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  • Alan Thorpe

The question that determines if your B2B content marketing will sink or soar.

Updated: Jan 26

Creating a successful, content driven, demand generation strategy is like selecting political leaders. It’s easy to end up with the wrong tool for the job.

Yet the right content marketing remains compellingly effective. In 2024 it just takes a bit more planning than in 2019. And there's one single question that determines if your content will compel. Here it is:


If you had your target’s job, would you take time out to read, or view, your content?


Well, would you? Honesty? Or have you ‘proper’ work to be getting on with? Plus the distraction of dancing cats?


There's one type of B2B content marketing that’s the honey most likely to tame other temptations.


Research.


We love content that helps us to achieve our KPIs. Or that makes us think differently about how to achieve them. Or that simply keeps us relevant in a fast changing world.


Research based B2B content marketing delivers a learning short-cut for busy clients and prospects. The bounty of benefits it brings includes:

· As a topic pillar page research aids SEO and blog structure.

· In the form of pillar page linked cluster blogs, it helps service pages to rank for commercial-intent phrases.

· As ‘share with clients’ it helps drive future revenue streams & keeps relationships fresh.

· It greases the wheels of recommendations and referrals, the 80%+ source of B2B new labels.

· Research is the basic fuel for data driven direct outreach (‘something to talk about’).

· It builds brand awareness and trust within prospects that aren’t currently in market.

· It’s the Trojan horse that helps keep our own teams ‘in the know & on the money.’

· It’s the ‘value exchange’ that’s offered when someone clicks a paid ad or registers.


But even the best research can be like hacking at your bodily hair with a blunt razor. It just won't cut it.


Why? Social’s taken creativity to places that agencies mostly dream about. And it’s raised our expectations for all content, including B2B. So, back to that question. If you were in your target’s role, would you take time out to read or view your content?


The start point for B2B content marketing success is documenting your target audience personas. The topics that likely interest them, the KPIs that they have, their likely demographics. HubSpot have produced a terrific persona tool. Use it. It’s free.

It’s target persona understanding that creates the opportunity to write for the human, not just the subject. It’s the opportunity to create an emotional reaction.

Our likes almost always win out over our

needs.


Throw in a little levity and the result can be content that's stickier than the lid on that half empty jar of honey.


Of course, we’re not all Henning Wehn and able to transform mundane into belly aches.


But what we can all do is avoid being boring. We don't do boring.


Keep the research target tight. Keep sentences short. Alliterate. And make it look attractive. Use on persona target images.


The bottom line? If your content fails the ‘If you had your target’s job, would you take time out to read, or view, your content?’ then your B2B content marketing budget can probably work harder. And that's an opportunity to be better!


Here’s a piece of ‘easy read and on target’ research we’ve recently created for a client.

It’s working really well for them. We researched it, wrote it, designed it. For the client? The pressure to create B2B content that their targets welcome has been released.

How data fuels the 'virtuous circle' of elite club and NGB success
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