Live From MarketingProfs B2B: Creating Versatile, Valuable Content for B2B Results

By Sarah Wyland | Oct 10, 2013
More Articles by Sarah

Setting yourself apart from your competitors is a key way to catch the eye of a potential customer. What makes your company unique? Why should a client sign with you instead of the competition? A brand’s focused message needs to be about what their customers want to hear.

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Jeannie Rossignol – VP, Marketing Communications US Client Operations, Xerox

“All memorable content comes from great stories,” Jeannie said. “Even in B2B.”

When your content is similar to that of your competitors, the important question to ask yourself is ‘how are these products or services going to help the customer?’ Even if you think you know your product, it’s worthwhile to revisit what you think you know and especially how the message reaches customers.

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The first step is to define: Who are you talking to?

  • Define “They” (target audience)
  • What do you need to know about them?
  • What do they need?
  • When do they need it?
  • What do they want to hear?

Optimize the content you already have. Make it fresh. For example, have the client write a blog post from their perspective on how your company or product has benefited them with a link to a formally written case study. For video testimonials, keep it organic – don’t bring in smoke and mirrors. Focus on the client and what they are saying about your product. Make your content ‘searchable, snackable and shareable.’

Jeannie also said don’t be afraid to partner with a marketing agency or a trusted source such as industry analysts or news media to promote your content. Clients are more likely to view you and your product as credible if they see you working with other credible agencies and outlets.

Katrina Busch – B2B Group Account Director, Roberts Communication

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“Be unique” with your content, Katrina says. Material tends to be ‘sell, sell, sell’ but it’s okay to make it engaging, to tell a story. “It’s smart to be optimistic” with so much ‘bad’ in the news these days. Good news is the most frequently shared ‘type’ of news on social media – people want to hear about puppies and babies in their news feeds rather than government shutdowns and terrorist attacks.

Another great tip from Katrina is to not underestimate the power of a ‘thank you.’ A thank you note to a client for simply being a client is a gesture that makes them feel good and often results in a ‘thank you for the thank you’ message from the client.

Katrina shared her tips to create great content marketing programs:

  • Competitive Analysis – who are your competitors?
  • Build Buyer Personas – extremely important
  • Know the Buyer’s Journey
  • Audit Your Content and Partnerships
  • Content Matrix – Know what you have and find the themes
  • Metrics Dashboard – Never stop tracking your meaningful metrics. “Proof is going to get you more.”
  • Define roles and responsibilities – of your team and your content
  • Editorial Guidelines – what does your content mean?
  • Build an Editorial Calendar

Katrina and Jeannine also had 10 Tips for Creating Great (Meaningful) Content

  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • Think beyond your team and even your company when sourcing content.
  • Commit. It’s not a campaign, it’s a commitment.
  • Engage lots of people in generating relevant content, but keep the approval team small.
  • Think around the edges of your topic. If something is loosely connected, but highly interesting, it’s probably going to work.
  • Build for syndication – Make it searchable, snackable, shareable.
  • Roughly right is right enough – don’t wait for absolute perfection before going to market.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.
  • Be sure every piece of content has a point of view.
  • Don’t be afraid to inject humor and personality into your comment. B2B shouldn’t stand for ‘boring to bland.’

Are you attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum? Follow me on Twitter @Sarah_Wyland or the hashtag #mpb2b for live updates!

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