By Michelle Voznyuk, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
This week, I’m attending B2B Marketing Exchange where marketing leaders across the B2B space are discussing how to move past the pivot of 2020 and implement new channels and strategies for 2021. So far, I’ve been extremely impressed with the format, variety, and content of the sessions. A few things in particular stood out to me, specifically related to the content experience.
In one of the sessions titled “Use Emotion to Engage B2B Buyers in Content Experiences”, Ardath Albee explains that content is “the thread across the buyer’s journey”. This means, it connects the beginning to the end, starting at the top of the funnel (at awareness), moving through the bottom of the funnel (to decision).
Content helps educate prospects, describe our products/services, and outlines all the possibilities of partnering with us. Because content plays such an important role in our marketing and sales efforts, it’s critical we get it right. Not only for the sake of our own metrics, but for the overall experience for prospects.
That being said, there are some things we can do to refresh the content experience and bring it new life.
Update existing content
Chances are there are pieces of content in our resource library that are outdated. Unless we’re pumping out crazy amounts of content each year, it’s bound to happen. But just because those resources are old, doesn’t mean we should kick them to the curb. Instead, we should be reusing what we can. This includes updating these pieces with new SEO parameters, linking to other related content, and adding new context. When doing this, we should not only be thinking about target keywords and ranking, but also experience. If a visitor clicks on our content and it feels outdated, they’re likely not going to read it. We also risk losing relevancy and their trust as subject matter experts. We need to make sure we keep this top of mind when making any changes.
Another thing we can do to refresh the content experience is to evaluate performance. One of the other speakers at B2BMX, Mike Waldron explained in his session “How Does an ABM Company Actually do ABM?” that we often get so stuck in the promotion of content we completely ignore the content itself. We forget where we are sending prospects. He says an ad can be extremely relevant, but if the piece itself isn’t, performance can still fall short. That being said, we need to thinking about the whole experience. From why someone would click on our ad through to what they might get out of that resource. By answering those strategic questions and evaluating performance of our content, we can identify the areas that need work.
Create more consistency
Similar to updating content itself is the idea of updating the flow of the content experience. Recently, I worked with a client who had at least four different experiences for downloading a piece of gated content. One included being directed to a landing page where they had to click to download. The second had the piece of content sent to their email. The third went directly to a PDF. And the last one was hosted in a completely different format on the site itself. While most prospects aren’t trying to access all of our content at once, it’s still very possible they’ll be looking at more than one thing. Inconsistencies can confuse them and make them wonder if we really know what we’re doing. By grouping content by format (blog posts vs. whitepapers, gated vs. ungated, etc.) and creating the same flow throughout, we establish more consistency to enable them through their journey.
I hope you found some of these ideas helpful as you continue creating and executing your content strategies this year. In a time where prospects want us to understand them, being able to provide an experience that puts them first is essential. In doing so, we instill confidence in our brand and create a clear path down the funnel.