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How to share complex content in a short space of time

By Billy Hamilton-Stent on 14th January 2015

You have 204 minutes a week to capture attention Primary research of tech buyers from our TechHeads research shows that B2B buyers spend an average of 3hrs 24mins consuming news and trends online to inform sales decisions. The good news is that from 2013 to 2014, this headline number increased by 21%. The increase probably resides in a greater amount of B2B information in the market. These folks are just reading ‘more of the more stuff’, not necessarily ‘more of the your stuff’. Inevitably, it is an increase that will also flatten out. Busy B2B people can’t afford to dedicate endless time to gathering information. 40 minutes a day maybe pretty close to a ceiling limit? Point being? Your “inspirational paradigm-shifting” company has zero time to get its message across. This is a real puzzle for B2B tech marketers. What they sell is complex. There is also virtue in that complexity, but it requires time to digest. If ‘complex’ isn’t going away, you at least need to manage it better: Here are three tips to help make complexity more consumable: – Bite-size chunks Rather than grappling with metaphors, complex whitepaper-level content can be broken up into bits. Edit, condense, distil and serialise the messages you need to get across. – Simple language Tech businesses are addicted to two levels of jargon that complicate content and annoy the hell out of prospects:          – Tech Jargon Technology people spend their days surrounded by other ‘techies’ using a discourse that breeds words. These words are extended, conjugated and abbreviated. It’s like B2B Middle Earth.          – Business Rap The second jargon is less tribal, but equally unedifying. The business case for buying technology is generally a leap from technology jargon into commercial cliché about ‘bottom lines’ and ‘ROI’. These are important commercial requirements, but in the wrong hands it sounds like your uncle trying to rap at Christmas: all the words are there, but it just doesn’t scan well. – Continuity Continuity builds brand and engenders familiarity amongst an audience. Long-winded content full of jargon compromises content continuity. Logically, the more you say in different ways, the harder it is to sustain a message.  B2B tech suffers disproportionately from continuity challenges. ‘Now including’ ‘one-stop-shop’ ‘an integrated suite’…these are continuity-busting genes in tech content DNA. We do everything! It is important to create breadth in a proposition and articulate features and functions to a buyer. However, using that as a starting point for a content strategy will have you running off in all directions before you have begun. This puts continuity under immediate pressure. Articulating a proposition that is bound to features and functionality whilst keeping it simple, jargon-free and consistent is tough. One route to elevating the pitch is to focus on buyer needs and benefits. At its core, good technology always reflects this, but the principle can get lost in a corporate marketing bubble. Poor content, overlooked in the 204 minutes tech buyers dedicate to content consumption each week, is riddled with compromises and bad habits. It’s an issues of direction, a company is selling its wares to a customer, but marketing is bringing the customer to the product. To reconcile this conflict, repeat the following: OUR STUFF > YOUR NEED        [Bad] YOUR NEED > OUR STUFF        [Good] It’s a simple mantra to set your content creation on the right lines. For more information on how tech buyers tick and to help you consider how best to develop and distribute content for them, please see our TechHeads research report.

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