Second of two parts
In the first part of this short series we talked about how in order to compete in a world full of online distractions, our B2B marketing content has to do one thing: It has to make heroes. In considering how to create truly compelling content, there are a few tried-and-true ways to create interest and make heroes while competing with the likes of the Kardashians.
Of course, people searching online for Hollywood gossip probably aren’t searching for enterprise content management or business process outsourcing, two of my favorite topics. So clearly the audiences are different. But the ways content creates interest are surprisingly similar. Here are four:
Newsjacking. Stay on top of the latest industry-related news and help readers convey they are doing the same.
Name dropping. Go ahead and use that term that people have been searching. And don’t be shy. Put it right there in the headline.
Connecting the dots. Create interest by promising to explain the connection between two disparate concepts. Who could resist “Ancient Egyptians Knew Something Software Developers Don’t” and one of my personal faves: “What the New Pope is Teaching Us About Marketing.” It’s at 15,000 views and counting.
Teasing with headlines. In newspapers, it’s nice if headlines convince someone to read. Online, it’s absolutely essential. Ask a question or make a statement so tantalizing readers can’t help but click. Something like, “The 17 Dumbest Things Ever Said About DevOps” or “Open Data impacts all constituents, including dogs.” (Yes, dogs.)
Beware the Content Killers
People can’t use content to become heroes if they don’t read it. There are four things marketers do all the time that are content killers:
Write dull headlines. Those five ways to improve efficiency with document management solutions. Not many people read so much as the first one.
Write headlines that are too broad. That surprising career advice from Google apparently wasn’t surprising enough.
Write for audiences that are too narrow. Apparently, ranchers didn’t care to read about how point-to-point bridges can be used to track their herds. Folks also didn’t care much about how a system expansion was bringing “new levels of two-way radio connectivity.”
Write about yourself. We all know this one but it bears repeating – respectfully, of course. While your company cares deeply about its new products, awards and new hires, your prospects generally do not.
Very often, blog posts that commit one or more of these offenses have shockingly low views with some unable to make it out of the single digits. So take the extra time to consider readers’ needs and how your content might help meet those needs.
The Four C’s of Compelling Content
What happens when our marketing content makes people heroes? They appreciate us. They trust us. They want more. But more immediately, they take an action: they click; they call; they connect; they come back.
While we’ve talked here about blog posts, we should be driven to create heroes in everything we do. Media pitches, news releases, whatever it is, think about what people get out of consuming the content, and make that value plain.
Remember, this is B2B marketing content, and you’re competing with Kim Kardashian and “the most eye-popping, boob-showing look yet.”