IBM isn’t out to sell hardware. Or software. Or even services. They’re out to build a smarter planet. And you can learn all about it in scores of articles, videos, whitepapers, and blogs on their website. When you go to their homepage, you’ll see inspiring thought leadership. And you’ll want to read more.
When you go to many of their competitors’ websites it’s a different story. You’ll see all the usual headlines extolling the virtues of their products and services. A few case studies. Maybe even some thought leadership pieces. But it’s not nearly as inspiring or interesting. What’s the difference? We call it “cause”.
What exactly is a “cause”?
It’s your stake in the ground. Your rally cry. Your manifesto. It’s what makes the best brands (think Disney, Coca-Cola, GE) stand out from all the rest. It’s the difference between “Come buy our stuff” and “Let’s build a smarter planet.” In the world of B2B marketing, it’s something that often gets overlooked.
Here’s why cause is king in B2B content marketing:
1. It gives you more to talk about. With a great cause, you never run out of things to say. Better still, you actually have permission to say them. That’s because the conversation is not about your products and services – it’s about your mission to change your customer’s world.
2. It infuses your content with passion. We all gravitate toward visionaries. We admire their passion, their sense of purpose, and their focus. When you identify a real problem in the world and set out to solve it, you immediately go from vendor to visionary. That’s huge for content marketing.
3. It connects the dots. The beauty of IBM’s “smarter planet” concept is that it gives them a single, overarching theme to tie together a vast array of content, across numerous industries, products, and business lines. A strong cause lets you talk about all kinds of different topics without ever actually going “off-topic”.
Find your cause. Transform your content.
It doesn’t matter whether your cause is building a smarter planet or solving the problem of understaffed accounting departments. Just find that one significant part of your customer’s world where you can make a really big difference. Then own it. And let it drive all of your content marketing.