The big bosses of medium and small B2B companies seem to be having the hardest time with the whole web content marketing thing. Locked up in stuffy conference rooms with cotton wool stuffed in their ears, they’re barely able to hear the noise in the marketplace. Talk to them about social media forces that are clamoring to change the way we buy, sell and market, and they look at you like you’ve uttered a blasphemy. “But we’re a B2B company!”
In other words, we’re exempt. B2B has always been a by-word for stodgy, boring, “traditional” marketing practices, and so it shall remain.
Alas, the world outside the conference room has changed so dramatically, that status quo isn’t even an option anymore. Boring2Boring is no longer a clarion call that attracts business confidence and unless you have a solid content generation and marketing strategy in place, the 88% of other American B2Bs who are spending 39% of their total marketing budget just on content will soon leave you far behind in the race to generate leads. And you’ll be holding onto hard copies of your company’s four weekly press releases on PRWeb.com and wondering how it all went so horribly wrong.
Content is the new language of business. It promotes the new kind of conversation that keep prospects engaged through every step in their path to purchase, and unless you’re doing a great job of keeping your end of it, those prospects will soon be listening to somebody else.
Here are — ways to revamp, revise and rethink your content as a multi-pronged medium of effective communication. Do some or all of them successfully and you’ll soon notice a marked improvement in your customer acquisition and retention efforts.
DON’T PREFACE YOUR WRITTEN CONTENT WITH A LENGTHY INTRODUCTION
No need to use three opening paragraphs to state the obvious, reminding customers how grateful you are for their business, how much you’re looking forward to being of service for the rest of your lifetime etc. etc.
Cut to the chase. Get to the point quickly and efficiently if you want let customers know about a new service or a sale promotion or whatever. It is a sign of lazy, incompetent writing to fluff on like a powder puff when you have really important information to share.
Save the thanks for the very last line as you sign off. More people will bother to read your missive that way.
DITCH FORMALITY WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Even the President of United States publicly refers to other heads of states by their first names. It’s fair then, I suppose, for B2Bs to loosen their ties a little bit and breathe some informality into the old practice of sounding starched and stilted in their marketing content.
BE AN AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE WITHIN YOUR INDUSTRY
Do your homework, by staying up to date with the latest industry news and developments. Scope out the gurus in your field and study their content. Gather information for yourself first, and educate yourself before you set out to inform and inspire others. This practice will add intellectual weight to your content and keep your topics current and interesting.
As writer and editor, Nabanita (Nita) has worn many hats. She started her career as a magazine journalist – and launched and edited India’s largest-selling weekend magazine (`Brunch’) before moving to the United States in 2007. She has also written travel books (for the award-winning `To Asia With Love’ series) and countless columns and articles for newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia. She has been working in digital content marketing for over 10 years now with a relentless curiosity about what drives and motivates people when they’re interacting in the online space.