By Joshua Baez, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
In this age of B2B content marketing, it feels like no matter where you turn, there’s a whitepaper, checklist, or guide waiting to greet you – welcoming you with open arms, ready to reveal the knowledge kept within its pages as soon as you give up your email address and hit that persuasive Download Now button. But chances are, as soon as you read it, you walk away with little more information than what you had to begin with, only now, some company also has your email address.
There’s a gap in today’s B2B content marketing landscape where companies are creating content for the sake of content. Content that provides no new insight, perspective, or value to the space – it’s there for one reason: to generate leads. And while I understand the need to generate leads, if you’re going to spend your time and resources marketing the pieces of content you create, you might as well take the time at the start to ensure they’re engaging and worth a reader’s time.
Something I’ve learned in my time as a B2B marketer is that your content should tell a story. It doesn’t have to be a long one, but it should be enough to pull the reader in and leave them with new ideas to move their business forward. But how do you articulate your content story? That’s usually the hardest part. Here are three principles to get you started:
Be authentic. It’s 2017, and readers can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. What does it mean to be authentic? It means that your asset should not only deliver on its message, but it should also be written with honesty. Don’t stretch your facts for the sake of story. Don’t fill your pages with self-praise. And most importantly, don’t market your asset as one thing only for readers to discover that it’s something else entirely. Practices like this will leave a bad taste in the reader’s mouth, and it’s likely that your reputation will be stained as well. Use this opportunity to educate and inform those who took the time to read it.
Provide a new perspective. How many pieces of content have you downloaded only to find that the information presented lacks any real insight? A quick Google search will tell you exactly what others are writing about, which should be a good indicator to you that you either need to find a new topic or spin the information in a way that’s new and valuable. Don’t just re-hash content that’s been written to death. Find a new way to tell the story, fill your pages with unexplored ideas, and take the time to craft an asset truly worth your reader’s time.
Respect your reader. Content for the sake of content is a dangerous game, not only because it devalues the importance of content in general, but also because it assumes the audience can’t tell the difference. Respect for your readers is perhaps the most important part in any content marketing strategy. They are the backbone to your business, and without them, there is no you. So take the time to give them something worth their time (and their email address).
Your content plays directly into how people perceive your company. It can show your expertise and credibility, while also highlighting your unique point of view and what you bring to the table. Use your content as a means to foster engagement with your prospects – don’t just think of it as a means to an end. Content is valuable, and so is your knowledge. Tell the world your content story.
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