Is your content boring? Good news, it doesn’t have to be!
B2B content gets a bad rap for being lifeless and limiting. However, with different channels playing intricate roles with one another, content is only boring if you build it that way.
For two days, marketers from various B2B industries came together at this year’s B2B Marketing Exchange to learn actionable insights that can be applied to their business to drive engagement and revenue. As a finalist for a Killer Content Award, being invited to attend meant gaining more knowledge and insight from experts in the field.
From the great sessions I attended, here are five key takeaways:
1. Be a storyteller.
Where the Wild Things Are is a simple story: a child gets in trouble for making a mess, sent to his room without supper, imagination runs wild, allowed to eat, the end. If I told you the story like that, you’d wonder why it has been voted the most distinguished American picture book for children.
It’s not the plot itself; it’s how we get there. The story takes the reader through a 40-page journey with great detail. With 338 words, Young Max’s experience becomes our own.
Writing for your audience should bring them through a journey. Make it personal so they can go along with the ride. Introduce the problem, take them through the high and lows of testing out theories and resolutions, and lead them to the exciting conclusion that leaves them wanting more.
(Session: Bypass Boring: B2B Storytelling For a Bite-Sized World – Scott Donaton of DigitasLBi)
2. Power to influencers.
“Influencers” make a lot of people shudder. The notion is anyone can call themselves an influencer without having a clue about what they’re supposed to be influencing.
“Famous for nothing,” most people think.
But there’s power behind people who know what they’re talking about. Compared to B2B marketing, consumer-facing influencer marketing has seen a 55% increase in budget allocation to help brand visibility.
With the rise of niche influencers, B2B marketers have begun to realize how important and influential they can be to a brand. What’s the best way to get the most valueable content from a potential influencer? Create goals that align their goals with yours, and focus on building long-term credibility and trust which will further elevate the quality of the content produced.
(Session: Influencing the Influencers: Top Trends and Best Practices for B2B Marketers – Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing)
3. Cut out excess forms.
What is one thing about going to the doctor that most people despise? Paperwork. Even if you fill it out ahead of time and arrive early, you still have five more forms to tackle before the doctor can see you.
Your audience experiences the same frustration when you make them fill out multiple forms to access content. 71 percent of your audience wants single-click forms, so save the rabbit holes for your Wikipedia research, not form gated content.
(Session: B2B Brave New World: Top Game Changers For Performance Makers – The Demand Gen Report Team: Alicia Esposito, Andrew Gaffney, Carol Krol)
4. No one cares about your competition.
Unless you’re using your competitor’s prominent former spokesperson (ex. Verizon’s former spokesperson switches to Sprint), focus on your company’s advantages and leave others’ disadvantages out.
It’s important to showcase why your company is the top choice, but often companies are so focused on putting down their competition, it becomes a product war, and potential customers still don’t know what you offer.
Say you’re a marketing automation platform. Instead of highlighting what competitors don’t do, highlight what features makes you unique.
“Distribion’s unique platform feature, on behalf of marketing, allows corporate marketers to send out emails, social media posts and other content on behalf of their local sales agents so the marketers have control over the message and can avoid compliance issues.
Again, tailor your messaging so it’s about you and no one else.
(Session: Why Change? Why Stay? Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions)
5. Be a concierge.
When I had a problem with my Macbook, I made an appointment with Apple’s Genius Bar and went in. A tech and I chatted about the issues I had while she troubleshot. Once we found the problem, we started working on a solution (me leaving my Macbook overnight while they replaced the hard drive). Afterward, she checked the condition and ran some tests before restoring my hard drive. After one more run through on the machine, everything checked out, and I was on my way, happy with my repaired product.
Your content should be a Genius Bar. Your audience comes to you with a problem. Your content needs to analyze the problem and build a solution piece by piece. Make sure your readers leave 100 percent satisfied, determined to return to you with future questions.
(Session: Blowing Up the Funnel – Kathleen Schaub of IDC)
Give your audience something to talk about.
Will your audience talk about your content at cocktail parties? Maybe; it depends on how good you make it. Think about the times you bring up a New York Times piece that captured you or started a conversation about Harry Potter. You probably weren’t in a typical setting to discuss what popped into your mind, but the story was so powerful you couldn’t stop thinking about it.
B2B marketers need to throw away the cookie-cutter messaging and get creative. Instead, research, plan, build and execute killer content to leave a lasting impression.
About the Author
Using design to connect brands to people is what Clarissa does best. With 7 years experience, she has a diverse background in print, web and digital design. A native Texan, her staples include Tex-Mex and sweet tea. She hopes to own two elephants in the future. Connect with Clarissa on LinkedIn .