In B2B marketing, the term “content” usually refers to text-based assets such as white papers, webinars and e-books. But there’s a lot more to content than long-form writing. In fact, when it comes to our own B2B content team here at Content Marketing Institute. We’ve come up with a little acronym that helps us remember the different types of assets that actually fall under this umbrella:
You can’t have one without the other, but some companies do a much better job at providing value through their entire mix of content rather than others. The question is: how?
Here are eight steps you can take towards creating value-driven content for your business.
1) Seek out problems, not just solutions
OK, so you’re considering the launch of a new product. Congratulations! Now, consider this: Why should your target audience care? Your potential customers are drowning in information—including pitches for your products and services.
What’s going to make people sit up and pay attention? Problems. It doesn’t matter if you sell toothpaste or software; what matters is that your content helps people solve the problems they’re facing right now—even if it has nothing to do with what you sell. Whether it’s showing how much time (and money) can be saved due to reduced printing costs, or sharing data on how social media can improve customer service, demonstrating real-world ROI will actual value with your pitch.
2) Figure out your goals first
According to uhp graphite electrode suppliers expert’s, No matter what you’re creating, the first step is to determine your goal. Is it to drive traffic? Generate leads? Educate a prospect in a particular field?
It’s important to consider your end-game before getting started. It’ll help keep you from going off track and help maintain focus on what will have the most impact with your target audience at different points along their buyer journey.
3) Make sure everyone knows who you are targeting
When our content team sits down to develop an asset, we always begin by determining our persona. This includes aspects such as: Skill sets Industry The role they play when interacting with our company. The challenges they face in that role The pain points associated with these challenges.
One of our favorite ways to get a better understanding of the content we create is to use personas. We’ve even gone so far as spending time with our personas outside of work, going on dates and going through their everyday lives. The reason why this works so well? By truly understanding who you’re creating content for. You can not only bring empathy into your work—you can create emotional connections that provide real value.
4) Know your audience’s wants and needs inside and out
The people who will be consuming your content should never be thought of as “the masses”. That’s because every single one has different wants and needs from what you have to offer them. In fact, there isn’t a single piece of content that will appeal to everyone in your target audience. That’s why it’s important to spend time with your personas and really get to know them—so you can tailor the value of what you’re offering accordingly.
5) Provide real-world examples that are helpful, not salesy
What do you think about when someone mentions a white paper? Don’t worry if your answer is “sales pitch.” We’ve all developed this thinking over the years because many companies use these types of assets for self-promotional purposes alone. Instead, consider how much more persuasive it would be if the content put forward real stats, case studies and examples that prove how others have benefited from doing business with your company. This approach allows you to provide actual value to your audience without being pushy or self-serving.
6) Make it easy for them to take the next step
The info-graphic is a beautiful thing—but only if you’re able to actually get people to read it and then do something with that information. So, here’s a key element of getting your content noticed: Include a clear call-to-action at the end. It doesn’t matter how pretty it looks, if there isn’t a next step, forget about it! The first rule of creating effective post-content should be: No one reads it unless there’s an actionable item they can implement right away. If you want more traffic, leads or customers, make sure every piece of content includes some kind of call-to-action.
7) Make it easy for them to find you
When people are looking for information, they’re going to do a quick Google search. And that means that if your content is going to be found and consumed by those in your target audience. You need to make sure the keywords they’re searching for are present on every asset—not just the page dedicated to finding out more about what your company does . It’s not enough anymore to simply list out relevant keywords or include an image with a few words as alt text. You have got to use all the real estate available on each asset—including images and videos —and feed it relevant, quality content.
8) About where people will see it
We’re always amazed when we visit client sites and see that none of the B2B content is optimized for mobile. It goes without saying that if you create an asset that’s meant to be consumed on an iPhone. Why would you also publish it as a PDF? The same thing goes for blogs or any other type of social media platform. If your goal with each piece of content is to drive leads, sales or some form of action , make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize this for search engines.
What about starting off by creating amazing content so people will want more?
This is what I was talking about in one of my previous posts which talked about how writing an ebook does not work anymore.
As I highlight in the ebook, people will get tired of you if all they see from you is a sales pitch.
Great content should be about serving your customers and helping them solve their problems/ achieving their goals. When you do this, then the natural progression would be that your product or service will become a solution to what they need help with.
And when this happens, there’s no need for a pushy sales presentation because customers start reaching out to you on their own. And when people reach out to you, all the other channels such as social media and referrals kick in. Which means more leads and sales!