Today’s job listings are full of ads for content-marketing writers, content managers, B2B content marketing managers and similar job titles. They all look for talented writers that can research and write materials and then gather analytics. This is not by chance. Companies seem to have finally discovered the value of content for their business.
B2B Content marketing is an art. Effective content can engage readers, consumers and prospects, and whet their appetites for more. It not only drives brand recognition but also demonstrates that no matter what a company sells, it has something to offer every audience. At its core, however, B2B content marketing is about educating consumers, and most big brands use it as an opportunity to tell them what their product or service can do for them.
B2B content marketing uses digital tools and techniques to attract and retain customers online. Aimed at addressing and sometimes even changing customer behavior, content marketing comes in a variety of shapes and forms, including articles, news, blogs, email campaigns, videoclips, eBooks, infographics, social media and photos. To lure traffic to a website and drive brand recognition, content must be functional and contextual. If visitors come to a site and do not immediately find what they are looking for, they will leave. This means they are abandoning the site before even discovering what it has to offer them.
Adapting Content to the New Marketing
Marketing is shifting from the age when seeing a quick advertisement implanted the brand or idea in people’s heads. Today’s consumers know to tune these advertisements out, and instead seek information and knowledge. Content is also shifting from a one-size-fits-all paradigm to personalized and customized information. Businesses have diverse audiences with different needs, likes and habits, and must create individualized content for each segment. The job of the content creator is to provide each with what they want and need.
In today’s digital era, consumers have gone through a process of maturity. Their ability to access instant information on any topic makes them question how brands speak to them. They know what they want, so they research options, consult with others and consume content that helps them make a decision. Buying your visitors’ attention is no longer an option – you have to earn their attention. They automatically filter out advertising, so only active, natural and, most importantly, relevant content can work. Content is the new currency in the business world.
Good B2B content marketing writers must understand the psychological and behavioral processes potential customers go through. They have to learn what interests them and what they consider important. They have to encounter consumers at the early stages of the acquisition process and map step-by-step the path they should follow to reach your product. This path is made of accurate, target-oriented content that is presented to potential audiences before they consolidate an opinion of what they want and turn to Google for assistance. Content must speak the language of each potential buyer.
Gone are the days of a single, universal message or idea. People now consume information in a much more sophisticated manner. Content writers cannot tell just a single story but must write dozens of stories for different groups, each in its own language, with its own messages.
How Is This Accomplished?
First, through listening. Writers must pay attention to what their audiences are saying, what they need, and what interests them in both functional and emotional terms. What is the context of the conversation? What content world does it belong to?
Then they must study and learn their behavior. How do they behave online? What do they look for? Which sites do they visit? How do they make a purchase?
Good content that speaks the individual customer’s language causes them not only to return, but also to share content with friends and followers in their social channels. One reader can reach thousands of people around the world, which is a great way to increase a company’s visibility.
Finally, content must be targeted to the needs of each population. Writers must write valuable content that people want to consume – that can make a difference in their lives – without even mentioning the name of a brand. When potential buyers visit a website, content must be compelling and appropriate, to encourage them to engage with the brand and share the content with others. Then they will buy – which is, of course, every company’s ultimate goal.
When the transaction is complete, good content writers must not forget to thank them. This will keep them coming back, while the company continues reaping the benefits of its content-marketing efforts.