No two ways about it, content marketing is hard. It’s a long, on-going effort to build a cohesive body of work that is compelling, engaging, and ever-relevant to your market. But that description is the organizational view of content marketing. From your audience’s perspective, they just want content that is of value to them; i.e. helpful, easy to understand, interesting to read, and simple to find. To this end, we’ve compiled a list of effective tips to improve and enhance your B2B marketing efforts:
It’s all about them – know your audience.
- Empower your audience. Create content that makes them better for having read it. And readers will share your content because it makes them look good (i.e., funny, smart, insightful, helpful).
- Write from their perspective, don’t self-promote. Speak in terms of their needs and challenges and how your product or service will help them be more successful – both in work, and on a personal level.
- Bridge the generation gap. Is your target buyer largely from a particular generation? Bridge the generational gap by crafting content that will appeal to their overarching worldview. Author Jason Ryan Dorsey writes that, for the first time in history, four very different generations are working side-by-side (Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers, and Traditionalists), creating some rather unique content challenges for marketers.[i]
- Use language that resonates with your target audience. For example, business buyers generally aren’t interested in technical details and jargon – they simply want to know how effectively your solution will address their business challenges.
- Know your audience’s preferences for the type of content they like to consume, as well as where the like to find it. Be a fly on the wall at their favorite haunts and listen to their conversations – what are the hot topics? What are their most challenging and pressing questions? Craft and deploy content accordingly.
It’s about the quality. Always!
- Content has purpose – what’s yours? First make sure your content strategy aligns with your marketing and organizational goals. Then ensure that each content piece has its own purpose within that strategy – is it a CTA? Is it to drive a certain behavior? Be clear about your goals before you begin crafting your content.
- Collaborate across the organization. For fresh ideas and perspectives, seek out subject matter experts, and ask questions of your prospective buyers and customers.
- Make the old new again – repurpose great content and cross-promote between older, popular material and new content.
- Be unexpected. Different. Fun. Creative. Even edgy. Yes, B2B can be all these things to more effectively promote engagement and sharing – not to mention, be memorable. Check out a great example of all these qualities in action in Cisco’s video for SecureX.
- Speak plainly. Simplicity is an art. To more effectively convey ideas, use stories, metaphors, analogies, and visuals. Your audience shouldn’t have to work to understand your relevance and value to them. (To learn more, read our posts on Simplifying the Complex Sale and the Power of Visual Communication.)
- Gain – and provide – valuable insight. Deploy a survey as a rich source of new insight and subsequent content in the form of survey reports, articles, blog posts, white papers, webinars, and infographics (to name but a few). With prospect surveys specifically, you can simultaneously take the pulse of current trends within your market and gain industry insight, all while developing warm, qualified leads.
Content marketing is all about the slow burn. Be diligent and be patient.
For more information about the benefits of SimplyDIRECT prospect surveys, go here.