In B2B social media, the best results come with great content. With this content, you can showcase expertise and provide helpful insight; you can attract attention and make clients and customers interested in you and your company’s services. Forms, outlets and advice for how to advance content are numerous, though often hard to narrow down and use to formulate a strong content marketing strategy. Here are five of the most useful hidden secrets used to create and ensure great content is shared, liked and remains visible amongst the vast amount of posts and publications within web 2.0.
1. Goals: Have an intention and keep it in mind
It is fairly simple to create great content that has nothing to do with you and your business. This content might be pleasing (maybe even be shared and liked), but it will not get you the professional results you are looking for if it does not advance, intrigue or motivate your target audience. If your content is off topic, your audience will be, too. Entertain your target readers, but be sure you are clear about with whom you are speaking and what you wish to achieve.
Concentrate on content that is somehow related to your field of expertise, but keep in mind that people from your industry will want to establish leadership on similar topics. To combat this, consider taking a slightly uncommon angle or opinion to make you (and your content) more memorable.
Alert: When thinking about topics for your content, also consider where you will publish and push your message. The same audience might consume the same content differently on alternate channels. Getting to know each of your channels and what type of information is best consumed there will help achieve maximum results for each piece of content you produce. The ‘right’ content depends on the knowledge and expertise of your audience, as well as their desires in different places.
2. Provide useful and engaging information
Your content should help you become discovered by being a trustworthy source that continually provides information the audience wants and needs.
Take into account: In the world of web 2.0, the audience has no obligation to read (or finish reading) your content. It is up to you to make them stay with you and read on. The best way to achieve this is to give them something they can utilize – information that resonates with their personal goals, motivates action, entertains, endures and help advances (their) business transactions. The more helpful and engaging your information comes across, the bigger the chance your audience will stay interested.
3. Don’t be a bore
The best information will remain undiscovered if it lacks a certain level of entertainment. Even with content strong enough to inspired the reader to finish the entire piece, they (most often) will only remember a fraction of what you have said. With this reality, we understand the importance of creating content that leaves a lasting impression. Be smart, but be bold – or your content will be buried before it is ever seen.
Have hope: Even the driest and most seemingly serious piece of information can be explained in an entertaining way. With a strong narrative, your story will stimulate the reader – allowing him or her to stay alert and engage with your message. If you are informed while being entertained, are you not inspired to share and then return for more?
4. Make it personal
There is one unique selling proposition that no one can imitate or take away for you: your personality. Keep in mind that even in social media and online networks, people connect to people rather than machines or companies. Personality plays an important role in your social media and content marketing efforts.
In B2B, where business decisions take time, consideration and background information – personality can be the decisive factor for closing an important business deal. The larger the deal, the more time is spent on the decision-making process – thoroughly investigating the company and people involved. In content marketing, high-quality content should communicate a personality which inspires sympathy and trust – the (first, most) important step towards generating lasting connections.
Just think: Even with a stellar product or service, chances are high that someone else offers a service or product that addresses similar problems. Your personality can be the decisive factor to sway your target audience your way. Has a gut feeling, impulse or empathy ever motivate you to make a professional decision?
5. Communication is a two-way street
Content marketing is not about shouting. The goal within content marketing is to connect with your audience. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to get in touch with you. With this in mind – be patient. The first contact will most often not take place via email or telephone; rather, it will happen via comments on article posts, twitter or a news aggregate network.
Include as much contact information (i.e. Twitter, company profile …) as possible in your profile to make it easy for people to connect with you both on and offline. Make it a priority to respond to the people who have taken the time to contact you: this is the first step in forming the valuable connections you need for your business to survive. This is also the foundation for building a following on your social media channels.
Remember: While responding to those who have reached out is of vital importance, a necessary element for establish a healthy dialogue is to listen to the conversations of people who are in – and interested in – your industry. Your responses will be much more effective if it is clear you have been listening before you give feedback.
To sum it up…
If you manage to include at least a fraction of these aspects into your content – you are on the right track. Will time, your audience will guide on you how to get better at addressing the right people with the right content. They will indicate what they like, what they don’t like, what topics they are interested in and what they need from you in order to become a loyal audience member.