Client: “I’m not sure what content to put out - I just don’t think our product or service is that interesting...”
Client: “What we do just isn’t that exciting
Client: “I know that our service isn’t really anything to write home about”
As a B2B marketing company, we’ve heard these statements more than a few times! We know - B2B marketing often has a reputation for coming across as ‘boring’ but if you change the mindset behind your marketing output and add a bit of creativity, you can produce content that is truly valuable to your intended audience.
B2B marketing - A bad reputation?
When it comes to B2C marketing, marketers often find that connecting with their customers through emotion is the winning strategy. More often than not, a B2C sale is very much led by how the product makes you feel as opposed to the technical details.
For example, an iPhone may make you feel on trend, relevant and even affluent, however, an iPhone sale is rarely made on the merit of it’s battery life.
In the B2B world, it's easy to see how we can fail to think with emotion. You may think your product is a ‘need’ rather than a want. You may be tempted to reel off the functional features of your product or service - the facts and figures as opposed to the emotional elements that focus on how your customer will feel by working with you.
However, the emotions that influence B2B sales are often different to B2C. B2C buyers are influenced by things such as impulse, love and appearance, B2B buyers tend to be affected by fear -such as the fear of making a bad decision or frustration - their current solution is causing anxiety. Confidence and trust are two other emotions that might affect the decisions that a B2B buyer makes.
It starts with humanising your brand
Humanising your B2B marketing efforts is the first step to making your content interesting and building an emotional connection with your brand. You may think of a B2B buyer as a business entity and tend to forget about the people behind them. Businesses don't exist without people and in a world in which you may be competing with other products with essentially the same features, your connection to your brand is perhaps the biggest differentiating factor.
Making connections with individuals is just as important in B2B marketing as it is in B2C. Despite this, many B2B brands find it difficult to connect to the customers, largely because B2B products and services aren't doing things that are particularly flashy or worthy of media attention. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that B2B marketers can do to make their marketing more interesting.
Focus on the People Behind the Business
A shift in how you view B2B customers is necessary if you want to make your marketing efforts more exciting. To form a business, there needs to be people behind it, and it's those people who are making key decisions for the business. They are the ones you need to appeal to when you market your products or services.
That's why it's important to think of B2B marketing as people-to-people marketing, not just business-to-business.
So what do people need? Does your product or service make your customer feel a certain way? Perhaps more productive, looked after, professional, competent or efficient? Think about the core value your business offers and use this to drive your content.
If you want to engage your B2B customers with more interesting content that leaves "boring" behind, try some of the following tips.
Humanising your B2B marketing efforts is the first step to making your content interesting and building an emotional connection with your brand. ”
Be more human
When you read B2B marketing content, you often find that a lot of it sounds very formal. You have likely been guilty of doing this yourself, believing that it's important to be formal in order to sound professional. However, this belief is one that needs to be retired. Your customers are still people and they can still get bored if your content is stiff and packed with jargon. You need to keep the human side of your customers in mind when you're producing content, making sure to use a friendly and approachable tone of voice.
While there are times when you can use more technical language, there are also plenty of times when you should try to keep things simple and avoid being too technical so that you can make your content more interesting.
Use storytelling to elicit emotion
The rise of storytelling in marketing is one that everyone should be paying attention to in B2B marketing. Storytelling is a way to promote your brand, build its identity and connect with your audience. It helps you to tell your customers about who you are and what you stand for. Recognising the humanity of your customers is the first step, but you also have to show that there are people behind your brand if you want them to connect with you.
Be a problem-solver
This relates to our previous point on recognisng the emotional need that your product or service satisfies. Problem-solving is one of the key elements (if not the key element) of running a business. The purpose of any product or service is to solve a problem, and your marketing can show people that you are able to solve their problems. Use your content to recognise the challenges that your audience faces and give them solutions to their problems. This can actually be led by keyword research - what are you customers searching for in search engines? Feed this into your content strategy and provide the answers.
Focus on interesting education
What do you have to offer that will educate your target buyers? Education is a great way to gain brand exposure and be of interest without directly ‘selling.’ Your customers are always looking for ways to learn about the products and services that will help them to do their job that little bit better, and they enjoy consuming a variety of different types of content too. Forbes believe that as customers build a greater understanding of both your product and your industry, they’ll start to see how valuable your product is.
From long form content and white papers to webinars, you can teach them what they need to know, not just about your own brand but broader topics that will interest them too. It's important not to focus only on promoting your products or services, and to provide them with other information that will help their cause.
The important point to remember is to think ‘P2P’ and not ‘B2B.’ Find out what makes your target audience tick emotionally and feed this into your marketing strategy. This is a surefire way to ‘unboring’ your content, produce value and be appreciated by your intended audience so that they form a lasting bond with your brand.
Read more about our B2B content marketing services here.
This post was written by:
Steve is co-owner of Tiga Creative Marketing
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