We will start with the importance of B2B content marketing, then shift to why it’s inadequate and how we can fix it.
Buyers expect content
More than 70 percent of B2B buyers define their needs and options before engaging with a sales rep. Marketers know this, which explains why 89 percent of B2B marketers invest in content marketing, according to MarketingProfs.
But attracting B2B buyers requires informative content to showcase company expertise and offerings.
Content marketing has ROI
Content marketing efforts increase your ability to communicate effectively. As reported by the Content Marketing Institute, the cost of content marketing vs. paid search is 31–41 percent less per lead in larger businesses. Studies show ebooks, white papers, case studies, and social media posts are the most effective types of content.
Of course, keeping it fresh is important. Releasing new content allows you to connect more successfully with your audience through social media channels like LinkedIn.
Your competitors are investing
You can bank on the fact that your competition isn’t standing still when it comes to content. We know that it is harder to catch up once you have fallen behind.
If content is important – and everyone says it is – then why is so much of it bad?
5 reasons why most B2B content is inadequate
There is a good chance your B2B content is falling short or failing outright.
Reason #1. It is general and vague
Content that is full of jargon, self-promotion, and fluff is useless to B2B buyers. It doesn’t add value and can seem completely irrelevant.
What if the roles were reversed? Would you consume content that doesn’t speak to you and your interests? What reason would you have to read content on a broad topic rather than one that solves a specific problem?
Without a clear, bold statement up front, readers don’t know what to expect. With this in mind, they’ll scroll and skim for a little bit, but will leave if they don’t have any direction or goal in mind.
Reason #2. It is promotional
Most marketers get this wrong. Rather than a place for self-congratulatory chest-thumping, the star of the show is your audience. Great content leads with education and offers specific takeaways. Conversion can’t be forced. The content must create pull.
Reason #3. It has too much text
B2B content is a visual, written journey that helps your customers accomplish a specific task or learn more about a relevant topic.
By failing to use proper imagery, or none at all, you are making it hard for the customer to become engaged.
Reason #4. It is hard to read
If you’re using words that don’t sound like your audience, you need to simplify. Other issues impacting readability are things like sentence and paragraph length, passive voice, lousy formatting, and of course, poor writing.
Reason #5. It lacks a call to action
Your B2B content won’t generate any results if you don’t show readers what steps to take next. It is your responsibility as a marketer to lead them down a path of discovery.
What should you do to fix your content problem?
Win with amazing B2B content
To make improvements, you can take these steps to to re-energize your efforts. Evaluate how each can help you create more high-performing content.
Step #1. Find your voice
You don’t have to be bland or boring, no matter what you sell or whom you help. Your brand personality will shine through in your voice and tone. The idea is for the personality to be authentic and genuine, you can build trust with your audience.
Showing off a personality also humanizes your brand. It’s not this faceless entity. Instead, it’s talented people working to help other companies.
Step #2. Bring a perspective
A point of view doesn’t have to be controversial. It simply means your company has values and lives them.
Remaining neutral never works when you’re developing content on big challenges and concerns for your audience. Hedging won’t win over customers. They’ll respect that you have expertise and are coming from a place of offering insights.
Step #3. Treat your audience like a star
Content marketing is strategic storytelling. From ebooks to video to social media posts, you are creating a narrative. The most important thing is to ensure the star is your buyer. The journey is theirs, and your business simply enables them to succeed.
Step #4. Get creative
B2B content should be creative. The best B2B content is imaginative and entertaining. When it’s like this, your content is easily consumable.
Audiences associate positive feelings with your brand.
Step #5. Break down big ideas with explainer videos
As video becomes increasingly ubiquitous, consider how to package and extend ebooks, blogs, or white papers with video. Not only is it an opportunity to inject fun and energy, it offers the added benefit of delivering more punch in a shorter amount of time.
If you are serious about taking your content to a higher level, you have three options. Upgrade your existing team. Partner with a third-party specialist. Meld some combination of the two. At RaaStr, we can work in any of these ways.
Schedule a consultation now to update your approach to content marketing.