Back in the 90’s there was a book called the ‘The New Rules’ which was all about dating. I thought it was a bit corny at the time, but it was very popular; it became a cult and was even updated recently. B2B Content marketing is a lot like dating – you’re using your content to engage others, so it pays to know the rules and, unlike the book, they’re not all written down.
Don’t smother them
Like dating, you don’t want to overdo it i.e. 3 calls a day 5 days a week are way too many after just one date (or at any time most likely). When it comes to marketing to your database, you need to think about timing too. What frequency matches the message and the recipient? Do your contacts need or want to hear from you every day, every week, or every month? Do some of them only need to hear from you once a quarter? Would some prefer not to hear at all from you – but are too polite to say so or unsubscribe?
As in relationships, if you’re not sure, err on the side of caution. Give your contacts a choice of frequencies and respect their choices. See if there are trends between types of contacts and their preferred frequency. Don’t just send out stuff because you have a B2B Content Marketing automation system, and its need to be ‘fed’. Regardless of what else you do, segment your database, and only send them relevant stuff, and make sure it’s personalised to your relationship with them. As with the object of your desire, SMS, or email personally – or better still, pick up the phone.
Obey the social rules
You wouldn’t use a megaphone in an intimate bar, so why would you broadcast indiscriminately via social media? Spending hours at the bar bending the ear of your desired one with blatant self-promotion wouldn’t get you far, so why do it on social media?
Talking at him or her without taking breath for hours would have them hanging up or walking away, so why do it on social media? Do you get the idea? Social media is so-called for a reason: it’s a sociable place. There are some rules and here is a practical set of them which are mostly common sense if sense is common.
In B2B Content Marketing it’s still important to get dressed up
Wherever you send your content, make sure you stand out; there’s a heap of competition out there so you don’t want to be lost in the crowd. That said, that doesn’t mean the B2B equivalent of total nudity, toplessness or clothing lit up by neon lights. Your content is an extension of you and your business, so how you package it on your website, your blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Slideshare, needs to be appropriate and consistent. Common sense applies to dressing too.
Make your intentions clear
If you want your target to take action, you need to make your purpose clear. Show how that person can signal agreement, just like when you ask someone out. In marketing, messaging has become simpler and quicker because decision-makers are more distracted and have far more choices. Make your message attractive and, if the medium suits, use graphics to make your message and call to action clear. As with a proposed date, if the message is unclear or ambiguous, you may get the wrong response, no response or a punch in the nose.
Make it short and sweet
Linked to all the above… If you want to convince your targets that you know your stuff and you want them to do something, then don’t take any more time than necessary: if your medium is video, don’t take 10 minutes to show something that could take 90 seconds; if it’s SlideShare, don’t just dump a 60 slide PowerPoint presentation up there. They won’t pay attention, so you won’t get your message across. Just like a date, if the first one is boring and interminable, there probably won’t be a second, so take time to prepare beforehand. Your future could depend on it.
So, your B2B Content Marketing strategy for existing clients and new prospects, should be very much like the beginning of a new romantic relationship. Think carefully about how you engage, don’t bombard them with too much loving, or they might just slip away. PS: chocolates and champagne are exempt from this advice – you can never have too much of those!