The way people buy has changed. In today’s world, the overwhelming majority of decision makers say they found their vendors, not the other way around.* How are buyers finding vendors? Online content tops the list. That’s why B2B marketers are now spending almost a third of their budgets creating and publishing content.** But there’s a problem.
Content consumers don’t like what they’re being fed.
“Buyers are not happy with vendors,” according to Donovan Neale-May of the CMO Council. He explained that, “Their content [tends to be] overtechnical, product-centric, and self-serving.” While B2B marketers are generating more blogs, articles, videos, and whitepapers than ever, most of it simply isn’t connecting. The problem? It’s all about “me”. According to Neale-May, their content “doesn’t adequately address market challenges and customer needs”.
Content marketers need to make a U-turn.
To reap the benefits of content marketing, you have to change the conversation from being “me-focused” (my products, my services, my approach, my achievements, my awards) to being “you-focused” (your prospect’s challenges, goals, and frustrations). Here’s how.
- Find out what’s on their mind. Who are you really trying to reach? What issues are top of mind for them? What are their biggest pain points? Focus your content there, and you’ll get their attention.
- Offer real insight and practical advice. One of the top complaints among buyers in the CMO Council survey was getting content that is “non-substantive and uninformed”. So tell them something new. Show them a hidden pitfall. Reveal a breaking trend. Offer a how-to.
- Try to sound like a human. You’re not writing to a “business decision maker”, a “key influencer”, or a “target audience”. You’re writing to a person. So make your content as human, authentic, and conversational as possible.
What happens when you make the content U-turn?
Truly valuable content tends to take on a life of its own. 59% of respondents in the CMO Council survey said they forward content to more than 25 people and 28% said they share content with more than 100 colleagues. Imagine the impact that could have on your next complex, multi-faceted sale. The potential is huge – but only if your content is the kind of content that people actually want to share.
As Dale Carnegie famously said in How To Win Friends And Influence People, “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” If you want to create the kind of content that’s going to get read and passed on, start by making a U-turn.
*According to CMO Council
**According Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs