Content marketing has fast become a staple of the B2B marketing world, especially among those who believe in an inbound approach for growing and scaling their company.
And it’s not hard to see why.
A solid B2B content marketing strategy can skyrocket your growth, all the while providing incredible value and free education to your customers and prospects and showing the world (and search engines) that you know your stuff.
But we’re not here to lecture you on all the reasons we love content marketing. If you’re here, you’re probably one of the 90,000ish people who’ve searched for the phrase ‘content marketing’ in the last month.
If you are, you know doubt know some of the ‘secrets’ by now:
- Add value before you try and convert
- Leverage other brands’ equity
- Be genuine
- Focus on cluster-based content creation
And you’re thinking: sounds good in theory, show me the proof. Of course you are; turns out we’re sort of obsessed with social proof.
With that in mind, we took to the streets, as it were, to extract some real-life B2B content marketing examples to inspire you.
Leveraging Brand Equity To Create B2B Content Marketing Success
Nobody ever said getting found was easy, especially in crowded SaaS markets where everyone is competing for a similar digital space. The old ‘build it and they will come’ adage is just that, old and outdated, and unfortunately untrue for many new B2B companies.
But with organic search rankings and brand awareness being inherently long-term games, how the heck do you win that online real estate as a start-up?
Many B2B marketers are cutting through the weeds by leveraging the equity of other existing brands. It’s kind of like influencer marketing, but without the stank. The rationale is this: the average person is exposed to around 5000 ads a day. So we’re getting pretty good at blocking all of that out. You don’t buy 5000 things a day, do you?
So what makes people stop and look?
Well, if Instagram stats are anything to go by, it’s scantily clad women. But short of that, it’s recognizability. Yes, that’s a word.
People will stop and look if they see something they recognize. And if you’ve got their attention, that’s half the battle won.
How Trainual Stands Out By Blending In
Creating high quality, valuable content is one thing, but getting potential customers to actually engage with it is a whole other ball game.
Jonathan Ronzio, Partner & CMO of Trainual, an all-in-one onboarding & training tool, LMS and wiki knowledge base, knew this going in. Which is why right from the outset, Jonathan and his brother/Founder/CEO/podcast guru adopted a simple mantra: Stand out by blending in.
“We decided to lead with the personal brand earlier. We didn’t want it to be about Trainual trying to sell you, but more like Chris or Jonathan just trying to have a conversation with you”.
So the Ronzio boys decided to ditch the big-budget, big-ego approach to social media ads in favor of something a little more down to earth.
“We knew our tool was for founders who understand the need for systems and processes, and they’ve probably been reading books like The E Myth, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The 4-Hour Workweek… So we leveraged the equity of those brands.
We were literally just walking down the street holding up the book and saying something like ‘You know you need strong processes and systems to scale your business, but how do you actually make that happen? Click here to find out’. And we got a lot of traction off of that”.
After tasting success off the back of this campaign, Jonathan made the move to double down on content marketing tactics that take a ‘real-life human’ approach, going as far digging into childhood home videos, and using raw content of himself and Chris as kids for Trainual’s social media ads.
“I come from a background of media and outdoor adventure, so I come from a place of filmmaking and storytelling. We’ve found using a similar kind of approach in the B2B world to be really engaging”.
But Jonathan’s boyhood clips of falls and fails aren’t the only thing capturing the attention of founders and CEOs in need of a way to streamline the chaos of hiring and growing. Teaming up with Leslie David Baker and Brian Baumgartner from The Office, Trainual found yet another way to cut through the noise and win the attention of business owners taking a sneaky 5-minute Facebook break.
“We filmed some stuff with Leslie and Brian and used that at the start of the ads. That was the attention-grabber, it was what made people stop scrolling and actually watched the video. Then we had some of our actual customers film a quick selfie video, so it went from The Office characters to real people doing a little iPhone video about how they use Trainual”.
And the result? Over 50,000 growing teams ditching their old school training manuals and Google Docs nightmares, and systemizing and scaling their operations with Trainual. Proof that even in the B2B marketing territory, there’s room to be an actual human.
