Since 2010, more than a half of digital marketers consider “producing engaging content” a top challenge to overcome.
The problem is particularly acute for representatives of a B2B segment, weeping crocodile tears over their business blogs:
On the one hand, they – B2B marketers, not blogs – understand that businesses with blogs generate 67% more leads.
On the other hand, they – blogs, not B2B marketers – are too formal (read: boring) to bring in traffic and generate leads. It happens because business owners don’t give marketers a free hand in choosing content ideas, doubting whether it’s appropriate for grand brands to sound friendly and creative.
In other words, they are afraid of not looking authoritative enough.
Sounds like a dead end, huh?
Not quite. Even if marketing for grand B2B segments, you can create juicy content for their blogs to engage readers and generate them into leads afterward. For that, consider the following:
Content marketing is about engagement and trust. To make people hear, you need a voice. One and only. If your B2B blog sounds like an academic writer while social media channels speak hipsterish to the audience, that’s not the way it works.
Decide on the following:
- Who is your brand?
- How does it communicate with the audience? Is it a teacher? A friend?
- How does it sound? What’s its tone?
Follow, yet don’t plagiarize, the lead of Mail Chimp and create a style guide to your brand voice: what words to use, how to address the audience, what headlines to choose, what business goals to pursue, etc. It will allow your marketing team to create content of one style, voice, and tone.
B2B doesn’t equal strict, formal, and boring. Don’t be afraid of using contextual humor in your blog posts; yet, don’t make fun of a product or customers: take them seriously but don’t hesitate to laugh at yourself.
The trick is to not try too hard.
No matter how witty your jokes are, remember that you are a marketer after all. The audience won’t care about your creative blog posts if they don’t give any relevant data (read: research) to prove the grandness of your business.
Consider the following:
- The audience. Visit forums and corresponding communities to find your target audience’s representatives, talk to them, and find out what concerns them most.
- Competitors in the niche. Though spying on them may hurt your marketing endeavors, you may boost traffic and conversion by implementing content ideas they ignore in their business blogs.
- Everything is good in its season, so don’t miss a chance to engage the audience with mainstream yet relevant topics.
- Distribution and promotion channels. In a B2B segment, business blog posts rarely go beyond that blog itself because of the prejudice about such content’s meagerness. Test different channels of distribution: who knows, maybe your posts on portable radio sets for long-haul truckers will break Instagram.
Once you’ve gathered all necessary data, it’s high time to engage readers with juicy content. Here go some proven ways to do that.
How to Make Your Content Juicy
- Consider videos
“How it’s made” clips work best for B2B. Just take a look at this video by Lexar:
- Create infographics
Sure, it’s not enough to draw a diagram in Excel and post it to your business blog, waiting for tons of shares to come. A great infographic is about:
- Clear concept, and theme
- Data, which is easy to represent
- Emotional and trendy headline
- A story, so don’t ignore storytelling techniques to make your customers care.
- Pendulum action: knock them sideways with a surprising statement in the headline; then, reinforce it with facts in a content body.
Here’s the example from the law office of Daniel Rosen:
To see the full infographic, go here.
For wow-effect of your B2B content, answer these questions while writing:
- What business side does a big boss discuss with friends on Friday evenings?
- What could be an alternative use of your product?
- Who does create it? What happens backstage?
- Where do you take raw materials from for the product?
- Do you have stories of success? Maybe, your product/offer has changed anybody’s life?
- Give something for free
It can be a video guide, an e-book, a cheat sheet… or, even a favorite cup of your CEO! The word “free” is key here: once users see it on the screen, they will definitely spend at least 5-10 seconds to find out what’s free there.
Look up to the best ones.
No one says you should plagiarize ideas and steal their content, but your top competitors may inspire and motivate you to overtake them. Change the perspective, and spy on them to analyze rather than copy their blogs: what content ideas they miss, what words and article structures would be better to use, what topics to consider for “stealing” and making them sparkle, etc.
When you don’t know what to write in your business blog, consider updating your old content: numbers have it, 92% of blog-sourced leads come from older posts; so why not extend the life of your best content by updating it from time to time?
In a word…
Grand B2B blogs aren’t necessarily faceless and voiceless, and it’s we marketers who make them so by following copywriting clichés. The common stereotypes we follow while thinking on great B2B blog posts make us consider some niches boring and unfit for content marketing.
Whatever you do, you can make is awesome. While competitors and naysayers doubt, your blog will rock. Nothing matters here but your desire and approach to work.