B2B marketers form relationships with clients that take time to nurture, and content marketing gives businesses the power they need to do just that.

In the quest to make your company a content marketing success, you might have left some strategies on the shelf because they seem incongruous with your goals. For example, Pinterest marketing probably isn’t the most effective strategy if you provide financial services for other companies. At first glance, you might think that web content just isn’t what a B2B company needs to attract leads and increase sales. However, that isn’t necessarily the case.

The Content Marketing Institute just released its 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report for B2B marketing, and one of the most important nuggets of information is that 93 percent of B2B marketers are using some kind of content to reach more clients.

So it’s clear that plenty of businesses see the value in producing high-quality content – but how many are actually succeeding? The same report discovered that 55 percent of B2B marketers think that their content marketing efforts aren’t effective.

Why is this? B2B marketing may be different than advertising to individual consumers, but it shouldn’t be any more difficult. It just requires a change in perspective. – and companies will spend 2014 trying. Econsultancy’s Marketing Budget Report 2014 found that 66 percent of B2B digital marketers will be increasing their budgets this year. There are plenty of steps businesses can take to align their marketing efforts with the companies they want to convert into clients.

B2Bs plan to spend more on marketing in 2014, according to a recent study.

Make a gameplan

The Content Marketing Institute found something else that might explain why B2B marketers are frustrated – only 44 percent of them have documented content marketing strategies. B2C marketers don’t just log onto Facebook and start raking in qualified leads, but they might have an easier time identifying where their audience spends time online. In the business-to-business world, locating the right target companies requires just a little market research, or at least an understanding of the industries in question.

Use social media wisely

B2B companies that think social media is all about Facebook and Twitter clearly haven’t spent enough time on LinkedIn. As we’ve discussed recently, LinkedIn is basically the Facebook of B2B interactions. Rather than having to deal with individuals and their social lives, B2B marketers can get down to actual business with targets in decision-making roles in the organizations that would make good partners.

Create appropriate videos

A lot of what’s on YouTube is pure entertainment, so the line between fun and business can be blurred pretty easily when it comes to video marketing. Remember to keep things informative and useful – just like the blog content you’d publish on your website. Qualified leads will be doing their homework on your company, and video is a great way to demonstrate products and share case studies from your own satisfied clients.

Make no mistake: B2B and B2C marketing aren’t entirely different. Still, if you’ve been seeing recommendations about brand content and social marketing that don’t seem to apply to your company, understand that there are plenty of other ways to make your website content work for you. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.