Subject matter experts used to write only when inspired, so writing content was actually fun. Now that inbound marketing campaigns rely on a continual stream of valuable content, we no longer have the luxury of waiting for inspiration. A 2016 content marketing study by Contently reported that 73 percent of marketers created more content this year than last year.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with B2B content creation. Here are three strategies to ensure your content is fresh and enjoyable for you and your target audience.
Look at your products from an “outsider’s” perspective
If you think your company’s products/services are dull, you’ve been around them too long. Fresh eyes can really help. But if you don’t have a marketing agency to turn to for creative ideas, at least look beyond the obvious features and benefits. Instead, look for an interesting application. Or consider the ways your products/services impact the work of their users.
For example, one of our clients makes fluorochemicals that are compounded into plastic parts. No one is going to get excited about a white paper on product chemistry. However, these products enable companies to design and manufacture plastic parts for extreme conditions like oil wells, airplanes and car engines. A video, eBook or blog post titled, “Five Secrets to Making Parts that Keep Working at 300 Degrees” is a lot more appealing.
Case studies are wonderful too. In fact, they’re rated as the most effective B2B content tactic by 65% of respondents in 2016 Content Marketing Benchmark. But make sure to give them an exciting title like the one above instead of a yawner like, “How XXX Company Selects Fluorochemicals for Packings and O-Rings.”
Make getting attention a priority!
The competition out there is fierce, making it difficult for your content to get found online and clicked on in Google search results. You’ll be more successful if you tell your story with non-conventional words and avoid overused industry jargon.
Our client, a supplier of industrial vacuum cleaners, recently wanted to develop a piece of content for an online ad campaign. Vacuums have been around forever. Everyone has a good grasp of what they are. The buyers (who work in manufacturing plants) frequently receive sales collateral about vacuum features. Typical content titles in this industry include: “Air-Powered Vacuum Cleaners,” “Options in Industrial Vacuum Cleaning Systems,” and “HEPA Vacuum Bulletin.” Not exactly screaming to be downloaded, right?
So, we created a wrestling matchup with their main competition — the cheap, shop-style vacuums sold in big box stores. These low-end, shop-style vacuums are continually burning out because they aren’t intended for industrial use.
We created an infographic that clearly presented all the differences. It was easy to read, easy to understand and useful for facility managers to build their case for a “serious vacuum cleaner.” There were hundreds of download requests the first time the ad ran, and it is a helpful tool for sales reps as well.
Keep a Sense of Humor
Remember that personalities are not correlated to people’s job titles. Everyone wants to have fun sometimes, even at work. This includes engineers, scientists and IT people. Since the majority of business content is serious in tone, “fun” content can really stand out. Don’t be afraid to use humor in your pieces, but make sure that the main point is serious and not lost in the fun.
For example, one of our clients makes tractors and other machinery for commercial farmers. They needed a call to action to promote their manure spreaders, one of their most competitive product lines. The goal was to get attention, connect with their audience and drive home the message that the company stands by its products. So we developed a fun video that illustrated that quite literally.
The video showed Pequea engineers in white coats and clipboards walking behind a manure spreader in a field and taking notes about the performance of the spreader. It ended with a close-up of the guy’s face covered in manure with a big smile and a thumb’s up. The video’s casual style kept cost to a minimum. In this niche market, 7,077 views was a great success. If filming your story isn’t easy, consider creating animatic videos as content pieces.
Employ these techniques to make B2B content creation fun again. And if you’re too busy to do so, engaging an agency to do content creation can yield great ROI!
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.
Chris Henneghan is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.