Creating compelling B2B content is only half the battle when it comes to a solid lead generation strategy for your sales plan and your business. While your content must be grammatically correct, educational, formatted properly, and a good representation of your brand, it must also be strategically created following proven best practices that most inbound marketers and sales teams follow. These tactics are what help ensure your content isn’t just interesting or nice to read, but ultimately driving prospects closer to doing business with you and taking some kind of action or next step.
Here are four tactics you should utilize to help ensure your sales and marketing content delivers consistent, trackable, and real results for your business.
1. Keep it Easy to Consume, Access, and Share
There are certainly exceptions to this, depending on your audience, but in most B2B industries, there is a common thread amongst decision makers which is that they are busy and time-starved. They are eager for information and to learn, but they don’t typically have time to even finish that book they bought six months ago – let alone read a 3,000 word essay that could have been said in 500 words. This is why we advise taking advantage of content formats that are reader-friendly including:
- Numbered or bulleted lists
- Graphics and visuals
- Short videos
- Step by step how-to posts
People like knowing what they’re going to get (numbered list posts for instance) and that is why these kinds of articles are more likely to be read and shared. Plus, it’s not just the format that matters, but also the length. There is certainly a time and place for a more in-depth piece of writing, but we always encourage taking the time to trim up a piece and utilizing succinct language to get a point across.
2. Address Objections You and Your Sales Team Hear Throughout the Sales Process
Tapping into the wealth of knowledge that you and your sales team have about your prospects is not only smart, but absolutely critical when creating a content strategy for lead generation. You and your team are on the front lines talking to prospects and clients day in and day out. Marketers may have the research and expertise to use this information, but this is why sales and marketing alignment is so important. By considering the most common questions and objections you hear, then writing content to address those objections, you’ll be sure that the content you have isn’t just what you want your audience to know or read, but it’s actually what they care about.
Ensure the content that you and your team create are utilized in the sales process, which makes it that much more impactful and valuable to your organization.
3. Speak to the Pain Points of Your Customers in Relation to their Buyer’s Journey
Similar to addressing objections and questions, there are pain points you should be identifying for every stage of the buyer’s journey and for every buyer persona you have because they are likely different. This, of course, starts with fully researching and understanding your buyer’s journey. Questions you should be able to answer before determining the kind of content to create includes:
- What problems do you solve for them?
- How much do these problems matter to them and why? How does it impact their specific job?
- Do they even fully understand the problem they have?
- Are they aware of the different solution options available?
- What does a prospect need to determine before making a decision?
When you’re keeping the buyer’s journey in mind, you’ll also need to be sure you have different types of content for different stages. For instance, more in-depth content like eBooks and whitepapers are likely to be used in more middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel, whereas short videos and infographics are great for grabbing the attention of those in the more top-of-the-funnel stages. Different topics and different formats need to be determined for each persona and each stage of the buyer’s journey, and also in relation to the specific pain points they address.
4. Always Include Next Steps in the Form of CTAs, Links, and Offers
This is a best practice that should never be overlooked, but unfortunately is quite often. Every piece of content created by you and your team should have some kind of call-to-action (CTA) guiding that person toward more information or a step to take. CTAs can include actions like:
- Download the full eBook to learn more
- Sign up for a free demo
- Request a consultation with one of our advisors
- Contact us to get started
- Purchase today to get 10% off
- Read more articles on this topic
If you’re creating content applicable to the buyer’s journey, per the point above, then you’ll have plenty of “next steps” that will help guide that prospect closer to purchase. This makes it easy to choose the right offer whether it’s at the end of a blog post, sprinkled throughout an eBook, or closing out an educational webinar.
Don’t let your content go to waste by ignoring these proven B2B blogging best practices. If you don’t have the resources in-house to build a solid strategy around these tactics (and more), then it might be wise to look to a partner that can help you with strategy development, as well as creation and execution.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on the LeadG2 blog, and has been re-written for the CSS blog.