Content marketing is becoming more important to B2B businesses. Who is succeeding and why?
- 70% of content marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago (source: Content Marketing Institute)
- 35% say they have a documented content strategy (source: Content Marketing Institute)
- 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI (source: Ad Age)
Here are 15 B2B case studies. They show how content marketing drives ROI with B2B businesses who:
- Know their audience
- Don’t create content for the sake of creating content
- Use specific content solutions to impact different stages of the buying cycle
- Integrate internally with their teams
Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch.
Has long been engaged in social media activity, often running campaigns alongside its ongoing engagement strategy. To demonstrate the extent to which this has impacted the company, it launched a new router using only social channels and saved an estimated $100,000.
3. CROWE HORWATH:
The public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas. This campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle. Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. 778 contacts were engaged with a 70% open rate (vs. 10%), 2 engagements worth $250k in revenue.
A B2B marketing cloud helped B2B marketers make the right content technology investment by using a white paper, infographic, webinar, Slideshare, and a live presentation to spotlight tools that can maximize the power of content. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare, and $1 million in new business.
5. FISHER TANK:
Makes giant, above-ground welded steel tanks. With clients in the fuel industries, waste water, pulp & paper, and other industrial and municipal areas, projects tend to be big (multi-million dollar) and take a long time to sell (12 months and longer). For more than 60 years, the company has made its sales primarily through cold calling and referrals from existing clients. So it took some moxie to launch a content marketing strategy online. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download. The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500%, and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million.
Developed a social sales program for their inside sales team. They identified their target audience and monitored social media platforms for relevant topics and conversation. The company trained their sales team to nurture online relationships and drive prospects to team members’ websites. As a result of this focus on social sales and personnel training, IBM saw a 400% in sales.
Had to be converted to social selling. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. Ralf VonSosen, the company’s head of marketing for sales solutions notes, “we started seeing a 50% increase in leads to meeting conversion rates.”
A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsites and ebooks. Logicall developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospect’s interaction with the campaign. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed.
Danish shipping company Maersk first began using social back in 2011 to raise brand awareness, gain insight into the market, increase employee satisfaction, and get closer to its customers. It focuses on the stories that emerge from within the business, such as how it is helping fuel a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados and where its staff comes from. Its presence on each network is tailored to that platform, so for example on LinkedIn, it promotes job vacancies and publishes articles about the work culture within the business, while on Instagram it encourages followers to post photos of their ships using the hashtag #Maersk. Maersk now has more than 1.5m Facebook fans (of which around 15% are customers) and 12,000 Twitter followers, as well as active accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Google+.
A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. The campaign also included a two phase nurturing program. 1,700 new contacts were identified along with 31 new opportunities worth $1.8 million.
A health services business, they created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales, and build thought leadership. The content marketing mix included advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail, and a campaign website. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers, and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $1m invested.
12. RS COMPONENTS:
The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering. One of the centerpieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times, and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period.
The global strategy was aimed at enabling cross-cultural information to be efficiently shared around the company. One year after implementing this strategy, SAP Latin America had more than 100,000 fans and followers (an increase of 900%), and achieved a 17% interaction rate across the region, while a campaign featuring a social app targeting specific buying centers drove more than 12,000 visitors and a 15% engagement rate. SAP has four Facebook pages, four Twitter feeds, and two LinkedIn accounts. These profiles are split by language (e.g. Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country, and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs. 80% of interesting, engaging content for its community.
It’s difficult to imagine the maritime industry getting to grips with social media, but Shipserv, one of the leading industry marketplaces, proves that in can be done very successfully. As part of a wider marketing and customer engagement strategy, various social approaches were taken, resulting in greater site traffic alongside increased brand awareness and lead opportunities. From an initial $30,000 social media marketing investment, it’s estimated the overall results achieved would have cost more than $150,000 through traditional media.
Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, added 20,000 new contacts, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.
This article was written by Rob Petersen from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.