B2B marketing is the toughest type of marketing and content creation, in my opinion.
Before working at Spin Sucks, it was the only type of marketing I knew.
I would spend hours each week on the content I was tasked with developing.
I can’t tell you how often I wanted to beat my head against my desk, because something wasn’t clicking with me.
How on earth was I supposed to make the driest business transactions that ever existed somehow “enticing” and creative?
I wrote about this very topic last week.
So many people agreed that, “YES! B2B marketing is usually low on the creative factor!”, I decided it was time to enlist the help of our Spin Sucks community in Slack and some other communications pros at HARO.
(Don’t say I never gave you anything, my fellow communicators.)
Where do you find your inspiration for B2B marketing ideas?
And thanks to you lovely people, we’re spreading the love to others who might be struggling with content in the world of B2B marketing.
Talking About B2B Marketing
Kimberly Crossland’s route might take a little extra time, but it’s worth it in the end.
One-on-one conversation. Not always easy to get and time consuming but super effective.
Accelerated Growth Marketing founder Stacy Caprio’s thoughts were along the same lines as Kimberly’s.
I go directly to clients and potential clients to get content ideas. Taking their pain points and complaints and turning it into content is some of the best inspiration you can get because it gives you content that also helps convert future customers and addresses your target audience’s pain points.
Bringing Personality into B2B Marketing
I’m a big believer that personality is key in any form of marketing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be YOUR personality either.
Maria Mora’s way of finding inspiration was almost exactly what I used to do when I felt like my creative tank was empty.
B2B marketing content doesn’t seem glamorous or fun at face value, but when you take a persona-focused approach to developing content, it can be just as engaging and intuitive as B2C content. The key is to dig into the specific audiences that use your service. Who are the decision makers? What are their job titles? And once you know that… what makes their jobs harder? What would make things easier? What are common issues that affect their day to day quality of life at work, or ability to meet their goals? Use those pain points to flesh out content strategies that coordinate with every step of the buyer’s journey.
Ben Johnston’s source of inspiration comes from what some might consider a surprising source – his competitors.
This may seem smart to some and devious to others, but one of the best outlets for inspiration when it comes to B2B content creation is your competitors, especially when creating content for a niche marketplace. Have you ever read a competitor’s blog or seen one of their infographics and think you could do it better? That’s the secret—you can and you should. This is especially true when you see a competitor who offers a “hot take” on industry news or current events that you disagree with. If you can devise a more well-crafted, engaging or convincing angle, concoct your content around that; tackle the same issue or subject with your (obviously better!) point of view.
Aside from keeping direct tabs on your competitors, you can simply type a topic you want to talk about into Google or your favorite search engine. See what kind of results come up and what types of questions consumers need answers to. If all you’re getting is product pages or competitor homepages, add “news” or “events” after your keyword. Still not having any luck? Scroll down to the “people also search for” section; this will provide content ideas and keyword ideas, allowing you to structure your content around what users are actually looking for in your market. The same goes for the “searches related to…” section at the bottom of Google search results; this space can offer a wealth of content and keyword ideas for your B2B content marketing efforts moving forward.
Analytics for Creative Inspiration? Say What?
Christopher S. Penn goes with the analytical side of things.
I use predictive analytics. I have a keyword list of 7,200 relevant terms and use custom-built software to forecast forward the next 52 weeks of when each term will be most-searched, and build content around those trends. The process forces me to stay focused on what the customer cares about, rather than my opinion.
Chip Griffin has a similar approach involving analytics. (And yeah, I guess I should mention my boss, Gini Dietrich, is involved in this, too.)
I use both data (though not as sophisticated as Christopher S. Penn) and real-world questions. In fact, the Agency Leadership podcast is fueled largely by questions from the Spin Sucks community. It’s the first place that Gini Dietrich and I turn when contemplating show topics.
What Say You?
Do you have some brilliant ways of your own to inject some creativity in your B2B marketing and content creation?
I want to hear everything you’ve got.
And speaking of B2B marketing, our next Spin Sucks AMA on March 14, features Susan Moeller from BuzzSumo, talking about how to create engaging B2B content.
So there’s that! Head over to the Spin Sucks community for more info.
If you’re not a part of our free community (and I have no idea why you aren’t, you should be) and didn’t get to join in on the fun there, you can always leave your comments down below.