When you’re marketing to other businesses, longer conversion paths are the norm. B2B consumers tend to take longer to make a buying decision and need plenty of research along the way. Using content marketing to support each part of the sale funnel helps you close your deal easier. But where do you start and what type of content should you create for B2B content marketing?

We’ll walk you through the process.

What is B2B content marketing?

B2B content marketing is the practice of using content to promote your product or services to a business audience. It involves producing high-quality content that appeals to and/or addresses major pain points of B2B consumers. This may be in the form of blog posts, infographics, case studies, white papers, tutorials and educational videos among many others.

Additionally, B2B content marketing requires strategically distributing content to reach your target audience. It goes hand in hand with your social media content strategy where you share links and visuals to attract the right people. Email, organic search and paid ads are other popular distribution channels included in a B2B content marketing strategy.

Why is content marketing important to B2B?

Content marketing helps B2B companies educate and inform their target audiences. It enables you to share in-depth information even without the need for one-to-one communication. As such, it’s highly effective for showcasing your expertise and establishing authority in the field. This has several benefits, with the main ones being:

High ROI for a low-cost channel

Content marketing is a relatively low-cost channel. You’ll spend money on labor and tools for content creation and publishing. But those costs are relatively low compared to the potential returns. Unless you’re investing in paid ads, most of the publishing and distribution channels don’t cost extra. So the returns are substantial in comparison to the investments.

Content has a long lifespan

Add to the fact that content marketing continues to pay off even in the long run, it’s worth the initial investment. You can continue to reap benefits for months or years after publishing content. This is particularly true for evergreen topics that see consistent interest over time.

Best practices for a B2B content marketing strategy

When coming up with a content marketing plan for your B2B company, the following best practices can improve your chances of success. Below are six best practices we’ve identified for a successful content marketing strategy

1. Identify your B2B content goals

Start with a clear understanding of how content should contribute to larger business goals. Do you want to use it to raise awareness? Do you want to generate leads? How are you going to measure these goals?

Identifying and defining these goals will help you shape the rest of your content marketing strategy. For instance, if your goal is lead generation, you’ll want to focus on lead magnets such as white papers and industry reports.

When you know your content goals, it’s easier to identify the KPIs needed for measuring the efficacy of your strategy. In the above example, you can use KPIs like number of leads generated and number of email signups to measure content marketing success.

2. Research your target audience and identify their needs

The purpose of content marketing is to create content that appeals to your target audience and addresses their pain points. So a crucial step is to get a better understanding of what makes your audience tick. What are their needs and challenges? How can your content address them? And how can you provide solutions to their needs?

Semrush’s State of Content Marketing 2023 report even found that audience research is a leading factor for content marketing success. Forty-seven percent of respondents attributed their success to researching their audience.

Infographic from Semrush's state of content marketing 2023 survey showing content marketing success factors. Source: Semrush

Keep in mind that you may have multiple audiences for your product, and not everyone will share the same needs. For example, the same design tool will serve different purposes to different groups of users. While one uses it to create original social media visuals, another may use it to create captivating newsletters. Naturally, these two users may have similar but not exactly the same needs.

Create different buyer personas according to shared characteristics. This will help you develop various types of content to effectively address the unique pain points of different audiences. Download our buyer persona template to get started with this step.

3. Conduct competitive analysis

A competitive analysis gives you a better idea of what’s working and what’s not. What are your competitors creating and what are they missing? Check out their top-performing content and compare them against yours. If something is working for your competitors but you can do it better, by all means, go after it. Similarly, check out their poorly performing pieces to figure out how to improve on them.

Use a competitor analysis tool to dig deeper into your competitors’ content strategy. For example, Ahrefs Site Explorer helps you explore your competitor’s backlink profile, so you can identify the types of content that are getting links from reputable sites.

Screenshot of Ahrefs' backlinks report showing a list of websites referring to ahrefs.com Source: Ahrefs

4. Create content for all stages of the marketing funnel

Since the B2B buying journey is much longer, you need content to engage buyers at every stage of the marketing funnel. People will have different needs and concerns based on where they are in the funnel.

