Bredin Report: 4 Tips for Better Content Marketing to SMBs in 2021

Content is an integral part of most marketer’s tool kits for targeting SMBs. Done right, content marketing can attract high-potential SMB prospects, engage them and close sales: Bredin research has shown that advisory content makes SMBs more likely to buy and to remain loyal customers.

Use these four tips to get more from your SMB content marketing in 2021. If this advice sounds obvious, keep in mind that executing fundamental content marketing tactics consistently will put you well ahead of many content marketers.

Walk before you run

Many SMB marketers only provide “gated” or registration-required content such as white papers, guides, research reports or e-books. However, this tactic works best after you’ve demonstrated that you are a source of relevant, actionable advice. This year, engage prospects with good quality articles or infographics instead of simply requiring them to register to access high-value content: good top-of- funnel content will increase the likelihood of leads registering to see more of your content.

What defines good content? Our research has found that the qualities SMBs value most in vendor content are that it is easily understood, well-written and jargon-free.

Stay in close contact with sales

Your sales team interacts with your prospects and buyers regularly, so routinely pick their brains about customer priorities and preferences. This intelligence can help you select topics and formats as market needs evolve. Sustained, close alignment with your sales team also keeps them informed about the content tools you are creating to support their efforts. A sales feedback loop will provide critical guidance on what content will work best with customers and prospects.

Use case studies in context

Your customers and partners have great stories to share, so use them in 2021 to illustrate how you help customers and partners achieve their business goals. In a November conversation with our CEO Stu Richards, Microsoft’s Luen Tanner explained how effective customer and business partner anecdotes are at validating the Microsoft value story. But, said Tanner, case studies alone don’t perform optimally. “We’ve tested assets where it was only stories from customers, but found that you need a balance of facts, data and education,” she noted. “Then, you can back it up with insightful customer quotes.”

Keep your messaging on target

Make sure that the messaging in your content is optimized to motivate your audience and address their priorities. For example, recent Bredin research found that SMBs with 20 to 99 employees place a high value on solutions that can grow with their business, because they want to be ready if they expand. By contrast, SMBs with fewer than 20 employees are most motivated by good customer service, while those with 100 to 500 employees rank data security as their number one consideration when making a purchase.

Bredin can help you develop high-value content to boost SMB awareness, brand perception, leads, conversion and revenue. We can also conduct quick-turn, actionable market research to provide insight into your audience’s content preferences, or to generate data for use in high-value content and PR programs.

About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.