In B2B marketing, especially when it comes to content, we sometimes feel like our sole purpose in life is to talk about just how great we are – to our customers, our business partners, and even our own employees. In fact, many believe that’s all our “followers” want to hear from us. Some people call it “chest beating,” though, in all honesty, it’s really more a case of staying focused on the very core of the businesses we own and operate.
If you take a step back and think more deeply about how engaging it is to be on the receiving end of non-stop, branded, “me-me-me” content, you’ll likely soon realize that what you believe is “engaging” your audience is actually causing them to tune you out.
Even as a B2B marketer, you are still talking to real people via your marketing communications. So don’t get stuck in a rut that has your content swirling around in an abyss of yawn-worthy jargon and overused “marketing speak.” That’s the last thing anyone wants to read. Your content needs to engage people on a genuinely human level.
That’s why, when the time comes to publish content, it helps to change things up every now and then. This will keep your customers engaged – and curious about what you might talk about or share next – and help you create a brand halo across topics and themes that potentially stretch beyond your core business offerings. In other words, it helps make your brand relevant and, by association, a bit more relatable and on-trend.
The best community and social media managers know that customers ultimately enjoy consuming content that’s either informative (ie. directly useful to them and/or their day-to-day jobs) or entertaining (ie. those “surprise and delight” moments that somehow cut through the monotony of the day’s trials and tribulations). So, knowing this, they actively scour the Internet to find what’s trending, what’s cool, what’s unique, and, more importantly, what’s addictive. In other words, they are hunting for content that will get higher rates of engagement.
From popular “how to’s” to career development tips and tricks to the latest industry trends – and everything in between – these additive bits of content, that compliment all the quality musings you produce on behalf of your brand or business, add depth and breadth to your content program. They also show your community, albeit somewhat indirectly, that you’re current on what’s going on in the world around you.
In summary, a few quick and easy takeaways for you to keep in mind as you continue down your content publishing journey:
Be Useful. Even if you are determined to continue sharing content about your brand or about all the benefits associated with the product or service you offer, take time to think more squarely about what problem you’re helping your customers solve. By putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, you actually make it a lot easier for them to buy into your brand – and build a case to senior leaders as to why your product or service is the right product or service to help take them to the next level. When you focus on benefits in lieu of simply touting features and functionality, your content engine becomes an on-going reference point for your customers to check into again and again for insights and updates.
Share Examples. We all love case studies. Why? Because they are the best way to show off just how great our products and services are – through the lens of an actual user – and give you a great reason to build stronger, better, longer-lasting relationships with your customers. After all, a customer who sings your words of praise is likely a customer that will be around for the long haul. But here’s the catch: don’t fall into the rabbit hole of the infamously boring case study. Make them interesting. Make them interactive. Make them immediately actionable. Remember, it’s not just about sharing examples; rather, it’s about using those examples to get potential customers to take immediate action.
Showcase Data. We are living in an era where the language of data seems to be more valuable to everyone from the C-Suite down than ever before. Use it to your advantage. Many of your customers respond well to numbers. They like to know how you stack up to the competition as well as why your brand is a leader in its respective category, vertical, or field. By showcasing your own data (or even third-party data, if you have it readily available) as a means for talking more affirmatively and confidently about the products and services you offer, you’re in a better position to lead the conversation about what the proverbial “playing field” looks like, create industry benchmarks, and make assertions about what’s good vs. what’s great as it relates to your industry. Data is a powerful tool that, when used honestly and creatively, can easily shift and raise brand perceptions in a heartbeat. (Did I mention, everyone loves data these days?!)
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