There is one thing I am passionate about when it comes to B2B marketing: looking at your content from the perspective of your audience. When I started blogging at Savvy B2B almost a year ago, my focus was on crafting content that was focused on readers - what do they want to know about and how can you communicate this in a way that make sense and is enjoyable to them? (In fact, my very first post covered this exact topic.)
However, over the course of the year, I have really changed (or perhaps broadened) my philosophy. Not only is it important that the actual content be focused on the reader, but the entire experience needs to be as well.
What does this really mean? To me, looking at the entire content experience includes considering these things:
What is the best title for the piece?
Yes, your title is a party of your content, but I think that this importance of this piece can be overlooked, so I call it out specifically. To create a title that people can find and will interest them, you need to think about your prospects' position in the buying cycle and where they are looking for information (search engines, RSS feeds, Twitter, etc). If you are looking for some ideas, check out this article I wrote for Business Marketing Institute last summer called How to Write a Better Title in Ten Minutes.
How is your audience viewing the content?
I was talking with Dianna Huff the other week, and she mentioned that her iPhone has changed the way she sees marketing (she also wrote a post about this) This was one of those "ah ha" moments for me. I'm so focused on putting myself in the perspective of my reader, but, I'm embarassed to admit, I hadn't considered how important it was for me to get an understanding of how this growing body of business users are seeing content - through mobile devices. So, I just traded in my very basic phone for a smartphone and am seeing the world in a whole new way.
How can the piece best be designed?
I'm no graphic designer, but I firmly believe in design impacts how something is consumed. If my clients aren't planning to have something professionally designed, I always suggest otherwise. After explaining my philosophy, I get that "lightbulb" moment from my clients. (For more information on why graphic design is important, check out my review of Jonathan Kantor's book on the White Paper 2.0.)
Should I require registration?
My views on registration have changed dramatically over the past year. This time last year, I thought a registration form was best for most content; now I think it is best if most content is "set free." I wrote about thinking through the registration process last week, and I had some great comments that gave me a new insights.
Where will you promote this?
There are oodles of ways to promote your content, but one thing is key: you need to promote it where your potential buyers are looking.
What other ways can you offer the content?
Readers like to consume information in different ways, which is why it is useful to repackage content. For instance, make transcripts of your webcast available or package your best blog posts into an eBook. Check out this post for five ideas and some examples.
These are the six things I focus on -- in addition to the content -- for B2B content marketing. Do you think these things are important? What else do you think is critical to think about in terms of your user's experience?
- Is LessContent Better? 5 Steps to Simplify B2B Marketing Content
- Every B2B Company Can't Be a Thought Leader, But That's OK
- Get Back to Basics: 4 Key Questions for B2B Content Marketing
About the author: Michele Linn is a B2B content strategist who helps companies create content and think through how their B2B prospects will consume it (from registration to promotion). You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.