With all the focus on creating content for marketing programs, many marketers are still missing a critical point. Many still believe that one piece of content must do everything. Where did marketers get the idea that B2B marketing over a long-term buying process aimed at selling a complex product was a one-shot deal?
My guess is that these marketers are still so focused on creating sales opportunities in the near term that they're overlooking the necessity for evolving a relationship over time, aka nurturing.
One of the biggest wastes in B2B marketing is tossing leads not ready to buy into a black hole while pursuing only those who are deemed "sales ready." Sadly, many companies are mistaken about just what that term means.
A lot of marketers I speak with are certain they know exactly what their buyers want. But some of their reasoning has me questioning whether this is true. Or, perhaps they do know, but have unknowingly reverted to company focused communications. Habits are hard to break.
Take a look at these examples:
We've got to talk to them about pricing first. Otherwise they'll think they can't afford our solution and they won't engage.
- Does your prospect care about pricing if they don't even know that the product or solution is valuable to them based on their goals and objective?
- How will your buyer even evaluate the idea of budget or funding if they don't know much about the potential impact of what you're selling?
- Context > Understanding > Interest > Confidence > Engagement
The idea for that content asset is pretty good, but we need to add customer examples, product extensions, discount information, link to our next webinar, etc. in order for them to get the full picture.
- Attention spans are shrinking. Buyers want shorter-form content, but they still want it to contain valuable insights they find helpful.
- The "full picture" won't happen with one article (or even one white paper) for a complex solution. Think series instead. One brick at a time is how a house is built.
- Be careful your helpful information doesn't turn into a sales pitch. Because that's where your head is when you start gloming stuff onto a topic that can stand on its own - if you'd just let it.
- Try to cram too much information into short-form content and it loses value because you're now so high-level you've left no space to talk about what interests your buyer.
- 1 premise + a few supporting ideas > easy assimilation > better experience
I'm hearing more of this rush to make one content asset do a bigger job. But it's not going to sell your complex product any faster. In fact, it kind of wreaks of desperation and may send prospects right over to your competitors who let their expertise shine through without being pushy.
You want to create urgency on the buyer side, not display yours. Content will serve you best if you follow the KISS principle and keep it simple and focused on what the buyer needs to know given his/her stage in the purchasing process. One content asset will not win the sale.
This said, grouping a number of related content assets together to present a comprehensive resource area can work wonders. It allows prospects to pick and choose what's most relevant to them, not shove it all down their throats at once.