As B2B marketers work to connect with customers and prospects through social media, one of the keys to those connections is to create remarkable, compelling content. That content needs to provide value to your followers and fans, rather than push your products or services. The following tips can help you create better content, more compelling content and content that provides value.
1. Develop a Monthly Theme
B2B marketers hear over and over that they need to act like the best trade publication in their industry. Usually this means things like cover the industry and create an editorial calendar. But what if you add to the list developing a monthly theme as part of the editorial calendar? Many trade publications have themes to their monthly issues. This means that the majority of blog posts for that month are about the theme. It doesn’t mean you can’t write about anything else, but it provides focus to the content you create in a given month. If you create ebooks or webinars in that month, they should also follow the theme.
2. Add the Voice of the Customer
Very often we create content in a vacuum and assume we know what will resonate with our customers and prospects. Sometimes we get that right. But other times we miss by a mile. To make sure you hit that target more times than not, ask you customers what information would be helpful to them. Ask across industries, company size and geography. The size of your customer base determines the level of formality of the questions. Salespeople can ask informally or you can email a link to an online survey. And find out what kind of information would help convince them to become a customer if they were not already.
3. Involve Customers
Customer testimonials have always been a part of B2B marketing, but they have never been very compelling. What if you include your best customers in a series of webinars about best practices. These are not customers saying how great your solutions (read products) are. These are using your customers’ knowledge and expertise to share with your network. Don’t just limit this to video interviews, but consider webinars too, so they can provide more in depth information.
4. Dedicate Resources
Creating content consistently creates connections with customers, if only for the alliteration. It is ideal if you can have staff that is dedicated to content creation, but if you can’t, you can dedicate time to it. Set aside an afternoon each week, preferably the same afternoon, as sacred content creation time. Put it on your calendar, and don’t let anything interfere with it. If you are creating longer form content on a regular basis, block off that on your calendar too.
5. Combine Disparate Ideas
Part of creating compelling content starts with good ideas, but how you convey those ideas is just as important. And one way to improve your content is to bring together two disparate ideas that show a new way of thinking about your industry or area of expertise. Some recent examples of these include a MarketingProfs post using Springsteen song lyrics as a primer on social media marketing and a CDC post about how preparing for a zombie apocalypse helps you prepare for a real emergency. These types of ideas are also more likely to stand out in an endless flow of online content.
If you have other ideas that you have used to improve your B2B content, share them in the comments below.