All posts tagged: B2B content

How to create compelling B2B content

How to create compelling B2B content

How many times have you, or someone in your team, spent hours crafting a piece of content? Agonising over the right phrases to use, making sure the content looks visually appealing, that the format is seemingly easy to consume, only to find that when it goes live, it doesn’t get the ‘big bang’ results you originally anticipated?

We’ve all been there, trying to uncover why it isn’t landing, maybe a shorter headline will help? Maybe a different graphic on the front cover? Is it cutting through the noise? Unfortunately, there is not just one right answer, it could be a whole host of reasons.

It may sound simple, but the way to create truly compelling content is by understanding your target audience, through this understanding you’re able to create something that is truly of value to them.

Where do you start when writing compelling content?

Something that is often overlooked when it comes to creating compelling content is relevancy. To get the traction you were looking for, your content should be timely and speak directly to your target audience and their pain points, regardless of if you’re creating a compelling case study or short social media content.

Understanding your target audience through developing an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Persona(s), you can collate unique characteristics which can help uncover average revenue, number of employees, number of customers, budget, industry, geography, and purchase process but it should include other information such as pain points around their role and industry, but also personal fears, aspirations and needs.

Once compiled, you can then tailor your content to specifically address these points – without this level of information, you can end up speaking about a subject matter that has very little relevancy or is of little interest. For instance, if your ICP includes HR businesses with 10 people that only operate within the UK, it is probably best to steer away from trends in the US…

Have you kept your audience in mind?

Now you’ve established your ICP, it’s pivotal to consider how you’re already communicating with your prospects, and at which stage they are within the buying cycle. For instance, if you’ve only recently started to communicate with them, it’s likely that they’ll still be in the awareness phase, so creating compelling content that keeps you front of mind for them will be key.

Considering what stage they’re at within their buying cycle isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, going back to your ICP and based on the information you collected, you should also have an understanding of what makes them tick and what motivates them day to day. Knowing this information will inform which format the content should be presented – for example, you should probably steer away from creating a whitepaper for time-sensitive individuals, and instead may want to opt for more snackable pieces of content that they can get value from in short doses.

Pinpointing how they typically like to consume content will also have an impact on how you leverage this and the channels you utilise. For instance, if through your ICP development you know you’re your audience typically spends a lot of time on Facebook, then you may want to target them there.

Are aesthetics important?

So now you’ve established your ICP and done your research about what makes them tick and considered how and where they typically like to spend their time, we should now shift our attention to the content itself. How many times have you read something that was completely lacklustre and switched off after the first paragraph? Well, you’re not alone…

The human element to your content shouldn’t be understated, in B2B it’s easy to forget you’re talking to another human behind their screen, so don’t forget to show some personality, sometimes being a little controversial or incorporating a light-hearted joke can help to attract attention in the saturated B2B market and become memorable, keeping your business front of mind.

Finally, don’t forget about your content’s curb appeal, your copy may be elegantly written, and personalised to each individual business but if it visually doesn’t look great – you may see that your audience hits the exit button quicker than you’d like. Ensure that the format and layout of your content flows and is easy to follow, include relevant imagery and eye-catching visuals, and sometimes it pays to think outside of the box, it’s not just B2C that can be fun!

How do you measure your content?

Now your piece of content has gone live, how do you know if it’s compelling? At this stage, it’s important to separate feelings from the facts and resist making educated guesses.

The data and insights from your website content will help you identify if the content is compelling in the eyes of your audience. Bounce rates, dwell times, downloads, conversions, and heat maps are a great place to start… but beware of vanity metrics! For instance, if your content has a high bounce rate, this may indicate that the information within the content isn’t providing added value, or if a heat map is showing a cold spot on your eBook, it may be a sign to switch up the format of the page.

It’s important to continually test and learn, further optimising to hit the sweet spot and leveraging that data-driven insight moving forward.

Learn more about Bright’s content and creative services, guaranteed to get your audience fired up to interact with your brand.

At Bright, we pride ourselves on being B2B marketing experts that drive results through marketing agility. We embed an iterative and data-driven approach, leading the charge to better results and the ability to adapt and change at pace.

Shine a light on your marketing campaigns with Bright.

Get in touch with us today to discuss all things agile.

 

Hollie Ingram

 

Hollie IngramHow to create compelling B2B content
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6 steps to writing engaging B2B blog content

6 steps to writing engaging B2B blog content

How to effectively articulate complex tech and consulting solutions  

You’re a smart B2B marketer, business leader or industry expert but do you struggle to write content that entices and engages your target audience, demonstrates the value of your products or services and showcases your expertise? For anyone who wants to become more visible as a thought leader, we’ve gathered writing tips and guidance on how to write engaging B2B blog content that captivates and resonates with your readers 

Step 1: Build a strong foundation for your content piece 

Before you begin writing, create an organised outline to ensure your argument is clear, concise and impactful. Use the following questions to help you lay out the subject, purpose, format and more:  

  • Main subject: Are you discussing a trend or event, or highlighting a challenge or problem that needs a solution 
  • Audience: Who is this for? What information do they already have? What do they need to know? 
  • Relevance: How does your content relate to their work, business, goals or interests? Why should they care? How will it benefit them?  
  • Story: Is there a story to tell? What happened to who? Where? When? Why? How? 
  • Format: Does the subject require classic blog prose or would a list, interview or step-by-step guide format work better? 
  • Research: What do you need to learn to write this piece? Can you find any stats on the subject? What can you add to existing research?  
  • Impact: What action should the reader take after reading? How will this benefit your business?  

