B2B content that attracts customers: How to promote case studies, articles, and white papers
Revered content examples we stumble across are almost always B2C focused. They also appear to have one goal: to entertain. Large consumer brands want the most eyes on their latest tweet, video, social post, or article. Award-givers and advertising mags toss these splashy examples on the throne as a creative content success - when in reality, those millions of entertained eyes won’t ever generate new sales.
They’re celebrated for retweets and new customers followers and fans.
More so, companies like these have a war chest of resources to generate this content. Oreo, Nike, and Apple can hire a full team just for strategizing content ideas, another bunch to actually create it (our outsource it to a fancy, expensive firm), and still a third group to manage its distribution. Oreo's famed Super Bowl XLVII tweet capitalized on the halftime show blackout at the Super Dome. It's a popular tweet for ad award-givers to bolster and revere. But, 'cute' doesn't always cut it when it comes to B2B content.
But not all content teams are a legion of hundreds. On a smaller marketing team (or maybe just a team of one!), it can be a challenge to man a B2B content trove of hopeful articles, white papers, and case studies. In very small companies, the responsibility might fall on someone with a host of other responsibilities in sales or operations.
In B2B, your content has to get hot leads and paying customers.
We know how it goes.
Brainstorming leads to a brick wall.
You toil for days on end with writers’ block,
go back-and-forth with a graphics team.
Once you’ve finally prepared the final blog post, white paper or case study, it’s subjected to rounds of infinite revisions by just about everyone in the company.
Once it’s finally complete and time to focus on its distribution (🎉 yay! 🎉), you have a pile-up of to-dos that spin your focus off onto other tasks. The final step of promotion and distribution falls prey to the to-do list goblin.
That little devil will yank your captivating content and entomb it in the cobwebs of your hard drive or server only to be unearthed by future employees playing archeologist to old company documents.
As a content writer, there’s nothing I hate to see worse than D.O.A. white papers, case studies, and articles! I want you to get your content out into the world to do what it does best - attract customers and leads.
Here’s 15 ways B2B companies can make sure their content avoids the greedy grasp of the Grim Reaper - and instead flings it out into the world as the customer-generating machine it’s meant to be!
15 ways to promote B2B content like case studies, articles, and white papers
1. Let’s start with a simple one: Showcase new content in your email signature. Your outbox includes a lot of eyes! Leverage your email signature for more than a simple sign-off. Share links to new content or feature your popular, most-read pieces. Expand the audience by making sure everyone in your organization adds the same latest news bug to their signature.
2. Collect a trove of new prospects using gated content. Use case studies or white papers as gated content on your website. What is gated content? It’s one of the most powerful magic wands to wield when you’re looking to generate new leads. Put simply, it’s valuable information (like a white paper) that you share in exchange for an email address or other contact information.
How do you promote gated content? Feature boxes at the end of a blog post, pop-up announcements or a greeting bar at the top of your site can publicize your latest content creation and request email addresses from interested prospects.
3. Create a welcome series based on your gated content. The power of gated content doesn’t stop at a single exchange of information. Don’t just provide a lucrative resource and call it a day. Continue cultivating the new relationship using an email welcome series. After all, businesses that leverage welcome series, or "drip campaigns" generate 80% more sales than those that do not!
A welcome series shares additional content with your customer spread over a specific time period. Create a 3-5 email series that sends additional blue-ribbon content every few days. By sharing relevant content pieces with interested prospects, you can continue the conversation and further establish your credibility.
After you sign-up for our guide "5 Ways to Transform Confusing Web Copy into Content Customers Crave," you're enrolled in a five email introductory series. Each email focuses on quick little projects to help you tackle different aspects of your content program, ranging from writing your newsletter to fine-tuning your product page copy.
And you don’t have to start from scratch: your series can feature content you’ve already written. Breathe new life into popular blog posts by distributing them to newly interested readers.
4. Compile a guide. Have a few blog posts narrowed in on a particular niche? Aggregate them into a larger guide. Distribute this guide to targeted accounts in your sales pipeline or use it as a gated content on your website.
