3 Questions Help Ensure Your B2B Content Is Engaging
If your B2B digital content isn’t getting the response you expect, take a look at some of the fundamentals. Here are three areas that often cause content to under-perform.
Do You Have a Content Strategy?
It may seem obvious, but lack of a content strategy happens all too often. A company with a new product and a tight timeline for showing returns mistakenly considers a product sheet a content strategy. Or, an established company with a content strategy for an existing line of business might assume the same strategy will work for a new service offering.
If you are pushing out content under either of these scenarios, you risk wasting a lot of time and money. Worse, you undermine your reputation and brand in the market by demonstrating a lack of understanding of the needs and motivations of your audience.
A winning content strategy based on real market research should:
- Identify and profile all the decision-makers in a typical purchasing process
- Map the buyer journeys for each of these stakeholders
- Create specific content for each stakeholder segment and only for the channels that are relevant for each segment
- Include objectives, metrics, testing and feedback loops to ensure your content is performing to your expections
Has the Market Experienced a Fundamental Change?
Sometimes the market changes and the value proposition that was the foundation for your content strategy should change as well. For example, I worked with a client that sells a complex service into post-acute healthcare providers like skilled nursing and short-term rehab facilities. These facilities rely on referrals from hospitals for a significant portion of their business, but the Affordable Care Act changed the way that hospitals evaluate post-acute care. We acted quickly to modify our content strategy and take advantage of this fundamental change in the market. The new content increased engagement and accelerated the success of the company.
If your market research is only used to size the market or gauge market penetration, you aren’t going far enough. An effective content strategy also requires ongoing research to understand your target audience and the market pressures that create their competitive advantages. These pressures change over time and your content strategy must change with them.
Is Your Content Focused On The Needs Of Your Customers?
One reason that B2B content often fails to generate engagement is that it lacks relevance for you target audience. Origin stories may work for Marvel Comics spin-offs, but company history is rarely an effective story for marketing content.
How much of your content describes your product or service rather than demonstrating its benefits? Are the words “we” and “our” used much more often than “you” and “your”? Are you telling stories that are relevant to the intended stakeholder segments? Or are they generically applicable to them all while coming across as specifically compelling to none?
Your strategy should include content that is educational, provocative, and consultative. It must empower the target audience to develop a new vision that propels action. Can your audience clearly see how their life, business or success path will change significantly if they select your product or service rather than your competitor’s?
Ensure Your B2B Content Is Relevant To Your Audience
It’s easy to fall into the trap of creating content just to fill your content channels while losing sight of your content strategy. If your content isn’t generating engagement, the three questions above will start you on the path towards success.