It used to be that outsourcing your marketing meant finding the villager with the loudest voice and wittiest turn-of-phrase to walk the lanes hawking your wares.

Needless to say, marketing has evolved. And with that evolution, navigating the various services available for B2B marketing has become increasingly complex.

While the ultimate goal remains the same (being heard above the crowd), the path to reaching that goal requires strategically employing the right content marketing services. 

We’ve compiled a list of services ranging from content strategy to analytics to help you understand how each of these services works and how they help your brand be the loudest voice in the market. 

Why B2B companies need content marketing services

B2B buying cycles are long and involve a whole host of stakeholders. This means that B2B marketers have to map out and maintain ongoing relationships with buyers across a range of job titles and decision-making influences.This degree of in-depth engagement means utilizing an array of content types across several platforms and touchpoints to guide customers along the buying journey. If you think that sounds difficult, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

A joint study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs identified the top challenges B2B marketers face when creating content – audience alignment, consistency, differentiation, SEO optimization and quality were among the leaders.

To accomplish all of these tasks effectively in today’s crowded digital marketplace requires a great deal of creative, analytical and strategic expertise.

And the best way to access that is by partnering with proven content marketing service providers.

Lightening the load

Nearly 60% of marketing teams cite a lack of resources as their biggest situational challenge when it comes to content creation.

Delegating activities to content marketing service providers can help lighten the load. Not only does this free up your team to focus on the big-picture strategy, but it also ensures that these tasks are being managed by dedicated marketers who are immersed in the latest trends, techniques and analytics within each specific area of content marketing.

This specialization leads to more effective and impactful marketing efforts, tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of your B2B brand.  

Let’s explore some of the most popular content marketing services, and which of the challenges surfaced by the CMI/MarketingProfs study are alleviated by outsourcing these responsibilities.

8 popular B2B content marketing services

Content strategy

In B2B marketing, a well-defined content strategy is crucial because it aligns your content with your business’s objectives and the needs of your audience. It ensures that every piece of content – whether a blog post, a white paper or a social media update – serves a clear purpose.

Why it’s popular: Top-performing marketing teams cite having a documented content strategy among their top keys to success. 

A B2B marketing agency’s content strategy offerings may include:

  • Audience research: Identifying and understanding the target audience, including their needs, challenges and content consumption behaviors.
  • Content auditing and analysis: Reviewing existing content to determine what’s working and what’s not.
  • Strategic planning: Developing a comprehensive plan that outlines the types of content to be created and identifying the business goals of each piece of content.
  • SEO: Incorporating search engine optimization strategies into content creation to improve visibility in search engine results and attract organic traffic.

Competitive content analysis

A competitive content analysis evaluates what types of content are being published and what topics are being covered by your competitors. This enables you to identify trends and gaps in the content coverage within your industry.

Why it’s popular: A competitive content analysis helps marketers make data-backed decisions about content development and SEO strategies

A B2B marketing agency’s competitive content analysis offerings may include:

  • Competitor identification: Determining who your direct and indirect competitors are.
  • Content inventory: Cataloging and assessing the content of your competitors.
  • Content performance evaluation: Measuring the engagement and performance of competitors’ content to understand what resonates with the audience.
  • SEO assessment: Analyzing competitors’ content for SEO effectiveness and SERP rankings.
  • Content gap analysis: Identifying topics and questions that competitors have not adequately covered.

Concept development

Effective concept development aligns with your overall business objectives, addresses the needs and challenges of your target audience, and differentiates your brand in the market.

Why it’s popular: This is the leading challenge cited by B2B marketers, with 57% reporting difficulty creating the right content for their audience.

A B2B marketing agency’s concept development offerings may include:

  • Concept ideation: Developing a range of concept ideas, drawing from industry trends, audience needs, and business objectives.
  • Strategic alignment: Ensuring that the developed concepts align with your brand’s values, voice, and business goals, as well as with the identified needs and preferences of your target audience.
  • Content and campaign planning: Mapping out how the chosen concept will be executed across various types of content and marketing campaigns, ensuring a cohesive and integrated approach.

Content drafting

Quality content production is essential for building brand authority, engaging with potential customers, driving lead generation, and improving conversion rates. Skilled content drafting ensures content that is relevant, timely, and optimized for search engines and user experience.

Why it’s popular: Among the top challenges cited above, several tie back to content creation –creating content consistently (54%), differentiating content (54%), optimizing for SEO (45%), and creating quality content (44%).

A B2B marketing agency’s content production offerings may include:

  • Content creation: Crafting well-researched and well-written content that addresses the specific interests and pain points of the target audience, while also aligning with the brand’s voice and objectives.
  • SEO optimization: Integrating relevant keywords and meta tags to enhance content visibility in search engine results and drive organic traffic.
  • Content formatting and styling: Ensuring that content is not only informative but also easy to read and visually appealing.
  • Quality assurance: Conducting thorough editing and proofreading to ensure content is free from errors, factually accurate, and consistent with the brand’s messaging and standards.

Thought leadership and influencer content

This type of content allows for individual voices to inspire, educate, and challenge existing perspectives within your industry. Influencers and thought leaders can be from within your organization, or be that outside expertise that lends credibility to your brand. 

