B2B Content Marketing – the most important tips & examples
In the last 20 years we have accompanied countless web presences of B2B companies. Content marketing was often a foreign word here. Even marketing in large companies with over 1,000 employees was often rather weak. It therefore makes sense to start with the basics: website structure and the basic approach.
Optimizing the B2B website structure
You may not believe it, but it's true: many B2B companies still believe that with the right product, customers will virtually come on their own. After all, it still worked. Ultimately, that's fine if that's the way it goes. We have served many world market leaders in niches in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, medical technology, plant engineering and the like. For those who have the very best product, the annual appearance at the biggest trade fair seems to be enough. But if that's not the case, a sophisticated content strategy is needed.
Speaking of fairs: That was over with Corona for now. You can see how quickly established contacts can disappear. And all of a sudden, everyone had to see how they could get new customers. This meant that the website was strategically important from one moment to the next.
But they are not just such events. Globalisation with more and more competition from abroad, not only China, and the progressive digitization make it necessary for the very best companies in their industry to think about attracting new customers.
The goal of any website structure should be to lead the user to the content as clearly as possible. Products are products. They are based on certain technologies. (Service) performances are performances or also services. They are based on knowledge. Both combined are solutions. These are used in certain industries, for certain applications or areas of expertise. And that's where the big mess begins.
You would think that the area of products and services would be the one with the most clarity. The typical B2B company primarily revolves around itself and its great inventions. (Side note: I love talking to engineers, taking factory tours, and understanding what is possible with passion and attention to detail). And it should also be clear how and where the products are used. Surprisingly, we have repeatedly found a proper mess in exactly this crucial area.
B2B Content Marketing Examples of current websites of leading German B2B companies
I ask myself: what has the quality guarantee lost here?
The structure is really creepy. Does Bayer really not have more important products than patient information, information on counterfeit medicines, information on counterfeit agricultural products and side effects?
Another horror. Nine main navigation points are a nonsense. The basic rule is maximum 7. More can not be perceived at once. Everything else belongs to the 7 main points, e. g. career under About us or suppliers in a separate small side navigation. Technology is important and it’s great to say something about it. But in combination with solutions?
The navigation is very nice at first glance. Only 5 main points: Great. Turning and milling would be better sorted under applications.
And another example where a good approach was taken with the main points of products, industries and service. Planning & consulting, however, are clearly services and services and not products.
The series could go on indefinitely.
I recommend using the following simple structure:
Here you can sort everything that exists in your company.
And then you decide where you want to focus on the website. Each of these points can be a main navigation point. You can also combine products & services, but please do not write products and list services among them. Sounds banal, but makes it easier for your customers to use your website.
Technologies and knowledge, for example, can also be transported via stories. But if a certain technology is the foundation of your entire business, you should make it a main navigation point. Setting the right priorities is the heart and soul of the website structure.
The basic approach in B2B content marketing
The self-centering of many B2B companies inevitably leads to a second theme of the textual discourse. The texts are all too often about the features of the products and far too little about the benefits that customers derive from them.
The features of the products create added value for the customer. This value has a meaning for the customer. In New German: Features > Benefit > Meaning.
This is how most B2B websites are built.
Look here: these are the latest features of our great products. Many large images. A lot of text. Maybe even a video. . . .
You can do this and that with it. Much less text. Maybe a picture. No video.
This means for you . . . usually no longer occurs at all.
Why don’t you just turn the direction around?
Think about the importance your product has for your customers. The new features allow him to do his work faster, saving him more time for other important things.
Then why not show your customers in a video how they can finally get the other things done?
And then in a few sentences he says he can do it now, because he finally has time for it.
Thanks to your new features, which you will be happy to explain to him personally. Click here for contact . . .
Do you notice anything?
In most B2B companies, this turns the previous way of thinking upside down. It doesn’t matter. Your customers will thank you. And so will your boss – at the latest when sales go u
The focus is on the customer, not the company and its products. Show him already in the structure that you are making it easy for him to understand your product world. And address him in such a way that he’ll be picked up with his needs. This is how your B2B content marketing becomes a success.