Savvy B2B marketers know how to create great content that gets results, whether it's an uptick in warm leads or a direct sale. They plan, setting goals and preparing to entertain as well as inform their prospects. They view content marketing as a puzzle with five pieces, and each piece is just as important as the next.
Here are the five elements of great B2B content marketing that savvy marketers use:
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive sales, but content can't just be an advertisement. Nor can content marketers throw up content willy-nilly. There needs to be a cohesive content strategy focused around goals. Whether it's to position your client as a thought leader or directly influence purchasing, set goals for your content marketing program. Without goals, your client's content is just that - content, twisting in the wind. Set clear goals that you can use to guide each piece of content, each Tweet, Pin, status update, video, and white paper.
Your client's content should not be an advertisement. Period. Content that meets targeted goals is informative and provides ways to solve problems that the prospect struggles with on a regular basis. Think of the best white papers and blogs you've read or the videos you share with colleagues. They're informative without being sales-y, and they provide value. The best content provides information on trends, how problems escalate, and how you can solve them. Model your client's content after these for the best results.
3. Entertainment Value.
Not all content is poker-face serious. Some of the best content for conversions is entertaining as well as informative. Content like case studies tell stories, and storytelling is a powerful way to show prospects how your clients can solve their problems. A compelling story engages the reader and turns her into a warm lead - and possibly a customer. A prospect that is laughing, wiping away a tear, or sending the link to a friend or coworker is one that you'll be able to convert.
Just like entertaining, storytelling content, great B2B content marketing also lets a brand's personality shine through. None of your client's content has to be a grammatical work of art - in fact, for personality to really get through to their prospects, sometimes you need to bend the rules. Your eighth grade English teacher might cringe, but you know your client's audience - and you know what makes them respond. Get them to sympathize with your clients and their success stories, cheer for the victories, and trust them.
Content needs to communicate value, whether it's as a thought leader or premier manufacturer. Make sure that your client's content fosters a two-way street of communication where they engage and respond to customers and prospects. Talking at them won't make the sale. Talking to them and encouraging conversation will. Use social media as a component of your client's content marketing strategy. Even B2B companies can harness Twitter, and old-fashioned blog comments can also provide a great forum for customers and the company.
Armed with these elements, any B2B content strategist can create the kind of excellent content that meets goals. Integrate these into your client's content, which will result in meaningful, engaging posts that generates leads and sales.