B2B Content Marketing – 15 Tips to Make You More Effective

Why B2B Content Marketing Effectiveness Is An Issue (& What To Do About It) [Research]

Does your B2B content marketing put your prospects to sleep?Is your B2B content marketing effective? If you’re like four out of five B2B marketers, the answer is no. Recent Corporate Visions research found that only 20% of B2B marketers thought their lead generation programs were effective.

A deeper examination revealed the following issues:

  • 37% was due to unengaging or boring content.
  • 31% was due to marketing and sales not being aligned.
  • 12% was due to budget constraints.
  • 9% was due to insufficient content.
  • 8% was due to lack of executive buy-in.

While these research finding aren’t surprising, the underlying problem is that spending day after day looking at the same products erodes marketers’ ability to see their offering from a fresh perspective. Further, once marketers find something that works well, there’s tendency to overuse it causing its effectiveness to decline. New creative and approaches are needed.

Here are fifteen tips to make your B2B content marketing more effective broken into three different categories.

Get a fresh perspective. Part of the challenge for B2B content marketers is to get other insights into their offering.

  1. Bring in freelance or new creative professionals. The goal is to get other points of view, experience and approaches. Change how you’re approaching your marketing and communications.
  2. Use guest perspectives. Get outside experts and influencers to contribute to your content marketing. They bring a level of knowledge and following to your products. Beyond the actual content, they can be helpful distributing your content to a broader or different social media following.
  3. Get input from others people in your organization. Go outside of the marketing and communications departments to find other employees who deal with your product and/customers.  For example, consider engineers, production, service and/or sales.
  4. Host a focus group. Either online or in person, get input from your prospects and customers to find out the types of information and questions to which they’re looking to get answers.
  5. Gather a group of employees to brainstorm new ideas. Over coffee or pizza, bring a cross section of employees together to come up with different ways to present your content marketing as well as new angles to use.

Offer different types of content marketing. In today’s over messaged world, people need to hear a marketing message multiple times to make an impression. Further, it can involve different forms of information. (To help you, here are forty-two content marketing ideas to support sales.)

  1. Answer customer service or sales questions. Look across to your customer facing departments to see what type of information your prospects want and need. The great benefit of this approach is that there’s no guesswork involved.
  2. Train your customers. Especially where complex products are involved, prospects need education. What can you do to help them in their quest for more information and better understanding where your products are involved.
  3. Show your products in action. Seeing is believing! With many B2B sales, it’s important to provide insights that can be difficult to do without experiencing the product.
  4. Provide case studies. Incorporate short examples of how customers use your products with an easy-to-understand problem, action and result format.
  5. Interview customers and executives. Gather different perspectives on your products and the environment. Be creative in getting people to engage or answer questions.

Change the content format. In today’s multi-media content world, it’s important to offer your target audience diverse content options. To this end, it’s important to consider your social media persona.

  1. Snap your product in photographs. Especially in with photograph-friendly social media like Pinterest, Tumblr and Flickr, it’s useful to present your content visually.
  2. Make a movie. Depending on your topic, video can be effective way to show your target market how to engage with your product.
  3. Compile your data into infographics. Infographics are easy-to-consume content that attract lots of social sharing. If your information lends itself to this type of presentation, it can spread quickly across social media platforms.
  4. Make a presentation. Whether it’s in real life at an event, conference or webinar, leverage the power of presentations. They’re useful even if you only post them on a slidesharing site.
  5. Give your content a voice. If you content lends itself to a conversation or story telling, consider using audio as an alternative way to present your content.  It adds the sound of the human voice making your content come alive.

Overtime all B2B content marketing needs to be tweaked or changed since it gets stale and looses its effectiveness. To this end, it’s important to consider getting new perspectives, changing up your topics and/or using different content formats.

What’s your suggestion for improving B2B content marketing effectiveness?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmc28/4592637798/

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