How to Create Quality B2B Content
by Matt Johnson, on
Whether you need printed or online material, content is the underlying requirement. Catalogs, brochures, email blasts, blog articles, white papers and more all require content to attract potential customers and to convert those potential customers into actual customers. So with content being such an important aspect of marketing, how should one go about creating worthy content?
Quality vs. the Alternative
Think of your marketing unit as the engine that drives business to your company. Weak content can be compared to oil sludge. A little will hurt performance, but not significantly. If oil sludge is allowed to accumulate to a large enough extent, however, it could cause major issues to even the best of engines. To the contrary, great content is like high performance synthetic oil, keeping all the gears moving without any friction, allowing your marketing engine to continue driving sales.
In every market consumers want quality product, and surfers of the web are no different. The trick here is to realize what the product is that people crave online, or a better way to phrase that: why do people go online? The study linked here shows that 82% of people go online to be entertained and a whopping 96% go online to be educated. So it stands to reason that offering engaging content and/or valuable information will drive traffic your way. In B2B, being informative is obviously the overall goal, but being engaging at the same time should be part of your plan.
It doesn’t matter if someone is searching how to fix a leaky pipe or what brand dress Kim Kardashian wore on the red carpet, people want information. It’s the first step that can end with new customers (examples). When creating content, you should envision your ideal customer and ask yourself what that person wants to learn while online. This is the strategic planning stage, and there are ways to know what your customers want.
Once you’ve figured out where to begin, focus on supplying solutions to your potential customers’ needs. These solutions do not necessarily need to correlate directly to what you sell, but it should lead them in the right direction to becoming a customer. For example, a company that sells content solutions could offer unrelated content to show off their proficiency. Whatever you decide to create, be sure your intended audience will find it useful and correlate your business with positive sentiments.
We’ve all tried to read something that we wanted to be interested in, but the content was just too dry. Think high school history book. Even if what you’re trying to inform people about is not the most intriguing subject, there are still ways to keep readers engaged. Adding a little humor or unrelated stimulating content might be all that’s needed. By the way, did you know that in the 1870s soccer goals had no top bar, so a goal could be scored by kicking the ball 30 yards high, between the upright posts on either side? Also, since astronauts have trouble getting an appetite in space, they are told to chew gum because the action creates hunger.
Although keeping your readers engaged is extremely important, do not stray too far from your ultimate goal of informing. As with everything else in life, there needs to be balance. Know your audience and give them the right amount of each. To engage consumers directly, entertainment might equal or surpass information, but in B2B, information is king.
Length and format also contribute to the quality of your content. Unfortunately there is no easy answer as to how long a blog post needs to be or how many images to include in a white paper. The key to remember with all content is to satisfy the purpose you set out to accomplish. If you take a step back and look at your content and think you kicked the ball straight through the uprights, then you’ve completed your goal. Now chew on that.