You can do all of this but you’ll fail to reach your audience if you haven’t taken care of the 3 biggest turn-offs to B2B Prospects. These mistakes are not new, but they still derail many content marketing campaigns.
The CMO Council’s Content ROI Center surveyed B2B content consumers around the world, to better understand how they source, rank, rate and share content online.
The report says the study highlights ‘a critical need for more engaging, consultative and customer relevant content.’ B2B Content consumers answered 3 questions about what content they value most this way:
So, What are the 3 Dumbest Mistakes?
1. Putting up Barriers
Making it hard for your audience to get hold of the content you want them to read makes no sense. Why would you do it? It always amazes me when companies turn their registration pages into obstacle courses, where they want us to fill in heaps of fields (I often encounter more than 12) before they’ll give you access to content.
2. A sense of betrayal
This second turn-off is just as common – sales brochures masquerading as White Papers – yet most white papers do turn into infomercials before the end of the first page. Let’s face it, the primary role of a free white paper, or problem-solving guide, is to tease people into giving you their email address. And that’s fair enough, as a way to gather potential leads and begin the nurturing process. The issue comes when your ‘FREE’ download is just a re-purposed sales spiel for your company and services.
I know that I feel a real sense of betrayal when I’ve given away my precious contact details, only to discover that there’s nothing to learn from the material I received. Unless you have something of substance to add to the conversation, you’re wasting your time, your reader’s time, and your content. It’s simple: your readers expect you to do your homework. So, if you can’t provide an agnostic and insightful story – don’t do it! The contact will most likely end up being useless, as disappointed recipients unsubscribe from your follow up emails in droves.
3. Don’t go all tecchy on my a*#^…
The final, and possibly dumbest of all mistakes is super-technical content. The purpose of any content is to speak to your B2B prospects’ pain-points, and providing them with an engaging read about their options for solving them.
Often, just identifying the pain-points is enough to get B2B prospects on-side, for example: Top 10 problems you’ll need to overcome when developing SaaS. In this scenario you don’t have to tell them ‘how’ to fix, often just outlining the common pitfalls of a SaaS development project they can resonate with, is enough to persuade a prospect that you ‘get them’.
Whatever you do, though, avoid getting too technical. In every strategy session I have with a client, I have my ‘he/she who holds the cheque book’ chat. What I mean is that often the person who’s approving the spend and signing the cheques isn’t the CIO, CTO or Lead Engineer. It’s the CEO or CFO.
Of course, any CEO worth her/his salt will ask the Tech boffins to identify and recommend a short-list of suppliers. And it’s also likely that before he/she agrees to part with money, the CEO will check you out for themselves (even if only briefly). So, with a shortlist of suppliers to choose from, and a website visit to get a feel for them, the one which he/she can most resonate with is the one he/she is likely to favour. Hitting someone in the face with technical jargon only an IT expert will understand, is likely to have the non-tech-savvy quit your site long before they get to the parts about how wonderful you are.
What B2B content consumers want to read
To drive greater content performance, marketers need to do more to ensure they are focused on content creation and delivery that excites and motivates buyers at every phase of the engagement process. Self-serving and promotional content is turning off buyers and short-circuiting the lead generation and nurturing process.
In other words, give your audience the content it wants and needs, and make sure it’s insightful, thought-provoking, original and comprehensible.