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In the last two years, the world of content marketing has been disrupted more than ever before. The rise of AI tools has allowed companies to produce low-cost, good-enough content at scale, flooding not just the Search results but also platforms such as LinkedIn and our inboxes with AI-generated articles, posts, and emails.

While still highly important, Google is no longer the search engine people turn to. Other search engines are becoming more popular and depending on what it needs, your audience turns to YouTube, Amazon, booking engines, Reddit, and private communities for information, products, and service provider recommendations.

These platforms were long seen as the playing field for B2C businesses, but as B2B brands recognized that they are marketing to people within companies, that notion has become outdated.

The challenges presented here and elaborated on further down in this article require you to create a new type of content strategy for B2B. One that is holistic, reputation-focused, and unique to your specific business.

What Is B2B Content Strategy?

Your B2B content strategy defines which types of content you’ll create, how you’ll create them, and where you’ll distribute them to reach your target audience and achieve your business goals. As such, it forms the foundation for your B2B content marketing efforts.

B2B vs B2C content strategy

The difference between B2B and B2C content strategy is not that the former targets businesses and the latter targets people. While that may seem the case at first glance, decision-makers are always people and so your B2B content strategy needs to keep people in mind as much as a B2C content strategy does.

The difference, however, lies in that B2B buying decisions are oftentimes influenced by multiple people within a single company and that whoever ends up making the actual purchase isn’t necessarily the person who initially discovered your product or service.

That means you need a content strategy that takes into account these different decision influencers.

Say you’re selling a virtual conference platform. The sales path may look like this:

Event Coordinator finds your content while planning the company’s next virtual conference > Event Coordinator shows your platform to the Head of Marketing > the Head of Marketing convinces the CEO to invest in your platform.

The Importance of Having a Content Marketing Strategy for B2B Businesses

Performing content marketing without a strategy behind it is like throwing spaghetti (and tagliatelle, and penne) at the wall and hoping something sticks. It’s like figuring things out on the go without ever taking note of what works.

Instead of performing random acts of marketing, create and follow a content strategy. This enables you to:

  • Make informed decisions on where to spend your content marketing budget, and how.
  • Keep your content at the intersection of your business’s goals and your audience’s needs.
  • Create demand among and generate leads from the right audiences.
  • Establish and improve brand recognition, trust, and authority.
  • Track and measure the metrics that matter, such as MQLs, discovery meetings booked, or free trial signups.

Key Factors in Developing a Content Strategy for B2B

There’s a lot that goes into creating a successful B2B content strategy, and key factors to take into account are the following.

Business goals

What is it that you want to achieve, and how can content play a role in that? The obvious answer might be “To generate more sales” but content can – and probably should – do so much more for your business:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build trust
  • Create demand
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Reduce reliance on paid advertising
  • Increase conversions among existing leads
  • Engage existing customers to reduce churn

You can focus on some or all of these depending on the stage your business is at or on the stages of your funnel that need improvement.

Audience and customer journey

When you know what you want to achieve, the question is how you can align that with what your target audience is looking for depending on where they are in their customer journeys. That last part is crucial.

You won’t create the same type of content for someone who has never heard of you as you will for someone on your email list, who has also interacted with you on LinkedIn and has watched several of your webinars. 

At Flow, for example, we create informational guides and blog content that we distribute via SEO to reach people who’ve never heard of us. With people who know us well, we’ll try to strengthen our relationship by inviting them to an invite-only office hour or to appear on our podcast.

Competitive analysis

Identifying who your competitors are and how they go about content marketing allows you to:

  • Get an idea of what works.
  • Recognize what doesn’t work.
  • Find content gaps.

While it’s harder than analyzing the performance of your competitors’s content efforts, figuring out which type of content they are not creating can be highly valuable.

Imagine that your company creates e-learning experiences for employees and you notice that none of your competitors have content about how to keep employees motivated to implement learned material once a course or teaching moment is over. Not only have you identified a content gap, but you’ve just discovered a potential new offer (something like “Follow-up Learning”).

