By Dr Thomas Brown | March 02 2016
According to research by HubSpot, B2B companies who blog receive 67% more leads than those who don't.
If you're on the fence about investing in an inbound approach to your sales and marketing, research like this can be the push you need to take the plunge.
It's important to remember, however, that simply having a content marketing strategy in place isn't enough. For various reasons, content still often fails to make the grade for both engagement and subsequent conversion.
Two of the biggest reasons for needing to fix broken content are its inability to stand out against your competitors' content or its failure to grasp the imagination of your target buyers.
The power of storytelling in content marketing is huge, grabbing the attention of your prospects and drawing them into your content. Setting the scene through the use of a true-to-life life scenario lights up the reader's brain in a way facts and statistics don't. It’s this context that not only tells your prospects why they need to spend time reading your post but also keeps them engaged and likely to act on what they learn.
Always make sure that the why is at the forefront of what you’re writing. Many companies are offering the same products, so why should they buy it from you? The solution is usually that you can help them overcome a business challenge. Many prospects may not even realise they have a problem you can help them with, so stand out from the crowd and offer a fresh perspective that shows why your business is relevant to them.
Help your content to start meaningful conversations between you and your readers.
Rather than focusing on the messaging of your vendors, what do you do that solves for the customer and makes you top of their list when it comes to choosing who they should work with?
Discover how to implement a customer-centric strategy for B2B success.
Let’s take the provision of free Wi-Fi as an example here. Rather than talking about the technical advantage of multiple access points, why not focus on the impact it would have on profitability for retailers? Easy access to Wi-Fi would instantly open up options for shopper behaviour analysis or sending tailored offers to visitors via their devices. Suddenly your article goes from making sense to a tech savvy IT manager to being financially viable and enticing to a marketing team with a budget.
Let’s take a moment to remember that Gartner prediction from a few years ago:
By 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs. With the trend certainly still heading in that direction, it’s one you don’t want to overlook.
Don’t focus on you. Focus on your prospects. You’re the expert here so it’s inevitable that you’re going to know more than they do, putting you in the strong position to provide value and demonstrate your worth to a prospect before they've even bought from you.
Learn how to plan, build and implement an effective content marketing strategy.
You may well be sitting there thinking ‘that’s all well and good but how on earth do I change our content strategy to reflect this?’ The answer is that it certainly doesn’t come overnight, and it takes real effort to produce content that stands out as remarkable in your field.
Let’s take a look at three ways you can look to inject life into your content to boost conversions, fuel your inbound marketing strategy and meet business growth plans.
The content marketing game certainly isn’t an easy one, and doing it without much thought can result in a high quantity of work (and resources) that is quickly rendered useless. Quality is key, and that doesn’t need to mean showing off your technical knowledge. Your prospects are looking to you as the experts who can help them to realise and solve their problems, they don’t need you to explain every technicality in between.
Confidence in your capabilities as a business and as industry experts should show in all areas of your online presence to the point of being a standard expectation rather than a selling point to constantly re-iterate.
Learn how to create and publish standout content in 5 simple steps.
Particularly within the IT sector, much of the blog content you tend to see is highly technical or product driven, and as a result has no differentiation from competitors who are peddling the same software. It’s no revelation to say that B2B buying involves multiple decision makers. Many of these individuals aren’t in the slightest bit technical and are actually looking at the impact on wider business goals or end-user experience instead of specification.
Bring a real-life scenario to a piece of content and dramatically increase the chances of your prospects understanding it in relation to their situation. Don’t go in with the hard sell or start trying to win them over with technical specifications — when did that tactic ever work on you?
Breathe new life into your B2B content creation and promotion using our free resource, 'The Beginner's Guide to Content Strategy and Implementation'. Click the image below to download.
Head of Content at BabelQuest responsible for steering and implementing the content roadmap. PhD Creative Writing at the University of Southampton and novelist with Sparkling Books.
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