No need to be boring: Unleash the life in your B2B content
Gem Latimer, inbound consultant at BabelQuest takes a look at how content from a fresh perspective can make a real difference to your conversions and engagement
The value of content is now widely understood across the B2B spectrum, with the stat that B2B companies who blog receive 67% more leads than those who don't leading to many outlining a strategy. The problem is, just having a strategy is rarely enough and many still fall short of the mark for satisfactory engagement and conversion.
Especially with technical content, it is easy to fall into the trap of looking the same as competitors and the sector can begin to look very predictable. There’s nothing to set you apart from your competitors!
With a sale dependent on buy-in from a variety of stakeholders in many businesses, many of the people we are talking to aren’t even technical and are actually more interested in business goals or user experience rather than specification.
None of us want to spend time reading boring, lifeless content that doesn’t seem relevant – so why are we presenting exactly that to prospects?
Don’t panic, there is a solution
Every piece of content needs to hold the attention of prospects throughout with a clear story and lead them to a next step via a call to action. The best way to do this is to put your content in the context of a real life situation. Suddenly it’s not just hypothetical advice, but something firmly rooted in reality. The reader will not only be engaged in your content, but will be more likely to act on your advice.
Let’s take free Wi-Fi as an example. 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 that 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.
Remember that it’s highly likely you will know more about your sector than your prospect. Many other businesses offer the same product or service as you do, why are you different? Uncover what it is exactly that you solve for the customer, and start there, helping them to look at the possible solution with a new perspective.
But how do we make sure this happens?
Implementing an overhaul to your content can be easier said than done and can be extremely daunting.
Here are three thing you can do to bring some life to your content:
1. Involve all areas of your business
Different departments will be having very different types of conversations with prospects and customers. It’s by looking at these that you can start to uncover opportunities for content that will really make a difference and answer common questions. You will also find that through this approach, teams from across the business will find your content more useful and will share it more during their own conversations.
2. Outsource some of the writing
Often, someone removed from an organisation can offer a fresh perspective on your expertise and can help to interpret it in a more understandable way. It also saves time for busy departments who don’t have the resources to write content.
3. Speak to current customers
They’ve been through your sales process, they’ve used your services or products, so make the most of that experience! Talking to current customers can give an insight into why you were the best option for them, and can help you to inject some of that into your content. You can also get real life examples of your product in action in a real situations!
At the awareness stage, your prospect will be less knowledgeable than you. It may even be that they know that there is an issue, but they don’t know why and certainly don’t know the solution.
Bring a real life scenario to a piece of content and you will dramatically increase the chances of your prospect understanding its relation to their situation. Don’t go in with the hard sell or start trying to win them over with technical specifications – it’s unlikely to work.
The art of storytelling is as old as culture itself. Long before even the written word, stories were told as a means to provoke emotion, and assist the retention and subsequent passing on of information.
Increasingly, customers expect a seamless experience across all digital touch points and channels – a narrative that storytelling can provide.