“Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitudes. It’s having the right attitudes that’s hard.”
– Robert M. Persig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Devising a successful content marketing strategy for B2B can feel hurried and convoluted these days. Everyone seems to be talking about it, but do they even know what they’re talking about? Is there some kind of secret to the whole thing, some magic mantra to get you that much closer to a more enlightened strategy?
Unfortunately, no. Not in real life and most definitely not with content marketing.
There are, however, frameworks you can follow. Guiding principles. Truths, even. There’s a particular zen to developing the successful attitudes needed for emotionally resonant content marketing for your B2B customers. The philosophy behind your content marketing practice is just as important as the process.
Meditate for a moment on these three basic truths about content marketing you can put into practice right now.
Less is more; do more with less.
Is it a riddle? A secret code? Not exactly. Combine these two nuggets of wisdom and apply them not only to your life on a spiritual level (if that’s your thing) but also to your content marketing on a practical level. Some marketers believe in the content “farm” or “factory” model, churning out endless assets to see if a deluge will achieve real results.
The truth? It will not. Bad content is just that — bad — no matter how much is pumped out to boost click-throughs and conversion rates. Take a deep breath, focus and maximize the good content you do have via amplification while your team creates new content to attract and engage buyers along the purchase path. Otherwise, it’s all just noise shouted into the vacuum of the infinite, where no one can hear you scream anyway.
It’s okay to judge a book by its cover — your audience does.
So it doesn’t matter what your B2B content looks and sounds like, as long as it’s “high quality,” right? The truth is, no matter how high quality the content, your audience will skip right over it if it’s not visually appealing as well as mentally stimulating and emotionally satisfying.
A good story won’t go anywhere if the packaging is boring or nonexistent, but there’s a twist: The opposite is also true. Gorgeous design and flashy artwork won’t make pointless, played-out content suddenly relevant and meaningful. Achieving balance in the eternal struggle between style and substance is key, and bringing in an editor and a designer will help your content find its center.
Open your eyes to find your blind spots.
Be aware of your brand’s strengths and weaknesses to use them both most effectively. Like any worthwhile effort, B2B content takes a bit of strategy to be truly successful. Be adventurous. Dabble in different channels and new formats apart from your comfort zone, but don’t try to make your brand into something it’s not. Audiences can smell inauthenticity, so be as real as you can to get your message across. If you’re a technology services provider, it’s probably unwise to try to portray yourself as a lifestyle brand. But if you stay true to your identity and your audience attitudes while avoiding clichés and doublespeak, you’ll be on your way to real contentment.
So are you feeling cool, calm and relaxed in your content marketing happy place now?
Leigh Hoopes is a content strategist at gyro Cincinnati.