In one way or another, B2B businesses (of any kind) are problem solvers. Some may even call themselves strategic partners, I quite like that. It isn’t just about providing a service anymore, it’s about the ability to support your clients and customers to thrive 360 degrees.
The bottom line is that if you’re consistently delivering value, your target market will always see you as the perfect choice. Both for business reasons but also personal reasons, because you’ve made that COO or CEO’s life just that little bit easier with the content you’re delivering.
That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this blog. We know the words ‘content’ and ‘content marketing’ get thrown about a lot. Yes, of course creating content is great but it is only truly worth it if it delivers value and helps your target audience.
Scroll down to read some tips we’ve put together to help you deliver value consistently through your content marketing 👇
Usually, when we start talking about knowing your customer, it's either a bunch of jargon OR it’s some meaningless description of ‘Jim the CFO’. We get it, Jim might like socialising with men his age and take tips from the back of cereal boxes. But is that information really enough to know Jim?
Deeply understanding your customer means knowing what makes them tick. You need to know what makes them angry and what puts them in a good mood. For example, if your client works in an industry where a widely-used piece of software has a specific glitch that irritates EVERYONE, you can use that and know that it probably riles up your customer too.
It is by knowing the ins and outs of your customer's likes and dislikes, gripes and grapes that you can find an opportunity to deliver value consistently.
To go one step further, you can couple this information with social listening data from Google Trends or Twitter and find a cross-section of opportunities that will build your content calendar for the subsequent quarters.
At the end of the day, everything starts and ends with your customer. They will decide what is valuable to them and you have to (at times) be prepared for some harsh criticism too. This will all be great learning so you can further optimise the content you deliver month after month.
Once you’ve deeply understood your customer, you have to identify the best format to deliver your expert content.
In most cases, when we talk about content marketing we are usually describing some form of written content such as blogs, whitepapers, reports and checklists. However, there are SO many ways you can present content. It all depends on how your customer likes to consume content and the best medium for the message.
This is probably best explained with a couple of examples.
Let’s say that you have identified that your customers are always having an issue with getting a specific process up and running. You could write a blog on it, right? Maybe you could draw a diagram? Perhaps a video would do the trick?
Personally, a video seems the best fit. This is because it is visual, you can verbally explain the process whilst also drawing on a whiteboard or using moving pictures to showcase the process, step-by-step.
For this example, we can assume that your clients are in an industry that is data-heavy. You’ve spotted a gap in knowledge when it comes to trends in a specific product area and wants to deliver some insights and research.
Usually, for insight and research content, a report-style document works best. This is because you have the flexibility to showcase graphs and charts whilst also delving into some details such as ‘methodology’. If you were to have this report as a downloadable offering, you could even gain some email addresses in exchange for the report and it would mean it's easily shareable between different decision-makers within a business. Score!
Never underestimate the importance of getting the format of your content right. If valuable content isn’t delivered in the right way, it can lose its value almost instantly. Nobody wants to read a 10,000-word report or watch a 1-hour video either. Make it easy to consume and customer friendly and you’re on to a winner.
As we mentioned earlier, if you’re selling B2B you are essentially a problem solver or a strategic partner. It is important to remember this when delivering your content.
Partners complement each other, they listen to one another and they definitely don’t annoy each other!
Your message delivers value, your medium delivers value and your timing, crucially, also delivers value. As with so many things, you have to get your timing right.
Let’s say that you’re a snow shovelling or road maintenance company and there has just been a big snowstorm in your area. Delivering a short ‘how-to clear your drive’ video or ‘how to prepare your car for the snowy roads’ blog is going to be of SUPER high value right at that moment.
On the other hand, if you were to deliver that same content during the summer months, it will probably be ignored right? Even though the information is valuable, nobody is searching for snow shovelling guides when it’s nice and sunny.
So, you’re an expert on developing content that delivers value consistently right?
Value is all about supporting your customer, just at the right time.
Don’t confuse content marketing for churning out SEO-heavy content, you don’t want to pester!
Spend time learning about your customer, this will give you the insight and opportunity you need to deliver value consistently.
Keen to learn more? Get in touch with our team for a no-obligation discovery call!