What’s Trending: Make B2B Content More Memorable
August 24, 2020
Have you noticed recently that the days are starting to blend together? It seems like last Friday was a month ago, but next Friday will be here before we blink twice.
Part of what’s contributing to this phenomenon is the sameness of our days. There’s no night out at a movie, or seeing a concert, or taking a long vacation. Many of us aren’t even leaving the house to go into an office each day. When all of our experiences are the same (same four walls, same couple of screens), it’s hard for any of them to be memorable.
The same is true of B2B marketing content: Unless it stands out from the crowd, that eBook or white paper or case study is likely to be as forgettable as last Tuesday. We have to keep finding ways to bring our audience new experiences, to hit the right emotional notes, and to provide real value.
So, while we wait as patiently as possible for social life to resume, let’s take a look at how our B2B content can be more memorable with this week’s roundup.
The question is no longer whether we should be using emotional appeals in B2B marketing. That issue has been settled: Of course we should. People are people, whether they’re at work or at leisure, and people are motivated by emotion. The question is, which emotional appeals are more effective right now?
This post from Jane Fleming, our colleague at LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions EMEA, comes to some intriguing conclusions about the types of emotional appeal that work in B2B right now. For example, appealing to the audience’s fear is a time-tested strategy. But in a time of heightened fear and anxiety, it’s more about comforting your audience’s fears, rather than stoking them. “The brands that generate a positive emotional response don’t add to the Fear – they focus on helping people cope with it,” says Jane.
In a time where we’re all awash in negative emotion, Jane recommends that B2B brands focus on positivity. “In situations like these, it’s often more effective to offer a release from people’s current emotional state, using the power of content, advertising and experiences intentionally, to change how people feel for the better,” she says.
Most B2B marketers are all-in for creating more memorable B2B content. We don’t talk about how B2B marketing ‘doesn’t have to be boring’ anymore; we talk about how it can’t be boring if it’s going to have an effect. So why does our content still fail to connect?
According to Leslie Talbot, it’s a combination of content strategy, design, and delivery. “You may be competing against people’s natural tendency to forget most of the information they view,” she says. “But you can improve your messages, content, visuals and stories to ensure your audience remembers you better.”
Creating meaningful content, with inspiring visuals, and delivering it at the right relevant moment are the keys to unforgettable B2B content, Leslie says.
From the endless scrolling through social feeds to the infinite streaming video services available from the comfort of your couch, entertainment has never been more plentiful or more passive. Especially now, as nearly every experience is coming through one of two screens, it’s important for content to invite people to be active participants.
How can content inspire people to explore, interact, and engage? Jodi Harris recommends a nicely varied set of options, including:
- Calculators and tools
- Quizzes, games and surveys
- Multi-touch photo and video
- Interactive eBooks
- Live chats
Some forms of interactive content take more effort to produce than others, but there are low-impact ways to dip a toe in. Live streaming on LinkedIn is one of the easiest methods for interacting and engaging with your audience in real time.
As Jodi puts it, “With the right focus and a little ingenuity, both the simplest and the most sophisticated of these formats can attract and engage consumers, identify and address their pain points, guide them through a complex marketing life cycle, and even increase conversion potential and deepen loyalty.”
B2B marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Long sales cycles and multiple-member buying committees mean that developing relationships is a crucial part of the process. In this environment, making a big splash with a single piece of content, but without follow-up, is less effective than slowly building your audience over time.
Anne Leuman looks at the content that works for the long game in this article, both with tactics that were built for the long haul (blogging) and those that might seem more ephemeral (social media). As a bonus, she includes three content types that work well in the short-term, and explains how they fit into the larger context of relationship building.
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