There is no one right way of doing content marketing.
Depending on their goals, resources, target audience, and so on, different companies do content marketing differently.
In this post, we’ll share seven inspiring B2B content marketing examples, why they’ve done well, and how you can replicate their success.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that helps businesses sell online.
Number of referring domains: 9,000
Estimated organic traffic: 1,700,000
Number of keywords the tools rank for: 121,000
When it comes to content marketing, Shopify has gone the whole hog. It’s invested in almost every type of content marketing: blogs, podcasts, free courses, free guides, and more.
But I want to drill down into one aspect of its content marketing: free tools. Shopify offers over 20 free tools:
These tools have two things in common. First, they solve problems for budding entrepreneurs. For example, you’ll need a business name for your new company. Shopify solves that by offering a free business name generator:
Second, these queries have thousands of monthly searches on Google. For example, the term “business name generator” gets 81,000 monthly searches in the U.S.:
That’s why its tools page—and each individual tool—is getting hundreds of thousands of search visits:
Tools are content too. Consider creating a free tool if you have the ability or resources. This is especially applicable if you’re a software company.
However, don’t just create any free tool. Create those your potential customers are searching for.
Here’s how to find them. You can:
Look through the list to see if there are any relevant tools you can create.
Make sure you review the top-ranking results to see if you can “beat” them. Ask yourself:
When you’ve created your free tool, know that you’ll likely have to acquire links to rank. There are many ways to do this, but the best starting point for tools is to use the Skyscraper Technique.
Read this post or watch the video below to learn more:
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that allows you to research your competitors, study what your customers are searching for, optimize your website, and more.
Number of referring domains: 33,400
Estimated organic traffic: 645,000
Number of keywords the blog ranks for: 107,000
Our content strategy is simple. We target topics that have:
Doing this consistently allows us to rank high for keywords that are relevant to our customers and pitch our product as the best solution to those problems.
This no-frills SEO content strategy has helped grow our annual recurring revenue (ARR) consistently over the years.
Use the same process in example #1 to find keywords with search traffic potential:
Eyeball the list and note down all relevant keywords.
From there, you’ll want to assign a “business potential” score to each keyword. Here’s the cheat sheet we use at Ahrefs:
You’ll also want to give each keyword a “ranking potential” score. We can check each keyword’s ranking difficulty by scrolling to the SERP overview section and analyzing the metrics shown for the current top-ranking pages.
What should you look out for? There are many factors involved in assessing ranking difficulty. But broadly speaking, you’ll want to pay attention to:
To go in-depth about how to assess ranking difficulty, I highly recommend reading our keyword difficulty guide.
After reviewing the keywords for the four attributes, give them a “ranking potential” score:
Learn more: How to Create an SEO Content Strategy (Follow the Ahrefs’ Framework)
Slidebean is a pitch deck design platform for startups and small businesses.
Number of YouTube subscribers: 401,000
Total views: 27,325,552
I reached out to Slidebean’s CEO, Caya, to find out more. From what he told me, the platform’s approach is twofold.
First, it started with a recurring video series known as Startups 101. For this series, it mainly targeted startup-related keywords on YouTube.
However, it exhausted its list of topics in about a year. This was when it decided to move up the marketing funnel into TOFU-related topics.
Since we had found a “YouTube formula,” we decided to apply it to other kinds of content, and one of them was this idea of exploring failed companies. The first one was WeWork, which was just the right bridge between a startup-focused company and a widely known brand. At this stage, the series was called “Startup Forensics.”
However, there were only so many tech startups to explore, so we quickly opened that up to “Company Forensics” to broaden our horizons.
Slidebean’s goal was to get as many eyeballs as possible. Thanks to the mere exposure effect, people would think of Slidebean in the future if they were ever looking for pitch deck software.
Predicting what kind of videos will take off on YouTube is difficult. You could launch a well-produced, expensive, and entertaining video to crickets.
That’s why Caya started his YouTube journey by initially targeting topics his target audience was searching for. Only when he built an audience did he move to other types of content.
Here’s how to find topics people are searching for on YouTube:
Go through the list to find relevant keywords for your YouTube channel.
Then, watch this video to learn how to create videos that will rank on YouTube:
Founded in 2014 by Laura Roeder, MeetEdgar is a social media automation tool.