  • Top of funnel (Awareness) – This is where people start to learn about your business and its products or service offerings. Social media posts, blog posts, guest blog posts, infographics and podcasts are some examples of ToFu content.
  • Middle of funnel (Consideration) – At this stage, people are starting to consider your product or service as an option. Ebooks, webinars, product feature pages, product comparisons and live video are some examples of MoFu content.
  • Bottom of funnel (Decision) – This is where they finally decide on a solution and convert into buyers. Customer case studies, pitch decks, proposals and website pricing pages are some examples of BoFu content.
Infographic of a marketing funnel with five stages: awareness, consideration, decision, adoption and advocacy.

5. Explore content distribution and promotion

A B2B content marketing strategy is only as effective as its distribution strategy. It’s not enough to just create great content. What matters is how you distribute it to the right people through the right channels.

As briefly mentioned earlier, social media is one of the most popular distribution channels. Many successful B2B marketers even go beyond organic social and invest in paid social to promote their content. In the Semrush survey from earlier, 49% of very successful content marketers used paid social for promoting content.

Infographic of an Semrush report showing different content promotion methods and the percentage of businesses using each method. Source: Semrush

Paid channels, in general, are highly popular among the most successful content marketers. Additionally, influencer marketing and email marketing are other popular ways of promoting content.

6. Measure performance and results

Finally, keep track of your content marketing efforts to see how they’re paying off. Experiment with different content types and promotion strategies to understand what’s working. See which distribution channels yield high-value leads and shift your focus on them. Use these performance insights to pivot and continuously optimize your strategy.

Types of B2B content

Let’s take a look at the various content types that you can use for your B2B content marketing strategies.

Blog posts

blog post is a written article published in the blog section of your company’s website. Blog posts can rest in the awareness stage (or top of the funnel) but since content can be created about anything, blog posts can fall in other stages too. When using it in the awareness stage, the post should be educational in tone with very little to no call to action.

However, as the blog topics become more complex or detailed, the call to actions become more directly related to the marketing funnel, such as downloading a guide or accessing a trial.

Case studies

Used most often in the decision stage, case studies take an in-depth look at one of your customers. They follow a common format of presenting an issue at hand and then details of how your business helped them solve the issue. These days, case studies are readily available on the business’ website. Featured businesses represent your various target audiences, and the reader can easily identify themselves in at least one of the case studies.

Sprout Social’s software covers many industries and businesses of various sizes. There are also features that some businesses might not realize are useful to them. Our case studies page highlights different businesses and references Sprout’s features to explore the use case. Along with that, we include real numbers to demonstrate the ROI of the software.

Screenshot of Sprout's Salesforce case study with a headline that reads "Salesforce's social media team saves 12,000 hours in first year using Sprout Social" next to the Salesforce logo. Source: Sprout Social

White papers or industry reports

white paper is a downloadable piece of content that serves up knowledge that your business specializes in. An industry report summarizes a survey or study that your business executed and relates it to the industry you’re in.

These fall into the same group because they help convey a business’ expertise on a topic. They require research and analysis before disseminating information in a meaningful way to users. They are most popular in the consideration stage because they provide strategic insights or show how a business helps brands realize success in these areas.

Sprout regularly produces data reports to help our audience understand the industry better.

Screenshot of Sprout's Data Reports homepage showing three recent reports. Source: Sprout Social


Infographics are useful for delivering dense information in simple, graphical layouts. This makes them ideal for use at the awareness stage.

Infographics often take existing data in your business to make them digestible in a visual format, appropriate for sharing on social media, to prospects or to industry publishers. When using infographics in the awareness stage, you want to serve general information that your audience wants to know. Infographics don’t always necessarily mean flowcharts either, they can be any data shared as a visual collection.


Podcasts are digital audio content typically presented in a series of episodes. You can distribute them through channels like Spotify and Apple Podcasts or even host them on your website. They can feature a single speaker, a panel of speakers or even as an interview format. This makes them perfect for presenting in-depth information in a conversational tone.

At Sprout, we created the Social Creatures podcast with episodes focusing on our favorite social media accounts. Each episode explores the secrets to the account’s success through a conversation with the business’ social media or marketing manager or executive.