B2B Content Marketing Success Stories: Add Value Now, Close The Deal Later
If there’s one thing that’s set to see a business flop, especially one in the SaaS world, it’s going in strong for the sale before you’ve proven your worth.
The consumer decision-making process has changed significantly in the last decade, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for that time, you’ll know it’s all about high-quality, high-value content.
Customers are now, more than ever, looking for companies to be a trusted advisor, a companion, and a source of valuable insights that they can apply in their daily lives. This is especially true of B2B buyers, who are unlikely to give your SaaS a shot if you can’t demonstrate your expertise and authority first.
The following B2B content marketing examples demonstrate the power of putting your customers first.
How SaaS Marketer Went From Zero To 10K Sessions In Just 3 Months
With a name like SaaS Marketer, you’re going to expect them to be at the top of their game when it comes to content production.
And you’d be damn right.
Tom Hunt, Co-Founder of SaaS Marketer and bCast shared with us his three-step process to insane web traffic growth. Spoiler alert: it’s all about content.
- Consistent, high-quality content
- Adding value to other communities
- Simple, clean CTA
“We’ve really focused on creating consistent, great quality content. We publish a biweekly case study and also run a podcast focused (Confessions of a B2B Marketer) on helping people in the niche.”
A pretty straightforward approach then. But Tom knew from the outset that producing content in itself wasn’t going to bring the masses through to the SaaS Marketer site, at least not straight away. That’s where step two came in.
“There are about five other communities we network and post content into. After value is added, we direct people back to our site.”
Those communities are websites and Facebook pages such as GrowthHacker, Indiehackers, and Zest.is, communities with huge userbases to tap into.
“Before you can push traffic through to your site, you need to please the admins of the platforms first, and help them get what they want.”
For Facebook pages, that’s engagement. So if you can create engagement, you can create attention, which you can then use to direct people back to your website.
“To drive engagement I pull out the best parts of my content, post natively into the community and then link back subtly when the engagement starts to increase.”
Once Tom has driven engagement in these communities and directed some potential customers over to the website, it’s all about converting traffic into email opt-ins.
“The site is currently converting 12% of traffic to an email address. How? We have one simple CTA: "Get the case study", and we have three places people can opt-in:
- Header form
- Exit-intent popup
- Inline opt-in box in case studies
This means that with each email address we guarantee traffic for our next post, and also increase word of mouth and sharing potential.”
A simple yet intuitive process, SaaS Marketer’s results demonstrate that if you focus on adding value early, you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.
How Bannersnack Leverages Best B2B Content Marketing Practices To See A 61% Growth In Traffic
Bannersnack is the original cloud-based professional banner maker, and having been in the game for a bit now, they know what works for them.
Sergiu Iacob, Growth Product Manager at Bannersnack, shares with us their overarching content strategy:
“Our content strategy is focused on a cluster-based approach that puts specific landing pages at the core of everything we publish. It means that our strategy is based on more in-depth coverage of topics for our audiences, as we strive to create a wide range of meaningful content that will, later on, educate and convert.”
For Bannersnack, this means breaking things down into a five-step strategy:
- Cluster-based approach
- Relevant articles based on keyword research
- Outreach & link-building campaigns
- Content and result analysis
- Constant article optimization
“We believe that content is king, and it plays a vital role in the success of our campaigns and business overall. For us, the definition of success is content that generates traffic, backlinks, and social shares. Our content approach is SEO based because we found that the sweet spot of our content marketing ROI lies between a solid SEO strategy, high-quality content, and also distribution.
For example, since our platform allows the creation of posters, we decided to offer our target audience in-depth information on this topic. This ranges from:
- DIY guides,
- how to create attention-grabbing posters
- how to incorporate geometric patterns for brilliant designs
to name a few articles related to that specific cluster.”
The pillar cluster approach is one that’s been widely used by successful content marketers, and is strongly backed by HubSpot as a tactic that’s not only influential in developing a smooth and consistent user experience, but is also highly favoured by search engines and conducive to covering and ranking for key search phrases.
