Ann Handley on Content: Bigger, braver, bolder

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Many B2C strategies are just not applicable to the B2B Marketer.

To be a successful B2B marketer we need to learn how to apply marketing concepts to our own industries. I attended the B3 – Better B2B Marketer conference where I heard top marketers share their insights and experience. This week, Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, of Marketing Profs educates the modern marketer.

Ann Hadfield

B2B Marketers are too timid with their messaging

Handley had three points to emphasize about B2B content marketing in 2016:

– 76% of b2b organizations plants reproduce more content in 2016

– 51% plan to spend more

– Only 30% know their content is effective

Creating effective, engaging content is a big problem for B2B marketers because they try to play it too safe and follow convention. Luckily, creating engaging content is more about brains then budget.

In keeping with the brains over budget tradition, Handley had 3 tips for more effective content marketing:

Bigger Context

A single article, or white paper may not convince your prospect to purchase. They will need to interact with multiple content assets before they are comfortable with your brand.

An example Handley shared was Blue Bottle Coffee, a company that sells premium coffee beans online. They began doing training videos that showed people how to make different styles of coffee.

These training videos are a form of marketing that don’t just entertain but create smarter customers.

Bolder Stories

Captivating and memorable stories often have a more emotional impact on your prospects increase the chances of a person remembering your brand.

A great example Handley shared was Slack (a messaging app for business teams) who created a podcast about business, motivation, culture, and people. They would then break those longer podcasts down into shareable chunks that contained great stories. These chunks of shareable content were shared more frequently, allowing Slack to attract more fans.

Braver Voice

This is often underused in B2B Marketing. Companies try so hard to sound professional and please everyone that they end up seeming bland and boring. Your product or service is not for everyone so your messaging shouldn’t be either.

Your brand voice should attract like-minded people and repel the timid, Handley says.


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Arnov Rahman

Arnov Rahman

Arnov is a Marketing Manager at SqueezeCMM, a B2B content marketing and analytics start up. He is fascinated by the intersection of technology, marketing, and people in the development of awesome products. He's into life-hacking, psychology, and data-science.
Arnov Rahman

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