This week on the blog, we’re sharing an excerpt from chapter 5 of 19, from the Balance Internet whitepaper ‘Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce — Driving success and growth in 2021 and beyond’ Second Edition.’

Chapter 5 is all about the importance of website content for B2B eCommerce.

Over the years, and following the successful implementation of hundreds of digital ecosystems for leading Australian brands and organisations, we recognise the importance of quality content for helping the platform take off.

Our team are firm believers that content should unify the various specialised writing capabilities within individual business groups, from professional and technical communications to marketing and promotional communications. Whilst always thinking about the customer and how the content will benefit them.

Despite the need for creating content, it continues to be a challenge for many B2B organisations and their teams. Whether it’s time for production, recruiting for the skills, or simply having the right resources across each department, content can sometimes feel impossible to create.

In this post, we take a look at why website and channel content matter and the different kinds of content to create for your eCommerce platform and community. Hint: it’s way more than just blogs and images for your website. Let’s jump in…


Content in 2021 and beyond

Digital B2B content gives your brand an entire team of passionate brand ambassadors, all working tirelessly to build relationships, explain key features, and set you apart from the competition. The difference is that this team now comes in the form of social media messages, blogs, whitepapers, product specification downloadable sheets, videos, virtual trade shows, webinars, and user-generated content. Content is your most passionate salesperson.

Content marketing remains a challenge for many eCommerce marketing departments. Whether it’s time, skill, or resource, great content can sometimes feel impossible to create.

Content spreads brand awareness and generates leads at scale, each channel fulfilling different goals.

Social media boosts brand awareness and builds those nascent relationships with potential customers, years before they buy. More than half a billion professionals worldwide gather on LinkedIn to stay connected and informed. With a whopping 94% of B2B Marketers using LinkedIn to distribute content.

Targeted marketing emails nurture relationships for months, keeping you front of mind and enhancing your brand reputation as a trusted voice. Blogs, articles and whitepapers establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Product sheets, walk-through guides and sales decks give your potential customers the information they need before buying to make informed decisions. And that’s the tip of the iceberg! User-generated content, infographics, webinars, the slides you present at conferences, the LinkedIn posts your leaders make… the breadth of B2B content is only limited by your imagination.

In the B2B world, the purchasing process can be long and detailed, involving many decision-makers. Unlike a B2C company selling one pair of shoes to one person, your B2B company might need signoff from the product team, the marketing team, finance, operations, and the C-level. Do you have content aimed at each level that answers their questions and builds trust in your product? Sound like overkill? Well, if you don’t have the answers to these questions, your competitor might; and who is the customer going to trust after that?

As well as being educational, informative or entertaining for human readers, your content needs to include relevant keywords, optimised metadata, and correct tagging for Google to find it. Content creation and optimisation takes time and resources, and can sometimes be a slow burn before you see the proof of an increase in leads. But it’s worth the investment so that you stay relevant, rank in Google listings, and be the brand your customer’s trust.

The dotdigital ‘Hitting The Mark Global Ecommerce Benchmark Report 2020’ found that 66% of brands weren’t delivering the kind of content that helps establish a relationship with readers. While this has declined by 24% from the previous year’s report, there’s still a long way for brands to go if they want to build long-lasting customer relationships.

Your content defines the pages and elements that customers see when they access your store. You can define basic elements for your pages, such as text and images, as well as more advanced elements that provide interactive and dynamic content to enhance the shopping experience.

DID YOU KNOW? Most business-to-business marketers today use content marketing successfully to achieve top-of the-funnel goals, such as brand awareness and audience education. There’s been a notable increase in the proportion of us who are successfully using content assets to nurture subscribers, audiences, and leads – 68 percent today vs. 58 percent one year ago.

Key B2B customer-centric platform features
  • Create pages with text, images, videos and dynamic blocks of content that can be incorporated into your store navigation and linked to other page
  • Use advanced content tools to create content-rich pages to enhance visual storytelling and drive customer engagement.
  • Change themes for a seasonal sale or promotion from the admin.
  • Create, preview and schedule a wide range of content directly from the admin.
  • Share customer group or company-specific content and offers.
  • Share company-branded materials for specific and relevant audiences.

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Something to consider:

What is B2B Content?

Data

  • Product data and information
  • SKU and product IDs
  • Metadata and descriptions
  • Raw data

Physical

  • Workshops
  • Online-classes
  • In person-training
  • Short courses and webinars

Interest

  • Blog articles
  • Onsite articles / landing pages
  • Offsite article contributions
  • Webinars
  • How-to articles
  • How-to videos

EDM

  • ENewsletters
  • Member join (post sign up, post-goal completion)
  • Post-purchase communications (write a review, returns process)
  • Transactional emails (order confirmation, shipping)

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Key chapter takeaways

  1. Content marketing remains a challenge for many eCommerce marketing departments. What are the current challenges you face, and how might you seek to overcome them?

  2. Targeted marketing can keep you front of mind and enhance brand reputation. What are three ways in which you can improve the personalisation of marketing to customer groups?

  3. Does your organisation actively produce content across various content categories? How can you broaden your content production and distribution in 2021?

In Conclusion

This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 5 of 19, from the Balance Internet whitepaper ‘Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce — Driving success and growth in 2021 and beyond’ Second Edition.

Read the full chapter, along with expert insights and predictions from 40+ industry experts, by downloading a free copy of the whitepaper below.

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