When you think about B2B content development, and specifically content writing, the term may cause a yawn and encourage you to start daydreaming about more exciting topics, like what’s for lunch. But B2B content writing and development does not have to be boring. Obviously, you want to remain authoritative and share relevant information, but you don’t want your writing or your presentation to be reminiscent of those endless college lectures or a spot on the C-SPAN channel.
B2B content development tends to be a broad subject and can include a wide range of tasks, everything from e-newsletters to blog posts to social media updates. Just as the tasks vary, so too do the methods by which they are fulfilled.
OriginalYou are not the B2B company down the street; your company is original, unique, and innovative, so deliver your message that way. Cookie cutter marketing does not work in this business. Tom Fishburne is founder and CEO of Marketoonist, a studio that creates marketing campaigns with-you guessed it-cartoons. This unique type of marketing is an original way to connect with an audience through a different channel.
Original content will grab the audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more. Research how other sources are presenting your, and put a twist on your own material. Individuality does not have to die in the B2B marketing world. Quality content is still necessary, good grammar is a must, and relevant information should always be presented. But as Yoda would say (if he were a content writer), “boring, it does not have to be”.
Informal Matt Ambrose describes the conversational tone as similar to talking to a friend, minus the ‘ums’ in the dialogue. He goes on to note that “people don’t like to be sold to”, but they will be open to friendly advice. You want to connect with your audience, and to avoid coming across as a stiff know-it-all sitting behind a desk in a suit and tie. But at the end of the day, we are people, and we are developing content for people.
Do not hesitate to use mistakes and mishaps to connect with an audience. No man or woman is perfect, just as no business is perfect. What blunders have occurred lately? Use these ‘oops’ moments to show your readers the real (human) side of the business.
Light Sungard put together a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide to draw atention to managing data recovery during an IT disaster. Catchy and fun, and not at all yawn-worthy. Marketing Zenreminds us that although B2B content needs to be convincing and substantive, almost everyone would prefer to engage with humor and wit than a boring piece. And really, who wouldn’t be just a little bit drawn to a presentation of 5 Marketing Lessons Learned from the Muppets?
When you write, put yourself in the readers’ position. If you can barely make it through when putting together your content, it is likely they will be just as bored. Are B2B companies made up of professionals? Absolutely. Should there be an air of authority and professionalism? Sure. But we are also humans, with (hopefully) a sense of humor and a need for some lightheartedness. So feel free to infuse a little fun into your writing.
Where to BeginWhenyou find yourself stuck in the world of churning out dull content, perhaps you may become inspired by these marketing examples. Take note of how these companies rise above the mundane and monotonous to create eye-catching, unique material to draw the audience in and keep them interested.
Get Creative A recent B2B content marketing industry survey found 92% of content marketers utilizing social media content, and the top 5 most effective B2B tactics as:
- In-person events 69%
- Webinars/webcasts 64%
- Videos 60%
- Blogs 60%
- Case studies 58%
All of these tactics are an opportunity for the creative juices to being flowing. Tell stories about customers as a case study. Have an in-person event on the calendar? Make good use of those 8-second attention spans and develop an unforgettable video presentation. Raise the creative bar in your B2B company by crafting original, light, relevant content to draw in and keep customers. Be informal, but authoritative. Infuse some humor, yet remain professional. This type of content development has the capability to engage your audience and keep them interested. After all, if the Muppets can teach us about marketing, anything is possible.