This story comes to us from MarketingProfs, who suggest that storytelling is key to making your facts more memorable. They cite a quote from cognitive psychologist Jonah Butler, who says that a fact wrapped in a story is 22 times more memorable than a pronouncement of a fact.
This reinforces a statement that's been done to death by B2B marketers, including us: content is king. Content tells stories. Great content is most memorable.
It's time for B2B Marketers to stop for a second and re-evaluate the relentless march of their quarterly marketing campaigns and ask themselves a couple of questions:
- Are we firing off the same old marketing messages time and time again because we simply don't have time to figure out how to do it differently?
- Have we really stopped to consider what our targeted buyers' problems really are? When was the last time we checked? Have we spoken to sales recently about what they're hearing from the marketplace?
- Can we stop talking about our features and benefits for once and tell a story about how we helped a buyer solve a problem; without blowing our own trumpet quite so loud?
- Should we consider trying to tell our story in a new format? Perhaps an infographic or a short video that our buyers might share more willingly with other buyers?
- Is it time we stopped to consider how we distribute our content to the market? Is that PR campaign really delivering the returns we want? Do we have a distribution plan that takes advantage of social media's low cost and wide coverage? Maybe we don't need to spend $5k per month on that PR retainer after all?!
When g2m Solutions works with its clients on developing strong content we take 5 steps together:
Planning content is hard work.
It's a key foundation step. Planning in terms of topic, theme and message; planning a schedule of content that traverses the full buyer's journey (often many, many months); planning content that speaks to all influencers of a complex B2B purchase and planning who will generate topics, content, edit, sign off and post.
Create a variety of content that resonates with your buyer.
There are a myriad of creative ways to get your message across and cut through the online noise and clutter. Video works well for short top of funnel engagement. "Video sketching" is currently popular check out this amazing example. Articles and whitepapers are getting shorter and more attractive to look and still provide an excellent opportunity to B2B Marketers to be seen as thought leaders, here is one on the BYOD trend that g2m solutions wrote for our client Logicalis. Slideshare and webinars, screenshot demos and trials are excellent mid funnel options for B2 Marketers who are looking to nurture leads down the funnel before passing them to sales.
Optimise your content.
80% plus of buyers start their journey online. B2B Marketers must have a solid technique and process for optimising their content for their target audience who are using specific search terms. Google is sigificiantly changing how it ranks content and B2B marketers need to stay on top of these changes. The penalties for not keeping up can be severe. Old SEO techniques are being actively penalised by Google.
Distribution of content is an often overlooked element of a solid content strategy.
The expense and effort of content creation is utterly wasted if your stunning, world class, beautiful content remains like an undiscovered desert island paradise, perfect in every way, but no one knows it exists! B2B marketers who rely only on outbound marketing techniques such as email are missing a huge opportunity to connect with their target market who are increasingly connecting online and in communities of interest such as Forums and LinkedIn, to name but two. B2B Marketers need a distribution process that blends old and new channels without killing themselves. Many are looking to outsource their social media distribution to inbound marketing agencies.
Measure, rinse and repeat until you know your content is working and delivering quality leads.
Digital content distribution provides B2B Marketers with a way of genuinely measuring what does and does not work. Smart B2B marketers impose a change management process to the data they have gathered to improve their content, via measurement, change and remeasurement, driving up the quality of what they do over time and reducing their cost per lead. Inbound marketing has been shown to have a 62% lower cost per lead than outbound marketing. This ability to measure, change and remeasure is a key component underlying the dramatic lower cost.
Check out our complimentary whitepaper on how to measure your marketing ROI for more information.