Step 2: Present the value right away 

Next, pull out the value of your content. What is the key information you want your readers to take away from your writing? What is your purpose — to guide, educate or inform? Once you’ve pinpointed why anyone should read your piece, be sure to state the value right in your title to grab attention 

  • Studies show that popular content titles use How to, and 3/5/10 ways to, ‘why…’. These titles are eye-catching and assure the reader of a quick, easy and informative reading 
  • Title format that works: Numbers + verb/adjective + target keyword + rationale + promise 

Examples: 

  • 3 reasons why you’re not a high-performing organisation 
  • How to hire the best talent and keep them happy and productive  

Step 3: Choose a conversational tone of voice 

Before you begin, find your tone of voice. Despite what your brand guidelines might say, it’s best to write B2B blog content in a friendly, personal way as if you were having a natural conversation with your reader — remember that you’re writing for the web! It’s also important to remember that you can write with a serious tone without sounding too formal or academic. The last thing you want to do is bore or scare your reader away. Keep the following in mind as you write: 

  • Talk to the reader directly using ‘you’ and ‘your’  
  • Avoid sounding robotic by using with contractions: You’re, we’re, isn’t, aren’t, can’t 
  • Explain tricky technical jargon and acronyms whenever possible 
  • Stick with the active voice to keep your writing clear and energised

Step 4: Clearly demonstrate your expertise 

No matter your subject, you want to show your readers that you know your stuff and that you understand the challenges they’re facing in their business. As you write, keep the following in mind.  

  • Always try to strengthen your statements with an interesting fact or proven stat 
  • Use tech or inside-industry phrases and expressions where relevant (but not too many!) 
  • Reference or link to your case studies, credentials and client advocates  
  • Turn lengthy or complicated paragraphs into bulleted lists and give instructions in a step-by-step numbered list to avoid overwhelming the reader with information 

Step 5: Organise your content for easy reading 

In our digital age, people love to scan and read quickly. Make sure you lay out your content piece in a way that puts key information first and explains your point clearly and efficiently. Here’s how to do just that:  

Introduction (100-150 words approx.) 

Set the scene for your B2B blog content: 

  1. Present the issue, problem or lesson to be learnt  
  2. Tease how you’ll discuss it or lay out the solution  
  3. Explain why it’s important for the reader to learn about this topic — what is the benefit?  

 Main body (400-600 words approx.) 

Lay out the main points to the topic you set up in the introduction: 

  1. Present each point with sub-headers that summarise your argument — this is vitally important for keeping those fast readers engaged 
  2. Loop back to the introduction in each section, giving context or background information 
  3. Remember that each point should contain a “PEE” – Point, Evidence and Explanation. Explain how your offering or solution will help the reader understand recent trends, reach their goals or solve their problem 

 Conclusion (100 words approx.) 

Wrap up your argument with a brief statement that summarises your argument, then end with a strong call to action to prompt your readers to engage further with your brand: 

  1. Keep your summary to one line — short and sweet  
  2. Highlight the value again by reiterating the benefit to your reader 
  3. Hyperlink your call-to-action (CTA) to take the reader to your homepage or solutions 

Step 6: Tell them what to do next 

Now that you’ve taken the time to share knowledge, be explicit about the next step you want them to make to find out more about your brand. Motivate them with an energising call to action:  

  • Keep it short, about 5-10 words  
  • Start with an action verb, such as ‘get’, ‘find out’, ‘see’ ‘learn’, etc. 
  • Be creative and avoid using the dull and old-fashioned ‘click here’ or ‘here’ 
  • Give a sense of urgency by using ‘today’ or ‘now’ 
  • Make sure it’s relevant to your blog topic and doesn’t feel out of place 

Example: Want to learn more about XXXX? Book a meeting today. 

Becoming a B2B thought leader in your space demands engaging, strong content but knowing what to write about and how to sell your point isn’t always easy. If you follow these six easy steps, you’ll create B2B blog content that grabs attention, encourages conversation and tells your readers that you’re someone they can turn to for advice and guidance.  For more content tips and tricks, see our insights into writing content for your website, blog and social media pages.  

If you prefer to leave it to the experts, our content team at Bright are here to help you reach your business goals through blog writing. Get in touch today at [email protected]  

More of a visual learner? We got you.

Download the infographic version of this blog. You can print it out, save it to your desktop or share it with your content and comms team.

Zoe Merchant6 steps to writing engaging B2B blog content
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