In yesterday’s post we reviewed the The 4 Most Common Mistakes in B2B Content Marketing. Too often we grab the latest product brochure, sales presentation or case study and post it online. But customers are looking for you to demonstrate an understanding of their needs before they are ready to engage in the sales process. If we pay close attention to avoid the common mistakes, content marketing can drive leads that are more relevant, targeted and qualified than a traditional outbound push.

So here are my 6 tips for creating content that drives the leads that sales wants…

  1. Define your audience on their terms not yours. Stay away from arbitrary boundaries like SIC codes and Revenue range or employee size. Instead create personas of people that buy your solutions or products. Market to them and never forget that even in B2B, human beings still make the decisions.
  2. Know your prospects pain points. Know them all. Know how they rank. And understand the cost of their pain.  Understand why your customers buy from you and not the competition and make sure you have the content to support that
  3. Use the halo effect to your advantage. Cultivate as many relationships and connection in your customer and prospects ecosystems as you can find. This is a common practice by the top sales folks and is a tremendous service marketing can provide to sales.
  4. Get creative. The biggest question I hear on Content Marketing is usually around how to create content on a small budget. Remember the tip from yesterday about surveying and interviewing your customers? Videotape your interview and post it online. Use the key insights from your surveys to create whitepapers on the top pain points. You don’t need to sell your solution if you can engage your prospects and demonstrate that you understand their needs.
  5. Use compelling titles and brief descriptions or abstracts. Nothing drives response more than strong titles addressing prospect needs. Test your titles in every email blast you make to your “house file”. This will help you to understand the style that resonates best.
  6. Research smart placement: And now that you understand your prospects needs and you’ve created compelling content, you need to place that content where the largest majority of your prospects will find you.  Resist the easy answer and seek the broadest distribution you can afford.
About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the Head of Strategy for the leading content marketing platform, NewsCred. He is also the author of B2B Marketing Insider, a contributor to Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to B2B Marketing Insider by Email

4 Comments

  1. Ryan Beale said…

    Hey Michael,

    Once again, nice tips here. From numbers 4-6, I would add: Create, Optimize, Promote. Create content (blog, video, etc), Optimize that content for Search (titles, URLs, meta data), Promote Content on Social Media Networks (FB, LI, Twitter, etc). Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

    The simplest way for B2B content marketers to get found by the right prospects and convert qualified web visitors into leads is via Blogging (IMHO). I recently wrote a blog article that may interest you and your readers on the Value of B2B Blogging: http://rbeale.com/blogging/b2b-blogging-the-value-of-b2b-blogging/

    Glad I found your blog. Great stuff here.

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Ryan,

      Thanks for your comments. And I agree with your added details. I will definitely check your blog and please keep coming back and commenting. Best, Michael

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