5. Run a Facebook campaign to a Lookalike Audience. Many companies make the mistake of viewing social media as a simple box to tick on their to-do list. Their post gets 2-5 likes and they move onto the next project. In addition to run-of-the-mill procedural posts, social media is jam-packed with valuable tools to help you attract new audiences.
Facebook has the power to digest your email list and generate a “Lookalike Audience.” It’s a roster of brand new contacts that match the behaviors and interests of your current customers. Target a Lookalike Audience with an ad featuring your latest blog post or gated content for a powerful way to reach new prospects.
6. Use LinkedIn ads to target precise companies or job types. LinkedIn ad targeting offers a bevy of options for mining new prospects. Does your new content piece really resonate with certain industries or job titles your business is pursuing? On LinkedIn, you can run ads to targeted career groups like Project Managers at Solar Installation companies.
7. Transform quotes, stats, and tips into shareable graphics. Does the post feature a memorable quote or powerful slice of insight? Feature it in shareable social media graphics to share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. In the caption, include a link to the full content.
8. Break it down into bite-sized tips to share as a document on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also has a post option where you can upload a set of slides. Without departing to a new page, connections can scroll through a handful of slides within the native post. Grab attention with a few slides that feature your content’s most helpful insight or hottest tips.
9. Include your content in all business proposals. In B2B, people don’t buy from logos or colors - they buy from other people. But so many proposals lack the personality needed to make a strong connection.
Companies like to get an idea for your real personality before doing business with you. They want to know what the relationship will look like. Have a personality-packed piece of content that illuminates your company’s personality or one that sheds light on a particular theory or practice that you live and work by? Feature links to your latest content to create connections with potential clients.
10. Create a short video. Separate out a few points from your blog post and create a handful of short videos expanding on those themes. Explode your video catalog by turning a single blog into 5-10 mini videos.
11. Include a relevant link in the caption or card of every video. With every video, be sure to include a link to a relevant piece of content in the caption or clickable YouTube card link.
So many companies make this big mistake: Video captions and cards only lead customers to the generic homepage. When someone is viewing a video on a particular topic, they’re likely to have an interest in additional content or information. If you only include a link to your homepage, they don’t know exactly where to go to find it. The link you provide in your video should send them to a very specific destination, whether it is a rockstar blog post or white paper that expands on the topic featured in the video. Use your video links to drive traffic to subject-relevant pages on your site.
12. Distribute to friendly media contacts. Media outreach doesn’t always have to be an official, stodgy press release. Try sending more casual emails that briefly mention a few things that your company is working on. Reporters, bloggers, and journalists are always on the hunt for new topics and a quick send of your latest blog post could spark an idea that winds up featuring your insight.
13. Promote your content in podcasts or speaking engagements. Live and recorded presentations are a great opportunity to drive interested customers to your web content. Is someone on your team slated to guest on a podcast or speak at a live event? Make sure they ask the host if they can provide a follow-up resource to listeners or attendees. Create a shortened URL like yourwebsite.com/171. This makes it quick to say and easy for listeners to remember. Share it at the conclusion of an event and include the link in the podcast show notes or other supporting materials.
14. Share links to relevant content in forums and groups. Are you part of any industry groups or do you participate in niche forums? Don’t just SPAM the house down with your new links. If a piece of content helps elucidate a participant’s question, provide links to your content paired with authentic, thoughtful feedback.
15. Reshare, reshare, reshare! Slapping it onto your website or mentioning it in a single social media post is a crushing content death knell. Don’t fall into the habit of sharing a post just a single time. Reword your caption and switch out the cover photo for a compelling gif to post later in the week. Never assume that everyone will see the first post.
Do you have a sure-fire strategy in place for your content’s promotion and distribution? Avoid the content deathblow by implementing these 15 tips. Even if you start with just a few, you can easily start promoting your content in consistent, creative, customer-attracting ways.
Check out the rest of this B2B content writing series: