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Building B2B Marketing Content That Your Audience Wants to See

By Ryan Nicholson

Oct 10, 2014

About 7 minutes

Content MarketingStop Building Bad B2B Content

Clients come to us all of the time with pre-built ideas about the digital marketing content that they want to disseminate. These ideas are based on what they want their prospects to see, but they lack a deep understanding of the information and content their customers and prospects want to consume. They have considered purpose and intent, but only at a very high level and from a perspective that treats digital content creation like more traditional marketing.

Modern B2B content marketing isn’t about building meeting collateral. Marketers may have had success with that five years ago, but expecting that basic informational content, such as sell sheets or product overviews, to attract clicks, likes, shares, and lead conversions is overly optimistic. Let’s consider some of ways to create standout content that will help raise the profile of your brand and generate leads.

 Thinking About Your Audience:

The critical aspect that is missing from many unsuccessful campaigns is a deeper understanding of the target audience. Marketers typically know basic general information and can recite the company-centric demographics. They know exactly how many employees, how much revenue, the geography, and the job titles they are targeting. They also know the ins-and-outs of their own products and services. Often, though, they lack or have never considered a complete picture of the individual person they should focus on. They lack the understanding of what drives an individual in a specific time and place to enter the buying cycle, take an action, and engage with the company's brand.

This is where an audience development session is essential. Instead of jumping right into creating content around a message for a product or service that solves a problem, think about it from an individual’s perspective. How can you break down your audience into segments? What kind of content can you build to be most appealing to these segments? These kinds of brainstorming sessions force marketers to confront the new realities of digital/inbound marketing, opening up paths to creating marketing campaigns. Campaigns with well thought out audience planning sessions result in more targeted content, which will lead to more successful outcomes.

Building B2B Content - Getting Started:

Have a conversation with your team and build out a content plan. Start with your ideal audience and see if you can break them down into multiple segments. Think about the place where you’re looking to promote your content, as people may respond differently depending on the distribution channel. How do your solutions and services help various titles within an organization, and how they might respond to your content? For instance, a CFO is going to have different goals and pains than an IT Director.

Your products and services may be relatively industry-agnostic, but your marketing doesn’t have to be. Separating your content plan by industry or even geography are other ways marketers can make their content more attractive to an individual in a specific role in a certain industry and in a specific place on a map. Check out these example buyer personas from Hubspot for some great examples of what the output of one of these sessions can look like.

Aligning Your Response Avenues:

When you set down the path of promoting your content, remember that your inbound content and your response avenues should be aligned. Your blogs, social media posts, landing pages, and content pieces should line up with the target audience from a copy standpoint and a visual standpoint. If you bait an individual in to a generic landing page and content piece through a very persona specific CTA or email, don’t expect the same kind of conversions you would have had otherwise if you didn't pull the bait-and-switch. Your hyper-targeted copy may have pulled someone in through AdWords or a social media post, but they'll feel cheated when the content piece doesn't speak to them. Not only will you decrease the likelihood of getting a response, but you may also generate a negative connotation with your brand. Great conversion rates and positive brand equity can be achieved when persona, copy, imagery, and distribution channels are in alignment.

Building Great B2B Content:

Consider the following points when building your next successful B2B inbound marketing campaign:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What would drive individuals to taking online action? Segment your audience based on this answer.
  3. Is your content unique? Does it contain information they’ll find nowhere else?
  4. If your content isn’t unique, you may to reconsider putting that kind of content behind a required contact-request form.
  5. Make sure you’re differentiating between top-of-funnel content, which gives an introduction to who you are and what you do, and the bottom-of-funnel content, which speaks to an individual who is further down the line in the buying process.
  6. Consider what makes your organization great. What is that wow factor that gets you and your customers excited? What do they love about doing business with you?
  7. Be different. Stand out from the crowd. Look at marketing campaigns that you admire and work to replicate those amazing aspects.

Contact us today to schedule an audience development session with myself or one of TSL’s SMART marketing experts. We can help do some of the heavy lifting and guide you down a path to more creative and more successful digital marketing.

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Tags: SEO, advertising