Content drives engagement. From organic search traffic to social shares, content has become an integral piece of the communications puzzle. For B2Bs looking to establish themselves as a trusted brand and industry leader, creating content that is educational, insightful, and sometimes disruptive will set you apart. Sounds easy enough, but according to a report from Forrester, 87% of B2B organizations struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers. This blog answers the question of how to create better content.
Before we get into the details, we want to give you some of the good stuff right up front.
10 ways to boost your content
- Keep it short
- Make it original
- Solve problems
- Give away knowledge and expertise for free
- Have a hook (something that grabs their attention early on)
- Make it interactive
- Include graphics, photos, charts, and best of all video
- Find stats that support your points
- Be thought-provoking and disruptive
- Do it often and consistently
That’s just for starters, let’s get into some of the details.
The customer is always first
When it comes to creating content, the best approach is to focus on putting your customers first. This means that you are not creating content that talks about you or your company, but instead content that answers the question: what is in it for them?
In order to do that you need to know your audience. This goes well beyond developing buyer personas. It is more about knowing what kinds of problems they are looking to solve. If you are not sure what those are, your salespeople, who have their boots on the ground, are going to be a really good resource. The aim should be to provide educational, insightful, or even disruptive content that addresses those challenges and how you can help.
Taking it one step further, if your product is technical in nature, then your content requires a lot of education. This seems easy enough, but often boiling down things that are highly technical into easily digestible content is one of the hardest things to do. If you need help, reach out to us. Rankin PR specializes in taking everything from highly technical topics to the seemingly mundane and writing about the topic in an engaging way. We have written stories on particle physics, metrology, telemetry, heat exchangers, and even simple items like fasteners (yes, screws and rivets). There is a good story waiting to be told in your business too. Just let us find it.
Content your prospects really want
The key is to figure out the hook, or what part of the article readers are going to be most interested in, and build around that. Don’t forget the story. A story has an opening (the hook as well as information about what the reader is going to learn about), a body (the challenges and solutions), and a conclusion. It does not meander around jumping from topic to topic, but instead, it provides a continuing thread of information.
All that may sound elementary, but most people are not good storytellers and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get content that cuts through the noise and captures the attention of your audience. The average person scrolls through about 300 feet of content daily. That’s equivalent to 5 miles in a year! Content that has “thumb-stopping power” helps with this.
So, what is “thumb-stopping power”? This relatively new term refers to your content’s ability to stop a reader from continuing to scroll through their timeline, actually reading it, and, in the best-case scenario, engaging with it by sharing, commenting, and liking.
Now you are probably wondering what types of content have “the power?” Well, content that focuses on your features has little to no thumb-stopping power. A feature is just the details about your product or service. Therefore, it is all about you. On the other hand, a benefit explains how a particular feature positively impacts your customers.
Focusing on creating content that clearly highlights your benefits while simultaneously showing them “we have the answer for that!” packs a powerful punch.
Keeping your content consistent
Don’t get bogged down trying to do too much. When it comes to developing your content, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. When something works, find ways to breathe new life into it. People actually need repetition to remember things. In fact, the average person needs to hear the same message at least 7 times to even take it in. We have all had that experience of seeing the same commercials multiple times before realizing who the advertiser actually was.
This doesn’t necessarily mean continuing to use this same piece of content over and over, but you can often say the same thing in many different ways.
Helpful tip: Use social media to see what is resonating with your audience. Your social media stats can provide good insight into what your audience wants to learn about. Mix it up and see what has the highest engagement rate. If your audience has already shown interest in the message, see how you can present it to them in another digestible way. Try turning your top-performing content into a video or infographic. Mixing up your content ensures you’re reaching as many individuals in your target audience as you can.
Creating quality, visually appealing, timely, and most importantly, relevant content will give your business the boost it needs. This customer-centric content ensures you’re providing your audience with the solutions they need the most, and where and when they’re looking for them.
The goal of all content marketing should be to create a “breadcrumb trail” full of various pieces of content that all lead your customers back to you. As the demand for quality content continues to grow, the question becomes: where do you go for help? As a starting point, you can ask us. Don’t let your customers get lost in the sea of content. Let us help you lead them back to your brand. Contact us today!