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Is your B2B content marketing performing as expected? Is it living up to its potential? Or could you benefit from better results?

Let’s look at 5 ways to improve your content marketing – and your results – by adding a bit of life to your content.

1. Get a Little Dirty…And Risky

It’s natural…

You probably want to keep a clean, professional tone of voice in your content marketing. After all, it’s safer that way. It’s probably what the managers want and it won’t get you into trouble.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Clear, concise content gets your message across loud and clear, without being too risky.

But…with risk comes reward.

The key to marketing and sales is persuasion. And logical reasoning, the kind used in B2B content marketing, can be very persuasive.

And it can also be very bland…

Marketing that doesn’t engage doesn’t excite, and what doesn’t excite doesn’t inspire. Customers, whether they are businesses or consumers, buy on emotion and justify with logic.

Some of the most successful B2B marketing campaigns have abandoned safe, clean marketing for risky techniques that got results:

2. Take a B2C Approach in Your B2B Content

Is there a distinction between B2B and B2C marketing?

Some don’t think so, and they invent terms like P2P (people-to-people) marketing or H2H (human-to-human) marketing.

On the one hand, you need to remember that you’re creating content for humans and selling to humans. On the other hand, you can’t ignore the logic that drives a business: ROI, the bottom line, profit margins, and so on.

So take the best of both worlds by incorporating a B2C approach in your content. Make it interesting.

Look at these headlines from the Sungard Campaign:

  • 4 Ways To Royally Screw Up Information Technology (IT) Outsourcing
  • Leave Your Laptop In Your Car And 9 Other Bad Cyber Security Habits
  • Not Ready For Six Sigma? Try These 3 Steps First For Successful Business Transformation

These communicate the value that concern businesses but convey the message in a way that appeals to people.

3. Hire Creatives that are Creative

Getting a little risky and dirty may mean you need to bring some new creatives on board your content ship.

But that’s not enough…

You’ll have to trust these guys to do the job. That may mean opening your mind, expanding your horizons, and exploring fresh territory.

Not all creatives are created equal, however, and it’s wise to remember that the in-house marketers will be held accountable. This is why many B2B brands play it safe…and end up with the same old content that their competitors have.

To stand out, you’ve got to do something different.

Sometimes, that means putting your trust in creative ideas that push the envelope.

4. Don’t Imitate Your Competition – Do Something Different

One way to stay mediocre? Avoid risks.

Another way? Don’t let creatives be creative.

And another? Be the same as your competition.

Here are a few ways businesses end up creating campaigns that blend in:

· Just blogging. Blogs are great content formats, but they are simply staples of a content marketing diet. Like bread or rice, they can get pretty boring on their own. Spice up your content with infographics, video content, exciting images, and so on.

· White paper after white paper after white paper… If you’re in a B2B field that uses white paper marketing heavily, just imagine how many white papers your prospects are reading, day in day out. Think of other creative ways you can impart the same information while standing out from your competitors. Again, visuals are compelling and can convey lots of key points: videos, images, infographics, and so on.

Remember, we aren’t suggesting you avoid white papers or blogs. But if you add some spicy content to the mix, you could just take your campaign to the next level.

4. Steal

Don’t imitate your competitors and don’t steal directly from them, otherwise you’ll become a cheap imitation.

Instead, look at other B2B and B2C content marketing programs for ideas – then employ the same tactics. If you take your idea from completely separate industries, then your content will be worlds apart and there will be no hard feelings.

As mentioned, B2C marketing can be a great source of inspiration. To add life to your marketing campaigns, explore B2C ideas and steal them…

For instance, WorldPay used interactive games and quizzes, a common B2C marketing technique – but one that is virtually unheard of in B2B marketing.

5. Remember the Value of Viral

WePay increased its customer base by 225% with one giant block of ice. The PayPal competitor wheeled a giant block of ice up to PayPal’s annual development conference with a message inside: “PayPal freezes your accounts.”

It only took 90 minutes for a photo to reach the front page of TechCrunch, which immediately turned the stunt into a viral success.

Viral marketing works precisely because it’s so creative, compelling, and appealing. In other words, it’s the opposite of the bland content that fills the B2B marketing world.

So study viral marketing and look for opportunities to really push the envelope.

 

The examples in this article prove that B2B marketing can be just as interesting as B2C marketing. And, in most cases, the more exciting it is, the better the results are. If you want to stand out from your competitors, experiment outside the box of bland content.