What are B2B inbound marketers struggling with?
Creating engaging and provocative content.
80% of B2B marketing and sales professionals feel that their demand generation campaigns are ineffective, according to Corporate Visions, who published this finding in their Q2 2012 Marketing and Sales Messaging report.
B2B content strategy is a real pain point for most marketers. Most feel that their content isn’t engaging and provocative because it focuses solely on their own company’s products and services, rather than focusing on their customers’ pain points.
This isn’t surprising. B2B marketing isn’t as sexy as B2C marketing, where the focus is on connecting with human emotions, instead of touting features and benefits.
The takeway for B2B marketers is that we need to think more like consumer marketers, focusing on connecting with people and sharing a vision and an idea — something that our market cares about, to build a passionate following.
Research has shown that branding in B2B affects the same part of the brain as consumer branding. Buying decisions for B2B products and services are emotionally driven, not purely based on economic analysis. It’s human nature – we go with our feelings and then look for the data to support the decision that makes us feel best.
To get ideas, check out Simon Sinek’s discussion about the “golden circle” – a concept that explains why some organizations are able to inspire … and some aren’t.
Simon poses an important question: Why is your company doing what you do? Why should anyone care?
Inspiring companies focus on the why – communicating from the inside out. Uninspiring companies focus on the what – we have this and that, and it helps you do ____. Is this provocative? Engaging?
To illustrate further, Simon gives an example for Apple:
Leading with What:
We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Wanna buy one?
Leading with Why:
Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?
The first example is how most B2B marketers communicate. We talk about what we have and how we’re different, and then expect some sort of behavior change, such as a purchase.
To shift your content from uninspring to provocative and engaging, focus on what you care about, instead of what you have.
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
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