Every day people are exposed to 4,000 - 10,000 commercial messages. Hence, it is no wonder that they install adblockers and put “no circulars” stickers on their mailboxes. Ad fatigue is a reality.
That is why content marketing is on the rise. Creative storytelling that grabs and holds people’s attention can be a kickstarter for your sales funneling. Consumer companies have been on the bandwagon for a while, but we still meet B2B companies that struggle to make their content interesting.
We asked some of our best performing B2B customers what their most important mistakes had been historically. Here is what they said:
1. YOU TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT YOURSELF
You know when you go to a dinner party and your partner at the table spends 90 percent of the time talking about himself. Pretty boring, right? Chances are that you soon stop listening and turn your attention to more interesting people at the table.
Guess what, the same applies to businesses. Only someone truly devoted to CRM would be interested in reading long articles about the features in Salesforce. And Salesforce understands this, which is why they let their customers talk instead.
2. YOU FORGET TO TALK ABOUT THE END USERS
For most companies, the number one priority is to make life easier for its customers. Anything that can help them in this mission is interesting. That is why you should tell stories about how you can help your customers help their customers.
Talking about the end users can also make it easier to create engaging content because the latter often have products aimed at more people. Hence, it makes sense for a manufacturer of electrical motors to talk about the driving experience.
3. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE GUTS TO BE EMOTIONAL
Are you one of those people thinking that business is serious, and when you are serious you must stay with facts? Then you need to rethink! Business decision makers have feelings too, and their brand preferences are highly influenced by emotions. Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman says 95 percent of purchasing decisions are subconscious, and reality is that our subconscious mind is more busy with emotions than fact sheets.
4. YOU HIDE YOURSELF BEHIND INDUSTRY LINGO
Could you imagine an article, written for consumers, including words such as value add, pivot or disrupt? Probably not, and that is because it would seem ridiculous or even pretentious for brands to talk to people that way.
In B2B communication, however, such fancy lingo is all too common. Using difficult words is a way to demonstrate that you belong to a group; a signal that you know what you are talking about. But the effect can be the opposite, that you exclude potential customers. People will often be afraid to ask when they do not understand what you are talking about because they do not want to appear stupid. Keep it simple!
5. YOUR CONTENT IS TOO FOCUSED ON SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS
Content plays a major role in search marketing, because without content, there is not much for Google to link to. The typical advice is that you should pimp your articles with tons of keywords since this would increase your chances of good rankings. The problem is that keyword stuffing has a detrimental effect on the quality of your content. This creates a negative spiral, because with lower quality, visitors will leave your site faster, and that will impair your search rankings. Focus instead on telling a really interesting story for your target audience. When you are done, see if you need to add or replace any strategic keywords.
Strossle distributes content from some of the world’s leading brands. See some of the campaigns live right now.