Content marketing works for B2B businesses. Ninety three percent of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies. Meanwhile, 74 percent of companies indicate content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity. But what about content marketing examples of companies doing it right?
Knowing that something works, and knowing how to do it are two different things. Instead of us telling you how content marketing works for B2B companies, we decided to show you examples of 10 companies achieving excellent results with it.
10 Best Content Marketing Examples
LeadPages designs customizable, mobile-friendly landing page templates and testing services to help businesses increase their reach.
Founder and CEO Clay Collins knew they had to be scrappy to be able to compete against VC-funded giants like Hubspot and Infusionsoft, given LeadPages were a bootstrapped company since inception. Instead of spending $10,000 on customer acquisition as some of their competitors did, Collins developed a growth hypothesis based on the idea that “a content team of four people could outperform an 80+ person sales team at most companies.”
Based on this hypothesis, LeadPages developed the following content marketing assets:
- A popular marketing blog which covers lead generation, A/B testing, and all sort of related topics.
- A set of marketing resources, including seven marketing courses, two eBooks, 10 case studies, and eight infographics, all of which are free.
- ConversionCast, a highly popular marketing podcast run by Tim Paige, a world-class podcaster.
- Weekly webinars on different topics related to online marketing.
Clay Collins’ hypothesis was correct. Thanks to his content marketing strategy, LeadPages ended up with an extremely high lifetime value to customer acquisition cost ratios. This helped them grow on a massive scale, acquiring 35,000 customers in under three years, hitting over $16 million in revenue in 2015, and in 2016 becoming the #148 fastest growing company in America. LeadPages success makes them one of the great content marketing examples.
2. WP Engine
Web hosting is one of the most competitive sectors in the technology industry. There are hundreds of companies trying to reach the same customers, many of whom aren’t that tech-savvy. Not only that, many compete on price, rather than features or quality. Competing on price lowers the margins of the industry as a whole and makes the competition play hard in acquiring each customer.
WP Engine, a managed hosting platform focused only on WordPress, knew they had a big challenge to overcome. Given they exclusively target WordPress users, it made sense for them to focus on content marketing targeting bloggers and other WordPress users.
Following the vision of WP Engine’s CMO, they segmented their content marketing strategy into five buckets:
- Product: Focused on product and content information about their new features, and other related company news.
- Industry: Focused on how marketers and agencies use WordPress to build their digital presence online.
- Business impact: Focused on how people use their online presence to drive growth, including leads and sales.
- Torque: Focused on the WordPress open source community. They don’t brand this kind of content as much so they can create a community feeling around it.
- Support: Focused on solving their customers’ problems through written and video content.
WP Engine’s content marketing strategy has driven significant results. These include acquiring 300,000 sites, applications in 128 countries, and raising five rounds of funding worth over $40 million.
3. STR Software
The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software industry is full of companies like STR Software working to attract large businesses with big budgets and long, complex sales cycles. So instead of investing thousands of dollars to acquire each customer, STR Software decided to to set themselves apart by developing a content marketing strategy.
They put all their content and into a centralized hub they called “BI Publisher University.” They gated each piece of content with a form that captured relevant data for lead nurturing. Then, using Pardot’s email automation system, they created email autoresponders that included further content.
STR Software promoted their “University” extensively throughout their site, including on their homepage, sidebar, and other articles. They also used email marketing to promote it to their audience.
Some of their results made a big impact on their bottom line:
- The campaign had the highest performance of any they developed.
- Increased the quality of their lead generation initiatives.
- Attracted high-quality inbound links, which helped increase their organic traffic.
- Averaged a 10 percent conversion rate on forms, up from 1-2 percent on other forms.
- Saw a 54 percent increase in website traffic, and a 67 percent increase in pageviews—while increasing average time on site.
4. Simply Business
Industries like insurance aren’t famous for being popular and exciting. In many cases, businesses deal with insurance not because they want to, but because the law says they have to. Even if they wanted to, the process tends to be boring and complex.
Simply Business, the UK’s largest insurance broker, aimed to attract leads with content marketing. Since they cater to small business owners, they decided to create content that helped that audience, even if it didn’t have anything to do with insurance. Some of the guides they created include these content marketing examples:
The results were magnificent. Simply Business increased their ranking for their main keywords, including reaching first place in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for “professional indemnity,” “public liability insurance,” and “employer’s liability.” Even though they launched some guides before Google’s Penguin algorithm change, they significantly increased weekly organic traffic, meaning their link building practices were white-hat and high-quality.
Simply Business offers great content marketing examples of thinking laterally and strategically to utilize content for bottom line results.
5. Single Grain
There are thousands of digital marketing agencies in the US, many of which focus on small businesses or Fortune 500 companies. Single Grain however, focuses on tech startups. One of the key ways they attracted companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, and Uber was thanks to their content marketing strategy.
Single Grain’s content marketing strategy can be split into three sections:
- Their blog, which focuses on all sorts of topics around online marketing.
- The wildly popular Marketing School podcast, run by CEO Eric Siu, and marketing legend Neil Patel.
- Their resource section, which features courses, guides, infographics, and webinars.
Some of their articles have gotten thousands of shares and links, attracting both social and organic traffic to their site. Their podcast is one of the most popular in the industry, helping them create a lot of buzz and awareness. Finally, they focus their resources around two goals:
- Convert visitors into subscribers; and
- Start a conversation around their services.
