By Jeremy Victor
First and foremost, as I’ve mentioned several times in past columns, your content and communication needs to follow one basic principle -- the key to creating successful B2B relationships is by providing your audience with information that they find timely, helpful, and useful. With that as our guiding principle, use these five tips to improve your content strategy.
- Write for someone, not everyone. Target your content to individuals and their specific pain points. In the B2B context, match your content to your target (c-level decision maker vs. end user, for example). For effective content, one size never fits all. And remember it is a human being that you are communicating with, so …
- Appeal both to logic and emotion with your content. The most persuasive content addresses the logical side of the mind with quantifiable justification for a purchase and the emotional side with the promise the purchase fulfills. Don’t ignore what motivates your customers to buy in your content.
- Get the timing right. Whether it be a flat screen TV or an enterprise software application, purchasing decisions today take longer. A recession has a way of doing that to both consumer and corporate spending. In that environment, taking a staged view of your content marketing strategy enables you to create relevant communications based on where customers are in the buying cycle.
- Answer why and how— Tell them why they need your product, and how it solves their problems and pains. Focus on solution and benefit. Strive to become a trusted source of information and content for your industry and the challenges its professionals face.
- Categorize your content— Conversational vs. Educational vs. Promotional. This concept is one that causes a lot of light bulbs to go on when I am working with clients. Most often the reason for this is that they’ve never considered the idea of generating and planning “conversational” content ideas. The social web has often been referred to as one giant cocktail party. No one likes the guy who is constantly selling everyone. So you need topics that you can write about that will stimulate conversation. Pose questions, make statements about industry trends, have a side on topical issues. Planning your approach to this form of “conversational” content is just as important as any other.
My hope is that you find these tips timely, helpful, and useful and that you will continue working to improve your content strategy.
Feel free to pose your questions in the comments, I’ll be glad to help.