Data is a tried-and-true way to build the credibility of content marketing. But what happens when the data itself is bad?
Every B2B marketer knows that content is critical. If you want more traffic and more leads, you need to produce. But what happens when you can’t come up with marketing content ideas?
Writer’s block is a thing for everyone. Even the best B2B content producers have days when they just can’t get it done.
In this post, we’ll break down our top five tips for coming up with marketing content ideas. (There’s even a video if you’re not feeling like reading.)
But before we dive in, there’s one overarching premise that will make all this a whole lot easier:
The reason you’re having trouble coming up with content ideas is because you’re making it all about you.
That may sound harsh at first, but think about it. Your B2B marketing content is not for you. It’s for your readers. (You know, the people you want to give you money).
You’re not the only one doing this, though, so don’t feel bad. It’s one of the most common mistakes folks make when coming up with B2B marketing content ideas. They think about what they want to say. Give their opinion. Their “spin” on something.
This is completely unnatural.
But as soon as you start going down the “what I want to tell the market” rabbit hole, you lose focus of the main thing you’re trying to achieve. You’re no longer giving real information and showing thought leadership. You’re ham-fistedly trying to Trojan Horse your sales pitch into something that looks useful.
Doing this is also really hard.
Think about it.
Is it easier for you to write what you know, or to take a real industry topic, put your “spin” on it, insert “subtle” calls to action and insert it into some imaginary buyer’s journey? That’s probably why you’re having trouble coming up with ideas.
The KISS principle – “keep it simple, stupid” – applies here. There’s nothing magical about good B2B content. The goal is to get eyeballs and show you’re smart. Throw the sales pitch and “hidden” messages out the window, and think about what you can provide that has actual value.
With that out of the way, here are our top five tips for generating ideas for B2B marketing content that your readers will actually enjoy.
Tip #1: Just Answer a Question
It really is that simple.
Think about a question your clients have asked you, then answer it. Turn it into content that others can learn from, too. If one person has asked it, someone else like them probably will, too.
Honestly, the more obscure or specific, the better.
It’s not rocket science.
This is probably where you’re starting to think, “But if I answer their questions, they won’t call me for answers.”
Here’s the thing: They’re eventually going to call someone for something. It’s you or your competition.
And we want to make sure it’s you.
If something is easy enough answer in a blog post, it’s absolutely fine to put that content out. And once your readers know you’re a trustworthy source of information, they’ll look to you for more answers.
If you’re a submetering company, explain how submetering works. If your prospects might want to know whether RFID is a plug and play technology, tell them. Provide the answers they want, and they’ll come back.
Tip #2: People Love B2B How-To’s
When’s the last time you looked up how to do something and stumbled onto a WikiHow page or YouTube video?
Probably, like, yesterday, right?
Whether it’s for business or personal reasons, people are constantly looking to these guides for help. That means how-to’s can be great for SEO.
Which means they can be very, very good for you.
Think about something your ideal prospects do, then tell them how to do it. If you somehow created the world’s first time travel machine, you could write a how-to on how to travel through time. It’s an interesting and informative subject, people want to know about it, and you have the authority to provide the answer
(Which, if you did know how to time travel, please contact us immediately because holy smokes.)
When you’re coming up with marketing content ideas, remember that it’s not a transactional relationship. There’s no harm whatsoever in just giving a potential prospect something useful with no strings attached. What’s the worst that could happen?
The more you write about things the user cares about, the better your chances are at getting their attention.
Again – content ideas aren’t rocket science.
Tip #3: Think About What Google Likes
Ah yes, our good friend Google.
Google is less a search engine and more a reflection of the human condition. The reason Google practices favoritism is because humans have favorites. The algorithm only reflects the behavior it elicits.
If Google just did what Google wants, they wouldn’t be even close to what they are now. They look at what the people want.
First example: Examples.
People like examples, so Google likes to show them examples.
When you look up something you want to know how to do, there’s an extremely high chance of seeing “examples” on the search engine results page. (That’s “SERP,” in SEO nerd speak.)
Instead, we got … examples.
In other words, Google loves examples. That means your readers love examples. So give your readers examples.
Tip #4: B2B Checklists and Cheat Sheets
If there are processes that your potential clients engage in every day, spell them out in a checklist or cheat sheet.
This type of marketing content is simple, efficient, and always useful. Maybe even create it as a PDF and stick your logo on it. That might get your brand literally on the wall or desk of a prospect – that’s exposure you’d pay a ton for.
Tip #5: Talk About Technical “Stuff”
The core of SEO – the core purpose of marketing content – is what Google calls EAT:
Part of proving your expertise is by providing content that is very deep. And yes, it might be beyond the typical user. That’s OK.
For example, if you’re an engineer, it’s probably more in your wheelhouse to write a white paper than a pithy, funny “marketing” blog post. So write it! It doesn’t hurt. You’re not producing a beach read – you’re giving yourself more cred.
Producing content about something that virtually nobody will understand is actually not a bad thing. It just shows that you know your stuff.
As the saying goes: Really deep, rich content does have a place on your website.
(Ok it’s probably not a real saying. But we’re saying it.)
Coming Up with B2B Marketing Content Ideas: Recap
- It’s not about you
- Answer people’s questions
- Write some how-to’s
- Impress Google with examples
- Write checklists and cheat-sheets
- Talk about good ol’ technical “stuff”
As soon as you start implementing these tips on how to come up with the best B2B marketing content ideas, you’ll be well on your way to improving your SEO, impressing your readers … and getting their money, too.
We know it’s tough to constantly generate quality, SEO-ranking marketing content that readers will fall in love with. So let us do it for you. Contact us or call 610-421-8601 x122 to get in touch with one of our marketing experts today.