08 Jun Create content for your audience – not for you!
Surveys are great for providing fresh insight, for decision making and for fuelling PR and marketing materials. Often, however, the findings simply provide confirmation of what we already knew, but maybe lacked the hard data to prove.
A couple of recent surveys are a case in point.
One from engineering.com highlights that although industrial marketing teams are investing heavily in content marketing, the content produced often fails to resonate with the target audience. The conclusion is that too much content is, to quote one of our clients, ‘full of pink fluffy marketing crap’, rather than providing technical or commercial insight that adds value to the customer.
Our second survey, from B2B Marketing and SDL Managed Translation, looks at the way in which B2B marketers are handling their global content creation. The survey found that almost all companies operating across borders believed that localisation is important. Despite this, however, only a relatively small percentage of the 202 respondents are actually customising content to meet the needs of local audiences; although the survey defined this by geography, I suspect that the findings would have been similar if respondents had been asked if they customised content by industry and job function.
The common factor between these two surveys is the need to produce content that truly addresses the needs of each target audience; for example, content that discusses their challenges, offers solutions, or provides insight that adds real value to the conversation.
It should be self-evident that content that creates greatest engagement, and that works hardest for techniques such as demand generation, is produced to meet the needs of each audience – by industry sector and geography.
Unfortunately, all too often the focus is on the products or services offered by the supplier. Although this information may be important in a direct, face to face, sales situation, most content is digested well before this stage in the sales cycle is reached – don’t forget that B2B buyers typically travel around 60% or more of the way along the customer journey before they are prepared to start a dialogue with potential suppliers.
The best content is generally produced by subject experts, guided by marketing specialists to ensure that the messaging is kept on topic and aligned to wider campaign themes.
This is just one of the reasons why our marketing and PR teams work with experienced engineers and scientists to create compelling content. Many of these have a background in trade and technical publishing and therefore understand the interests and expectations of industrial audiences.
The two surveys mentioned above provide excellent data on B2B audiences, with some interesting detail. Ultimately, however, they serve to remind us what we should already know: if you want to engage with your audience to drive engagement and action, then you need to create content that truly resonates with them at both a rational and emotional level.
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