summer, you’re either inundated with out of office replies or you’re vacationing trying to enjoy the last bit of summer.
I’ve never been one to take off in August because I’ve always personally enjoyed the ‘quiet’ time at work. It meant that I was free to get the stuff done that got pushed aside during the earlier months—things like goal setting, strategizing and of course, learning new things.
There’s no better way to get ready for Q4 than by doubling down this month to get shit done.
No one says it better than Gary Vee.
So, now that you know what content marketing actually is, wouldn’t it be nice to know what great content marketing actually looks like (and whether or not it would really work in your B2B world)? Sometimes, learning from example is the way to go.
That’s why I’ve rounded up some of the best B2B companies who are awesome at content marketing and highlighted the key takeaways for you!
What They Did: Built one of the health industry’s biggest and best blogs, Health Essentials. It’s become one of the most visited online healthcare destinations—considering just how crowded that online space is, accomplishing that is no easy feat.
Why It Worked: According to Content Marketing Institute’s interview with Amanda Todorovich (Cleveland Clinic’s Content Marketing Director), the success of the blog hinges on publishing better content, not more. Amanda’s editorial process— that factors in seasonal trends, evergreen content, repurposing content, A/B testing on social media—is the very reason why Health Essentials went from 200,000 monthly visits to 3.2 million monthly visits, in just 18 months.
Key Takeaways: Content marketing needs a documented strategy. Build your editorial process and you’re on the way to building a rock solid content strategy.
What They Did: Built an audience, a tribe, with their high-quality, long form content. Groove’s blog is known for in-depth articles about the company’s startup journey and as a result, readers regularly tune in for updates. Not only that, but Groove’s CEO (Alex Turnbull) has successfully scaled content in line with his team’s capacity. Posts are published every other day, instead of just once a week and content quality has remained intact.
Why it Worked: Content quality was the top priority. Normally, when a company scales their content efforts, what they produce becomes mediocre. Groove made the conscious decision to control the quality of their blog content as much as possible. Many of the posts are still written by Turnbull himself. The results? 50,000 email subscribers, a recurring monthly revenue of $81,000 (up from $28,525 the previous year) and just under 65,000 unique visitors in one week.
Key Takeaways: Get serious about blogging and build your community by creating more quality content—but scale content creation in line with your resources.
What They Did: Implemented a brand journalism approach to content marketing, writing news stories that educate and entertain readers—their homepage looks like a digital newsroom. They were able to simplify technical topics and create content that was conversational and accessible, increasing their page views by 114% and average time spent on their website by 55%.
Why it Worked: Their only focus? Crafting noteworthy news stories. With an all-star team including a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter, former NASA social media manager, and ex-TV producer, they took brand journalism to heart and created an in-house news hub. Because of this, even industry media outlets were using Raytheon’s content to create their stories.
It also helps that the VP of Corporate Affairs and Communications recognized the opportunity to develop a solid digital communications footprint within the aerospace and defense industry. Pam Wick told CMO:
Key Takeaways: If content marketing has a place within the aerospace and defense industry, then it has a place in your industry too. Don’t dismiss content marketing because you think it’s not applicable to you. Powerful storytelling is one of the best business skills you can have.
What They Did: Developed truly entertaining stories, across various social media platforms. GE has one of the most engaged audiences—and their target market is pretty much everyone.
Why it Worked: GE Reports has been dubbed as the “World’s Best Brand Magazine”. Why? They’ve been able to take tech, science and engineering (quite possibly three of the most boring topics to some) and humanize them (read: fun).
GE’s social media presence is massive. 432,000 Twitter followers, 240,000 Instagram followers, 94,000 YouTube subscribers, to name a few. Why? Because they’ve leveraged their social media channels to show off their geeky side, and get others to geek out with them.
Their mandate, above anything else, is to entertain. Instead of showing off products, they’re sharing their fascination with science and tech. That kind of passion is contagious. But that’s how you really connect with your audience.
Key Takeaways: Just because you’re old (130 years!) doesn’t mean you have to be boring and conservative. Have fun and educate! Geek out about the subject matter—if you’re genuinely excited, your audience will be too.
What They Did: Revamped their branding while taking a consumer-centric approach to their marketing. Being one of the oldest, iconic industrial brands means the usual marketing approach is traditional in tone (read: no bragging). Caterpillar shifted their focus by refreshing their brand promise. “Earthmoving solutions for today’s challenges” became “Built for It”. Humble speak be gone!
Why it Worked: An internal shift from brand compliance to brand promotion was part of the company’s success in their content marketing efforts. Caterpillar knew that the B2B audience was getting younger, and so were their employees—if they were going to attract up and coming talent, the Caterpillar brand had to become more human, more approachable, and more relevant.
They developed innovative cool visual content, like the Jenga video, and created an online forum for customers to learn and connect with other CAT folks. By inviting customers into their brand, they became more than just an equipment manufacturer. As Renee Richardson told Fast Company:
Key Takeaways: When you focus on the customer (internal or external), content marketing is always more successful.
Hopefully, you’re inspired now to get started with content marketing. Just as the B2B marketplace is ever changing, so is the face of B2B marketing. The reality is, B2B audiences are online and digital communications needs to be integrated into your marketing strategy—it’s not just a single campaign.
Remember these 5 essential elements:
- Content marketing needs a documented strategy—focus on your editorial process
- Quality over quantity, always—if you can do both, then scale in line with your resources
- Storytelling works, in any industry
- Educate and have fun
- Focus on the customer—content marketing is always more successful if you do
What other examples of B2B content marketing have you noticed online? Let me know in a comment below!