B2B content marketing is often dull and boring.
There. I said it.
I follow several organizations on Twitter, and a vast majority stick to the topic of whatever product or service they sell.
There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, but wouldn’t you be more apt to read something or look into a product if it piqued your interest on a personal level?
Because B2B actually sells to people, yet companies marketing to them seem to forget that fact.
I wrote about doors and locks in the security world for years.
While that can be a very dry topic, I did my best to make it creative.
Between creating video content to incorporating pop culture related examples, I did whatever it took to take the pieces from strictly educational to somewhat fun and educational.
This was both for my own sanity and to also attract people who wouldn’t usually click to read a blog post about mortise locks.
Creativity and B2B Content Marketing
Many B2B content producers struggle when it comes to the creative aspect of their marketing.
If you’re dealing with a cut and dry product or service, you might feel backed into a corner regarding what you can write about.
I’m not saying it doesn’t take a lot of work to dig yourself out. It does.
But there are ways you can do it by keeping these three things top of mind:
- Unconventional real life situations
- Content channel change-ups
- Personal experiences
Unconventional Real Life Situations
The easiest way I found to add some creative spice to my B2B content marketing when I worked in the security sector (i.e., doors and locks) was to take the products and services we sold and imagine them in a real-life situation.
The challenge was to put them in somewhere you wouldn’t automatically think about.
With doors and locks, I often tied them to my love of movies.
Think about it.
If you scroll through Twitter or Facebook, and see a post about the use of mortise locks in a facility, are you going to stop and click?
Probably not, unless you’re specifically on the hunt for that kind of information.
But what if you saw a post about how a scene in a recent film had the hero saving the day, and the way she did it was by picking the seemingly unpickable mortise locks in a facility?
If you take your audience away from the moment by reminding them of actual uses of your product or service, demonstrated in an unconventional way, you’re more likely to grab their attention.
Content Channel Change-ups
Getting stuck in your content marketing comfort zone is easy.
Maybe you feel like you can’t write a single bit of new information regarding the product you’re selling.
Maybe you’re practically ready to close up shop on your company’s marketing efforts.
Switching up your content channel can help shine a new light on things.
When I was in the security industry (again with the locks!), we sent out a monthly newsletter that rarely received more than a few clicks.
It was boring content, and our customers didn’t want to take time out of their day to read it.
Honestly, I couldn’t blame them.
It was long-winded, with dull blocks of texts and the occasional picture of doors and locks.
This may have worked for (and I’m being optimistic) a couple of readers, but our subscriber list had over 500 names. And the open-rates were pitiful.
I finally decided the only way to get out of the rut we had lazily allowed ourselves to fall into was to change things up.
Making the Switch to Video
Because Lord Google rules us all with the requirements of word counts, I continued to do an introduction to each newsletter every month.
Other than that, I did away with the written content.
Instead, I produced a short three- to five-minute video talking about doors and locks.
You can bet I got a lot of pushback at first.
Who was going to watch it?
Did people care that much about the security industry to spend time with our videos?
Nobody else in the industry was doing anything with video, why did we think we were different?
I was confident, if nothing else, we would at least stand out for doing something unique.
I recruited a coworker to help me with the project, and we got to work.
Before long, the newsletter open rates were on the rise.
People actually began to pay attention to the content we produced each month.
If you feel like your current channel isn’t wowing the crowds as it could, don’t be afraid to test new ideas, and switch things up.
If people can relate to a topic, they’re much more likely to engage with you.
This is why personal experiences go such a long way in the world of content marketing.
For example, if you work for a company that offers a service such as window cleaning, cut-and-dry posts give your audience the information they want, but may be too formal to draw them in.
Take that cut-and-dry post and spice it up with a personal experience, and you suddenly have a story others could relate to as well.
Helping educate clients on the importance of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act was another factor of my job in the security industry.
When you think of ADA compliance do you think of anything except those dull company videos you have to watch on workplace safety?
Instead of writing a strictly educational post, I peppered in some personal experience.
Combining B2B Content Marketing with Personal Experiences
For example, as a small kid, I saw a little boy running his hand down the rubber railing of an escalator that was moving.
His mother was at the top of the escalator, on her way down.
Suddenly, the kid let out a blood-curdling scream that practically reverberated through the entire mall.
When he was running his hand down the rubber handrail, it accidentally got sucked into the part where the railing disappears as it cycles back to the top of the escalator.
In my four-year-old brain, his hand was being shredded by some horribly constructed moving gears inside.
His mom must have had the same thought because she passed out on the escalator.
In the end, the little boy was fine, aside from the scare and a little bit of rubber burn on the top of his hand.
However, would this make a great story on how far ADA compliance has come since the ’80s?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Avoid the Boring B2B Content Marketing Slump
When you’re close to an industry, it’s easy to believe that you’ve covered every possible angle on a topic.
When I first started writing about doors and locks, I can’t tell you how many times I just knew I was at the end of my rope with writing content.
I was wrong every single time.
It took getting out of my own brain and taking a fresh look at our products and services while keeping those three approaches I mentioned in mind.
Do you have any tips or tricks you use to keep your content from being boring?
Are you running into walls with your content marketing creativity?
I want to know!
Share your thoughts in the comments, or we can discuss all things B2B in the free Spin Sucks community, where I spend a good portion of my days.
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash