Content and SEO are equally as important… But which do you start with? We asked 60+ experts to share the strategy they prioritize—and why.
Content Marketing | Jun 25
Elise Dopson on December 5, 2019 (last modified on June 24, 2020) • 13 minute read
We wanted to find out how it’s been done before. So, we asked 20 experts to share their favorite B2B content marketing campaigns from the last few years–and why each example stands out in their mind.
Take the concepts they discuss, and see whether they work for your industry. It makes a superb starting point for a new B2B content marketing campaign.
*Editor’s note: Do you know how well your content is performing? Don’t waste time rummaging through your Google Analytics account. Instead, grab our Google Analytics Content Analysis dashboard to see your most important KPIs all in one place:
“Many people shun the idea of sending out newsletters thinking it doesn’t work anymore,” says Matthew Gillman of SMB Compass.
“But CB Insights’ newsletters beg to disagree. Their newsletters work, thanks to their captivating headlines and witty content. They send out newsletters that focus on their audience’s goal while remaining relevant and lighthearted.”
Gillman continues: “A typical CB Insights newsletter includes useful insights on venture capital, technology, and upcoming businesses. It’s also mixed with gifs and memes that relate to the topic. Some of their irresistible headlines include:
“See what they did there? You can’t help but wonder: Why does Elon Musk hate them? How terrible is his graph?”
G2‘s Derek Doeing thinks “Ceros’s marketing guides are a perfect example of good B2B content marketing.”
“They prove the value of interactive and experiential content through their own platform, explaining not just the why of interactive content, but the how as well.”
“What’s so great about this campaign is that they took personalization and omnichannel marketing to a whole new level, Insane Growth‘s Jonathan Chan explains.
“The use of direct mail and PPC ads were so well integrated together that it’s no surprise that they were able to improve their conversion rate to a whopping 41%!”
“What I like most about this campaign though is how it leveraged automation through every stage of the sales process. Giving their sales team more time to focus on what they do best, and not have to worry about constantly following up with prospects at the right time,” Chan adds.
When it comes to B2B content marketing, Motioncue‘s Osama Khabab thinks the secret lies in “providing value, value, and value. That’s what I have seen with HubSpot.”
“If you search for anything related to content marketing, you’ll see a blog written by HubSpot. If you want to learn a new skill, in comes the HubSpot Academy. If you want a template for your content strategy or your SEO strategy, you’ll see HubSpot.”
Khabab continues: “If there is someone in this field, it is impossible that he doesn’t know about HubSpot and that is the most impressing content strategy I have ever seen.”
Khushboo Singh of Divine Yoga Shop adds: “I have come across some of the most remarkable B2B content websites but HubSpot curates not only different pieces of highly helpful content but also a variety of content formats like blog posts, webcasts, infographics, and whitepapers.”
“I really loved the comic book that introduced the Google Chrome browser,” writes Anu Ramani of Isoline Communications.
“An inspired piece of content that explains what’s behind the Google Chrome browser to convert early adopters from the Microsoft Explorer stranglehold that was prevalent at the time.”
“I was never sold so quickly, until I came across [Squarespace], a SaaS business for anyone looking to create an online presence,” says Farasat Khan of IsItWP.
“The design, animation, and content is so pleasing and uplifting. This website is a great example of Purple Cow, a phenomenon by Seth Godin, which showcases the different–but in a useful way. Squarespace has made the process of website building look so easy and hence a remarkable effort.”
According to Wyatt International‘s Oliver Forrester, one of the best B2B content marketing examples is “global engineering group, IMI Precision’s ‘Most Marvellous Machines’ campaign.”
“The FTSE company wanted to overhaul its business and brand strategy as part of a huge business improvement program.”
“They created two new divisions – IMI Precision Engineering and IMI Critical Engineering, and commissioned Wyatt International to help communicate these changes to its customers and workforce. IMI wanted to be positioned as a powerhouse in fluid and motion control and to use this as a platform for an exciting relaunch of the company and its new products at Hannover Messe.”
