Updated: Oct 11
How to do B2B Content
You know content marketing is important for your small business. But as someone working in a law firm, health care, or architecture firm, your content options seems slim. The likeliest content that can maintain the company's branding, get past C-Suite, and is relevant to your target audiences are educational materials.
What is content-led marketing?
Content-led marketing is a strategy that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. The aim is to drive profitable customer action by providing useful information and building a relationship with the target audience.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers.
To make educational content more attractive, businesses should consider using storytelling, humor, and visual aids. They should also understand their target audience and tailor the content to meet their specific needs and interests. By doing so, they can create content that resonates with their audience and drives profitable customer action.
What is Content-Driven Marketing?
Educational materials are boring. It's filled with technical terms. Halfway through writing the blog, you're already unamused by it yourself. Yet you are in no position to abandon your industry understanding and jump on platforms like TikTok. The information remains important, and it needs to be shared. So, how should you tackle this?
You need to learn to think like a publisher and take advantage of Content marketing.
I understand your pain because I'm an advocate for educational materials. And while content marketing is in trend, it is not the easiest thing to write about either. To combat the risk of making my content sound stale and unattractive, here are 8 Content Marketing best practices I use to spice my educational content up:
Recommended Tools List:
1. Using personal experiences as a lead in
You can be a lawyer, an architect, a doctor, or a nurse, but people want to hear from you as a person.
The first thing you need to do is to stop talking like a corporate. Do not equate sounding like a press release to being professional. There is near to no place for it in your online marketing content. You can still be witty and charismatic while providing professional insights to your profession.
The easiest way to do so is by sharing an experience related to the knowledge you wish to convey. Did a patient ask a similar question? Has a client failed because they did not know about this fact and come to you for help? Start your piece of content by telling that story. Do not kickstart with the educational fact and elaborate with details that most would not read.
Though this is in a video format, it presents the very same concept. The professional individual shares his experience ("When I work with the police...", "We do it in crime prevention..."), which reveals educational insights as feedback. It is personal, interesting, and easy to recall.
Lacking in resources but want to try and shoot a video?
Here's another example from myself:
2. Use analogies to set the scene
Believe it or not, I got hired by HKU Space as their part-time lecturer because I used analogies in my demo lecture. According to the school, it is a technique full-time educators often use to explain complex ideas. Analogies make it easier for students to remember and allow students of different capabilities and levels to understand the same concept.
As a lawyer, can you explain the law in a simple situation? Can you compare the cause and effect with scenarios that happen in daily life? As a doctor, would you be able to illustrate the spread of a virus or bacteria with the movements of animals that even children can imagine? Or, as an architect, can you explain the importance of your design based on everyday logic?
I often use sand to describe the difference between creating content with and without a content strategy. I've also used the idea of training an army for war as an analogy for not setting a content foundation. They not only simplify a regular educational fact into something much easier to understand, but it also helps my audiences remember me and my services.
3. Drive attention with a shared pain point
Of course, if a content strategy was previously established, shared pain points should be a piece of common knowledge across the company. If not, the easiest way to figure out what your audiences struggle with is to consolidate leads and sales inquiries or to check out related forum groups on Quora and Reddit. Yet, using pain points as a content hook is more than just providing your audiences with an educated solution. The way to make the material much more interesting is by showcasing your understanding and resonance with the pain point.
And that happens by selecting the right narrative for your educational content. As mentioned in point 1, people want to hear from people. But while the most direct way is to have the famous architect or the outspoken nurse write a blog or be interviewed, having the intern express their point of view can be much more gravitating. Furthermore, what if your client's story becomes the content instead? Their experiences can effectively make a bland educational insight relevant and personal.
Here's a great example by a pharmaceutical company, Takeda: Wijhebbencrohn and Wijhebbencolitis. Their blog is filled with "personal testimonies contributed by real-life patients. It creates an open, supportive space where patients can connect with others who understand what they’re going through, and their friends and loved ones can learn about what they experience. Blog visitors also find helpful information about Crohn’s and UC, along with recipes and tips that can help them reduce the stress that leads to inflammation and lessen the number of flare-ups they experience." - Content Marketing Institute:
4. Consider formats other than words
Words and blogs are powerful tools. Yet, lengthy and in-depth articles are only good for down-funnel leads already in their research stage. If your small business has not established awareness for people to consider reading your long-form content in the first place, it is best to give your content format extra thought.
