The Big Fat B2B Content Marketing Checklist
Ten years ago, Doug Kessler, co-founder and creative director of Velocity Partners, predicted the content marketing deluge we are experiencing nowadays. The internet is littered with bad content under click-worthy headlines, which makes it harder for good content to get considered because no one wants to risk wasting time wading through so much crappy content. The vast majority of B2B content loses the reader in the first paragraph.
But Doug is convinced that hard work pays off. He helps bigger B2B brands attract buyers with smart content marketing that brings a fresh spin and new ideas to the table. He says we need to stop creating meaningless snackable content. “Snacks are good, my second favorite form of self-abuse, but meals are pretty, pretty important too.”
Doug believes in simple principles like getting granular, breaking down a subject, and choosing a topic you can own. “It’s about being smart, picking battles you can win, and then work them,” he says.
We are drowning in a sea of content that promise results they don’t achieve. And part of that is because crappy and good content looks similar at first glance. The difference is that when we finish reading the crappy content, we’re angry that we wasted valuable time. And that negative experience transfers over to the brand that created.
The reason is so many marketing strategies are just about maintaining a steady stream of low-quality content as air cover. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a bunch of nothingness or not. Nine simple tips become a 30-page white paper. There’s little to no new ideas. That approach doesn’t work anymore. “Don’t say the Definitive Guide if it’s just a bunch of tips.” Every time you publish B2B content that doesn’t deliver, you devalue your brand.”
Meaningless content damages your brand because you lose people’s trust. Putting the extra work into creating meaningful content strengthens the your brand.
A big part of creating engaging and serious content in B2B marketing is confidence, says Doug. Right from the start, the reader must feel compelled to finish the article. They need to understand why investing the next 20 minutes in reading or perhaps an hour in absorbing the content is beneficial to them. Take your audience seriously.
Doug also discusses what he calls insane honesty, which admitting your weak points to build trust. Most marketing strategists recommend hiding a product’s flaws or disadvantages; Doug says highlight them.
He believes that marketing is both a magnet to attract clients and a filter to eliminate lookie-loos. He believes that every marketing plan should have a list of “who is this product not for.”
We also talked about the scarcity of talented writers. For him, it is about being passionate about writing, being curious, and having a voracious appetite for learning about business and marketing.
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