Forrester explains that the campaign included:
“The campaign was first launched internally at a conference to the top 75 managers within IMI Precision Engineering’s global team. The campaign saw engagement of 8000+ employees in over 100 locations and 75 countries,” Forrester adds.
Bannersnack’s Robert Katai “really loves the way Wistia is doing B2B content marketing.”
“For example, their last project – Brandwagon it’s exactly what you need to check out as a b2b content marketing example. Everything from their landing page to production and also to how they promote their next guests.”
Referral Rock‘s Jessica Huhn adds: “These engaging episodic videos, approximately half an hour each, provide brand marketing insights from other successful marketers (the latest video at the time of writing featured an interview with Justine Jordan, Help Scout’s Head of Marketing).”
“Brandwagon shows that B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring or stuffy. Wistia’s production proves B2Bs can have plenty of fun while still maintaining professionalism, an approach that stands out in the crowded sea of podcasts and educational videos.”
“Since Wistia is a video marketing software for businesses, the Brandwagon videos also serve as in-depth examples of what brands can do with Wistia,” Huhn continues.
“They generate brand awareness and affinity without being intrusive, both through authority-building and humor. (One example: the segment that turned information about Wistia into an infomercial for a fake “Songs About Wistia” CD. The brand previously used this as an alternative to their “About Us” page, and it became one of their most talked-about videos—proving again that innovation goes a long way, and providing a model for a strategy you can use in your own business.)
Huhn concludes: “Brandwagon masterfully brings in new eyes who might not have heard of Wistia, but want innovative marketing insights that are easy to digest.”
Anna Kaine of ESM Inbound voted for this example because “this guide was a hugely helpful, crowd-sourced piece which targeted strategic leads within arts and culture organizations brilliantly.”
“By using extensive research and interviews, the voices of real young people were used throughout the resource to act as an authority on the topic of youth engagement in the arts. This is information many people in the sector don’t have regular or consolidated information on, so presenting it all in one place, effectively doing the hard work for the audience, was very desirable.”
Kaine adds: “It was also a gated resource, which added weight to the value of the content; the user understood that the resource behind the form was going to be worthwhile, and help them plan accordingly.”
The pillar page on ReTrans Freight’s website is SyncShow‘s Jasz Joseph favorite B2B content marketing example because “it is a really long page so anchor links are used at the top to allow people to quickly get to the content they want to see.”
“There are various types of content linked from this page including blogs, offers, and videos. This allows people to consume content in whatever way serves them best.”
Joseph summarizes: “The content on this page also takes a relatively complex product/solution and makes it easy to understand.”
“The best pieces of B2B content marketing provide tangible value to your stakeholders via insights or discoveries that only your organization can provide,” says Womply’s Dallin Hatch.
“My favorite example of this is Womply’s recent report breaking down the financial impact of online reviews on small businesses.”
“To understand the correlation between reviews and revenue, Womply’s data science team conducted an in-depth analysis of transactions and online review data for more than 210,000 U.S. small businesses in every state and across dozens of industries, including restaurants, salons, auto shops, medical and dental offices, retailers, and more.”
Hatch continues: “This report provides hundreds of actionable insights for Womply’s target audiences.”
‘For example, did you know that businesses with a 5-star rating earn less yearly revenue than businesses with a 1 to a 1.5-star rating? Or that businesses that have at least 9 “fresh” reviews (reviews posted in the last 90 days) earn 52% more yearly revenue than the average business and 72% more yearly revenue than businesses that don’t have any fresh reviews?”
“As proof of the value of the content, more than 107 articles have been written covering the findings of the study so far, producing 59 total backlinks to the content,” Hatch summarizes.
*Editor’s note: Do you know whether your content marketing is resulting in links or social shares? Find out with our Link Analysis dashboard. You’ll be able to view your traffic breakdown and spot which channels generate the most traffic:
“This is just one of the examples but in general Zapier’s content marketing is incredible,” Dominika Samborska of Radial Path says.
