4 questions that will make your content stronger

Posted on by Laura Hamlyn

This has to be one of my favorite blog titles: If Your Content Marketing is for Everybody, It’s for Nobody

It's from a post written by Content Marketing Institute founder, Joe Pulizzi. He's asking us to have a person and a purpose behind everything we create. If you ask yourself the following 4 questions, I truly believe you'll write better content--and be a better marketer:

Whether your goal is to sell more software or advertising, you need to get focused on your core audience. If you haven’t already, answer these questions and make sure your entire content marketing team pastes them to their foreheads.

  1. Who? Who is the audience for each piece of content (fill in the blank, i.e., blog)? Who is the specific buyer persona you are targeting with this platform?

  2. Why? Why are you doing this? What is the behavior change that you must see to call this content initiative a success? (Do you need to drive sales, save costs, or drive customer loyalty?)

  3. Outcome? What’s in it for the reader? How are you making their lives better or jobs easier in some way? What’s the pain point you are solving for them?

  4. Replacement factor? If you didn’t provide this kind of information for your audience, would they care — or notice? Could they find the information elsewhere? Is what you are saying really that important?

Product is not the hero of a B2B company's story

Posted on by Laura Hamlyn

That's the title of a post on Ardath Albee's blog called Marketing Interactions. You should read it because it describes a situation marketers find themselves in often. And I think it helps to see a specific relevant example (a B2B marketer selling cloud services) of how to be a hero for our customers WITHOUT mention our products right off the bat.

Too often in our content, the first two words of the first sentence in our content are "company name." Worse yet, we put product names in the title of our content. Instead, try taking the product name out of the introduction of your content. See how you're talking about the solution--not the product?

Here's how Ardath explains it:

If you are a managed cloud services provider, how will you build the story for this buyer?

Will you tell him that the cloud will save the day because you're the leading provider of cloud services?

Or will you:

  • Share deep insights about the challenges of taking a new SaaS product to market and how cloud compares to an on premise deployment for scale, uptime, responsiveness and rolling out product updates?
  • Produce content that talks about the role a managed services team plays in collaborating with the core team to make sure the infrastructure supports new product developments and customer demands?
  • Help him to understand how the security and compliance measures you can provide will be a selling point for his customers - and his executive board?
  • Show him how a pay for what you use model will help him keep margins where they need to be?
  • Share your insights about how the future trends you see for the industry will be easier to address with a cloud infrastructure and why this is important for his app and his customers?