“As per our content calendar, we try to identify topics, and for us, proper keyword research and strategy go a long way. By doing this, we can see what our audience is looking for, so we pay attention to the selection of the topics so that we can satisfy their demands. That is why we use keyword research provided by our SEO team to build articles that can help our organic traffic grow.”
Publishing consistent, quality content is one thing, but driving traffic to it is a whole different ball game. In the long run, Bannersnack is aiming to rank these posts organically, but they also realize the importance of promoting and distributing content from the moment it’s published.
“Since we believe that good content needs proper promotion and distribution, we also run outreach campaigns to make it available to more audiences that would benefit from knowing about our topics.”
This result-driven approach means that Bannersnack are constantly reviewing, tweaking, optimizing, and continuously improving their content creation methods.
“We look at how it performs—here we include the distribution on social media channels, the traffic it brings, and the feedback from our community.
When it comes to optimization, we look back on older articles, and we seek ways to improve their performance, by updating them so that they can rank higher for specific search terms.
An example of an article that brought a lot of success for us was 20 Graphic Design Trends for 2020, which is a compilation of trends selected by one of our visual designers. For this article, we used more than just text to express everything we had to say on the topic. We created a video and an info-graphic to make sure we get more exposure through various social media platforms.”
So what does all of this add up to then?
Well, some pretty impressive traffic growth:
- 52% in traffic on the Bannersnack blog
- An overall 61% increase in the traffic on the Bannersnack website
How Markup Hero More Than Doubled Their Blog Traffic
Jeff Solomon, founder of screenshot and annotation tool Markup Hero, shares a fairly common SaaS foundership story:
“I was really just trying to solve my own problem. I’m a product guy and I do a lot of consulting, helping people with product teams and managing engineers, and I take about 10-15 screenshots every day, working with people overseas who are from different backgrounds or speak different languages. I’ve tried out all of your usual markup tools, and there’s a bunch of stuff that’s just standard, but then I often found myself going into Photoshop or Canva to do the things that they couldn’t.”
The SaaS only launched a few short months ago, and there’s still a lot of value that Jeff is working on building into it, but Markup Hero is already seeing a healthy usership off the back of an intuitive two-pronged B2B content marketing strategy.
Jeff is a self-confessed SaaS nerd, and often finds himself the recommender of handy tools like Notion, so it was a no-brainer for him to start creating product reviews and endorsing them on the Markup Hero blog, using his own software to annotate screenshots of the products he was reviewing.
“I’ve been talking with other SaaS founders and they’re all trying to content market. So I realized I could write a good review for other tools, one’s that I actually use every day, and then get them to promote the review, push it out on social etc. So I get a good piece of content on my own site, and I usually write about the Markup Hero product a little as well, and then I have these SaaS companies linking back to my site and leverage their reach. These are companies that are quite a bit further along than us.”
Realizing the success of this approach, Jeff saw an opportunity to double down on the product review tactic, this time reaching out to other reviewers.
“Something I’ve just started doing is reaching out to other content marketers and bloggers, giving them a free sub to Markup Hero and letting them try it out. I’m specifically targeting people who are creating listicle type posts, as they are already using something to take screenshots so it’s an easy pitch.”
When it comes to marketing a SaaS, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, and leveraging the reach of other companies’ B2B content marketing efforts is a surefire way to skyrocket your impressions and grow your market share.
It’s early days yet, but it sure seems to be working for Markup Hero.
From Content Marketing Examples To Your Own Success Story
Hopefully this has quenched your thirst for great content marketing examples.
Now, it’s time for you to carve out your own piece of content marketing history and write your own success story. Let’s recap on some of the key lessons we’ve learned.
|Company||Success||What We Learned|
|Trainual||Over 50,000 customers||
|SaaS Marketer||10k sessions in just 3 months||
|Bannersnack||61% increase in website traffic||
|Markup Hero||2x blog traffic||
Got a content marketing example you’d like to share in our next post? Or need helping crafting your own? Don’t hesitate to reach out, we’d love to help.