How to Avoid Boring B2B Content Marketing

Oct 23, 2015

Article ImageWe've all been there, looking at a website reading through the content and skimming it for the pertinent information. Halfway through we are so bored we check our phones to see if we have a text, a new tweet, or someone has liked our Instagram post. The truth is that it's easy to write boring content. It's tougher to take content that can be boring and make it interesting.

In this post, we are going to take a look at how you can easily take potentially boring content and make it engaging.

Let's dispel a myth right away. B2B content is not always boring. In fact, many B2B firms provide really cool, cutting-edge services. It's our job as marketers to take content that could be written in a boring manner and make it appealing. Here are several ways to escape the boring content trap.

Stop Focusing on Yourself

A major mistake companies make when writing website copy, blog posts, or other marketing materials is that they focus on themselves. Wait, isn't that the point? Nope. The point is to focus on your audience. What does a potential client care about? What are their needs? How does your product or service better their lives?

Start writing your content from your audience's perspective. This helps you to focus on the essentials that will appeal to them and keep them interested in your content. Intuit QuickBooks Payroll does a great job focusing on the needs of their clients, especially on their website. The main header image for their payroll webpage states, "We make payroll service simple. So you can focus on what you love." Immediately, Intuir focuses on the client, not themselves.

Start writing your content from your audience's perspective. This helps you to focus on the essentials that will appeal to them and keep them interested in your content.

Highlighting Benefits Not Features (Why not What)

We've seen it over and over again, companies focusing on the features of their products and services rather than the benefits. Features can be really cool and great, but the real value lies in the benefit it provides to your clients. Another way to think about this is to focus on the "Why become a client" rather than the "What are the features of the product or service."

Time savings, cost reduction, business growth, and the ability to increase sales - these are things that are benefits. To be honest, it's great that your company provides all these cutting-edge technologies or extra capabilities, but unless the benefits are clear, your potential clients won't understand their value.

Citrix does a fantastic job of focusing on the benefits of its products and services, not just features. One of the headlines on its B2B website states, "Move faster. Lower IT costs." Both of these are benefits to the client, not product or service specifications. Focusing on the benefits ensures the reader is engaged and drawn in to read the rest of the website.

Play to the Emotions

Both B2C and B2B content marketing performs best with emotion behind it. That might sound odd that even B2B marketing is emotional, but it's true. Think about it. Most people spend 40+ hours a week working, and for many people, they take a lot of pride in their work and how their work affects their personal lives. By creating content marketing pieces that cater to your potential prospect's emotions, you create more effective, engaging content.

Let's get a clearer picture about how emotions impact business decisions and content.

Does your product or service provide a significant cost savings in comparison to competitors? This can be an emotional pain point because if your potential client can show their boss that they found a product or service that saves the firm money, their boss will be impressed and that will factor into their next review.

If your reporting tool saves an average of 10 hours of week of labor-intensive research - that is a huge benefit to the accountant who is staying after work hours and missing a kid's soccer game to get his work done. Writing content that highlights these emotional benefits creates a strong connection with the potential client, and content that creates a connection isn't boring.

Sprint Business created a digital brochure that directly plays on the emotions by asking the question, "Wireless woes? We have you covered." The intro to the brochure talks about transforming how you do business and promises a new revolutionary model of services.

Talk to Your Sales Team

It's typical to see silos where marketing and sales operate completely independent of each other. The teams don't talk to each other or communicate unless there is a specific need. While sales should not be dictating the marketing strategy, it's helpful to have a discussion with sales to get input regarding content.

The sales team is talking to potential customers every day. They can tell you common objections, effective pitches, and the most frequently asked questions or concerns they hear. You can also gain insights for them by bouncing ideas off them for content pieces or topics. All of this information can be helpful in creating a successful content marketing strategy.

Recently at my office, sales approached our marketing team with a common question that prospects ask: Is WordPress secure? In an effort to help provide resources for sales and to educate our prospects, we consulted with our development team and created a blog to answer this question-complete with statistics and resources for prospects considering a WordPress website.

Key Takeaways for Interesting Content

As content marketers, it's easy to get in the groove of creating content, posting, creating content, posting. However, by taking a step outside of the normal process and taking a new approach to creating content, you can create content that is interesting and that your prospects want to read. Follow these steps to break away from boring, humdrum content and create engaging content that your potential clients will connect to and love. 

Jeremy Durant is the Business Principal at Bop Design, a B2B content marketing and web design company based in San Diego, CA, with locations in Orange County and Los Angeles. Jeremy has written countless blogs and given interviews discussing best practices for website development, branding, content marketing, logo design, social media, PPC, SEO, and internet marketing strategies for B2B firms.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)

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