Why it’s popular: Thought leaders and influencers lend their unique voices and perspectives to your brand. 

A B2B marketing agency’s thought leadership and influencer content programs may include:

  • Influencer partnerships: Identifying and partnering with influencers who have a strong following and credibility within your target market to co-create content, share content, or endorse your brand.
  • Content creation and curation: Not every thought leader or influencer is an author, so partnering with a marketing service that has expertise in this arena can help your brand elevate the voice of the individual. 

Design services

Good design can significantly increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by making your content more attractive, easier to understand, and more memorable. Design services help in establishing a brand’s visual identity, ensuring that all marketing materials are coherent, appealing, and aligned with the brand’s objectives.

Why it’s popular: A lack of resources is the number one challenge facing marketing teams today. Outsourcing design can ensure your content visually reflects the value of your brand.

A B2B marketing service’s design offerings may include:

  • Brand identity design: Creating or refining the visual elements that make up a brand’s identity.
  • Web and digital design: Developing the layout, visual appearance and usability of websites and digital platforms.
  • Interactive and multimedia design: Creating interactive elements such as infographics, animations, and videos that can enhance storytelling and engage users more deeply with content.
  • Content visualization: Transforming data and information into visual formats, such as charts, graphs, and diagrams.

Video content creation

Video content is highly engaging and can significantly increase the time visitors spend on your website, which can lead to higher conversion rates. Videos are also more likely to be shared across social media platforms, increasing brand visibility and reach.

Why it’s popular: Video is the number one place marketers would increase their investment. Outsourcing video production to a qualified service can greatly increase your ROI.

A B2B marketing agency’s video content creation offerings may include:

  • Concept development and scripting: Crafting creative concepts and writing scripts that convey the brand’s message.
  • Filming and production: Capturing high-quality video footage using industry best practices.
  • Editing and post-production: Combining the footage with supporting audio and graphics to ensure it’s polished and aligns with the brand’s identity.
  • SEO optimization: Incorporating relevant keywords, titles, descriptions, and tags to ensure the video is discoverable on search engines and video platforms.
  • Distribution strategy: Planning how and where to distribute the video content to reach the target audience.

Content performance analytics

Content performance analytics helps marketers understand how well their content is resonating with their target audience and contributing to business objectives. This is also how marketers gather the data that proves the ROI of their marketing efforts.

Why it’s popular: Just under half of marketers report that they’re confident in their ability to measure content performance. This leaves a lot of room for improvement – and expert help!

A B2B marketing agency’s content performance analytics offerings may include:

  • Metric tracking and reporting: Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to the business’s goals and regularly tracking these metrics to monitor content performance over time.
  • Audience analysis: Analyzing the behavior and preferences of the target audience, including how they interact with content, which topics are most appealing, and which formats generate the most engagement.
  • Content optimization: Using data insights to recommend changes to existing content, such as updating or repurposing underperforming content, as well as guiding the development of new content that aligns with audience interests and business goals.
  • Competitive benchmarking: Comparing content performance against industry benchmarks or competitors to identify areas for improvement and opportunities to differentiate in the market.
  • ROI analysis: Measuring the return on investment of content marketing activities by linking content performance to business outcomes, such as lead generation, sales, and customer acquisition and retention.

Choosing the right content marketing service provider

Did reading through that list of services have you daydreaming about how much time and energy your marketing team could free up with a little outsourcing? 

Here are some best practices to follow when choosing a content marketing service provider.

Define your goals and needs: Start by clearly defining what you want to achieve with your content marketing. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or establish thought leadership? Understanding your objectives will help you identify the services that are most aligned with your goals.

Evaluate their content quality: Request samples of the agency’s work to evaluate the quality of their content. High-quality, engaging, and informative content is essential for a successful content marketing campaign.

Understand their analytics approach: A good content marketing service should have robust methods for measuring and reporting on the performance of your content. Ask about their metrics and reporting tools to ensure they can provide the insights you need.

Discuss communication and collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration are essential for a successful partnership. Discuss how they plan to communicate and collaborate with your team throughout the content marketing process.

Consider scalability: Choose a service that can scale with your business as it grows. They should be able to adapt to your changing needs and continue to deliver high-quality content as your business evolves.

Ask about SEO integration: Since SEO is a crucial element of successful content marketing, ensure that the service has a strong understanding of SEO best practices and can integrate these into your content strategy.

Interested in lightening your marketing team’s content load? We’re ready to help. Learn more about TopRank’s Content Marketing services.

About the author

Theresa began her career as a marketing writer around the same time TopRank launched, though it would be a couple of decades and a great deal of side questing before she joined the team. In those intervening years, Theresa did everything from managing operations and marketing for an award-winning home inspection company to starting a farmer’s market that enabled community connection and additional income for farmers and crafters in rural Minnesota. Drawing on this unique background, Theresa is committed to working with clients to develop content that reaches both the mind and the heart. Theresa’s second proudest personal accomplishment (after raising two amazing kiddos!) is her 20+ year career as a fire dancer with Fandazzi Fire, the troupe she co-founded with her husband and favorite dance partner.