Content marketing is quite the buzzword in the B2B world. This isn’t surprising as it has become one of the go-to strategies for B2B organizations.
According to Hubspot, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing, and another 24% plan on increasing their existing content marketing investments.
Whether you need to create some new content or already have content to promote – one of the hardest things is ensuring that it gets in front of the right audience. Without this, it’s really hard to have a steady flow of leads. So, what are the best platforms to distribute your B2B content?
Best Platforms for B2B Content Distribution
Here are some of the best platforms for B2B content distribution. They aren’t listed in a particular order because we have seen all of these platforms work incredibly well but also fail miserably. Ultimately, the distribution strategy that works best for your product or service will depend on a combination of your message, distribution, and offer. A best practice is to start with a wide mix and then adjust media spend as you see what works.
Most people think about organic search as a completely separate platform from all of the other paid distribution outlets – but this is not the case. Organic search is simply another strategy for getting your content out there. The key to making SEO work effectively is to:
- Write Focused High-Quality Content: The main search algorithms are continuously improving to find quality content users are searching for. So, you want to provide them with that. Good content will ultimately result in qualified traffic and leads.
- Provide Matching Call-to-Actions: This is where the benefits of quality content really come into play. Your primary CTA on any blog post should be an asset that answers the implied question that got users to that webpage in the first place. Think of it this way, every article is a potential entry point for a new prospect. So, if you answer the question they asked, you are likely to be rewarded. If you don’t have a matching asset for a highly trafficked, get started on that, and in the meantime provide a compelling reason for someone to give up their contact information to start a conversation with you.
Effectively leveraging organic search requires search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a whole other can of (very complicated) worms, to deep-dive into how it works, check out this comprehensive guide from Moz.
Paid search ads are great for promoting content related to a known product or service but not so much for an emerging solution. Prospects that come through these ads tend to be father down the funnel since search is one of the last things people do before purchase. However, since these leads are so easily attributable it can be very easy to overvalue them.
Remember, search is more than just Google. The Bing ad platform presents ads on Bing, Yahoo, and Duck Duck Go at around 20% of the cost. Use a combination of Google Ads and Bing Ads to find the right balance of increased MQLs at a lower cost.
Beware: It can be really easy to waste a lot of money on search ads, especially with Google’s easy-to-use interface. To use search ads effectively, you need someone who has in-depth knowledge of how the platform works, understands the nuances of your product, and great analytical skills to:
- Look at every search query that triggers an ad
- Think about the search intent
- Develop creative lists of negative keywords, exact match keywords, etc.
When people think of retargeting, they typically think of hitting website visitors with banners after they have visited your site. This is the traditional way of using this technology. It’s a good way to remind prospects that your brand exists, and you may be able to bring them back with an exciting piece of content. However, this method doesn’t bring in any new prospects – but there are ways you can reach new audiences with retargeting:
- Partner Retargeting: This is when you partner with adjacent but non-competitive companies to show your ads to their prospects as though they had been to your website. This allows you to spread your retargeting beyond your website visitors. When done with the right partner, it’s possible to show highly targeted banners at a fraction of the cost by working directly with specialized publishers.
- List Retargeting: This strategy involves uploading a list of prospect emails into the retargeting platform. While you can use this to highly target your existing audience, you can also purchase an email list of new prospects and retarget them. This is especially useful to get those prospects to convert so you can start nurturing them with emails (which you cannot do if you just purchase the list).
- Super-Granular Retargeting: This is the same strategy as list retargeting; however, it is done with a very select audience. Most retargeting platforms will let you upload a list with as few as 100 emails. Using this feature you can create highly-targeted campaigns, support account-based marketing initiatives, and support sales in closing a big sale.
Content syndication is one of the best ways to generate high-quality leads for a guaranteed price point. Billing is typically done on a per-contact basis and can be fine-tuned with specific filtering criteria. When it comes to getting these leads you have two options:
- Direct Publisher Syndication: Many well-known publications have existing content syndication programs. You can reach out to the ones you know your prospects are reading and work with them. The upside is that your audience trusts these publications which will ultimately instill trust in your brand. However, working directly with publications can lead to a high cost per lead, a delayed delivery of leads, and some hefty minimum buys.
- Partner Syndication: One of the secrets is that many publications don’t want you to know is they usually don’t sell all of their ad space. This leaves a gray market of “leftover” space that can be used for content syndication. There are a few intermediary partners that you can work with to buy this space. You simply upload your content, specify your target audience, and they put it out in front of qualifying prospects. The upside of this is a much lower cost per lead, however, the downside is you have little control over how or where these assets are presented.
LinkedIn is one of our go-to platforms for content distribution. As a professional social network, it makes it really easy to target the professionals you are trying to reach with a bunch of filtering options for super-granular targeting. LinkedIn is also constantly innovating and provide numerous ways to launch campaigns on its platform. Some of our favorites are:
- Standard Banners: LinkedIn offers traditional banners that take prospects to a landing page to fill out the form. This is ideal if you have some specific form fields that cannot be automatically filled using…
- Lead Gen Forms: This strategy provides the smoothest UX for prospects. Instead of clicking a banner and getting sent to a landing page to fill out the form it all happens instantly within the feed. A single button launches a pre-filled form that sends the user the content via email.
- InMail: These are direct messages sent through the LinkedIn interface. They are a great way to send personalized messages along with content.
You will notice that we specified paid LinkedIn and not all paid or organic social media. That is not to say that these other platforms are bad for content distribution. We just find that there is usually too much noise to drive results without a significant resource investment (including time – which we would like to spend optimizing the campaigns we know will work instead).
Now that you know all of the best B2B platforms for content distribution – it’s time to start testing. We wish there was a simple go-to formula for exactly where you should distribute your content and how much you should spend on each platform – but there isn’t. The best practice is to start with a broad media mix, and then adjust spend as you determine which platforms bring in the highest quality leads at the best prices. It may take some time, but you’ll be able to develop a go-to-market formula that you know works best for your product and customers and drives real results.