Screenshot of Sprout's Social Creatures podcast homepage showing three episodes from season 2. Source: Sprout Social

Educational videos

With their audio-visual nature, videos are an engaging way to present huge volumes of information. In fact, 45% of marketers in the Semrush survey agree that videos are the top-performing content format. Create educational videos highlighting key industry insights and tips that will be of value to your audience. These can prove to be valuable to audiences in the awareness and consideration stages.

Sprout’s YouTube channel houses videos on topics relevant to our audience. From Instagram marketing hacks to annual predictions – there’s a lot that our viewers can learn from these videos. As with static social media content, test what works on video too: long-form, short-form or bite-sized content.

Screenshot of Sprout's YouTube videos page showing eight latest videos. Source: YouTube


Testimonials are customer statements describing how your business has addressed a major challenge. It serves as social proof to help convince the reader to make a decision. Depending on the details, testimonials can be effective at every stage of the funnel.

Testimonials can either be in video or text format. Video testimonials are an effective way to humanize the client and add authenticity to the story. With text-based testimonials, including the person’s photo for each testimonial to humanize the story.

Here’s how Ninja Promo highlights testimonials on the homepage.

Screenshot of Ninja Promo's homepage showing three testimonials under a text that reads "what people are saying". Source: Ninja Promo


Once you’ve got businesses interested or even onboarded, the process doesn’t stop there. You’ll need to help users take full advantage of everything you have to offer. Tutorials are crucial in the retention stage, helping the customer through setup and beyond.

4 B2B content marketing examples to inspire you

Need more ideas to inspire your content strategy? Check out these B2B content marketing examples to give you a jump-start.

Sprout Social

Of course, we may be a little biased, but our content marketing strategy is first-rate. From in-depth blog posts on trending topics to educational webinars – we share a wealth of information for our target audiences. Our case studies showcase the difference that Sprout can make to business’ social strategies and bottom lines. And we regularly host podcast episodes where we share the secrets to social media success for various industries.

sprout's case studies homepage showing 6 recent case studies from sprout users Source: Sprout Social

On top of this, our data reports are among the most notable and popularly cited in the industry. These reports provide actionable data that guide business decisions and back up claims.

Even more, we produce downloadable templates so you can instantly get started with our tips and advice. Check out this free B2B content plan worksheet, for example.


Canva isn’t just a great tool; it also boasts a solid B2B content marketing strategy to support its business users. The brand regularly shares actionable bite-sized tips in a visual format to engage its social media followers. Beyond this, the team produces excellent resources to ramp up your brand’s design efforts.

This includes blog posts and online courses as well as a Design Circle community to connect with like-minded individuals. You can even download marketing toolkits and templates for your branding and design strategy.

Screenshot of Canva's Resources Page page with a headline reading "design resources for your business" in text overlay over an image of two women working on a table and a few images below with the subhead "your marketing toolkit" Source: Canva

Roots Marketing Agency

Roots is a woman-led digital marketing agency with an exceptional Instagram content strategy. The team demonstrates their flair for social media by creating visually engaging Reels and image posts. They share a mix of industry insights, ideas, tips and client testimonials to showcase their expertise.

Instagram post from Roots Marketing Agency showing a woman looking at a few posters and text overlay that reads "how we reached 1.9 million users this month without any paid ads" and screenshot of the agency's professional dashboard along with a caption detailing the steps. Source: Instagram

The Goat Agency

In another agency example, The Goat Agency nails its LinkedIn content strategy. The team regularly shares insights on the most in-the-moment topics and news related to the industry.

For example, the team shared a post about the 2024 Instagram Trend Talk soon after its release. They provided the insights as an infographic slideshow on LinkedIn. Similarly, the agency quickly provided insights about Twitch’s exit from South Korea after the announcement.

This type of news-worthy content helps the team prove that they know the industry inside and out, establishing trust with the audience.

LinkedIn post from The Goat Agency showing several photos of young people and text overlay with the Instagram logo saying "Trend Talk" Source: LinkedIn

Next steps for B2B content marketing

The above best practices should set you up for successful B2B content marketing. After you’ve decided which content types align with your strategy and goals, the next moves are to execute and promote the content. Of course, you’ll want to know how your fresh content is performing, which is why you should look at your social media data to guide your analysis.

Before all that, check out our 2023 Content Benchmarks Report to understand industry trends and challenges.