There aren’t many B2B marketers out there who don’t spend a lot of time thinking about content and how to best use it to engage their audiences. In fact, over 70% believe content is becoming increasingly important in driving overall marketing success. But just because it’s the right thing to do, doesn’t always mean it’s done right.
Audiences are being flooded with content every single day. And it can be a minefield figuring out the best way to make B2B content more exciting to engage audiences and turn them into prospects, customers, or advocates for the brand.
A summary of our latest online event
As B2B PR and marketing specialists, we decided to address this topic in our latest LinkedIn Live ‘Keep calm and carry on contenting’ focusing on authenticity, cutting through the noise and perhaps most importantly in today’s landscape where resources and budgets are restricted, repurposing.
With a wealth of experience advising businesses on how to make the most out of their B2B content, our head of client services Claire James and our head of technology practice Lee Simpson, were invited to share their expertise as well as the best practices when it comes to content. But first, what are their biggest content gripes?
Making your B2B content authentic
Authenticity is vitally important in content creation as it help builds trust and credibility with your audience. Yet, in recent years, we’ve seen a huge change in the market due to the emergence of AI and the power that it’s brought to content creation; B2B marketers can now churn out large volumes of content at the touch of a button. With a wave of AI generated content entering the ‘content’ landscape, we asked our experts how this is impacting authenticity and where B2B marketers get it wrong when it comes to injecting authenticity in their content strategies.
Tone of voice is one of the most important aspects of the brand because it will help solidify what you stand for, who you are, what you look like, and what you sound like. AI will create content in a very specific way and it’s dangerous for brands to think that they can put in a prompt and it will turn out ready made copy.
All of the content that you create should also tell a story about who you are as a brand, so the experience a potential customer gets matches who you are as a business. If you produce a piece of content that doesn’t reflect this, customers will very quickly begin to mistrust you.
Of course, volume can be beneficial when it comes to SEO, but if you’re churning our content for contents sake you need to consider why you are doing it and if it meets your objectives. In short, your B2B content should be genuine instead of something manufactured and it should also resonate with your target audience.
Cutting through the noise
Information is everywhere, new channels are emerging, and audiences are overwhelmed with content. You’ve got to wonder; will it ever stop? However, buyers aren’t willing to spend more than five minutes reviewing most content formats and it’s been reported that the average reader spends 37 seconds reading a blog! With the B2B landscape becoming increasingly crowded with content, are B2B marketers doing enough to cut through the noise?
One of the biggest challenges is that marketers forget that they want to create a piece of content and instead, they are using it as a broadcast. They’re telling one story to all audiences. The reality is that you’re not shouting to everyone with your content; you’re trying to whisper in the ear of person who is looking to buy from your business.
B2B marketers are doing enough but are getting too hung up on the tactics and how it’s going to be rolled out rather than thinking about the why or what the story is. If the story is good enough, then everything else will follow.
However, when it comes to trying appeal to an audience and ‘packing’ in key messages, there are two sides meaning it’s vital to get the balance right. Rather than making presumptions about what your audience want, ask them what content excites them. Often, marketing strategies are built on assumptions and content can focus too much on the product. Instead, it should be about setting your content in context. You’ve solved a pain point with your product but how does that sit amongst the challenges your audiences are facing.
Once you know what you want to write about, you will also need to consider how it is dressed. The two need to work together! The creative visual will attract your audience to engage with your content but if the words inside are meaningless, it can soon be a turn off.
Repurposing content for better ROI
Limited resources and tightening budgets mean that B2B marketers need their content to work smarter and harder to get maximum ROI. But is this being done effectively? We believe that some B2B marketers fail to optimise the content they have produced or are not making it work hard enough. We asked our experts why they think this is a challenge and what considerations need to be taken when repurposing content.
If you’re an inhouse B2B marketer and you have been working on a content campaign for months, it’s easy to get bored of the creative and move onto the next idea. However, that’s a missed opportunity because there might be a gold mine of other angles and tactics that you can use to engage your audience.
Additional to boredom, B2B marketers are often pulled in lots of directions and don’t always have the time to relook at content. The benefit of a B2B agency, like us, coming in and working alongside your inhouse marketing team means that we can see different uses for your content. We can tweak it, change it, and make it work smarter. It helps to have another pair of eyes.
If you are a multi-national business focused on localising content, here is where repurposing can help. A lot of businesses are siloed between different regions, offices and departments, and don’t always understand what will resonate in other countries. Repurposing a piece of content for your local markets that has been circulated centrally or from a different region can keep it on message but also relevant to your audience.
Also, think about using different mediums. You can take a piece of content that sits on your website such as a research report or a newsletter and use it on social media for business outreach for example. It’s doesn’t always have to be an inbound content asset for your website.
Our key takeaway
As B2B marketers, we have latched onto this idea that content is something that we need to do. Whilst this is true, content decisions such as the tactics should come much further down the line. Instead, we need to spend more time thinking about the basics of marketing, the ‘Who, What, Why, How and When’ and then decide what does that mean in terms of the content we are producing and the channels we want to focus on.
Looking for some inspiration to get you started on your content journey? Remember, get the story right and everything else will follow! Download our ‘50 natural storytelling sources to build B2B audience trust’, here.