How-to Generate Content Your Audience Wants to Read
Content is KING
We’ve heard concerns from clients who are worried any content they create may seem basic or repetitive to their target market. When we hear this, we explain while something may seem straightforward or ‘basic’ to them internally, to their target audience – it might just be the most delicious content!
Regardless of whether you think your industry is “boring” or “unexciting,” we’ve got tips to help you craft content that your audience will adore. Check them out below.
1. Create an FAQ
I find FAQs to be the most obvious and underrated content out there, especially in B2B content marketing. Yes, a lot of companies create them for the purpose of SEO, but there is a reason why they are so popular. Your target market has questions – often they are a variation of the same or similar questions.
Draft up commonly asked questions you, your sales team, and/or your customer service team hears from clients and prospects. Write thoughtful and thorough answers to those questions.
2. Discuss Industry Trends
You and your team know your industry or the industries you serve very well. In fact, you likely have one or more people on your team that are true experts in your industry. If you are stumped for what type of content to include in your B2B content marketing strategy – start with industry trends.
These pieces are often timely and provide insights into what is happening in the industry and what your clients and prospects should expect. The only caveat here is to make sure you aren’t simply repeating what others are saying about your industry. Provide new information or new points of view.
3. Make Predictions Based on What You See
Your company likely works with hundreds or thousands of clients in your industry. As such, you have a great cross-section of what is happening and where you see the industry headed or what your audience can expect to happen in the near future. Based on your client list, you have a unique perspective to provide predictions or analyses that your audience will find extremely valuable.
4. Craft How-to’s
It’s natural that the longer you are in a particular industry, the more you know. However, rather than assuming everyone else has the same knowledge – share it in the form of helpful how-tos. These should include everything from the basics (like signing into a new software) to more technical instructions (like steps to integrate new software into your existing tech stack).
Keep in mind that your audience likely ranges from seasoned professionals to recent graduates to individuals new to the industry. By creating how-tos that appeal to varying skill and experience levels, you provide content that is relevant and helps your audience do their jobs.
5. Build a Guide to…
When your prospects are just starting out or doing research on a new product, a guide can be crucial to helping them navigate the way (and letting them know what they don’t know but need to know). Again, like how-tos, guides can vary widely from extremely technical to a basic overview.
Here are a few prompts to get your creative juices flowing:
- A Starter’s Guide to…
- A Buyer’s Guide to Picking the Right…
- A Brief Guide to Navigating…
- An In-Depth Guide to Installing…
6. Listen to New Client Feedback
Every successful B2B content marketing plan incorporates new client feedback. During the onboarding process, your client may be unsure, confused, or overwhelmed. It’s crucial that your team finds out what will make the onboarding process smooth, painless, and worry-free for your clients. In many cases, you may find out that they need a particular video or guide BEFORE they sign a contract with your firm. Or you may find out additional information that is critical to make the roll-out of your products or services smoother for their internal team. Any of this type of content will be absolutely devoured by your audience.
7. Sit in on a Sales Conversation
What are prospects asking? What are they confused about regarding your products or services? Do they even understand what you are offering them? Is there a piece of content that can be reframed or reworked to be more clear?
Also, what does your sales team say about your product? Is there something that blocks the conversation with a prospect? Can you easily create a sales sheet for them that includes the critical data a prospect needs to get a decision-maker on the next call or demo?
The takeaway here is that, yes, some of the content topics you discover may be business development centered. However, you will likely discover areas where your content is thin or non-existent.
8. See What Your Competitors Are Doing
When in doubt or out of ideas, look over the fence. See what your competitors are doing. Even if you think they are doing everything wrong or backwards, you will likely find inspiration for content that your team can create for your audience. In addition to competitive information, look at industry resources, like publications and industry forums. They are often on the cutting edge of what is changing in the industry, pain points for the companies you are serving, and advancements impacting your market.
9. Tap Non-Marketing Departments
A good chunk of the most engaging content created by B2B companies originates outside of the marketing department. The marketing department may draft and publish the blog or content piece, but the thought leadership is often from a subject matter expert in a non-marketing department. Again, you have so many experienced professionals that know your products, services, industry, and clients that you absolutely must tap into their knowledge. Even something that appears to be a “common sense” tip to them could be a groundbreaking revelation to your audience.
10. Ask Clients What They Need
Not sure what to create next? Ask. Either ask your client audience what they would like to see/read/listen to or ask select clients you have a great rapport with what would help them in their everyday work. Why do this? Chances are if it’s something they want or need, there is a much larger audience that wants the same content.
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