One of the saddest things I deal with as someone who speaks so much on this subject of content marketing comes in the form of this question, sometimes posed after one of my presentations:
“Marcus, I can see how all of this could work in the B2C space, but my company is B2B, so how would this apply to us?”
Honestly, when I hear this question I want to find the nearest wall and start banging my head into over and over again. 🙂
The reasons for my frustrations are simple really—the essence of successful content marketing doesn’t change from B2B to B2C. The tenets are the same.
- Listen to the questions of your clients/customers/etc.
- Communicate in a way they can clearly understand you.
- Teach at every opportunity so as to give value and build trust.
- Be obsessed with seeking ways to help clients solve their problems.
Yep, those 4 qualities are what make greatness in the world of content marketing, something I’ve had the pleasure of personally witnessing many times over the past 4 years as The Sales Lion has evolved from “pool guy” to digital marketing company.
With this article, I decided to highlight some of the B2B companies (all clients we’ve worked with here at The Sales Lion) that have experienced tremendous success through their content marketing efforts, as well as a few reasons why they’ve managed to do such exceptional things within their respective industries. Here goes…
1. Health Catalyst
Business Description: Few companies make me smile like Health Catalyst, a Utah-based company specializing in Healthcare Data Warehousing and Analytics. Despite being a newer (and smaller) fish in a pond with some massive companies (like Oracle and IBM), Health Catalyst has exploded onto the scene and built their brand quickly, much of which is a result of their content marketing efforts.
What they did: Can you imagine getting doctors and nurses to actively participate in a company’s content marketing campaign? Well, this is exactly what Health Catalyst did. Also, they flooded the marketplace (hospitals are their clients) with high quality and high quantity amounts of education—informative webinars, eBooks, 3-4 blog articles per week, and even an industry event to further educate the masses about the future of healthcare analytics.
The Results: Although much could be said about their tremendous growth in web traffic, leads and customers—maybe the biggest benefit to Health Catalyst embracing content marketing was the fact they were given 50 million dollars in their most recent round of funding. One of their chief officers said content marketing had a major impact on their ability to create enough industry buzz and awareness for the company to merit such an investment.
2. Block Imaging
Business Description: Anyone that has been a reader of The Sales Lion for long has heard me talk about my friends at Block Imaging many times, a company in Lansing Michigan that sells refurbished medical imaging equipment (like MRI machines) all over the world to a variety of health organizations.
What they did: As with all our clients, Block followed to perfection the “They Ask, You Answer” philosophy of content marketing by addressing as many customer questions as possible on their company blog. By embracing “insourcing” and involving a huge portion of their employees to produce content, Block was able to produce a consistent flow of blog articles and educational videos for months on end.
The Results: Without going into too much detail, Block has literally been able to account for millions in additional sales revenue due to their impressive content marketing efforts.
3. Ongoing Operations
Business Description: A provider of back-up cloud computing services for Credit Unions around the country, Ongoing Operations is located in Northern Virginia and has quickly become a major leader in their space.
What they did: With a visionary CEO in Kirk Drake, Ongoing Operations utilized their existing employees to help create a load of blog content, focusing again on client questions, needs, etc.
The Results: Much has changed for Ongoing Operations since they embraced content marketing almost 2 years ago. Today, they are generating over 10x the web leads and sales they were previously achieving, and have also built themselves as an authority within their space.
4. Segue Technologies
Business Description: A Northern Va. technology company specializing in web app development and design in the B2B and B2G(business to government) space.
What they did: Few people in the world of business have impressed me as much as Segue’s VP, Ron Novak. As soon as Novak heard the “They Ask, You Answer” philosophy he not only embraced it, but did what was necessary to have his entire company involved as well, with 3-4 educational articles being posted on the blog each week as well as two premium pieces of content (eBooks) that have been exceptional lead generators. (To read much more about what Segue did, read this article.)
The Results: As you can see from the chart, Segue’s growth has been exceptional. Not only has their traffic exploded from what it previously was, but the web is quickly becoming their best lead generation tool for the business, something that was clearly not the case before.
Business Description: A manufacturer of swimming pool heat pump and salt chlorine generators, AquaCal has dealers all over the world.
What they did: Starting with a content marketing workshop to get their employees on the same page, AquaCal turned their website into an information machine with respect to swimming pool heat pumps. Furthermore, they hired a content marketing manager so as to ensure they would have a constant feed of new content, be it text or video, going into the system.
The Results: AquaCal’s website has exploded. In just over a year, their traffic has increased by 300% compared to the previous year. A website that wasn’t generating leads before is literally producing dozens upon dozens of qualified leads per week—some of which are new potential dealers and others that are end users of the product (consumers). This has allowed Aquacal to supply a flow of leads to their dealer base unlike anything thye were able to do before, as well as built a significant database to continue to nurture going forward. Additional revenue, in just over a year, is literally in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I could have listed quite a few more B2B companies doing exceptional things with content marketing, but hopefully you’re seeing just how much impact this can have for those that don’t put themselves in a silly corner that says “But we’re a B2B, how does this apply?”
Also, I want to reiterate the fact that our strategy here at The Sales Lion with these clients is the same as our strategy with the B2C clients we have. The simple focus is listening, communicating, teaching, and helping–qualities that have been around forever and will certainly be here when we’re all gone, as they are as “human” as it gets.
I’d love to hear about your examples of B2B companies doing it right with content marketing. What made them so effective? And if you have further questions about how this might be applied to your business, don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts below in the comments section or contact us directly.