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Let’s be honest, writing about IT infrastructure monitoring software or business bookkeeping isn’t quite as “sexy” as it is to write about exotic travel locations or gourmet cooking. Most B2B brands are never going to have the social media clout of a Nike or a Starbucks simply because people don’t get quite as jazzed up about warehouse management systems as they do about high-end fashion. Many B2B marketers and site owners are left with their “boring” products and services wondering why they should even bother investing in a content marketing campaign when no one would want to read what they’ll put out anyway.
Well I got news for you—just because it’s B2B doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Here are some fun facts about B2B content marketing, courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute:
- 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing.
- B2B marketers use an average of 12 content marketing tactics.
- 77% of B2B content marketers use blogs.
- Use of video has risen from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012.
- 74% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve customer acquisition goals.
- 54% of B2B marketers will increase their spend on content marketing over the next 12 months.
Unless your company is poised to completely revolutionize the way the world works (think about mobile technology pre and post-iPhone), chances are your B2B content isn’t going to be centered on ground-breaking, earth-shattering, life-altering ideas. And chances are, unless you a carving out a totally new niche for yourself, you aren’t going to be the only company writing about certain topics. Copypressed is a great blog about content marketing with fantastic resources and writers, but how many dozens of other content marketing minded blogs are out there sharing more or less the same information?
But just because other people are writing about the same things you are that doesn’t mean they have to steal your thunder! And to a prospective customer that is just realizing they need your products and services your content is ground-breaking, earth-shattering, and life-altering. You are giving them the information they need when they most need it, and that is certainly not boring!
As B2B writers and marketers we get so caught up in the day-to-day of our own companies and niches that we forget we know more than our customers do (hint; that’s why they want to work with you!). But when everything becomes old information to you it’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone just starting the research process when everything is fresh and new and interesting.
For instance, in the world of SEO most professionals understand that ranking reports aren’t the best way to measure success because of personalization efforts by the search engines. You and I could search for the exact same thing and come up with completely different search results based on our location, search history, social influences and more. But to the layperson store owner who doesn’t know much about SEO, ranking better is all he cares about because that is the only metric he sees. While I might think to myself, “well, duh” as I spin yet another blog about ranking reports some site owner is thinking “holy cow!” It’s not boring to your audience; otherwise they wouldn’t be looking for information about it.
The key to a successful B2B content marketing campaign is to consistently produce quality content that engages and educates your audience. It’s not about you or your brand or how awesome you are (even though that may be more fun to write). It needs to be about what your audience wants to learn or needs help with.
How can you leverage your content marketing efforts to position your brand as the best possible solution to their problem? Small business tax law might not be the most interesting thing in the world but you can bet that come tax season it’s the most important thing in the world to a business owner. Get out of your own way and get out of your head—your content isn’t boring!
Shawna Wright is a senior SEO specialist at Boston search marketing firm Brick Marketing. She is also Brick Marketing’s SEO instructor for the company’s full-day SEO workshops that are hosted in major cities across the US.