One of the best ways to broaden your content marketing reach is to piggyback onto someone else’s audience. Now, to be clear, this isn’t about stealing anyone else’s spotlight. This is about becoming a part of a community that scratches your back as you scratch theirs.
10 Tips to Create Valuable B2B Content That Converts
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2020 B2B Content Marketing report, 48% of marketers want to focus on improving the quality and conversion of their audience. To do this, 39% will increase spending on B2B content creation. But will churning out as much content as humanly possible help achieve that goal? Not necessarily.
Producing X amount of posts a month may satisfy your goals on paper, but it often makes you prioritize getting work done over doing work well. When quantity overshadows quality, everyone loses. Your team works hard on content that doesn’t work, and the people you’re trying to connect with don’t get the content they deserve.
Good B2B content is storytelling that piques people’s interest and pulls them in. Whether it provides insights, inspiration, or interesting ideas, it offers something meaningful. Of course, coming up with these types of content ideas can be a challenge, especially when you feel creatively tapped out.
10 Ways to Come Up with High-Value B2B Content Ideas
Ultimately, people don’t care that you’re doing marketing. They care that you’re thinking about them. To create quality content that resonates, you need ideas that put people first. If you’re having trouble brainstorming, here are ten ways to find good ideas and jumpstart your creativity.
1) Say what’s not being said.
One of the biggest challenges B2B marketers face is standing out through content. But too often they write about the same things or mimic industry leaders and simply add to the noise. One smart way to remedy this is to fill in the messaging gaps around a subject, take a unique angle, or introduce an idea that others have overlooked.
You can still look to leaders for inspiration, but look in-between the lines. Read what others are writing in your space, and think of ways to fill in the narrative with different angles. Also, read the comments to see what people are thinking or wondering about. Their questions may inspire a great piece of B2B content.
Example: When we started to take on more brand strategy work, we couldn’t find a simple, flexible brand strategy framework anywhere on the Internet. That inspired us to make our own simplified guide to create a brand strategy, along with a free brand toolkit . It’s since become one of our top 5 most popular posts.
2) Update your most popular content.
Marketers often focus on generating more and more content, following what’s new, what’s trending, and what are others doing. This approach means you’re effectively creating content just to keep up with the Joneses. But, as we’ve discussed, content for the sake of content isn’t effective.
Audit your existing content. Identify what posts or pieces have been most successful, then ask yourself how you can make them better. Add additional information to your top-performing articles, create bigger pieces of B2B content (e.g., turn a post into an e-book), or produce sequels. This is a smart way to boost SEO on popular old blogs—and a great low-risk strategy to engage readers while capitalizing on previous successes.
You can also repurpose existing content by breaking it down into smaller pieces (e.g., infographics, mini-guides, or microcontent). For more ideas to do this, see o ur guide to creating divisible content.
Example: We turned a series of posts about brand video into The Content Marketer’s Guide to Brand Video , a comprehensive interactive e-book that covers everything you need to know about brand video. This was a great way to supplement existing content and create a valuable resource.
3) Ask people what they need.
The simplest way to know what people need is to go straight to the source. Ask them directly, or think about the questions they’re asking to you (and your competitors). Check the comments on your blog, your competitors’ blogs, or industry publications to uncover these questions, and talk to your sales team.
To engage people directly, ask questions via emails, calls, conferences, surveys, and meetings. Store this information to make sure your team has the latest insights. I personally use the Evernote app to keep track of notes from conversations with clients, and I share them at our bi-weekly content brainstorming sessions. These types of conversations are invaluable to help you generate great topics to cover from all angles.
If you haven’t already, create marketing personas to better understand the different types of people you’re creating content for. Personas are an especially helpful tool to vet your ideas going forward. You might also get inspiration from these great examples of empathetic content marketing .
4) Share your wins.
This doesn’t mean you should brag about how great you are or how many awards you’ve won; it means that the insights and discoveries that have helped you can also help other people. Did you implement a new strategy to impressive success? Did you learn a helpful hack, workaround, or tip that made your life a lot easier? This type of knowledge is tremendously valuable to others.
