54% of B2B marketers view producing engaging content as their biggest content marketing challenge this year, according to a recent survey by The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs. It’s not your fault you work in a “boring”industry, right? How are you supposed to engage, excite and entice your audience when your topic doesn’t exactly scream ‘read me’,‘watch me’, ‘care about me’?
Stop – you’re looking at this wrong. Because businesses are people too.
They also need to get emotionally invested in your product or service for your content marketing efforts to connect, resonate, wake them up from their daily commute and reach their deepest desires. Just because you work for a B2B business doesn’t mean your readers don’t deserve to get that warm, fuzzy feeling when they think of your brand.
Businesses are customers too. They too have needs, problems to solve and desires to succeed, to appear competent, to feel confident, to get better at their jobs. When you’re dealing with B2B never forget about the people. What do I mean? Don’t lose sight of the fact that business to business still means people to people.
Here’s how you can get your B2B audience emotionally connected with your content marketing with a little creativity and a deep understanding of how people think, feel and want to be seen…
Learning is never boring. Teaching a new skill that helps businesses and individuals work better, faster and more efficiently will never fail to engage, inspire and make people sit up and listen. Show your B2B clients how to master a skill related to your industry and the type of product/service you sell. For example, how-to articles and webinars are perfect for teaching valuable lessons that your target audience will appreciate.
When crafting content for a B2B audience it’s important to remember two things: 1. what value they’ll gain from your content from consuming it and 2. How they’ll appear to their network by sharing it.
You’ll Make Them Feel: More competent and confident in their job.
You’ll Make Them Look: Clued into their industry, better than their competitors, like they’re constantly upskilling and bettering their career.
Just because you’re teaching doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Think of your best teachers in school – they were most likely motivated, humorous, ‘on your level’. Be the best teacher for your target audience by using motivational, passionate and entertaining language to inspire. Tell anecdotes, give examples and do everything in your power to keep your class of B2B clients awake and fully engaged in your brand and your lesson.
Moz is a brilliant B2B brand that offers unique value and insightful lessons to digital marketers with its Whiteboard Friday videos.
If you’re solving a problem people need solved you’ll always get listeners. If you’re solving a problem an industry needs solved you’ll always get followers. Make sure you’re reading industry news, keeping an eye out for emerging trends and scouring surveys for the latest industry challenges. You can then set about offering valuable solutions to specific industry challenges people are actively seeking solutions for (and searching Google for too).
For example, in this article I’ve identified creating engaging content as a core industry problem for B2B marketers (in this case my target audience). To tackle this problem I’ve stated that B2B businesses need to adopt a new way of thinking. I’ve then discussed some of the ways (solutions) businesses can make their content more engaging to ensure it resonates with their target audience.
You’re not a robot. So please – for the sake of your bored-to-frustration B2bB audience – put a bit of heart and soul into your brand. Think and write like a human. That’s not what your competitors are doing is it? Well, here’s a thought: stop worrying about competitors’ activity and start worrying about what makes your customers tick.
HubSpot is one of the most down to earth and human brands out there. Check out their inbound marketing blog for inspiration for how to speak to your target audience with light-hearted humour and keep them deeply engaged with your message and brand. They’ll show you how to be human – we promise.