Content marketing - keep it simple!
I am a big believer in the benefits of content marketing. Working with organizations such as law firms, accountants, banks, health care providers, and cause-based organizations for many years, I know the power of sharing information and client education through a good content marketing strategy, especially for B2B marketing.
However, a report from Harvard Business Review suggests that it can be easy to go overboard with information sharing. Prospective customers need decision simplicity. I’ve often reminded clients that knowing too much can actually make it easier for prospective customers to say no. It is important to create quality content that communicates enough for a prospect can ask a follow–up question, but not so much that they can talk themselves out of the purchase.
So what does this mean for you? It does NOT mean that you should stop writing blog posts, newsletter articles, and creating infographics or videos. Content marketing is one of the best ways any business, especially B2B businesses, can help prospective customers understand the difference between themselves and their competitors. It does mean that you don’t need to go into excruciating detail when explaining something. Rather than writing a single piece of content, break your overall idea into multiple blog posts. Unless your content is targeted at a technical audience, most people only need to know the “scratch the surface” stuff. This is because when someone is in the initial stages of making a decision, they often don’t know enough to ask good questions. B2B customers typically push themselves about 70% of the way down the sales funnel. Your content marketing strategy should facilitate that process. If your communication contains too much technical information, your prospect starts to worry about things that they didn’t even know were supposedly important. If there are too many things to worry about, prospects become overwhelmed and unable to make a decision at all. You just talked them out of the sale. Create quality content that answers questions prospects are likely to ask at various points in the sales funnel. These are questions that you probably used to answer in face-to-face meetings. Now your prospects want to ask and answer these questions themselves, online. Your content marketing strategy can support your prospects’ need to know with oversharing if you realize that when it comes to content marketing, the process never ends.