Creating Content to Engage Real Technology Buyers: 5 Common Challenges to Overcome
Content continues to be a top area of investment for B2B marketers. Furthermore, in light of the pandemic, 43% of marketers shared that content was the #1 area they planned to reallocate event budgets to. Despite investments from well-intentioned marketing teams, creating great content to engage real buyers is still a huge challenge. As we settle into 2021, I wanted to reflect on some content challenges that consistently plague marketers and share some thoughts on how marketers might tackle them.
#1 – Find the Right Topic
At the start of my career, I worked at an agency creating content for a range of clients. I wrote a monthly blog for one organization that was regularly a top source of traffic to their site…until we had one that flopped. I instantly jumped into Nancy Drew mode to investigate what went wrong.
After reviewing many performance metrics including organic visits, social engagement and email stats, I concluded that while the topic “should” be of interest, it wasn’t top of mind for busy buyers. The blog wasn’t valuable to audiences’ current business goals or an area of interest to buyers.
Before you create content, make sure your buyers are listening. This situation was an important reminder that knowing the current needs of your audience is essential to creating the right content to engage prospective technology buyers. Rely on behavioral data to help you determine what really resonates with buyers, rather than what “should” resonate with them.
#2 – Bring Enough Value to Stand Out
Technology buyers lean on their own research and content review to inform decisions in the buying process. In fact, they consume 13 pieces of content, on average, throughout their buying journey. Your job as a content creator is first make it on to that list of 13, then make sure you stand out amongst your competition. Effective marketers create content that supports buyers in their journey and helps them make a purchase decision.
#3 – Don’t Let Your Personas Hold You Back
Personas are a useful starting point to understanding your audience, but if your personas are dated, your content will be too — causing you to miss actual buyers. Prospect-level purchase intent data offers real-time insights that static personas cannot by identifying buyers who are in market and truly interested in solutions like yours. Armed with this rich data, you can create more targeted content to engage the right people on the buying team – particularly as their business goals and interests shift over time.
#4 – Reach Buyers at the Right Time in Their Journey
When you share content with audiences, date and time, as well as location in the buyer’s journey, play a critical role in how they will engage with content. As buyers’ journeys become more complex and less linear, successfully mapping content to your sales funnel becomes challenging. Intent data can bridge that gap by identifying exactly where audiences are in the purchasing process based on their activity. Analyzing relevant activity will help marketers determine the right time to share relevant content with buyers.
#5 – If at First You Don’t Succeed…
If a piece of content doesn’t immediately catch the attention of buyers, it doesn’t mean you should scrap it. If you’ve already revisited personas, consider what channels content has been shared through, and if there are others you should utilize. Also look at how the content might be repurposed in a different format, perhaps as an infographic or short video. Don’t make the mistake of continuing to force your content on buyers. Reimagining how the information is presented will ensure you deliver content in the way buyers prefer and get the response you require.
Content is one of marketing’s most valuable assets. However, marketers must be thoughtful in what content they share and how they share it. By providing content of value, at the moment it’s needed, marketers will stand out from the competition and successfully engage with buyers.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, which will discuss the challenges of personalizing content.