7. Public Relations Integration Is Low Hanging Fruit
In large companies, often the content creating left hand does not know what the PR right hand is doing. This represents one of the greatest wastes in all of B2B content marketing. Become one with the PR department’s editorial calendar and offer readers content about what’s happening.
If anyone on your team is doing a press release, add value to the release with additional details, images, commentary, and data. Integrating with PR folks means you’ll have a steady flow of content that serves readers. Take inventory of the internal PR communications flow and leverage it as you can.
8. Why Interviews Are Amazing
The best way to build readership is to cause it, by writing about topics that others will clamber to engage about. When you interview people surrounding the part they play in industry, the derivative content comes with a built in following. The interviewee often promotes your post because it makes them look cool. Other people that follow the interviewee jump in and propagate the post in social channels.
There’s little more optimized than a B2B industry insider answering questions about what he or she knows. Consider interviewing featured vendors, customers, thought leaders, engineers and other players. Cite other interviews with the person you’re interviewing and say the names of the bloggers that wrote the other articles. They’ll appreciate the citation and often will check out you post. Interviews are solid gold and are timeless.
9. Seek Input, Feedback, & Other Crowdsourcing Hacks
In our experience most B2B professionals love to be asked their opinions and ideas. Launching a new product? Conduct a survey and find out what your customers think the name should be. Poll readers regarding product features and probe their experiences using your products.
This is particularly potent when the information is gathered realtime in channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and on your brand’s Facebook wall. Don’t limit these types of crowdsourcing requests to products. Ask users to lend their opinions to pertinent industrial issues of the day.
10. Edutainment, Infographics, Infotaining, Info Novel, etc.
There are many ways to dress up data to make complex concepts more consumable. From cartoons and well-designed graphs to storytelling and humor, treating B2B content with a fun twist can make things more interesting.
To me as a blogger, this approach sometimes solves problems. For nearly all of 2012 I had a hard time explaining what aimClear has been doing with psychographic targeting since 2007. I was finally able to communicate our ways in terms that others more easily understood by creating a psychographic targeting infographic in an SEOmoz article. The combination of information and quirky fun was wildly successful.
Some marketers say that their B2B business is boring or stodgy. There are no boring industries, only boring marketers. Adding an element of entertainment works well in nearly any type of business and can help visualize otherwise hard-to-comprehend data.
11. Reviews, Commentary & Editorial
Nothing galvanizes audiences more than expressing an opinion. Whether readers agree or disagree, they often engage. Of course in B2B commerce one needs to be careful not to stake out positions that anger people. Always leave room for others to agree or disagree and be respectful.
Take on topics trending in your industry and stake out your companies position and philosophies. This is a particularly effective tact to take when editorial content is about products symbiotic to what your company sells.
Remember! Keep Calm & Carry On
These examples scratch the surface of creative sources for B2B content marketers. There are hundreds of other conventions commonly used. We hope this post has stimulated your thinking. Have at it, B2B marketers!
Grooved Coupling Image © Victaulic.com, used by permission
Marty is & CEO of aimClear®, an INC. 500 honored search & social marketing agency. His Wiley/Sybex book, “Killer Facebook Ads,” was critically acclaimed. Marty’s second co-written)Wiley book, “The Complete Social Media Community Manager’s Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success,” slated for release in January 2013.