Number of referring domains: 7,300
Number of backlinks: 40,300
Appearing on podcasts helped MeetEdgar grow into a thriving business. From 2014 to 2017, founder Laura Roeder appeared on an estimated 100 podcasts.
According to Jen Carvey, a former employee, this strategy helped MeetEdgar reach 1.25 million website visitors, 100,000 email subscribers, and $329,000+ monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
There are more than 850,000 active podcasts today. Plenty of them will need guests. So if you can find podcasts with your target audience, you can appear on them. Not only will you generate brand awareness, but you can also get links back to your site.
The easiest way to find podcasts to appear on is to simply search for “best [niche] podcasts”:
Keep in mind that many of them will be popular podcasts that can be challenging to pitch for. So if you’re starting out, try this method:
Once you’ve gathered a list of potential podcasts, find the emails of the hosts and reach out to see if they’re willing to interview you.
Learn more: How to Use Podcasts for Link Building
First Round Capital is a seed-stage venture capital (VC) firm.
Number of referring domains: 9,900
Estimated total visits: 368,900
Estimated organic traffic: 43,500
Newsletter subscribers: 127,000
At the time, most VC firms were either blogging about market trends or opinion pieces from their partners. First Round decided to position itself differently and focused on writing stories about the operator side (i.e., startups).
With a portfolio of startups it had already invested in, First Round was in a unique position to interview and tell never-seen-before stories.
This was perfect for attracting its target audience too. New or potential founders aren’t interested in market trends; they want content that solves real problems—product development, hiring, marketing, and so on.
Camille Ricketts, the ex-editor of First Round Review, started by asking:
“What is the number one thing that all of these early-stage founders want?”
Her answer? To be able to go to coffee with somebody who has done the thing they’re trying to do. That was how The Review was born: a magazine-style blog of “coffee meetups at scale.”
Before you create any content, make sure you know exactly who you’re targeting and what problems they’re facing. If you haven’t created your buyer personas yet, follow this guide on how to do it.
Learn more: Why You Shouldn’t Try to Be the First Round Review: 3 Content Lessons From Camille Ricketts
Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider.
Number of referring domains: 15,900
Estimated organic traffic: 1,600,000
Number of keywords the blog ranks for: 330,000
Like us, Kinsta follows a keyword-driven content strategy. However, what makes its approach unique is what SEO Glen Allsopp calls “error message marketing.”
Here’s the gist of how it works:
This way, Kinsta builds brand awareness among its target audience—developers, webmasters, site owners, etc.—people who basically fix such technical issues regularly.
If there are tools regularly used by people in your niche, determine what problems their users have and target those topics.
For example, let’s say you’re a U.K.-based company that targets boiler engineers. Here’s how to find these topics:
Eyeball the list and find those topics that are relevant to your site.
YouGov is a market research and data analytics firm. It provides a few services, including custom data and research, audience profiling, segmentation, and brand tracking.
Number of referring domains: 29,900
Estimated organic traffic: 497,000
Number of keywords the tools rank for: 175,000
YouGov makes money by providing custom data and research. Therefore, its marketing strategy aims to achieve two main objectives:
YouGov achieves this by publishing content using data on “hot topics.” These articles then get linked to by trusted news organizations like the Guardian, L.A. Times, and The New York Times that are looking for data to support their conclusions:
The key idea is to use data to create interesting articles or answer interesting questions in your niche.
If you’re part of the industry, chances are you already know what those questions are. For example, in the SEO industry, many people wonder about how long it’ll take to rank on Google. However, the answers were always based on conjecture and not data.
So we attempted to study this objectively with data. The result? 4,000 backlinks from 2,200 unique websites.
If you’re out of ideas, you can try to recreate popular but outdated studies. Here’s how to find them:
Once you’re done with the study, you’ll need to reach out and introduce it to people who may be interested. Follow our blogger outreach guide to learn how to do it.
Learn more: Blogger Outreach: How to Do It At Scale (Without Feeling Like a Jerk)
As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing. Depending on your goals, there are a variety of strategies you can use for maximum effectiveness.
If you’re just getting started with content marketing, I recommend reading this comprehensive guide.
Did I miss out on any amazing B2B content marketing examples? Let me know on Twitter.
Source: ahrefs.com, originally published on 2022-12-15 01:04:00