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Business to business marketing requires a special approach, as brands who are in the industry know well. Businesses are savvy customers since they are likely using the same strategies on their own customers that you are trying on them.

By staying aware of the latest trends in B2B marketing, you can learn what strategies are most effective so you can continually adjust your approach to get results in less time.

Here’s what some of the most successful brands are doing with their B2B content marketing in 2017:

Provide Exceptional Value

Many brands worry that they have to save the best for last — that they can’t give away their most valuable content because they won’t have anything left to sell.

But if you want to show companies that you have value to offer, you have to give it to them at every opportunity.

Create tutorials, provide solutions for common problems, show how you do what you do, and recommend great products and resources other than your own. Some companies will use the information you provide to do the work themselves or find another solution, but the majority will hire you because you are proven to be a trustworthy and reputable provider.

So be generous with your content, and make it the best you can! Don’t hold anything back.

Show Off Personality and Emotion

So much B2B copy is objective and overly formal in a bid to appear more professional.

But the effect is that your customers are not able to connect with that copy or your brand. Behind your company customers are individual hiring managers, purchasing agents and other executives who have their own perspectives and emotions. You need to make a connection with them if you want to make the sale.

Start by using a more active voice — preferably the first person. You will immediately create a more intimate connection with prospective customers as they are reading.

Think about how you would explain concepts to a friend, and use a similar approach in your B2B copy. You don’t have to use slang and text speak, but you can be more conversational and have fun.

Make jokes! Share anecdotes! Make an emotional appeal! These are all things you do in your own life when trying to connect with others, and they are the same things that will help you connect with your B2B customers.

Stock Up on Data

More than any other customer, business customers need a lot more than bold assertions to convince them.

They need facts, statistics, and other evidence to show that what you are saying is true.

The best thing you can do is use case studies of your own customers and the success they have achieved as a result of your product or service. Use hard numbers when sharing these case studies. Rather than saying that you helped a customer increase sales and meet their goal, say that you helped a customer increase their year-over-year sales 50 percent.

The more data you can include in your content, the more effective it will be.

Don’t be Afraid to Pay

Social media and blog networking are great ways to promote your content, but you can’t always rely on organic marketing methods to get the reach you want.

For example, Facebook has consistently throttled the reach of brand shares on its news feed, and some brands have reported reach as little as 2 percent. You can’t rely on that to get the results you want.

You may need to pay to promote your content through social media ads, pay-per-click advertising, or sponsored posts. You’ll get a great return if you run the right campaign, so even if you pay a lot, you’ll end up getting a lot in terms of sales and conversions.

Include a budget for this promotion, and create a strategy for which posts you will promote and how.

Be Patient

Content marketing is an effective way to reach customers, but it does not bring results over night.

You will need to be consistent in your content marketing over weeks or months before you may see results. Make sure that you are tracking your metrics to stay on top of your campaign’s performance. Key metrics include page views, overall site traffic, visit duration, email signups, form submissions, and overall sales.

The best way to know if your content marketing campaign is performing is to identify specific goals at the outset so that you know what metrics to track. You can then make tweaks to your campaign as needed if you are not getting the results you want.

B2B marketing may be a bit more challenging than marketing to traditional consumers, but using the right strategies will get you the results you need. Use these strategies and be consistent, and you will soon get the reach and the increased sales and conversions that you want.