By Megan Thudium, founder of MTC | The Content Agency
Did you know that 40% of marketers say that content marketing is very important to their overall marketing strategy? With small audiences, reaching your niche B2B audience can be daunting and downright difficult without the right approach. To be successful, you will need to understand the obstacles of reaching your niche audience before you can grasp the solutions. Then craft a strategy to go the distance. In this article, we discuss what these obstacles are, how to find a B2B niche audience, and how to implement the solutions to connect with them.
Common challenges in reaching a niche B2B audience
As a B2B business, you know how much effort and time it takes to get your content to the niche audience you’re writing for. Did you know that about one-fifth of content marketers feel that their content is achieving their goals well? With complex or highly specialized products, a niche B2B company has even more trouble reaching an audience. In this section, we’ll point out the different challenges that you may face so that you can understand how those challenges can impact your marketing.
Getting your content in front of your audience
This may seem the most basic and natural objective of a B2B business but when writing for a niche audience this task can become much more difficult. Because niche audiences have a smaller audience to target, the sheer number of people searching for your information through search engines can be surprisingly low: just 50 to 100 people per monthly search on a keyword. This means that you will need to find out where this small group of people hangs out online and how to reach them there. Do they use Reddit or LinkedIn? Are there groups or communities in either of those social media platforms based around this niche topic? Or do they congregate on an institution’s proprietary site?
Low search traffic for specific niche keywords
Related to the previous point, if you’re writing about amorphous ideas and about niche topics, your search traffic may be low. However, in the case of niche B2B, you’ll want to focus more on the target audience finding your content and business rather than just the numbers. The search volume numbers are just a tool in the toolbox. How can you use long-tail words, phrases, or questions to narrow in on your niche audience?
Education authorities and research companies holding link authority
This obstacle is a bit harder to handle because it has less to do with the content you’re making and more to do with what your competitors are creating. Many niche B2B content businesses are already being regarded as a go-to thought leader in their area. Educational institutions and research firms also provide original thought-leadership on multiple niche topics. Thus, the already small audience is constantly driven to these higher-authority pages when searching for answers. This makes it difficult for the ‘new kid in town’ or smaller businesses to compete with an institution’s established authority.
Two approaches to find niche audiences
The solutions to these challenges can be broken down into two categories: an SEO approach and a thought-leadership strategy.
- Use broader keyword terms, in addition to the narrower ones, for your SEO. This helps funnel variances in keyword searches to your content, casting a “bigger net” so to speak. It’s less about just “using everything” but instead of putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and thinking “What kind of words describe what my niche content is about? What are those words variants or synonyms?”.
Example: “B2B marketing” versus the more specific “What tools do I use to reach a B2B audience?”. Another: “B2B green technology” versus a topic that locates a specific niche “B2B environmental water management systems for German cities”. Where the more narrow, long-tail keywords is a great strategy, you may find low search traffic for them. It’s a balance between both broader and long-tail keyword terms.
- Use a question-and-answer format to align with SEO phrases. Many people type in questions like “How do I reach my B2B audience?” into Google search to find answers. Using a question and answer format helps your content appear higher search results when the wording corresponds with the questions an audience member is typing. A recent poll showed that 35% of content marketers use keyword analysis for coming up with content. This means that having a thoughtful SEO phrase related to your content can give you the edge over your competitors. Again, the trick is to think creatively about what different kinds of questions and answers someone might use to find your content. Check out our headings on this article. See how we ask questions to help audience members locate the answers to their queries?
Example: “What is B2B marketing?”, “How do I succeed in marketing to a B2B audience?’
- Develop content that can be posted to a niche industry’s publication. This ties back to figuring out where your audience frequents and connecting with them there. An example of such a publication is the Renewable Energy World, existing in the renewable energy field. If you were a B2B business working within the niche category of renewable energy, this could be a place to reach your audience by posting thought-leadership content on their website. Check out our agency’s marketing approach for renewable energy businesses here.
- Engage in forums, chat rooms, and industry syndicated news publications to get your niche audience’s attention. Some examples of this online help and discussion communities are Quora and Reddit. A recent statistic revealed that 35% of content marketers found online communities to be their best source for promoting content. By being a part of the community on those community discussions, you begin to be seen as helpful and trustworthy—both important parts of leveraging empathy and becoming a thought-leader. Promoting your business’ content on these sites also helps gather an audience and build leads.
- Use LinkedIn Marketing to create a list of contacts from your niche community that fit your audience criteria. Did you know that “LinkedIn is the second-most popular social media platform used by B2B marketers”? This makes it a valuable resource to learn about and grow your audience. Direct-Message, or DM, your contacts to start conversations and find out what their needs are. This is much more of an outbound marketing approach but it helps, in this case, when you are having trouble being noticed by your niche audience. Learn about MTC’s LinkedIn marketing program.
- Partner with educational institutions and forums to do webinars or other authority content. When longstanding institutions remain the main attraction and propagator for your niche audience’s information, work to get your content published or even acknowledged by those institutions. This can put your content directly on the institution’s site through videos, like a webinar, or a podcast. Creating content for these institutions helps you gain authority and recognition as a thought-leader in this niche, as well as reach your audience that trusts and utilizes those institutions’ sites.
Now you have a basic idea of how to seek out and market to your niche B2B audience. Marketing to a B2B niche industry is tricky, and it takes a few different strategic tools than traditional B2B marketing approaches. Try meeting your audience where they are online, engaging through LinkedIn, and partnering with industry publications to get started. And if you find yourself being a member of a B2B marketing audience, tune into the B2B Content Corner podcast for additional ideas and insights from experts in the field.
This article was originally published on the author’s blog and reprinted with permission.
About the Author:
Megan Thudium is the founder of MTC | The Content Agency, a content agency working with B2B German brands expanding globally into the native-English North American market. Her agency infuses content marketing, SEO, and thought-leadership best practices to drive awareness, credibility, and leads through content marketing. She’s an expert on all things B2B content marketing, and her strategic marketing insight has been featured in publications like Forbes, Business.com, Upwork.com, and Managers.org.uk. You can find Megan on LinkedIn actively sharing insight in B2B content marketing.