Think about your recent successes, and consider how you might translate them into helpful content, such as guides, checklists, case studies, or templates. Just make sure you’re framing things in a constructive way. On that note, watch your tone; you want to be earnest and relatable—not condescending or self-important.
5) Share your failures.
It’s natural to want to focus on your successes more than failures. Failure is humbling, but it’s part of what makes us human. For that reason, failure can be incredibly valuable if it teaches you something. As Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
Where businesses get it wrong
A note to companies: Just because you are paying a social media company 100’s of dollars, it doesn’t mean that you will also get 100’s of shares. In fact, there is no guarantee that it ever will. Social media marketing is dynamic. Audience preferences change. Digital marketers who are in the dark side of social media can fake shares and number of followers; but decent companies do not do social media that way. They aim for steady and sustained growth – using both organic and social advertising – the legitimate ways.
Ok, so social media works now what to do?
Know WHO you want to sell to
Demographics includes a person’s name, ethnicity, gender, address, what they buy, where they buy it, how they pay, etc. Psychographics have been applied to the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles
In other words, do you know who your ideal audience is? What are their age brackets? What is their income status? Do you know their educational backgrounds? What are their needs and wants? What are their preferences?
Why is having a defined audience important?
Any organization – business enterprise, start-up, brick and mortar store, manufacturing company, SaaS, SAP, realtor – and I mean ANY that understands their audience is way far better equipped in crafting helpful, unique content.
Where to find contents your audience likes | 11 Tips
1. Social media Insights
The wonderful thing about social media networks is that there are multiple data and information that we can peruse to verify whether a social media post like an article or a tip is a valuable piece of information to your audience or not.
Pro-Tip: If you already are watching your success metrics, you’d agree with me that whatever piece of content you published that works on Twitter may not work on Facebook. That is why it is important to track customer behavior on each social media network to help you understand what content is of value to the audience in EVERY platform.
2. Google Console, Planner, Search & Analytics
Specifically, these Google tools provide information on terms used in the search query, aka., keywords by your online audience to find your site, or sometimes a social media post, and what questions they asked when they searched on Google. Web practitioners sometimes refer to it as user intent.
What is user intent?
The user intent, or search intent states which goal or intention an internet user has when entering a search term into a search engine. User intent is now a central factor in content and search engine optimization.
So what to do with the keywords you gathered from these research tools | 5 ways
1. A good social content strategy includes keyword strategy.
2. Use it as hashtags.
3. See how the keywords are used online.
4. Write a long form content about it – a blog.
5. See #10 below.
Pro Tip: Even with a detailed understanding of users, realize that the assumptions and insights gathered from data such as this are rarely (if ever) completely accurate. The reason is users (and their interests) are dynamic… As a result, it is imperative to engage in a thorough initial and regular ongoing [keyword] research project. (Website Magazine, Nov 2017, page 22 by Peter Prestipino – “Data-Driven SEO Shortcuts for Early Stage Content Marketers“)
3. Your Competitor
Find message gaps in what they are sharing and address it by writing a unique blog post. Then share it on social media to engage your customers – or get potential customers. Facebook’s Insights has a nifty tool that you could use to track ethically your competitors and others in the industry.
4. Other surveys and reports
5. Your survey + a caveat
The key here is asking the RIGHT questions. It can give you a glimpse of what content your audience needs or “pains” they have. You can use Twitter and Facebook to do a quick survey or you can use survey tools via email.
Apparently there was a study made by a beer company that surveyed customers to find out if they liked the regular beer or the premium beer. 80% of those surveyed said that they prefer the premium beer. However, their sales figures proved otherwise. Most people bought the regular beer, not the premium beer.
Pain points often refer to problems such as low productivity, budget limitations, and management skills. At the same time, there are emotional pain points that can be triggered when discussing certain problems.
