Is your B2B digital marketing strategy a spray and pray approach? Are you simply deploying social media content and blog content praying that your target consumer is simply going to magically find your content and be moved to take an action? If so, you’re not alone. I talk to so many B2B marketing folks who simply don’t know how to keep prospects and existing customers coming back to their website and / or social media channels. They often give up, frustrated, or they simply don’t have the horsepower to create and promote amazing content on a regular basis. If any of us are to win the digital marketing / content game, creating relevant, rich, engaging and shareable content HAS to be done regularly. It DOES work. It CAN work. Case in point, you’re reading this article right now to learn how to improve your content marketing game.
What is a Content Hub?
A content hub is a destination. It’s a place that feeds your target demographic. It’s a destination that enriches, inspires, educates, motivates, and hopefully aligns your brand as a giver or an expert. It’s a destination that your target demographic will want to visit frequently knowing that they will find a tid-bit or nugget of your content valuable. It’s a destination where your demographic can share your insight easily on their own social media channels and thus expose your brand to hundreds more. It’s NOT always a place to sell, it’s not a place to pitch special offers, it’s NOT a place to showcase your services. It’s a place to position your brand as a thought leader.
Some Fortune 500 Companies Who Are Doing Content Hubs Right.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the American Express Content Hub. They call it the AMEX Open Forums. Knowing who their target audience is, they craft and publish rich content for small business owners, managers, etc., basically the folks that they can sell a credit card to. They have some marketing experts, some finance folks, HR, insurance tips, how to grow your business and more. It’s truly a rich environment where I personally visit frequently to learn and sometimes be inspired.
General Electric dabbles in all sorts of things, from B2B tools, locomotives, medical devices, consumer goods, etc.. They truly have a wide demographic but they wisely chose to build a Content Hub to connect with their B2B prospects and customers. They create and publish a good amount of content surrounding science, oil / energy, technology (computer chips, etc.), 3d Printing and so much more. The GE Reports hub is a prime example for B2B marketers and how they can craft / promote content that elevates them as industry leaders. Visit their hub here: GE Reports
ZURICH Insurance Knowledge Hub
Insurance isn’t always the sexiest topic and it can be a real challenge to pull people into your brand and get them excited about all things insurance. The folks at Zurich Insurance realized this and created a Content Hub that addresses risk concerns, the Internet of Things, technology, storms and so much more. Business owners, HR professionals and other key business decision makers can all benefit from being in the know thanks to Zurich. Check out their content hub here: Zurich Insurance Knowledge Hub.
How can a Content Hub enhance your B2B Digital Marketing footprint?
- Thought Leadership. Your B2B prospects want to buy from experts. They want to associate themselves with industry leaders. Your business becomes an industry leader when you start using a Content Hub to educate and feed your existing customers AND your potential prospects.
- SEO Value. The more rich, un-gated content that is created for your B2B Content Hub the more that Google will keep coming back to digest your content, the more this happens, the stronger your search rankings will be.
- Shareable. If your content is thought provoking, insightful, fun, life-giving, etc., it will be shared on social media channels. The more shares you receive, obviously, the more exposure your brand will have across the Internet.
- Feel Good Factor. When you contribute to the Internet in a positive way, by providing other businesses with pro-tips, sharing your knowledge, etc., your brand gets a certain feel good factor. You’re helping to make the Internet a better place.
- The Machine. Once your content hub is up and running and has a solid library of rich content, you have to keep feeding it. The more you feed it, the more people you will attract. People will link to it, talk about it, share it and be a part of it. Win. Win.
- Push More Site Traffic. While I don’t encourage you to sell on your B2B Content Hub, I do encourage you to occasionally link to content on your actual site to potentially highlight a relevant product or service. This not only helps your prospects find your offerings, it serves to enhance SEO value as well and helps Google crawl those particular pages easier.
- Sales Tools For Your B2B Sales Team. Let’s face it. Sales has changed. Gone are the used car salesman days, here are the educator, the consultative salesman days. Your B2B Content Hub can be a powerful way for your sales team to educate and reinforce your brand position in the marketplace.
- BONUS Benefit: Once you have content populated in your content hub, you’ll have tons of Social media food to drive traffic into your hub.
How do you pull a Content Hub off?
Unless you have a B2B marketing team composed of several writers and creatives, it can be a solid challenge to create a Content Hub internally. Example, B2B Companies hire On Target to not only create the Content Hub on their behalf, but to build the editorial calendar, build the content strategy and actually write / compose the content on their behalf. On Target has hundreds of expert USA based writers, from a variety of B2B industries who execute / write content that reflects your industry positioning. The point here, a Content Hub can be an ambitious undertaking, so be sure to hire a digital marketing / content marketing agency who can not only scale, but have the ability to CREATE the content on your behalf. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.