B2B content: What should you focus on in 2022?

Multimedia, social media, events – there are many different channels for content marketing, but there are only a finite number of hours in the working day.

So making sure your content creation efforts are effective and get seen and digested by your target audience is paramount.

Mobile phone screen with social media app icons: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
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In the third, It’s a B2B comms thing LinkedIn Live*, Ayo Abbas, Emma Drake and I talked about what content to focus on in 2022.

Ayo and Emma are fellow comms professionals working in the built environment sector, and these are some highlights from our discussion. If you are interested in the full chat, the video is towards the bottom of the post.

How do you know what content channels are the right ones for you in 2022?

Ayo: It’s got to boil down to where is your audience? Where do they hang out? If they’re on Instagram, that’s where you should go. If they’re on LinkedIn, that’s where you go.

You choose the content channels that work for you and work for your audience.

The big focus for my business and what I’m saying to my clients is email. As social channels like LinkedIn and Instagram try and monetize and therefore reduce organic reach, driving traffic and potential audience to comms channels that you own and have more control over has to be something to factor in.

Especially when you look at the fact that Facebook was down not too long ago.

Me: I would add to that: be on the appropriate platform and use the appropriate content for the story that you want to tell.

Different stories might require different mediums. Ayo, I know you use Instagram, and a lot of architects use Instagram. It’s a very visual platform, so it works.

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How do businesses talk about going green?

There is increasing pressure on businesses to set out their strategy for going green. Aside from having a moral imperative to mitigate climate impact, businesses face increasing scrutiny from investors, clients and customers.

Crowd of people and a woman is holding a cardboard sign which says Planet over Profit.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

This is coupled with increased scrutiny from the government, which is introducing a number of measures to stop greenwashing – inflating green credentials.

For the second episode of It’s A B2B Comms Thing, I joined comms specialists Ayo Abbas and Emma Drake for a LinkedIn Live to discuss how businesses talk about going green.

If you are interested in the full discussion, including all the questions from the audience, you can find it here on LinkedIn but what follows are some highlights.

Why do businesses need to communicate their sustainability strategy?

Emma Drake: First, if you’re doing something amazing, then you want to tell everybody about it. As consumers and buyers, we’re increasingly looking for connections to sustainable products and services.

I had a guest on my podcast last week who works with startup companies finding investment for them. She said there’s an increasing number of investors looking to invest in sustainble businesses.

The flip side is consumers and buyers are wary, so it’s important that we communicate all the details and facts of what we’re doing clearly.

Ayo Abbas: The government is forcing peoples hands; every company by 2023 will have to have detailed public plans about how they are going to reach net zero.

Sustainability strategy and sustainability overall, if it’s done well, will be a differentiator; if it’s done badly, it will damage your business.

Me: People are much more savvy about greenwashing, and there’s a lot of scepticism about what businesses are doing or not doing. So it’s increasingly important to talk about what you are doing and your strategy.

Where does open and transparent communications leave us as communicators?

Emma: Greenwashing, whether that’s intentional or unintentional, can lead to a lack of trust from a consumer and a supply chain point of view. It’s a reputation issue that will affect the bottom line eventually.

It’s not just about best practices and communications; it’s about making sure that what we’re selling and what we’re telling people we’re selling are aligned in the simplest terms.

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Should I start a podcast as part of a B2B content strategy?

Podcasting offers a different content medium to blogs, articles and videos but is starting a podcast right for your B2B business? What are the pros and cons of podcasting for business?

Centre of image is sturdy looking microphone used for podcasting. In the background is an open lap top and on the screen you can see the sound waves of what is being recorded. In the foreground you can see the arms of two people who are in conversation.
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

I recently chatted to fellow communications experts Ayo Abbas of Abbas Marketing and Emma Drake of Henbe Communications on a LinkedIn Live about podcasting as a form of B2B content.

Both Ayo and Emma launched their own podcasts just over a year ago and have a lot to say about why you should – and shouldn’t – use audio content.

I’m in the process of starting my own business podcast but I also help clients with their podcasts.

Here’s some of the key points from the discussion and if you want to watch the full chat which includes additional podcast-related questions from the audience, you can find the video here.

I’ll also put links to Ayo and Emma’s podcasts at the end so you can check them out.

Why shouldn’t you start a podcast?

Emma: In Apple podcasts, the number of live podcasts, compared to the number of podcasts registered is dropping which means that lots of people started [a podcast] and then trailed off.

I think it’s when they realised it’s a lot of work. It’s like any marketing channel, technique or approach, you’ve got to be really committed if you want to start a podcast.

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60-seconds on…How to encourage B2B content engagement

Some ideas for encouraging B2B content engagement

Engagement on your B2B content – likes, comments, shares – means the algorithms will give it more visibility.

Why? Because B2B content engagement is an indicator, it’s of interest or value (or entertaining) and therefore worth showing to some more people.

And that goes for social media posts and stuff on your website.

So how can you encourage engagement?

Here is 60-seconds worth of ideas covering ease of engagement, responding to engagement and CTAs (call to action).

How do you encourage engagement on your B2B content?

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3 ways to turn a conversation into B2B content

If you write B2B content for your business, there’s a strong chance you’ll have to create blog posts and articles based on conversations you’ve had with colleagues/clients.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

There are different ways to approach it depending on how you want to use the conversation and get the information across. For example, how much of the ‘interviewees’ voice do you want in your piece of B2B content?

Here are three different styles of write up to consider with pros and cons:

1. Simple Q&A

This can be the easiest way of getting across someone’s thoughts and ideas on a topic.

Writing up can be easy, too, particularly if you carefully plan your questions.

If you can, order your questions so that there is logical flow to them.

This means, when you come to write up your Q&A, you’ve already got a structure, so it’s just a case of trimming and editing the answers into coherent (and concise) written English.

If it’s been a more organic conversation, it can make it more tricky to pin down specific questions and answers. And you’ll have to work out a logical structure.

Q&A style interviews, because of their structure, means it’s harder to give context and background or set the scene (planning your questions can help).

But while you can rewrite your question to introduce a particular point, you don’t want them to be long and rambling.

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