When B2B buyers are hunting for services, they are often bombarded by a ton of somewhat dry information that tends to look the same. Great content is a surefire way to capture their attention and stand out among the crowd.
Creating great content is an excellent opportunity to highlight your company’s personality and the relationship that your brand represents, so have fun with it. If you want people to take the time to engage with your content, then you have to entertain. Be adventurous and feel free to break the rules to make your content stand out. So long as the tone reflects your company’s attitude, there is room for creativity.
Remember that real people are reading your blog posts and white papers, so write like you are talking to the reader. Use simple, clear and direct language. Avoid fancy words that will only alienate readers, making them think you’re egotistical, and be cognizant of potentially passive voice or tone that meanders. Think about what your customers struggle with, and provide an authoritative solution to their pain points. Thirty-nine percent of millennials say they’d like to see training pieces/demos of products when searching for B2B services, followed by 29 percent who would like to see product news, according to a study from Sacunas.
Creating informative content is a great opportunity for you to illustrate your thought leadership. This approach works better when readers can see that you’ve done your homework. When creating informative content, back up your claims with facts and figures. Citing statistics is more authoritative and therefore more effective as a marketing tool. Consider using metaphors and anecdotes to get your point across if it helps.
Seventy-three percent of millennials are involved in the B2B purchase decision-making process at their company, so appeal to these buyers and don’t be afraid to make jokes. Humor can be highly effective in content if it is appropriate. Funny content is memorable: According to a 2013 study, 80 percent of college students could remember advertising that made them laugh. Comedic content should be original, so be sure to consider your audience’s style when trying to make a joke.
Your content marketing shouldn’t stop with development and production. Once you have the content, you have to get it in front of your audience. Remember that good content is only working for your brand if prospects can see it. Despite the importance of audience, most B2B marketers fail to have a solid distribution strategy in mind for their content. This leads to good content being missed by prospects and a failure of content marketing to deliver results.
According to a recent study from PR Newswire, only 42 percent of marketers said that their content marketing efforts are working. Overlooking distribution is a waste of resources when you consider how much time and effort is spent on developing whitepapers, e-books, and videos. Content needs more than a tweet or an email to get the attention it deserves. Earned media, media shared through a third-party site, is 80 percent more effective than owned media at the bottom of the funnel or purchase consideration stage.
The challenge is to create content that is newsworthy so that it gets the attention it needs. While infographics or white papers can be informative, a debate webinar among thought leaders on a controversial topic could push the newsworthiness of the content. This approach is more likely to be distributed by the media and shared on social networks. In addition, putting out a press release to promote content can also increase site traffic and app downloads, which in turn drives qualified leads.
Good content translates into qualified leads and a good content marketing strategy spans from development and production to distribution and follow through.