Content quality has improved significantly since Google changed their algorithm to reward quality. But while much of the B2B content out there now features good writing and nice design, it tends to be shallow. This content is ideal for those who are just beginning to explore a topic, but doesn’t provide real value to those who are experienced.
That’s a big problem, because most B2B marketers are trying to attract the attention of decision-makers who are subject matter experts. They don’t need to be educated on the basics. Content that doesn’t go deep on a topic doesn’t interest them. If you want to generate more B2B leads with your content, you’re going to have to go deeper.
Start with an Understanding of Your Audience
I harp on this a lot, I know, but it’s essential—you have to have a thorough understanding of your audience. You need to get a clear picture not only of what their concerns and pain points are, but also how much they already know about those needs and the topics you’re writing about.
You also want to make sure you’re speaking their language, not yours. What jargon do they use? What terminology might differ from what you’re familiar with? Again, if you go basic with your language, you’ll lose your decision-makers because they’ll assume the piece is not for them.
Much of the content that falls into the category of “thought leadership” is written by those who don’t have real expertise in the subject. This isn’t a problem if you rely on those who do have expertise to back up your thought leadership. The tools of journalism can be invaluable here—interviewing experts, quoting primary research, even doing your own studies.
If you’re an in-house marketer, you can interview those in your company who do have the expertise. Also, check into what research has been done by companies like CEB, Forrester, or industry organizations that you can reference. If you’re at an agency, you have to insist on those interviews! Many agencies skimp on this step because it takes time that requires a higher cost to the client, but you can’t produce content that gets decision-maker attention without it. Unless you have the credentials, back up all your points with credible source material.
To capture attention and get a response, your content needs to offer a perspective that’s not already out there. Decision-makers want to learn something new and valuable that impacts their business or their day-to-day. Before you create a piece of content, hop onto Google and see what already exists—you don’t want to be re-inventing the wheel. Ideally this insight leads back to your UVP—what you can offer that your competitors can’t. When your new insight leads decision-makers to realize you alone can fully solve their need, they’re more likely to take action and contact you, rather than a competitor.
While there’s a lot of high-quality content out there, there’s still plenty of demand for content that goes deeper and connects with target decision-makers. Most marketers just don’t get that deep, so those who do stand out.