The other day a friend of mine told me that he wouldn’t spam his clients with white papers that his marketing team creates. I was stunned by his words. Yet, my friend unintentionally provided me with an interesting perspective on how we think about content marketing.
B2C content lives in a fantastical world where things are wonderful, great, and proven guaranteed. However, for B2B content marketers only come in when your readers don't understand what you're talking about.
For example, try and understand what this means: enterprise-ready platform-enabling personalized engagement at scale. I’m guessing you aren't sure what that sentence meant and aren't keen to take the time to try and understand it.
Too heavy? No worries. Try, the next generation product development for better business outcomes.
In the world of B2B marketing, you don’t sell more, you accelerate revenue growth. You don’t analyze, you filter through the noise. You don’t improve, you skyrocket. And, not because your solution is smart, but because it offers unparalleled insight. And, don’t forget, if you do a simple regression it’s now called artificial intelligence.
In all seriousness, humans have never faced such an intense stream of information as we experience now. And, while we do have the brainpower, the amount of information that is consumed is overwhelming. As a result, we are only able to consume information that is simple, short, and easy to understand.
If you look around the evidence of this is all around us. TV shows fall into neat 25- and 45-minute blocks. And, we get much of our business wisdom from blogs and articles rather than from thick books. Even commercials, once 60-second productions, have been shortened to a standard of 30 seconds.
However, every Marketing Manager knows that if they try to use plain language on their corporate website, the boss will demand a more professional tone. And, this often leads to increased use of incomprehensible corporate lingo and buzzwords. And, this is exactly what happened to my friend’s white papers.
We use Net Promoter Score to check if we've done a good job building a product that customers will love. And, we set the highest standard for our product team: they have to create a product that is so loved that users will recommend it to their friends.
So, why can’t we apply the same concept to content marketing? Why can't we ask ourselves, 'do I want to read this content? Do I find it clear, interesting, and engaging? Do I want to share this content with customers and will it help strengthen my relationship with them if I do?' An emphatic and consistent, 'yes' to these questions should be the standard of any B2B enterprise's content marketing.
If you read an article developed by your Marketing team that's crystal clear, engaging, and full of so much insight that you can't wait to share it with your colleagues, friends, and even your significant other then you can conclude that the content marketing is done right. And, that's what we should all strive for.
Co-founder and CEO of Influ2 and an entrepreneur with 20 years experience in online marketing and advertising. Dmitri holds Executive MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School. He has successfully launched, managed and advanced multiple IT-powered companies (including BonusTec and ThickButtons).