winning the modern content wars

Winning the Modern Content Wars

A few months ago in this space, I shared the idea that there’s more to content marketing than content. And yet, without solid content, your marketing isn’t likely to get you the results you expect. So, what makes solid content? 

Well, I could fill a book discussing the things that go into making great marketing content, so lets focus on a few critical ideas that work across a range of content types, from quick social posts to longer-form articles on your website or in trade publications. 

Solve a Problem

Creating content that helps your target audience solve a problem is the most reliable way to ensure that your content is outward-facing. Put another way, it makes it easy for your audience to answer the first question on their mind as they consider whether to consume your content: What’s in it for me? 

Prospective clients are, of course, consuming your content because they have an issue that is impacting their business. Their primary objectives are to 

  • Understand the problem more fully
  • See how others like them have addressed the problem
  • Evaluate potential solutions 

If your content connects on one or more of those bullets, you will gain and hold your audience’s attention. 

Demonstrate Your Expertise

Providing problem-solving insights is also an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. But be careful here: if the content becomes all about you and what you’ve done, your audience is likely to look elsewhere. 

You can’t be the hero of the story. Your prospect must be the hero and the story must focus on what they experience in the process and what outcomes they achieve. 

It’s worth noting, though, that while subtlety is most definitely your friend for content aimed at early-stage audiences — those prospects who are just beginning their buying journey — being more overtly promotional will typically yield better results with content aimed at prospects closer to their decision-making point.

Be Human

Finally, drop the stilted, formal language of yesterday’s marketing. We all understand that in the B2B marketing world, the buyer and seller in any sale are always two people. (Or two groups of people.)

Your marketing should always match your brand voice and, depending on the specifics of the platform and message, carry a personal touch. Prospects are almost always delighted to get to know the person or people behind the brand. Take advantage of that to weave personal elements into the stories you share. The key is to connect emotionally. 

There are, of course, many ways to do all of this, and many aspects to dive into more deeply. Regardless of the tack you take, your goal in creating content should be to move prospects toward the next step in your sales process and the action you want them to take.

Occasional large-scale changes can re-invigorate a marketing plan that’s beginning to falter and can provide a blast of inspiration that ripples out through the rest of your marketing. 
By the way, if you’re interested in hearing some of my podcast and radio appearances, you’ll find a few of them listed on the Andigo website.

Andrew Schulkind - Marketing for Small B2B Businesses

Photo by Daniel K Cheung on Unsplash

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