If you find B2B content marketing boring, you’re doing it wrong
It’s time B2B stopped thinking of itself as the sensible member of the media family and started pushing the boundaries of content creation
My name is Grace Garland and I love B2B content marketing. I am not ashamed. When I go to parties with people who produce records or work for cool sports brands, I can’t wait to tell them that I create content for companies that compare prices on franking machines and fleet management systems (shout out to all our friends at Pitney Bowes!).
Yet I think I am virtually alone in my enthusiasm, and I think this is because most people are approaching B2B content entirely wrong.
Stop talking about your brand
Whereas B2C marketers effectively have to appeal to everyone and everyone, most B2B brands have a fairly clear idea of who their customer is. Content-wise this means you can tailor make your campaigns to tap into their interests. By interests, that does not mean their job role. I can promise you even the most dedicated of purchasing decision maker does not want to hear about your latest model of telephone or how many letters your new franking machine can stamp in one minute.
Just like everyone else, they want juicy news and eye-catching headlines. Think broadly about the subject of your business; research an interesting aspect of entrepreneurship, run a survey into office politics – all of these topics relate to your brand and your audience, and most importantly will not bore your audience rigid.
The headline our brand Approved Index ran of ‘What degree will make you a billionaire?’ went viral, whereas our list of the top five vehicle tracking systems fell rather flat. This is because the one thing you can guarantee with an office-bound audience is that they are not cruising the internet, eating their unsatisfactory cafeteria sandwich looking for the latest office equipment, but they might be dreaming of one day branching out and launching their own unicorn start-up and upgrading to a Pret baguette.
We already have the data
I would be surprised if people read more than one full whitepaper a year, yet these long form reports are the bread and butter of the B2B content marketer. Short-read data stories will engage the media to feature you much more than a lengthy report, and potentially get your brand in front of thousands of new readers.
The good news is, as a B2B brand you probably have lots and lots of your own data that you can package as an attractive news story. What markets have been growing? What interesting buying habits are you seeing? Try to tie your findings to something in the news at the time, so if you have data on the recent sales of office furniture, say something like: “Is this the end of the desk? Millennials shun the office staple in favour of walking desks and ball pit meeting rooms”.
Be proud of your content
Ultimately you should only be producing content that you would stop to read or that you would be proud to share on your personal social media. It’s time B2B stopped thinking of itself as the sensible member of the media family and started pushing the boundaries of content creation. It will be better for your audience, better for you media profile and, ultimately, provide much better chat for your next social engagement.