41% Of CIOs Say B2B Marketing Is Too Generic – How To Find Your Focus
B2B marketers look away now please. 41% of CIOs listed ‘generic content’ as their number one frustration with vendor content, according to Tech Heads.
It’s hard to swallow for diligent business bloggers who spend hours trying to come up with new ways to stand out in the crowded content marketing space. I’ve put together a four-step plan to help B2B writers find and own a niche.
Step 1: A specific spin on a topic
Think about why you’re writing in the first place. You’re doing it to engage the reader in some way. You’re trying to make your company’s content irresistible.
It’s not going to be if the market is saturated with others saying the same thing as you. So you’ve got to see your words from their point of view and think: “How can I put a different spin on this and help my reader?”
It’s difficult to come up with completely original content every time, but it is possible to help your reader in a new way. The data, advice or news at the core of the topic might already be out there, but you can add value to it by expanding upon it or presenting it in a different way.
For example, blogging focus is a huge area and there’s already a lot of information about it online. In this blog I’ve tried to avoid the trap of generality by combining new, specific data about CIOs to the more traditional topic of blogging best practice.
Step 2: Answer some questions first
What do they want to hear from you? What do they need to know? What reason are you giving them to follow through with the call-to-action you’re providing?
The answers to those questions often get glossed over in the rush to finish a piece of writing in time to meet a deadline. An effective way to stop yourself getting swept up in that rush is to create buyer personas.
Step 3: The person behind the reader
Buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles of the typical stakeholders you’re trying to market to, which are based on data and anecdotal evidence. They make you stop and really think about why you’re doing a particular activity. They give you a frame within which to map your sales and marketing plans against.
Here’s some advice on how to create them. Draw up a list of questions to tease out the hopes, fears, pain-points and, crucially, the business and stakeholder needs of your ideal customer. For example, what are their job responsibilities, daily challenges, sources of industry information, and goals?
Step 4: Align your content and audience
Once you’ve taken the first three steps, below are four quick actions to focus your content marketing topic.
- Pick a topic. If your company creates online payment technology and your buyer persona deals with online transactions, you could write about the reliability of online payments.
- Choose the level of information needed. Is your content for somebody who’s merely interested, close to buying, or somewhere in between.
- What blog style would best serve the topic and level. Options include: how-to guide, Q&A, opinion piece, and data analysis.
- Ideas time. Actions 1 to 3 should focus your thoughts and help you arrive at a new spin on an existing idea. For example: Online payment reliability is the topic, initial interest is the level of information, and list is the format. An idea for a focussed topic and blog title could be: 4 Reasons Online Payments Are Safer Than Ever For eCommerce Sites.
For more insight into CIO content consumption, download Tech Heads