Types of B2B Content and Distribution Channels

Companies that want to succeed in today’s marketing environment can’t afford to make the black-and-white distinction between publication channels and distribution channels. Whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn, most platforms don’t want you to send users away to your website. Clickbaity titles and sharing links often decrease your organic visibility. It’s therefore crucial to not just think about these platforms as traffic generators and treat them as spaces where you serve different audience hubs.

None of this is new, but the rise of zero-click content has made it more important than ever to create content that comes to its full right on whatever platform it’s published on.

On top of that, marketers have long focused on “attributable leads”: those for which we can pinpoint which channel they’ve come from and through which link. Tracking and measuring content marketing campaigns will always be important, but the reality is that we miss out on some of the best leads if we only focus on those with a clear path to conversion.

Think of all the times your brand may be mentioned on dark social. All the times someone in your target audience asks a peer for a product recommendation or someone recommends a service provider in a private Slack. While impossible to control directly, these channels do influence your bottom line and what is being said in them can be influenced – although indirectly – by the content you put out.

So rather than discussing a list of possible marketing channels (email, LinkedIn, your website, …) and types of content, I urge you to think of where your target audience hangs out, where they are most likely to consume (and not just scroll through) content, and how you can create content that has an impact right there on those platforms.

Flow’s ideal customers are marketing leaders at B2B SaaS startups and professional service providers. Flow founder Viola Eva knew that these people spent a lot of time on LinkedIn and so she asked her audience there where else they hang out. We can see that LinkedIn and online communities are clear winners. More specifically these communities:

  • Exit Five
  • Pavilion
  • Women in Revenue

This poll made it clear that it’s important for Flow to be present in these communities. Similarly, your target audience might spend a lot of time in places that are not the typical big social media platforms.

Content brainstorming

We previously dedicated an entire article on content brainstorming, so here is a quick summary of different ways in which you can come up with content ideas:

  • Create a mindmap of content topics and see how many related topics you can find without moving too far away from your business’s core offer.
  • Maintain a swipe file of cool content you come across to serve as inspiration.
  • Pay attention to customer feedback, reviews, questions, …
  • Take note of the comments your brand gets on social media, in relevant forums, and on Reddit.
  • Try rapid ideation.
  • Perform keyword research.
  • Create a shared document to which everyone on your team can contribute content ideas.
  • Analyze what your competitors are publishing on their blogs, on their social media channels, and in their newsletters – including what they’re ranking for in Search.
  • Investigate which keywords you’re already ranking for that could warrant their own article by doing a content audit.

And for what concerns content format, have a look at these inspiring B2B content marketing examples.


Your budget will highly influence how much content you can create and at what pace you can create it, so it’s essential to take your budget into account when mapping out your content strategy. 

After all, the best strategy is one that can be executed in its entirety. That doesn’t mean you can’t make changes along the way – and you should when something isn’t working. But it does mean that a grand content strategy isn’t worth much if you need to let go of it after just two months because you don’t have the resources to implement it.

Flow’s Viola Eva recommends balancing your budget between short-term activities that can lead to quick wins and long-term activities that allow you to scale your marketing efforts. Examples of the latter include investing in SEO and consistently being active on LinkedIn.

Scheduling and distribution/promotion

So far, you’ve defined:

  • What type of content you’re creating,
  • For whom you’re creating it,
  • Which resources you’ll use to create it,
  • And where you’ll publish it.

Now, it’s time to define when you’ll publish each piece and if/how you’ll promote it beyond the platform it’s published on.

You might decide to send a weekly newsletter through your email marketing platform and to share a little teaser of what will be addressed in that newsletter on the founder’s LinkedIn account the day before it’s sent out to get more people to sign up.

Or you may be publishing blog posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that you then immediately promote with dedicated posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Being consistent with when you put out your content makes it easier to stay on track and gives your audience something to look forward to.

Tracking and measuring

Make a habit of tracking what you publish and where you publish it. Add in any information that can help you decide whether this is the type of content you should create more of. This could be anything from notes on images you’ve used to a different format you’ve tried or a controversial angle you’ve taken.

Measuring your content efforts allows you to see what worked while keeping a list like this makes it easier to analyze why something worked (or why it may have fallen flat).

