Business-to-business marketing differs in many ways to business-to-consumer marketing. While in both cases you are selling a product or service to another person, that is where the similarities end.
Despite this fact, many B2B marketers write their content in much the same way they would write B2C content. If you are looking to improve the ROI of your B2B marketing strategy, it is important that you take a hard look at your content and make the necessary adjustments so it is more B2B-friendly.
Here are some ways you can tailor your content in such a way that it speaks to specifically to a B2B audience.
- Ditch the hard sell. B2C copy can afford to take more of a hard sell approach but businesses don’t want someone to tell them that they know their business better than they do. Instead, outline how your product or service will help to solve a problem.
- Remember that less is more. While you should explain the benefits of what you are offering, don’t go into excruciating detail about every aspect of what you are selling. Remember, you want to entice them to contact you to learn more.
- Keep it professional. Keep in mind that anything you write could land in the hands of CEOs and the tone of your content represents your business. Get too casual and you might come off as unprofessional. While it is fine to be conversational, make sure you don’t sound glib.
- Mind your headline. Headlines for B2C articles and blog posts can get away with being dramatic. B2B readers are not as impressed by over-the-top headlines. Instead opt for a more straightforward approach that highlights a current topic in the industry or that addresses a specific need.
- Use the correct terminology. Don’t write about topics you haven’t thoroughly researched. Nothing will damage the credibility of your brand more than writing on topics that you aren’t familiar with.
- Include an effective call-to-action. Don’t assume your readers will know what to do once they’ve read your content. Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Visit your website for more information? Download an eBook? Make sure you tell them. And don’t bury your call-to-action either. Make sure it is big and bold and can’t be missed.
Writing B2B copy and writing B2C copy involves different tactics. Make sure you are aware of those tactics so your content will do all it can for your brand.
Content is king. But that doesn’t mean that every piece of content is worth its weight in gold.
While you should never publish a piece of content you are not satisfied is well written and connects, educates and inspires your target audience-that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to miss the mark once in a while. However, if your content strategy seems to be consistently falling flat, you need to take a hard look at what is going wrong and find ways to fix it.
Here are some telltale signs you need to overhaul your content marketing strategy:
- Lack of traction. Relationship building is an essential part of content marketing and that takes time. However, if your website never gets views and no one is sharing your content, it’s time to make some changes.
- Hidden website. While being at the top of search engine result pages is the ultimate goal of every business, slowly climbing up those pages is what tells you that you are moving in the right direction. If you continue to always languish in the same (low) spot, you need to figure out why.
- Stagnant social. Are people liking you on Facebook? Retweeting your Tweets? If there isn’t a lot of activity on your social media sites then your posts clearly aren’t doing their job.
- Failure to engage. Valuable content means that visitors will stay on your site for longer periods of time. You also will see a lower bounce rate.
- Nothing stands out. Again, not every piece of content is going to be a homerun (although it shouldn’t strike out, either) but periodically you should have a piece of content that hits it out of the park. When a piece of content really creates a buzz around your website you are on the right track. If there is never any buzz, it is time to mix things up so that you can create some.
In some cases, a lackluster content marketing strategy will require a major overhaul. In other cases there are simple fixes that will drastically improve things. These include figuring out how to differentiate yourself from the competition or merely doing a better job of promoting your content.