Rules of the game for online content marketing have undergone a sea change in last few years. It’s established even for B2B marketers, that their target customers are spending most of their time on internet either hooked on laptop, mobile or tablets. If you need to reach your customers, going online is the only imperative.
Though it’s obvious that internet presence and compelling content is of paramount importance for B2B marketers, reaching the top decision makers is still an Achilles’ heel for most. People at CXO levels are extremely busy and getting their attention for content requires some serious homework. Putting in some content in hope of getting top management’s eyeballs, is spray and prey technique, that in today’s world of incessant barrage of irrelevant content, is a ploy of diminishing returns.
Here are few rules that in my experience have worked wonders and have helped clients in engaging top deck in meaningful conversations:
Topic of content: Generalized content gathered from other sources of information is passé. A report on an industry say as big as Management Consulting, is expected to draw a blank. What helps here is coming up with topics that are of immediate interest to the decision makers in the industry that you are targeting. Targeting a very specific sub-market helps. Rather than report on ‘Management Consulting’, a report on executive search market for CXO level recruitments in a defined geographical space is far more appropriate. Ofcourse, executive search is also a subset of management consulting industry like dozens others. It helps to know your exact market and in as much details as possible.
Data, data and more data: “In god we trust, everyone else brings data”. A piece of statistic communicates in thousand ways. It establishes the credibility of the content. A top management professional would rather prefer a neat data table that tells him what he needs to do, rather than an elaborate piece of report with recommendations that gathers dust. Let him draw his own conclusions
Understand the challenges of your target: It’s a ground rule and probably oft repeated, but it’s appalling to see so many B2B marketers failing at this. The board of a family business being run in India would not be concerned about IoT interventions on assembly line, but about the ways to manage a non family member CXO, that they hired recently for salary more than they ever paid themselves. It’s important to understand what keeps a board member awake at night, before you decide to make content for them. Next obvious step is to weave content around it and dovetail your products and solutions into it.
Infographics: A texty report is still in vogue. Marketers feel more text means more information. Sadly nothing gets read. Even if it gets read, there is no chance a busy executive will read it in the details that marketer would have envisaged. Cutting down on text, as ruthlessly as you can helps. Building on infographics to convey the same information is time consuming but well worth the effort. Any report or content that can’t be skimmed in 5 minutes is out of the window.
Once you are done with finalizing a crisp, data and infographics loaded, relevant report for your target, its distribution through online channels is the next hoop. About that in some other blog, some other time!!
Author is CEO of Magistral Consulting which has helped multiple B2B corporations in creating winning content for top management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org