Tue. May 17th, 2022

Building B2B content that resonates woman with violin image.

Building B2B content that resonates woman with violin image.

B2B marketing has a content problem: theres more of it all the timeand the people we actually want reading it have started tuning it all out. We cant exactly stop the content deluge (look, were even contributing to it right now!), so instead weve got to figure out:

  1. Why are decision makers tuning out content?
  2. How can we keep them from tuning out ours?

Why isnt B2B content resonating?

LinkedIn-Edelman helped answer this first question in their 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study. Their conclusions arent really all that surprising.

Decision makers can really appreciate good thought leadership content (64% said it was a better basis for assessing a potential vendor than marketing materials or product sheets), but…. only if it isnt boring.

And, frankly, boring is usually exactly what it is: 71% of decision makers said less than half of the B2B content they consumed provided any valuable insight, and only 15% said they would rank any of the content they consumed in 2021 asexcellentorvery good.”

Decision makers arent tuning out content because they dont care about it or because their attention spans have been eradicated by the internet. Theyre tuning us out because, when they DO stop to give us a shot, they dont think were giving them anything they want. Which leads to question #2:

How can we make B2B content that actually connects?

Decision makers already told us what they want: insight. Our readers are looking for thought leadership that provides real guidance on how to navigate situations they find themselves in right now.

Dont worry: that answer should be frustrating. After all, isnt that what youre already doing? Your audience would find all sorts of great insights in your contentif they would just READ IT!

The thing thats stopping them from doing that must not be what youre saying, therefore, but HOW youre saying it. It doesnt matter if you have the most earth-shattering, game-changing scoop in the history of your industryif you talk about it exactly like everyone else talks about their listicles or industry awards. Were all guilty of doing it, and its high time we stopped.

Next time you produce some B2B thought leadership content, keep these five guidelines in mind to ensure youre presenting your insights in a way that actually speaks to the audience youre trying to grab hold of. Youll be surprised what a difference it will makein terms of how fun it is to make and to read.

1Get Real

If theres one hallmark of bad B2B thought leadership, its that it sounds like it wasnt made from inside the industry. In fact, it usually reads like it was made by an alien poorly attempting to conceal themselves as both a humanand THEN an industry professional. Thats probably why, despite buyers consuming more content than ever, 79% report that the content they read is irrelevant to their actual needs.

The irony here is theres no reason to speak that way! Your thought leadership probably is coming from an industry expert, and it probably is speaking to something they care about. So speak like it is! Tell your audience what youve got to say and why they should care as plainly as possible.

2Make It About Them

My teammate Josh has written extensively about the need for empathy in B2B content marketing, and its something I think about every time I sit down to write a piece. What does your audience want out of this? Why is it worth their time? What can it help them do, solve, understand, etc.?

The kind of B2B decision makers reading your content are, above all else, professionals with a job to do. Whatever content theyre consuming, theyre looking for how its going to help them do their job better. Thats where to start.

How will the insight youre writing about affect your audiences work? What should they do with this information starting right now? Your audience is already going to betranslatingyour content into how it matters to them; do that work for them.

[bctt tweet=”“The kind of B2B decision makers reading your content are, above all else, professionals with a job to do. Whatever content theyre consuming, theyre looking for how its going to help them do their job better.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

3Dare to Express an Opinion

The old college essay cop-out is so well-known its a meme: “In conclusion, America is a land of contrasts.” If it doesnt fly in college, why do we think it flies in B2B content marketing? And yet, how often have you read articles that come down to hand wringing or giving an audiencemuch to consider?”

Thought leadership isnt journalism. It doesnt have to be impartial, and its not coming from an outside observer. In fact, thats its power. Your audience wants to know what youa human being writing at a computerthinks about a situation or development. Thats why they clicked on your byline. Whether they agree or disagree with what you conclude about all the evidence youve collected, at least theyll remember enough to have an opinion! Honesty always interests; college term papers, not so much.

4Leave Them with Something New

Great thought leadership works because it doesnt stand alone. Its contextual, its engaged with the industry and moment in which it was written, and, above all, its actionable.

When your audience finds your content, it should help them reframe a relevant recent event or phenomenon in a way they havent considered. When theyre done, they shouldnt just want to click on the next article or hit thecontact usbutton; they should want to keep thinking about what they just learned.

In addition to writing on their terms and with their motivations in mind, try to position all of your thought leadership content as something new. Even if its not a particularly new insight or data-point, make it a new way to THINK about that insight or data-point. If you can give your audience something to bring back from your content with them, theyll remember where they got it.

[bctt tweet=”“Great thought leadership works because it doesnt stand alone. Its contextual, its engaged with the industry and moment in which it was written, and, above all, its actionable.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

5Have some fun with it

I think this is ultimately where the B2B content problem started. Somewhere along the way, we all started thinking ofB2B Executive Thought Leadershipas such serious business that we forgot it basically amounts to writing about something were legitimately interested in.

In our efforts todo justiceto the seriousness of the process, we lost the personal passion and voice that actually made thought leadership worth reading in the first place. You already care about your contentthats why you started writing it, and thats why youre reading about how to make it better. Show how much you care in the content itself. Talk like yourself, be honest, and have some fun! It wont just improve how much you like making your content; it will make it resonate with your audience much better, too.

If you need a little help rediscovering your voice to help make your content resonate with your audience, TopRank Marketing would love to help.

The post 5 Ways to Build B2B Content That Resonates With Your Audience, and Why They Work appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Original source: https://www.toprankblog.com/2022/03/b2b-content-marketing-that-resonates/

By