What is Value-Added Content in Content Marketing? 7 Examples
Creating content is hard. That’s why most marketers outsource content creation, through agencies, freelancers, content creation platforms, or some combination of all of those. Creating content that truly delivers value to readers—value-added content—is even harder. Yet, in 2022, the ability to create value-added content is what distinguishes content marketing leaders from laggards, in a crowded content market anticipated to be worth $38 billion by 2030.
Value-added content is defined as any unique, original, or exclusive content or information your audience cannot get anywhere else that provides true value to that audience by being relevant and fulfilling their search intent. Examples of this added value content can be found across content types, including:
Since value-added content provides actual value, it is more likely to engage audiences and be popular with readers and is thus rewarded by Google. Because it is more engaging, valuable content it is more likely to be shared and revisited again and again for its usefulness. While most content is more like McDonald’s—okay in a pinch, yet forgotten seconds later—value-added content stands out like a multi-course, thoughtfully presented meal from an award-winning chef. You remember it fondly for months, recommend it to others, and return to it as often as you can.
What is content marketing and how does it work?
Many businesses these days are trying to use content marketing as a way of increasing customer engagement and loyalty. By delivering high-quality messages tailored specifically for different audiences, the hope is that customers will engage with their company or product more often through various types of media channels like social media, website blogs etc. This helps potential customers understand who you are as an organization and what value you can offer them.
The goal of content marketing is to create compelling content around your company’s products/services in order to generate awareness and interest from your target audience. By doing this on an ongoing basis – you will see steady growth over time. One of the keys to content marketing is to produce consistent and valuable content for consumers.
Try to think about what questions your potential customers may have before purchasing. Then create guides, FAQs, blogs, videos, and more to answer these questions. This type of engaging content will not only drive more leads to your website but will help more of them convert because you are building trust with them by answering their most questions.
Provide Constructive Help and Advice.
I’m all for sharing interesting concepts, but readers will appreciate your taking that extra step to help them apply concepts to real-life situations. For example, in the previous section, one of the bulleted items was to add personality to your writing. Then I gave some examples of how you can convey your personality, rather than leave it to your imagination.
Not every step of an article needs to be a how-to, but at least sprinkle in some pieces of immediately useful information. These constructive tips will help the reader better understand the article and give them ideas on other applications.
Follow the Recipe For Effective Blog Posts.
Written content is best served up in ways that are valuable to readers. You can do this by using the highest quality ingredients–knowing your audience, sharing your expertise, and providing useful information that answers important questions.
Creating valuable content takes time and effort–and your readers deserve nothing less. If you need content support contact a freelance writer. Boston-based Westebbe Marketing is here to help with all your content needs. Contact us at 617-699-4462 or [email protected]
The efforts were recognized by businesses, and by 2010 OPEN Forum reached a million monthly visitors, and had over 11,000 new small business subscribers. The community continually grew through the years and is still a great place for small businesses to look for help and advice, as well as to speak out their mind.
8 examples of excellent content marketing
Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. The key words here are ‘valuable’ and ‘relevant’. Each content piece should communicate your message in a way that adds value to your readers, answers their real questions, piques and expands their interests, and makes them trust you and your brand.
As with any other marketing technique, the final goal of content marketing is to, also, convince readers and eventually turn them into buyers, but this is not the initial intention, rather the desired outcome. Still, content marketing turns out to be pretty profitable for all sorts of businesses promoting themselves online. 61% of U.S. online consumers make a purchase based on recommendations they’ve read on a blog, and 79% of them spend half their time researching their products.
This is just part of the reason why 53% of businesses are investing in content marketing, and 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority in 2018 as well. Compared to outbound marketing, well planned, quality and helpful content can generate 3 times as many leads and costs 62% less.
If you’re still on the fence about the benefits of content marketing, even after these statistics, following are eight great examples of effective use of content to reach out and expand an audience, and how and why these companies’ strategies worked.
Find your target audience and serve them
You should have a target audience. If you don´t have it yet. You must get one. Create personas, avatars or whatever you choose to call them. Analyze your existing customers and see what engage them. That should be an indicator.
