3 B2B Content Marketing Myths You Need to Know the Truth About

Grace

We know what you may be thinking already: Content marketing? Blogs and social media are for those fun, energetic B2C brands (you know, the ones those crazy millennials are always talking about). There’s no place for that kind of frivolous marketing in the B2B world.

Well, we understand why you may think that — but we’re here to tell you that we’d beg to differ. As it turns out, 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing. Eighty-eight percent! That’s a lot. It’s okay if you need to take a second to let that number sink in.

In the meantime, let’s back up real quick and talk about what this really is. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Still not convinced it’s the right move for your B2B business? It probably has something to do with the common misconceptions that’ve been thrown your way. Not to worry, though. Your favorite Buffalo content marketing agency is here to break down four B2B content marketing myths you need to know the truth about.

1. A blog won’t do anything for a B2B business.

Blogs are an integral part of any marketing strategy that drive traffic directly to a website. By blogging about specific topics, issues and trends tailored to their target audience, B2B businesses can provide valuable solutions and position themselves as industry thought leaders. Additionally, blogs serve as a great way to convert traffic into leads. Organizations can use call to actions to learn more or an offer to download additional content in exchange for names, emails and other information.

So how does this work, exactly? Well, 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct online research at some point in the buying process. What B2B content marketing experts like Quinlan do is produce content that answers a buyer’s questions and can be found easily when they use search engines like Google. Once they read your content, there’s a higher chance that they’ll trust your company’s brand and click through your site to find their specific solution. We do this by taking an SEO-based approach to our content creation (which means we’re measuring topic viability, keywords and search volume upfront to determine the best opportunity to rank in search).

2. Other people can’t write about our industry.

It’s true that your company produces a unique, complex product or service. However, a trained writer will be able to use a variety of resources and collaborate closely with you to make sure their content meets your business’ goals, the audience’s preferences and the right brand voice and tone.

Take us, for example. We write content that converts for O-Rings, seismic dampers and process temperature control solutions. Many of our clients are focused on the same industries such as medical, energy, food and oil and gas. We’re able to take our experience and leverage this knowledge across various business types.

3. Social media doesn’t make sense for B2B.

This one couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, 93 percent of B2B marketers report using social media content as a marketing tactic. Social media allows engineers and manufacturing professionals to search or share information with their professional contacts and stumble upon work-related articles.

Of the available social media platforms, most B2B marketers use LinkedIn (94 percent). This makes sense, since businesses can take advantage of LinkedIn is by using groups, share content, find answers to important questions, view jobs and establish themselves in the industry. Not too far behind is Twitter (87 percent) and Facebook (84 percent).

And it’s not enough just to put your content out there. Once you’ve decided you’re going to use social media, you also need to have a plan for promoting it in order to get it in the eyes of the right people (we’re talking about your past, current and potential customers).

When leveraging social media for B2B companies, our media team completes an in-depth review to determine the available audience pool based on your target. For example, we can get as granular as looking for procurement and buying professionals within the composites industry. By determining the appropriate share of voice and spend level (based on your business goals), we’re able to set specific expectations upfront so your business isn’t left in the dark.

4. We don’t have the time or budget.

You’re not alone in this one. One of the biggest issues marketers have come across is creating engaging content in high quantities. In fact, 60 percent of B2B content marketers report that they struggle to produce engaging content, 57 percent believe they can’t produce it consistently and 35 percent say there’s a lack of budget.

One way to avoid this issue is by creating long-form, quality blogs that can be repurposed into other popular forms of content. That means that all of the time put into producing one blog post, for example, could see a second (or third, or fourth) life in the form of a video, whitepaper, etc.

Currently, the CMI reports that B2B marketers are using the following tactics as part of their entire content marketing strategy:

b2b content marketing

 

By creating new titles and reusing parts of a well-performing blog to produce eBooks, infographics, whitepapers or other mediums, content creators can extend their reach and attract a new audience.  What this really comes down to is having a solid strategy in place that effectively utilizes your budget.

If you’re looking for B2B  content marketing help, make sure you’re partnering with experts who are able to take your budget and provide you with an efficient, cost- effective content strategy.

B2B content marketing right at home in Buffalo.

Are you ready to start a content marketing strategy? Still not convinced it’s the right method for your B2B business? Either way, we’d love to sit down and talk with you about how content marketing can transform your business. To set up an in-person meeting with us or to learn more about our content marketing capabilities, contact us online or tweet us at @QuinlanCompany.

Confessions of a Grammar Nerd: 5 Grammar Tips You Need to Know

Miranda

Nothing has amplified my relatability factor more than my affection for grammar tips. I mean, if that doesn’t scream “type of person you’d want to strike up a conversation in a bar with,” I don’t know what does.

