Companies may be surprised to learn that popular messaging doesn’t always translate into sales, and consumers are generally more interested in how the product makes life easier, than the minutia of the product’s functions.
That’s the conclusion from Larry Levy, who wrote recently about data driving content marketing for Martech Advisor: “The strongest brands are known for the great stories they tell, the deep connections they forge with customers.”
Levy served as the Co-Founder and CEO of Appinions Inc prior to its acquisition by ScribbleLive, where he’s now EVP Business Development. Prior to Appinions, Levy served as co-founder and CEO of Semagix Group, the founder and CEO of Protégé Holdings, the founder of Citria, and Delrina Europe.
Content, he asserts, should be focused on that which “educates, informs, and entertains”.
The tendency, however, is that brands “write about what they care about and what they’re interested in, rather than focus on what their target audience is interested in.”
The result is “we get a massive amount of content attracting zero attention, and as a result, you find this entire value chain getting clogged up with content that people really don’t care about,” he told B2BNN.
Per the B2B world, he cites an example as Slack, who he says succeeds in talking about how their service makes it easier for people to do their jobs.
“You’re much more inclined to go with those kinds of vendors and brands,” rather than the ones who boast solely about features.
Why this works can be summed up in how we as humans have evolved:
“From a cultural perspective, everybody likes to tell stories. That’s how civilization passes on the information, through storytelling. It’s the ability to take something and retell it in interesting and delightful ways,” Levy says.
Still, as delightful as the story is, there’s always the sticky issue of whether the message is bringing in sales. Do not be fooled by bumps in traffic or hit rates gone wild, he warns.
“When you take a look at a certain video online, what is your KPI for that? Number of views? Number of times on the page? Shares, likes? You may have seen that it outperformed the KPIs, but in terms of moving the needle in the markets, and drive more sales, the answer might be no,” he says.
“A high percentage of them have no traction, engagement, impact. What is the rationale behind continuing to produce these if we’re not getting the page views, the shares, any engagement with the content?”
While this might have to do with bad timing, or a “need to percolate it into the market”, Levy warns that another reason still might be that some forty per cent of B2Bs have a documented content marketing strategy. Social media, in fact, could possibly be overrated.
ScribbleLive recently partnered with Forbes to release “The world’s most influential CMOs”, and unbelievably, he says, the top two – one B2B and one B2C – neither had LinkedIn profiles or Facebook accounts.
Meanwhile, Levy suggests B2Bs take advantage of what he calls “untapped voices” – for executives and employees to “become thought leaders… organically, in an unforced way”, to open up opportunities for them to engage in message creation.
“It’s an incredible thing to harness. You get that right, it’s a huge asset for a B2B organization.”