The inbound marketing software industry is flooded with companies, including behemoths like Marketo, Pardot, and Infusionsoft, amongst others. The king of the bunch, however, is HubSpot, whose CEO actually coined the phrase “inbound marketing.” The main reason HubSpot has grown so fast is because of their content marketing strategy.
Their blogs are central to their content strategy: one focused on marketing, the other on sales. The goal of these blogs is to help HubSpot acquire traffic to their funnel. Since HubSpot caters to small businesses, their focus is to teach everything there is to know about inbound marketing, including SEO, blogging, and social media.
That’s the top of the funnel covered. The resources section then, features all sorts of mid to bottom-of-funnel content focused on converting people into leads, including eBooks, webinars, a marketing kit, case studies, and even a quiz. Each of these are excellent content marketing examples.
Content marketing has been one of HubSpot’s main growth drivers. It helped the company go from being funded in 2006 to a $75 million run rate public company worth over a billion dollars in 2016.
Content marketing is one of the most important acquisition channels for any business. Given the high demand for content marketing, Scripted developed a marketplace for companies to find and hire writers for their content marketing efforts.
Scripted competes with other, more popular marketplaces, such as Upwork and Fiverr. So they needed to differentiate themselves from being “just” a marketplace, to being the best place to find writers.
To achieve this, Scripted developed a full-fledged content marketing strategy focused on touching on each of a buyer’s steps along their journey:
- Top of the funnel: In this stage, Scripted uses their blog and podcast to talk about common problems their visitors have.
- Middle of the funnel: In this stage, Scripted focuses on making people sign up to their email list, and creating awareness of their solution through white papers and webinars.
- Bottom of the funnel: In the final stage, Scripted uses case studies to convince subscribers about their services.
As you might surmise from these content marketing examples, their strategy has provided amazing results:
- Forty six percent of visitors were driven by their blog posts and other content marketing methods, outperforming other traffic sources by at least three times.
- Their bounce rate from content was almost three times lower than any other source.
- People that entered their site through one of their content hubs visited 4.06 pages per visit on average, the second-highest of all traffic sources.
The CRM space is one of the largest and most competitive industries in the IT sector. Despite being the world’s largest vendor, Salesforce has had some problems maintaining steady traffic and leads. This was the case for Salesforce UK, which could have been a cautionary tale in content marketing examples. They had to drastically change their content marketing strategy to increase their search and paid traffic sources.
In a short period, Salesforce UK launched a new set of content marketing tactics, including:
Thanks to their renewed content strategy, in a three-month period Salesforce UK got amazing results, including:
- An 80 percent increase in traffic YoY.
- 2500 percent more traffic from social media sites.
- 10,000 eBook downloads.
- 6,500 email newsletter sign-ups.
SAP is one of the world’s largest and most powerful enterprise software vendors, serving over a dozen industries around the world. With this diverse set of customers, running a content marketing strategy that fits each customer’s needs is hard.
Despite this challenge, SAP developed a customized content marketing strategy for 19 customer segments, while still maintaining a consistent look and feel.
SAP tailored the messaging for each industry around a popular topic, such as digital transformation. This enabled them to appeal to each customer’s audience, while demonstrating the benefits of their solutions with examples.
To make content easier to digest for each persona, their campaigns feature content types as diverse as:
- Blogs posts
- LinkedIn status updates
- Posts on the SAP Community Network
- Radio ads
- Virtual events
- In-person events
- Outbound and responder follow-up calls
- Account Based Marketing
- Individual account meetings
The results from SAP’s marketing strategy have been impressive:
- Marketing generated opportunities (MGO) equaled $3,675,000. MGO’s are new opportunities created from marketing leads that have been accepted by sales and converted into opportunities.
- The marketing touched pipeline (MTP) equaled $50,037,709 in this campaign. MTP comprises all open opportunities that have at least one qualifying marketing activity after the opportunity creation date.
Cybersecurity is a key concern of any company that takes their online presence seriously. The key is to detect potential sources of attack before they happen—and to respond rapidly once they do. SecureWorks helps companies achieve this.
One of the keys to SecureWorks’ content marketing success has been developing clear personas for each target customer. This allowed them to create content focused on solving customers’ problems, which includes executives and VPs of security in large corporations.
SecureWorks segmented their content marketing strategy in two ways. First focusing on attracting traffic, then on converting that traffic into leads:
- Their blog answers common questions people have about information security and compliance.
- Their resources feature webinars, white papers, reports, case studies, solution briefs, data sheets, and videos.
SecureWorks thorough content marketing strategy allowed them to streamline their marketing and sales teams, making one out of every two qualified leads that marketing sends to sales becomes an opportunity. They also doubled their conversion rate, thanks to the increased efficacy of their marketing initiatives.
Conclusion: 10 Best Content Marketing Examples
These content marketing examples show how B2B content marketing works in real life and the results you can expect from it. What results have you seen from your content marketing strategy? As good as your strategy is, it could always be better. Download Curata’s eBook: The Future of Search Engine Optimization: 5 Ways to Adapt Your Content for 2017 and make the most of the content you already have!
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content marketer on a crusade to end bad marketing advice. He also helps SaaS business increase their traffic and leads with content. Follow him on Twitter @IvanKreimer