Even if you can truthfully admit grammar’s not your strong suit, it’s important to at least know the basics in order to succeed in the professional world. You put far too much blood, sweat and tears into ensuring that your “interview shirt” is perfectly pressed to be set back by one grammar oversight.

Not convinced grammar matters? A Grammarly study found that professionals who failed to advance to a director-level position within 10 years of starting their career made two-and-a-half times as many grammar mistakes as their promoted colleagues.

It’s hard to market sloppiness, regardless of the field you’re in. That’s why we broke down these five grammar tips.

grammar tips

1. Avoid random capitalization.

I’d suppose we have Twitter to thank for the outbreak of capitalizing whatever letter you damn well please in a sentence without repercussions (or at least without that squiggly red line in Microsoft Word indicating you messed up). Capitalization beyond the start of a sentence is reserved for proper nouns — which refer to a specific person, place or thing.

Some visionaries would plead the creative license behind random capitalization, but this stylistic choice usually fails to hold up when it comes to business communication. Yeah, that means you shouldn’t try to turn a request to reschedule a meeting into a haiku. Uppercase letters scattered about in a professional document look sloppy, so save them for the specifics and move on.

2. Be spot-on with your possessive pronouns.

Misuse of possessive pronouns is probably one of the most common grammar mistakes of all time.

“I just think [people who misuse ‘its’] deserve to be passed over for a job — even if they are otherwise qualified for the position,” Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixIt, explains in his admission to the Harvard Business Review.

Harsh, I know. But here’s some tough love: what this really comes down to is that fine line between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit. Here’s one of my favorite grammar tips to check myself:

If you want to use the contraction “they’re,” you should be able to replace it with “they are” and have it still make sense. Similarly, you should be able to use “you are” in replacement of “you’re” and swap out “it is” with “it’s.” “There” is in reference to a place, while “their,”“your” and “its” all show possession.

3. Make sure your subject agrees with your verb (even if your subject gets lost along the way).  

If you were a try-hard back in elementary school who kept your desk clean with the wet wipes the teacher put on the supply list, you probably ended up knowing the basics of this rule almost instinctively (think back to the dog runs and the dogs run). Second grade degenerates, read on.

Grammar mistakes in subject-verb agreements are most often made upon formation of more complex sentences. Meaning: the sentence doesn’t start with the subject. Far too often, people lose sight of their subjects. Love your subject! Cherish it! NEVER LET GO, JACK (cue Titanic memes).

Identifying the subject of your sentence is probably one of the best grammar tips I can give to work in compliance with this rule. Odds are, you’ll find it’s just a hop, skip and sharp left turn past the adverb. Ask yourself: Who or what is doing the action in this sentence? No matter how complicated your sentence gets, make sure the subject still agrees with the verb.

4. Steer clear of wordy sentences.

It may be a blanket statement, but there’s truly an art to writing simple, clear sentences. It’s easy to get caught up in a professional environment and want to sound like a scholar, but it’s not effective if people have to work to understand your meaning. You’ll ultimately come off negatively or just lose your audience’s attention altogether. This can be avoided — especially in longer pieces of content — by streamlining your focus and outlining the specific points you want to make.

5. Keep your pronoun references clear.  

Who said what to whom? We often use pronouns to replace nouns, but if you have multiple subjects and use multiple pronouns to replace them, the end result can be quite confusing. Many people make this mistake because they think restating proper nouns come off as repetitive, but if you have multiple subjects, sometimes you just have to roll with it. Example:

“Kevin told Paul that he had won the lottery.”

This could be very good for either Kevin or Paul. Because we aren’t certain to whom the “he” is in reference to, though, we’ll never know which guy we should try to befriend.

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Some extra grammar tips for the road.

Even if you absorbed absolutely none of that (we’ll try not to take offense), here are a few good rules of thumb for the world of business communication:

  • If you’re not sure, work around it. If there’s a rule you can’t quite get the hang of, don’t stress yourself out trying to get it right. “It’s better to err on the side of grammar caution,” Susan Adams, Forbes contributor, advises. Instead, restructure your sentence to work around that problem area.
  • Keep an eye out for run-on sentences. Simply put, nix them. If you notice a lot of run-on sentences in your text, this probably indicates that your topic isn’t as streamlined as you’d like it to be. Especially in concentrated mediums, you should be getting straight to the point. This may be a sign to refocus on your main task or start from scratch on the piece.
  • Triple check. Because double checking just doesn’t get it done anymore.

Not confident in your grammar skills? Maybe it’s time to stop handling your own copywriting. Tweet us at @QuinlanCompany to learn more.