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12 B2B Content-Marketing Practices to Ensure Success

by Roy Young  |  
January 10, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Six ways B2B marketers can create relevant content
  • Six recommendations for B2B marketers to make a sales impact

Although content marketing is a widespread practice across industries and company sizes, B2B marketers recognize the need to improve the effectiveness of their efforts, according to new MarketingProfs research of B2B marketers.

Likely because of that shortcoming, B2B marketers also have confidence in future return on investment (ROI) from their content-marketing efforts.

Our analysis of the survey data reveals a dozen recommendations about how to create relevant content and how to use content for greater sales impact.

How to Create Relevant Content

1. Identify fertile sources of content throughout your organization

Step out of the Marketing silo to search for experts with a voice and insight. Often, Product Development and Product Management are two good places to look for people who can offer thought leadership and have a point of view and an engaging personality.

2. Listen for the "pain points" and interests of your prospects and customers

The content you create must be relevant to the needs of your target audience. That means it must be about them, not about you. This idea can be difficult to remember when we are focused on boosting demand for our products and services; however, buyers usually have many, often indistinguishable, choices and will choose to do business with the company that they think understands their needs best.

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Roy Young is coauthor of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence and Business Impact. For more information about the book, go to or order at Amazon.

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  • by Jim Burns Mon Jan 10, 2011 via web

    And on the seventh day, be sure to rest!

    Despite many years of focus on creating content like publishers, we have to acknowledge this is tough challenge to execute. We believe a different content creation paradigm is required to address the viewpoint expressed in this post.

    Most content projects set out to build a "point product" -- an article, whitepaper, webinar, etc. Typically it's for a specific audience, or written in a "horizontal" manner to apply to all audiences (roles, specific issue interest, buying stage, etc.).

    Traditional content projects reflect the historical "inside out" approach, where content delivers a company specific message to the market. As this post explains, today's content must reflect an "outside in" approach and be much more "educational" (thought leadership).

    Talk about changing the rules! Here's a short vignette that addresses these issues and recommends some ideas about how to change the creation paradigm by applying a "publishers" mindset and practices. At the end it provides a link to a microsite with much more information that will relate to your role, interest and phase of the content creation journey.

  • by Christine Thompson Mon Jan 10, 2011 via web

    Let's not limit our thinking to content marketing focused just on the demand gen phase. Instead let's apply it to the entire customer relationship life cycle. There are many opportunities to reduce costs (of post-sale service and support) by offering better customer service at the point of need. Helping customers avoid or solve problems quickly is a great way to improve brand loyalty, stimulate advocacy, etc. If we achieve this through a smarter content strategy, this can also reduce costs and thereby improve ROI.

  • by Jim Burns Mon Jan 10, 2011 via web

    Great point Christine, in fact this blog post was just released regarding supporting sales with the content and nurturing services they need:

  • by Roy Young Tue Jan 11, 2011 via web

    Thanks for your contributions! If you are focused on execution, of course, I would be remiss if I did not suggest you take a look at the new, fabulous book, Content Rules, by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman. See a description and reviews on Amazon:

  • by Scott Rodgers Mon Jan 17, 2011 via web

    Great post! Much of this relates to being your own media company, which can be a challenging transition. The value comes when it is put within the framework of a marketing automation / demand generation system, without losing that personal connection. Architect the system and then go for it!

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