By Alan Graner
The following is based on the free eBook, “The B2B Content Marketing Workbook” by Velocity, a consulting-led B2B marketing agency in the U.K. http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/papers/the-b2b-content-marketing-workbook/.
Content marketing isn’t the same as traditional broadcast-style marketing, and it plays by different rules. Some of these rules are:
It’s not about you
Forget about you. Nobody’s interested in you.
Prospects are only interested in them.
So don’t talk about your vision, your technology, your benefits, because your prospects don’t care and because self-serving content undermines your piece’s value.
Instead, talk about their problems, their challenges, their pains, their opportunities…and possible solutions. For extra credibility, add solutions you don’t offer. It’s similar to sending a customer to a competitor because you don’t carry the brand they want. People remember these kindnesses.
Pick a single high-priority issue
The issue should be one that resonates with your audience, that speaks to their pains. It could be regulations, delivery problems, hiring good people, and so forth.
Ideally your topic is one that hasn’t been done to death. But if it is a common, persistent problem, at least offer a new angle. Otherwise your piece will be dismissed as just more of the same.
Use supporting data
Don’t tell, show.
Saying a lot of customers hate waiting in line is meaningless. Stating 44% of those polled said waiting in line was the single most irritating factor in dealing with stores is powerful.
If you say you’re great, people dismiss it as puffery, bragging.
If your customers say you’re great, that adds credibility. But again, be specific, e.g., they needed a company that could customize their software and your company was the only one that offered the service at a fair price.
Similarly, use third-party endorsements, especially if they come from a respected source such as an industry analyst or influencer.
Again, don’t overdo it—it’s not about you.
Share some negatives
Confessing a negative can help build credibility. You can use phrases like “this approach isn’t for everybody,” or “our feature-rich software is overkill for small businesses.” Think of restaurants that admit it takes longer to serve your food…because they cook everything fresh.
What are some other rules you use for creating dynamic content?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA marketing communications firm. For a PR campaign featuring content that grabs attention, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com. Or visit www.dsprel.com.