A trap many boring B2B and B2C companies fall into is believing that shortening the length of their educational content can help make it more entertaining. The fact is, length is never the main factor - the hook is. Writing a blog is never as straightforward as it seems. It requires extra care to capture the audience's attention. On top of that, pretty things don't add much value unless the content is easy to digest. Content creation is a combined effort between the story and the format overall. That is how B2B companies can effectively use social media to their advantage.
Not a writer? Here are 5 ideas to do content marketing without a blog!
Apart from blogs, companies in the legal, architecture and healthcare sector can consider content formats such as animated explainer videos, IG stories, carousels, or infographics to break down complicated educational knowledge into digestible frames to take their audiences on a storytelling journey. Here's something I whipped up on affiliate marketing that summarizes the first portion of my long-form blog here:
5. Exercise repetition
Repeatedly talking about the same thing from different angles does not directly increase the entertainment level of your educational content but makes your content creator and audiences more familiar with your key concepts. In turn, it helps with attraction and driving higher quality leads to your content. With repetition, audiences with a strong intent to learn about your subject matter see you as a reliable resource because of the amount of content you have on the same or similar topics.
You need to know where does most content marketing currently take place. Are you only creating content in the top funnel, middle funnel, or the bottom funnel? Because, in essence, all you're doing is telling the same stories repeatedly but with different formats and executions. Naturally, you will improve at coming up with different ways to present the same educational content. Knowing your brand messaging and having your content pillars definitely helps.
This facilitates SEO as well. The more you include your keyword and talk about it as a subject on your website, the likelier Google recognizes you as a content hub that fulfills the E.A.T. (expertise, authority, trust) framework. For social media posts, consider using consistent hashtags to highlight repeating topics. At the end of the day, a healthy level of repetition breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust.
6. Providing quotes
I learn a lot from quotes. They are distilled nuggets of knowledge with a personal twist. They are short and digestible and can perfectly complement or hook your audiences into consuming educational content.
Indeed, you can easily ask your colleagues or team members to provide relevant quotes. I would suggest law firms, architecture firms, and healthcare organizations turn on Google alerts for their respective company's keyword if in-house resources are unavailable. Google will then automatically feed you relevant content to sort and copy from to get other people's take on the subject. Of course, don't forget to include the author's name or cite the source!
7. Story tell the history
The history behind a piece of knowledge is like the behind-the-scenes of your educational content. While many perceive history as boring and unattractive, the truth is many younger generations want to learn about it. They just need to be educated in the way they prefer.
Accordingly to Atlantis Press, "the results of the study show that 85% of millennial university students, understand the purpose of history learning, namely to understand important events, shape the identity of society to be better."
Insider says that "The youth become nostalgic when the economy is struggling, seeking comfort and connection. It's why Gen Z is reviving indie sleaze, old-money prep, and Y2K trends of the '90s and early 2000s. Instead of turning to their own childhood memories, they're seeking simpler pre-social-media times."
Here is a simple yet amazingly effective video that is about coding. The interviewee slips in amusing coding history here and there, managing to captivate people like me who do not know nor have an actual interest in the subject matter:
8. Be passionate!
While many of us are distracted by social media channels, new content executions, short videos, and long dramas, we've lost the grit to hold onto who we are. That is not to say we do not know what we enjoy and dislike. Instead, we let the stuff in between take its course without us nodding or saying no. We let things slide and do things illogically just because it doesn't seem like a big deal.
I just know content marketing is what I love to do and what I am good at. Not because content marketing is hip nor because it can earn me money. I say it for the simple fact that I know it works, and I like doing it.
And after all of the content I put out strives to educate people, people came back to tell me they have resonated not with the words but with my passion. My passion trickled into my lengthy emails, calls, and just me proudly introducing myself as a content marketer.
B2B Content Writing Tips
I wrote this blog because one of my audiences asked the question. Working in the healthcare sector, she wanted to learn ways to make her company's educational content more entertaining. She was eager to learn how she can improve her Content Marketing while dealing with all these content she finds unattractive and boring. I believe she is not the only one with the question.
Hopefully, you have also gained the value you're here for.
Content Creation Tips
If you still have questions but are not a fan of calls, I want to personally invite you to join my all-new VIP Mailing List, where I'll send in-depth content marketing-related insights to you every month. Entrepreneurs like myself need all the support we can get, and they should be free to learn from like-minded individuals. As my marketing idol, Seth Godin, puts it: "people like us do things like this."
If you have read until here, you are my people.