On Wednesday, we had the pleasure of hosting a webinar featuring Ardath Albee, who is the CEO of her own firm called Marketing Interactions Inc., as well as a renowned speaker, author, and B2B Marketing Strategist.
If you didn’t have time to tune into the webinar, we’ve created this recap for you. Of course, if you want to hear the full version delivered by Ardath herself (highly recommended!), click here for the on-demand version.
It’s safe to say that B2B marketers have fully embraced content marketing. Every survey that comes out points to the fact that content marketing is not going away anytime soon. But it’s not easy. A lot of the time, the problems that B2B marketers face stem from the fact that they do not truly understand their audience. As a result, the majority of buyers are frustrated because they are having inconsistent content experiences. For example, the buyer might at one time consume content that is really great, and highly relevant to them, but the next time they consume content, they are turned off because the content is all about your product, and does not address the buyer’s need, (and not related at all to that great piece of content they read earlier).
This happens when we don’t pay attention to creating unified experiences for them. In order for us to change that, what we really need to do is to focus on experience and purpose- what are your buyers trying to accomplish- what’s in it for them? By focusing on that value, we can start to shift our mindset and move away from what we already know so well- our product, and really start building our conversations around what it is that we can enable our customers to do.
What B2B marketers need to do is to think about each interaction as a question moving the conversation forward. Every time that your prospect interacts with you, they should come out on the other side changed in some way. We need to plan our content to address these changing contexts.
Some other great ideas Ardath introduced:
- Try to turn your content into a Trojan Horse. Make it so that the buying committee will have the conversation you want them to have even when you’re not in the room. With content that has context, we get to guide the conversation!
- Reject the idea of on/off campaigns just because you need to prove yourself with metrics. We now have the ability to obtain data that shows success through a buyer’s entire life cycle- not just segmented by campaigns. If you hold onto this, it will create a “drive-by-view” metric, which ultimately, means nothing. This might take getting your boss to look at content marketing from a different angle, and it does take longer to prove, but it’s worth it.
- Always keep in mind the job your customer needs to get done (“Jobs to be done” theory)
- Keep in mind they might not even know they have a need or a problem at the beginning- so think about them asking you “Why should I care?”
- Always think about any interactions with your customer as a conversation. Conversations go back and forth, and the context changes as you learn something new throughout the discussion. For example, if you ask: “Hi how are you? The person you are conversing with replies “I am fine, it’s a beautiful day today”. You would not then reply with “Hi how are you?” again since you’ve already moved on to the next stage of the conversation. You’d likely reply to the comment about the weather and the conversation would continue to build from there, changing after each time something new is mentioned. Always remember, questions help identify the context.
Ardath explains that content should never lead to a dead end, there should always be a way forward, a way to open up a new conversion. We can keep our audience engaged with our content, by simply showing them what to do next.
If you’d like to learn more, download the on-demand here.