With no shortage of technical jargon, acronyms, and complex information, B2B content can often be blah, boring—a total snore-fest. Nearly half (48 percent) of B2B buyers say B2B marketing is boring and 81 percent believe they would make better decisions if there was a better effort to engage them, one survey found.
Although traditional forms of content like white papers, sell sheets, and brochures will always have a place in marketing, there has historically been a hesitation among B2B marketers to try out other types of content and even infuse some humor, lightheartedness, or fun (gasp) along the way.
Yet B2B is currently undergoing a transformation. Many companies are taking notes from consumer-facing brands and finding ways to create B2B content that’s interesting, engaging, and gets buyers to take notice—and take action.
Here are some ideas to elevate your content and make it something your buyers actually want to engage with.
1. Stick to the Story.
Storytelling is one of the reasons many consumer-facing brands drive engagement and something B2B brands should prioritize more. Today’s buyers are more interested in your brand story and what drives you to do what you do. It’s the WHY concept that Simon Sinek popularized in his now-famous TED talk: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Whether you’re creating a blog post, video, or email campaign, there should be a story that runs deep throughout every piece of content just like any great piece of fiction you can’t put down. For example, a thought leadership article can include a personal anecdote from a C-suite leader about a life-changing experience that also ties into the overall storyline.
2. Make the Content ‘New’ (even if it isn’t).
When you’re scrolling through your news or social media feed, some headlines are more clickable than others because they’re written in a newsworthy way—even if there’s really nothing new to report.
When you’re developing a creative brief for new content, first think about a fresh new spin, unique angle, or newsworthy slant. Maybe there’s new data you can include in the headline, a unique solution for an industry challenge, or a play on your buyers’ FOMO. The goal is for your content to stand out, pique your target audience’s interest, and engage them in a way that makes them want to come back for more.
3. Connect with your Target Audience.
Creating B2B content that isn’t boring means that every piece of content is developed with real people in mind.
Before you create content, chat with your sales team about the prospects and buyers they interact with every day.
What messages resonate with them? Are sales calls all business or can you speak to buyers in a more friendly, approachable way? Can some humor be brought into the conversation?
Also, keep in mind that 64 percent of B2B buyers are made up of Millennials and Gen Z so using “W” or “TFW” or infusing an element of fun into your content may not be a bad idea.
4. Rethink Traditional Content.
Just as radio and magazines are still around, traditional forms of content like white papers and case studies are still relevant for B2B buyers.
Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in new formats or change your approach to content. Think: animated video or outtakes and bloopers, for example.
5. Look to Consumer-Facing Brands.
What is it about brands like Dove, Warby Parker, and Dollar Shave Club that hook us in and makes us remember their marketing? They know why they exist, what their audience needs, and how to connect with them using empathy, authenticity, and humor.
To create less boring B2B content, look to your favorite B2C brands who are doing it right. Take notes about their approaches, their messaging, and the types of content, and think about how those learnings may apply to your marketing.
The author, Julie Revelant, is the Owner of Revelant Writing LLC.