With unprecedented expediency, the internet has enhanced our ability to communicate, while altering how we find and consume that information. This ease of communication has profoundly affected B2B marketers in two ways. It has enhanced our reach for target audiences, while rendering it more challenging to be heard above the resulting barrage of information. Consequently, content marketers are challenged to craft messages that rise above the noise and appeal uniquely to our target audiences.
Following are four challenges content marketers must address when crafting content for a digital medium:
- Make it short and punchy
Today’s digital medium is premised on the notions of speed and efficiency, and has changed how we consume information. As readers, we scan web pages for easily digested nuggets of information as our eye is often distracted by busy layouts. For online content, succinct and scannable is the objective – lengthy, weighty, time-consuming-to-read text is actually a turn-off for most readers. Distilling essential messaging is a critical skill for successful content creators – doing that while creating an emotional connection with the target audience is an art form in itself.
- Communicate value
The key communicating relevant value is acquiring a deep knowledge of your target audience – knowing what matters most to them, and which issues and challenges are top of mind. A well-crafted piece will resonate with its audience precisely because it is written sympathetically from their perspective and speaks conversantly on topical issues. It communicates an understanding of their personal and business context, as well as how your value and insights uniquely fit those contexts to address pressing goals, challenges and concerns.
- Captivate – grab the gut or the pocket book
While compelling content must first be presented in a reader-friendly format and effectively communicate value, nothing moves prospects to action faster than winning their heart. You can pack a powerful marketing punch by crafting a personal and emotional appeal. In fact, a recent CEB/Google study found that the key differentiating component most marketers are currently missing is an emotional one – the explicit communication of the personal value and benefits for the buyer who makes a decision in favor of your offering.
- Be Trustworthy to be Credible
Underlying any meaningful communication is the establishment of credibility and the providing of evidence to support your message – in other words, formulating the basis of your rational/logical appeal and establishing relevance. Are you worthy of your audience’s time, and can you back that up? Finding credible sources to bolster your value proposition is critical to building trust. Content should demonstrate deep subject matter expertise and insightful thought leadership, substantiated by data, evidence, or testimonials from independent experts, studies, and customers.
There’s no getting around it – crafting great content takes time and skill. Not only do your content creators need to thoroughly understand the value you provide, but they need to do so in the context of the target audience. This means becoming intimately familiar with that audience and how they think. While speaking with customer-facing team members is a great way to gain insight into your target audience, nothing quite replaces the value of speaking with them directly. In this manner, you’ll glean not just an academic understanding of their needs and challenges, but how they actually feel about those issues and what’s truly motivating them personally – the raw material vital to crafting content that will drive your success in a digital medium.
**One great way to get inside your audience’s heads is through the use of surveys. Read our brief to learn how SimplyDIRECT customer Eloqua/Oracle addresses their content challenges in ways that help them work smarter, not harder.**
SimplyDIRECT with its subsidiary Gatepoint Research designs, drafts and deploys opt-in, invitation-only surveys to management-level executives within leading technology companies. Using web, phone and email-based data collection, its cutting-edge IT trends research and data analysis helps in the generation of custom reports and thought-leadership content.