Depending on your industry, you might think that creating original content has all the excitement of a bowl of oatmeal. However, the truth is that content boosts your B2B communications -- and it doesn't have to be boring.
B2B Communications Stats You Can't Ignore
Just because you manufacture microchips or sell machining software doesn't mean that you're excused from creating content that engages prospects.
Check out these stats if you're not convinced (or if you are, tweet them to convince others.)
- Buyers go through about 57% of the purchasing process before ever talking to sales. (source)
- B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 searches before ever jumping on a specific brand’s site. (source)
- 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. (source)
- Business buyers share the following content types with colleagues frequently: Blog Posts (40%); Infographics (35%); eBooks (35%); White Papers (35%); Case Studies (33%); Webinars (33%); Videos (25%). (source)
- 86% of B2B buyers “frequently” use mobile phones to access business-related content.(source)
Clearly, content creation is not optional. However, just spewing information about your company does not qualify as good content. Let's check out how you can beef up your B2B Communications while following a few simple rules.
5 Rules for Creating Content That Boosts B2B Communications
1. Don't Be Afraid to Go Long
Although not a hard and fast rule, B2B buyers typically prefer long-form blog posts. This is what the marketing gurus at Curata discovered.
"This year, the Curata marketing team shifted to a data-driven content marketing strategy. We uncovered many insights about the effectiveness of our content and were able to make several changes to our strategy.
One example: We used our content marketing platform to analyze data on historical content and found that long-form blog posts generate nine times more leads than short-form blog posts. We now focus almost all of our resources on creating long-form content.” — Alexandra Barca, Content Marketing Specialist at Curata
Obviously, generating more leads is the desired by-product of slaving over content that you hope will be useful and appreciated. So don't be afraid to be over-explain. B2B buyers are typically not looking for a short-term partnership with vendors, so they are willing to put in extra homework time to find the right fit.
2. Avoid Small Print
Just because you pride yourself on perfecting the finite details of your product or service, doesn't mean that you should seem anal to the point of being pedantic.
This type of attitude can come across when you use small lettering and large paragraphs. It says "If you're not willing to work hard to glean the relevant points in my content, then you're not important to me."
That's really the last message you want to send. And it's one that annoys B2B buyers, as evidenced by this stat:
- 2/3rds of B2B buyers (66%) strongly agree that B2B vendors should stop overloading content with copy/small print to improve the quality of their content. (source)
Instead, make sure that you use a readable font, include bullet points, visuals, and headers that make it easy for buyers to quickly scan your content. If it's relevant to them, they'll make sure to read the whole thing, but don't force their hand.
3. Skip the Sales Pitch
The content you create is primarily for your potential buyers. However, the goal should be to inform, not to confront them with a sales pitch. This isn't to say you don't want to take advantage of their viewership to let them know what services or products you have available.
The key is to know where the viewer is in the sales funnel. Are they reading your blog post? It may likely be the first time they've ever heard of your company. Don't pester them with ads, or with a CTA that demands too much of them (for more about creating powerful calls to action, check out this post) . Instead, offer a valuable piece of content, such as an eBook, that helps them solve a problem.
Offers that cost the reader money should be reserved for later in the lead process.
4. Don't Pigeon Hole Your Content
Blog posts are incredibly relevant to B2B buyers, and certainly necessary. However, you don't want to get stuck creating just one type of content. Buyers are looking for firms that are innovative and not stuck in a rut.
Therefore, why not try out making a video, a webinar, or a Periscope production? The more you put into your content marketing, the more you will get out of it.
5. Measure the Effectiveness of Your Content
Finally, you'll want to have proper analytics in place so that you can see whether or not you're reaching your audience.
In this way, you can fine-tune your topics, your calls to action, and your email marketing campaigns in a way that will be helpful, and not annoying, to your audience.
If you're already creating content, but sometimes feel like you're stuck in rut, check out our latest video, 7 Ways to Rock at B2B Content Creation. You'll get a few ideas about how to break through a creative block, and some effective ways to create the best content!
We hope you find it entertaining and informative!