Document everything

From who your target audience is to exactly how you prepare content to be published on specific platforms – document it all. Without having a documented strategy, it’ll be hard if not impossible to remain consistent and track what works.

Some information, such as your brand and writing guidelines, is better saved and maintained in a guide-style document while other information is better documented in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The latter guides your team members on how to successfully perform a task or series of tasks step-by-step. 

B2B Content Strategy Challenges

We started by highlighting the challenges business-to-business startups face when it comes to successful content creation. Knowing what you’ve learned in this article, here’s how you can confidently navigate these and other challenges:

The rise of AI

With AI content flooding every possible online channel, your content needs to be uniquely and identifiably yours to make an impact. 

No more SEO blog posts that are only a little better than what’s already ranking on the first page of Google.

No more clickbaity social media posts that don’t deliver value.

No more emails that could have been sent by any brand.

Yes, AI is an amazing tool that can help you make your content processes more efficient and generate new ideas, but it’s a tool. The outcome of using it shouldn’t look like an AI result. Instead, wield AI to stand out in a sea of sameness and hone in on what differentiates your brand from your competitors’.

At Flow, we believe sustainable B2B marketing is…

  • Integrated into your overall marketing and go-to-market strategy.
  • Human and focused on uniqueness, expertise and story.
  • Experience-driven and high-quality content in all formats.

Algorithm updates

Google and the popular social media platforms are constantly changing their updates and you never know when the algorithms will stop favoring your content. To mitigate this risk:

  • be active on multiple platforms
  • build and engage your email list
  • focus on creating unique, valuable, and high-quality content rather than trying to game the algorithms

The dispersion of information gathering

Capture B2B buyers and decision influencers by creating native content for the platforms and places where these people perform searches. 

That includes the obvious places such as Google – and Flow can help your company get found on there – and LinkedIn, but it also means being present on industry-specific forums, attending conferences and networking events, and making an extra effort to get people on your email list so you’re able to reach them regardless of algorithm updates and world events that may make in-person networking impossible.

The importance of dark social

What’s being said about you on dark social is out of your control, but your brand reputation is not and creating trustworthy, valuable content is just a small part of how you can influence your brand reputation.

Customer service, delivery, user experience, and product or service quality all contribute to how B2B decision influencers see you. Your content should support and promote an already valuable brand, rather than try to fix bad impressions or try to sell something that isn’t there.

Reaching the right decision influencers

Figure out who the key decision influencers among your target audience are and what type of content to reach them with. Perhaps not all of them are equally important, and perhaps just 20% of them are responsible for 80% of your conversions.

Get to know these people and tailor your content to them.

Evolving product/market fit

Even if you’re not in the super early stage, your startup is constantly evolving and that means that your product or service is evolving with you. 

When Flow client Betterworks launched, they were an OKR software provider. Over time, their product evolved into an all-around employee performance management suite. Because of that, their content topics changed, and their old content needed to be updated to match their current offer.

Don’t Let Your B2B Content Strategy Fall Behind

Good B2B content marketing has always lived on the intersection of your company goals and your audience’s needs and being where your audience is has always been a best practice. 

What has changed is how easy it has become, largely due to AI, to populate that intersection with run-off-the-mill content, as well as the increased importance of making sure your reputation positively reaches your audience in places where you may not be able to influence them directly.

It’s more dangerous than ever to rely on a sole platform – or better: algorithm, and the importances for B2B businesses to focus their content on selling to people within the companies they’re targeting cannot be underestimated.

A successful content strategy for B2B will be one that addresses the various decision influencers within your target audience in a way that is valuable to them, specific to your offer, and tailored to the platform it’s presented on.

Sounds overwhelming? Doing B2B content marketing right is definitely not getting easier, and when you’re in startup phase, you may not have the time to dive into all that’s necessary to make content work for you.

Get in touch!

We can help you by creating a custom content strategy that checks all the boxes.

Learn more


Sofie Couwenbergh
Sofie is an SEO-savvy content strategist, consultant, and writer. She helps brands generate more qualified leads and keep customers engaged with engaging optimized articles like the one you’ve just read.
Flow Blog

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