“They use names and links of the well know brands they partner with to increase their SEO. This is an incredible approach on how to piggyback on someone else’s brand to boost your own brand awareness.”
“They do it in a very clever way, which instead of lowering their ranks, Google increases it – a lot of effort to dedicate a page per partner, but totally worth it,” Samborska adds.
“Ahrefs’s Blogging For Business course is such a fantastic and unique piece of content marketing,” writes Corey Haines of Hey Marketers.
“When they announced it, they got tons and tons of marketers to join the waitlist and share on social media. At the time, it really taught me a lot of what I know about SEO and content marketing.”
“It’s a really quality production that goes above and beyond most video courses. But not only did it teach me a lot, it subtly taught me how to use Ahrefs and got me to switch from Moz after all I learned.”
It’s not just online courses that Ahrefs are succeeding with, though. Brooklin Nash says: “The most engaging piece of B2B content I’ve seen is a detailed account from Ahrefs on how the SEO company got into the world of podcast advertising.”
“It’s specific, it’s actionable, it’s transparent — all of the things we all love in great B2B content and miss in poor B2B content.”
WeBizz‘s Isabella Federico thinks: “One of the most inspiring B2B content strategy examples comes directly from Google’s “Age of the Cloud Worker.”
“In this simple and clean microsite, Google explains cloud and enterprise applications using the image of the cloud worker, described as the future of work and cooperation.”
This way, entrepreneurs can understand cloud and its advantages in an easy, straightforward and practical way: the microsite contains webinars, stats, white papers and news which show what the future of work should like and offer companies an effective strategy to prepare for it.
According to Hosting Canada‘s Gary Stevens, “Cisco is the best company in terms of utilizing content marketing [because] their content marketing isn’t flashy or funny but it’s downright effective.”
“The way they do it is by profiling their customers and showing the success they have using Cisco’s services. Utilizing customer success stories isn’t a new concept but Cisco is by far the best at it.”
“It could be the nature of their products and services or it could be their lofty clients but I’ve never seen customer success stories showcase how impactful a B2B service could be as well as Cisco does it,” Stevens continues.
“If any CEO was perusing the various stories on their website, they would be pulled towards hiring Cisco over any competitor.”
“Drift has been crushing it with content marketing since inception,” says Sculpt‘s Josh Krakauer.
“Chatbots have been around for years, but largely as a customer success tool. To differentiate, they took a chapter out of HubSpot’s playbook and built a community around a new category—conversational marketing—enabling them to grow and own the search terms around the topic.”
Krakauer explains: “Their B2B content marketing is inspiring because they exclusively use original team and customer photography for their visual collateral, and maintain a slick, cohesive brand style on all assets. Their weekly content spans from well-produced podcasts to snackable social posts and everything in-between.”
“With a mission to empower teams through conversational marketing and selling, their dedicated education platform—Drift Insider—takes content to new heights.”
“Inside, they’ve consolidated all of the training videos, keynotes from their annual conferences, expert interview recordings, and growth marketing webinars into one destination,” Krakauer summarizes.
“The most inspiring B2B content marketing example I’ve ever seen comes from Brightedge,” says Tony Mastri of MARION Integrated Marketing.
“Their 2019 Channel Report breaks down digital marketing channel performance by traffic and revenue generation dimensions. Tying revenue data to B2B traffic channels is incredibly complex, and they’ve managed to report on it for several years now.”
“Why is this inspiring? They’ve created a positive feedback loop that perpetuates their success. This information is highly valuable to every single potential customer in the market they’re targeting.”
Mastri explains: “Even if you’re not interested in using their product, you’re probably linking to their site to reference their research in your own content marketing. This helps them reach their target audience through referrals from your site and traffic from organic search.”
We’ve listed 18 of our experts’ favorite B2B content marketing campaigns. But we want to know which stand out in your mind.
Are there any stand-out campaigns we’ve missed?
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