What Makes B2B Content a Success?

What Makes B2B Content a Success?

JK Sparks 8 min

What makes B2B content successful?

B2B content should be valuable enough for brands to share, accessible enough for others to find it, and optimized for social media and search engines to keep friction as low as possible.

Your B2B content should be rich, valuable, relevant, and easy to share. After that, there’s just one challenge: getting eyeballs on it.

B2B content marketing is a great way to attract those eyeballs. But only 29% of businesses report being successful with it. If a B2B web content strategy is so effective, why is it so difficult to pull off?

Because today’s approach requires a different approach than it did 10 years ago. The digital world is saturated. That’s why it’s not enough to create quality content alone, ala the HubSpot model. You also need a clear strategy to develop content someone will want to relate to, turning them into evangelists who will share it with their audience.

Your mission is clear: Create content that contains real expertise, is truly helpful and insightful for your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), and ties back to the value your product provides.

What Makes B2B Content Marketing Successful in 2023?

Look at your timeline for B2B content on LinkedIn or Twitter. You’ll likely see all types of content. Whitepapers. Webinars. Guides to B2B buyers. Customer journey maps. Video content. Infographics. Chances are, you’ll see it all because of one reason: someone in your circle found it interesting and useful.

But “interesting” is vague. You’re going to need more specific content ideas than that. What is it about effective content that makes it so compelling? Shareable content tends to have the following:

Solutions to common problems. People don’t share what’s generally useful. They share what was useful to them. If your B2B target market is inbound marketing agencies, a free eBook on “How to Acquire Outbound Leads” might be helpful, but it’s not relevant enough to share.
Shareability. Can someone read your tips with a few clicks? Can they share your link with a button? You can’t expect your audience to figure out the value of your content on Page 47 or after two payment gateways.
Novelty. “Be yourself” can be great advice. But it’s not helpful when someone has heard that truism before. And it doesn’t apply when discussing an entire marketing team with different thoughts and opinions. Look for a new angle or idea your audience hasn’t heard.
Challenging. If your content goes against the grain, it’ll get attention. The digital world is full of people repeating the same old advice to each other—but if you can challenge the status quo in a way that makes people say “eureka,” you’ll become memorable.

Whatever your particular niche in digital marketing—email marketing, SMS marketing campaigns, etc.—content promotion isn’t effective without these principles at the core.

What Can B2B Businesses Learn from B2C Marketers?

B2C content marketers build and develop their audience through exclusive content, merchandise, and a sense of belonging. Dollar Shave Club, for example, doesn’t just send its members razors. It sends them a newsletter with original content. Members aren’t just buying razors, after all. They’re part of a club.

What makes B2B content successful is treating your company like a media company, even if you aren’t. In times past, you had to “rent” media distribution from big companies, like buying ads from a magazine. Now, digital distribution has made it so every company can provide their own distribution—if they can attract attention.

And B2C marketers have been hard at this audience development work for years. They might not target business decision-makers like you are, but they are trying to get buyers to make decisions.

B2C companies often use social media like Twitter and TikTok to achieve their business goals. But it’s usually with the goal of bringing people into their circle: joining a razor club, for example, or driving subscribers to a monthly meal box. Most B2B companies dismiss this strategy because they don’t feel they have enough value to share with people who aren’t paying clients.

That’s where high-quality content marketing comes in.

Examples of Successful B2B Content

You don’t need to be a scholar at the Content Marketing Institute to know certain principles should guide your strategy. Learn your target audience and their pain points, promote brand awareness, and stay consistent with new content creation.

But what does it look like in practice? Here’s an example of great content and thought leadership that’s helped other brands—across a variety of content formats:

Chaos Monkey Guide for Engineers

Gremlin’s Chaos Monkey Guide for Engineers offers tips and tutorials for chaos engineering—learning how to prepare for disasters and outages before they happen. The guide is 100% free. What you’ll really notice is the shareability: there’s one purple “Download PDF” button. Even easier, they can scroll through the entire Table of Contents online.

No gating. No friction. Just a useful, practical piece of practical content. The kind of content engineers would want to share with each other when talking chaos. It works for B2B marketing because content this valuable, this relevant, and this shareable positions them as a source of authority. Without useful audience relevance, it wouldn’t serve its primary goal: inbound lead generation.

Asana’s Anatomy of Work

The Anatomy of Work from Asana also checks those boxes. But notice the form fill here—there’s a free gateway in place. This brings interested B2B partners within Asana’s newsletter sphere of influence, pumping up their ability to distribute future content.

Asana is embracing the mantra that every company is becoming a media company. Once a business fills out the form for the download, they’re connected to Asana directly. No media intermediaries. No advertisements. No Google or Facebook pixel trackers. Just Asana, an email list, and its audience.

Docsend’s Guide to Pitch Decks

Consider it a case study in audience relevance. Docsend could talk about cloud computing and document management if they wanted to. The two niches overlap with what Docsend does. Instead, they created a guide to creating pitch decks. Call it a pitch deck about pitch decks. Plenty of businesses need to know how to assemble these, after all. So when they found Docsend’s guide useful, they’d share the content, post it to social media, and amplify Docsend’s messaging.

To redirect attention back to the company, one simple button at the bottom of the Pitch Deck linked potential customers back to Docsend.

Unusual Ventures “Field Guide”

Unusual Ventures is a capital investment firm primarily focusing on companies at the seed stage. Again, the name of the game is audience relevance. Rather than focus on demographics like other investors, they created a “Field Guide” for companies looking for seed funding. Still relevant to their brand? Absolutely. More relevant for a larger potential audience? Yep.

Chili Piper’s “Measuring Brand”

Chili Piper built a newsletter list of 20,000+ marketers. How did they attract those marketers? They didn’t say “subscribe for news and updates.” They got to work producing actionable, relevant content.

Their Measuring Brand post is a prime example of this content. Easy to download? Check—it’s just a blog post. Easy to share? Ditto. The content is easy to scan, relevant to their audience, and includes visuals or KPIs to back up what they’re saying. Anyone interested in branding might have occasion to share this online. And that’s what drives attention to your content marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2C or B2B. The same principles will hold up.

Measuring Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve absorbed these lessons, you need a way to track your progress. The key here is attribution. You need to know which content drove people to your web presence so you can double down on what’s driving your content marketing success. Was it your email newsletters? Does Google Analytics report a high-performing blog post? Was it a one-off piece of content like an infographic? You don’t know what’s truly audience-relevant until your audience tells you. And the way they tell you is through engagement.’

Some account-based analytics can offer inaccurate and spotty data that devalues the role of content in attracting this attention. But when AudiencePlus’s platform is ready, it will help you figure out which content created the most engagement. Once you know that, you have a B2B web content strategy roadmap in place. All you have to do is start moving. To unfold your B2B web content roadmap, subscribe to AudiencePlus today - and get notified when the product is ready for you.


JK Sparks | About the Author

Head of Marketing, AudiencePlus

JK is allergic to the words “guru, ninja, and hack” when used to describe anything marketing related. Instead of chasing the latest “growth hack,” he’s focused on building sustainable and predictable levers that fuel long term success. By implementing this approach over the last decade, JK has helped organizations in both bootstrapped and well-funded environments scale from <$100K to more than $100M in revenue. You can follow him here.

JK Sparks 8 min

What Makes B2B Content a Success?

Making your B2B content standout success in 2023 requires a different approach than it did 10 years ago. Here's what it takes.

You Might Also Like


This is a test comment.


This is a longer test comment to see how this looks if the person decides to ramble a bit. So they're rambling and rambling and then they even lorem ipsum.