Improved reader loyalty and engagement should stand near the top of any trade publisher's wish list, as they do for some 88 percent of content marketers polled. If you're catering to a B2B audience, how do you grab their attention and keep it? Here are four tips for boosting your engagement factor.
1. Interact With Your Reader
Effective B2B content is interactive in nature. That means you must engage the readers' interest, push the right emotional buttons to get them motivated and create choices that require reader responses. Engaging marketing content doesn't just convey information; it tells a story, using all the basic, time-tested nuts and bolts of great storytelling, to hook the reader and make them want to learn more.
Once your readers have that compelling desire to know what's next, give them the means to interact with your B2B content. For example, you might present a compelling introductory article, along with links to other "chapters" so your readers can choose their preferred paths forward through your information. Asking your readers questions, and providing a comment box or a link to the website for their answers, is another smart way to spur interaction.
2. Get Graphic
Infographics are everywhere on the Web these days, and with good reason. These colorful "at-a-glance" marketing pieces combine eye-popping imagery with digestible snippets of text, explaining your point and displaying your expertise in a way that promotes instant engagement. This approach has two advantages. First, it can help your readers visualize difficult concepts, such as sociological or scientific data, quickly and easily. Second, it gives you that perfect Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter nugget to capture the attention of social media users.
As much people like still pictures, they love moving ones. Video is a major part of today's successful marketing strategies, with countless leading brands running their own YouTube channels to help promote their products and services. 61 percent of the most successful corporate YouTubers also embed their videos on their website. Videos promoting your latest issue or presenting teasers for subscriber-exclusive content can help stir up online conversations about, and interest in, your publication.
3. Tailor Your Message for Your Audience
This is the age of personalization in marketing. Now that publishers have access to sophisticated data analytics programs, it's possible to created content aimed at a specific type of person or situation and then deliver that content automatically in response to certain behavioral triggers. If your prospective reader is searching for the answer to a specific question or problem, your systems can respond with B2B content that says just what they needed to hear at that moment.
Targeted, personalized marketing content can be particularly helpful in supporting the various stages of your sales funnel. If you create blog articles, landing pages, presentations, white papers, and other types of content that address specific objections or resistance points at each stage of the prospect's decision-making process, you can keep a good many of the fence-sitters from falling off the fence before they can buy.
4. Create Once, Use Many Times
Once you've created that winning piece of marketing content that inspires a specific audience to action (and interaction) through words and images, it would be downright wasteful to post that content on just one occasion, on a single channel. Your ideal audience may be waiting to encounter just such a message via social media, through mobile device searches, sitting in a trade show auditorium or business conference room, et cetera. That's why you want to make sure you're repurposing that content -- not just to reduce the total amount of content you have to come up with, but to make sure it gets in front of the right eyeballs wherever they may be.
You can repurpose your content in a stunningly wide variety of ways, none of which involve making significant alterations to the material. A comprehensive white paper can be written so that it naturally breaks apart into separate blog articles, or it can be read aloud as the script for a podcast. Add a slideshow to that audio, and your have a powerful PowerPoint presentation that can be converted into a YouTube video.
Create the right B2B content, aim it at the right audience, and deploy it with the proper efficiency, and you've got the recipe for a more actively engaged audience -- and, in the end, higher revenue. Congratulations in advance on your pending engagement!