If you run a small business it is likely that you have created something that you personally like and would use as a traveler. This makes marketing easier. You have a great example of your target audience right in front of you. Create content that give value to people like you.
Try to think about content marketing in travel as an opportunity to build trust. Create moments they will remember and always create value for the adventurers, families or business travelers you want to serve. Always create value, make your content worth their time. Then they are more likely like you.
Are you targeting adventure lovers with a weakness for good wine? What are their pain points? (I don’t mean hangover)
Let’s say you know your audience. You have a good idea of who you want to serve. Now, try to find out what are their pain points. What is the things they want to learn, see or hear? I can already reveal that posting some inspirational pictures of happy people in the sun will not get you there. It can be a part of your strategy, but no way this is is enough. Still posting inspirational pictures of happy people in the sun is what most travel companies do. Even in Norway!
How about avoiding the cliches for a while? I guess she is smiling, but who doesn’t in the happy travel photo world?
What does speak to your audience?
There is one question that nobody really answers in all the articles that mention creating valuable content for the reader. They don’t answer the “how” question. How do you create content that actually ‘speaks’ to your audience? That’s in line with what they want? How do you find out what they want?
4. Understanding who they are
The first thing you need to get a grip on, is understanding who you are actually talking to. Are they clients, potential clients? Are they influencers?
Many businesses will start making buyer personas here. They will be talking about target audiences as being ‘male, in his 40s, living in London’. What they are basically doing is looking at the demographics.
That is why I tend to use a different approach. I usually break them up in four different groups, based on the book of Jeffrey Rohrs, “Audience”, who used three groups. The groups I create are based on action, rather than demographics:
Seekers: Those that are looking for information;
Joiners: Those that have seen your content before and like it. Think subscribers to your e-mail list, followers on Social Media, etcetera.
Sharers: Those that will spread your content to all the other groups
Buyers: Those you actually want to target with your product
Top Tip: Twitter and e-mail lists
There are two things that will instantly help you get a better understanding of who you are targeting. First, create lists on Twitter of your target audiences. Second, analyse your e-mail database. Analyse what they do, say and read to understand where they fit in best.
Knowing the difference between these groups is vital. You should know your audience consists of different group types. That will tell you your content can have different purposes for each of those groups. Your content will then at least be much more targeted towards these different groups.
3. What should they do: the next best click
The second element to understand what content fits the needs of your audience is “the next best click”. What should your audience be doing after they consume your content.
People within each of the different groups discussed above have different goals. A seeker wants answers, whereas a sharer wants to ‘show off’. That’s what their goals are. Mirror those goals against your goals and see where the overlap is.
Some things are simple: of course the buyer buys, and the sharer shares. Taking it a step further, however, will make it more beneficial for both you and your audience. For example: think about how you can make seekers become joiners. Think about how you can make joiners sharers. And think about how you can make buyers become seekers again on a different (related) topic.
Top Tip: Psychology!
Think beyond the obvious and use some psychology here. For example: people want to be appreciated. A big reason of why sharers are actually sharers is because they want to look good in front of their audience. Help them do that and they will be more helpful towards you as well.
2. Understand what you can do for them: Find their questions
This is an important one in the steps towards creating content that fits the need of your audience. You want to find out what you can do for them. Too often content is created from the mindset of the creator or the business it is supposed to ‘push’. The content then often becomes promotional or at least very biassed.
This shows where you need to be: on that specific area where you can help your audience with their questions. Where you can be relevant. If you create content in that specific area it will benefit both you and your audience.
People ask questions on different places. For example question and answer sites, communities on Linkedin or Google Plus and Facebook Groups. Go search for the questions and you will find topics that actually make sense.
Top Tip: Use question and answer sites
A good place to start with finding questions is Quora. Any other question & answer website will be helpful as well. People ask all sorts of questions here. Experts answer them, but you have to pay most attention to the questions.