Content marketing puts useful and relevant information in the hands of your target audience. It’s premised on delivering something genuinely helpful to current and prospective customers, not just promotional messaging. In business-to-business (b2b) marketing, content marketing executions are often more challenging than business-to-consumer content because the customer journey is usually slower and more complex.
Business buyers apply more analysis to purchase decisions than typical consumers, as they should — business purchases often involve long-term contracts and significant monetary investments. Sometimes a business purchase is for a critical input that makes or breaks a product or service. These decisions ought to be subject to more scrutiny and guided by more research.
This situation presents an opportunity for b2b content marketing — when potential buyers are preoccupied with research and questions, marketers can produce helpful content that informs and persuades subtly. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 66 percent of all content marketing programs “prioritize their audience’s information needs over their organization’s sales/promotional message,” but 88 percent of content marketing programs that were self-identified as extremely or very successful put the audience’s educational needs over pure sales messaging. The ultimate goal of b2b content initiatives is to move prospective customers from awareness to consideration to purchase. Other pieces of content targeted at existing customers can help ease the onboarding process or engender loyalty and brand advocacy.
B2b marketers face two challenges in content marketing programs: first, to deliver valuable content strategically and consistently to target audiences, and second, to do so without being completely boring. We recently partnered with the good folks at client Amerex Fire to produce an ongoing series of newsletters for their fire equipment dealer audience (among others) that strikes the right balance of education, information and engaging brand storytelling. Because Amerex is known for its diamond logo and slogan, “Quality is behind the diamond,” the newsletter was called Inside the Diamond.
As we began to plan Inside the Diamond, we returned to our core content marketing strategy for Amerex — informing fire equipment dealers and end-users about Amerex’s products and innovations, building relationships between dealers and end-users and Amerex’s sales team, and showcasing the differentiating factors that set Amerex apart from the competition. We decided the newsletter needed to leverage Amerex’s expertise by including a strong focus on company news (e.g., new product launches) and industry developments to reinforce “Why Amerex” messaging and to help further partnerships between Amerex team members and external stakeholders. With numerous trade shows and industry events on the horizon, we also wanted to keep all this content centralized in a single, polished document that could be printed and shared. Bearing these goals in mind, we developed our first editorial calendar in conjunction with the Amerex marketing team to plan the exact products, processes and people to feature.
Next, our team began producing a journalistic newsletter comprised of magazine-style news and feature stories with smaller, supporting pieces that inform and entertain. To produce each piece for each newsletter, Trilix’s communications team works closely with Amerex team members to ensure content directly addresses ongoing industry conversations and answers questions or tells stories that fire equipment dealers ask about regularly. This step is the key to ensuring accuracy, relevancy and authenticity — crucial components that combine with Trilix’s approach to brand storytelling. The result is a highly effective piece of content marketing that has been viewed and downloaded thousands of times by current and prospective customers. Hundreds of copies were also printed and distributed at a major fire equipment event, NAFED 2020 in Las Vegas, the first of several major trade events this year where Amerex’s team will distribute Inside the Diamond directly. In addition to printed copies for trade shows, we also help distribute the digital newsletters via social media and email.
Stories in the spring 2020 edition of Inside the Diamond newsletter highlight Amerex’s industry advocacy, efforts to expand and optimize its distribution operations, growth in kitchen fire suppression systems, customer service team members, a historical company milestone, sustainability efforts, product updates and an interview with an Amerex vehicle systems distributor/integrator in Brazil. Read Amerex’s latest Inside the Diamond newsletter to see the fruit of this content marketing collaboration.