But that ‘new factory upgrade’ story you wrote? It’s not going to whip the world into a frenzy. That’s if it anyone gets past the headline.
Not that you’re not an excellent, dedicated or enthusiastic writer, of course. It’s just that we’re all drowning in a relentless torrent of watery B2B content. So getting heard above the noise?
It’s pretty tricky.
It’s a misnomer that B2B businesses have only boring things to write about. Which begs the question: why do so many insist on pushing out content as dry as a burnt piece of toast?
You don’t need to be the next Elon Musk to write interesting B2B content. Even if that business is selling paperclips. Or industrial tank cleaning services. Or turnip fertiliser.
Look at Dropbox for instance… even file storage can be sprightly and engaging, when it’s done right.
Thankfully we don’t need to reinvent the wheel to unlock all this tasty, hidden B2B content.
People are hardwired to be nosy
Let’s turn to popular phenomenon Facebook…
People can’t get enough! Why?
Because people are interested in people. We’re hardwired to be nosy. It’s in our DNA.
Before Facebook, we gossiped over the garden fence. Before that, we sat around campfires and shared tales of our tribal relatives. People and stories are pervasive. They’re our social currency.
So take a leaf out of Facebook’s, er, book and focus on your people. That means your staff, your advocates, your customers, your clients, your users, your suppliers, your partners, your fans, your brand ambassadors and your community.
Scratch the surface and you’ll soon discover diverse opinions and experiences you can use to tell your B2B story in new and exciting ways. Still think your industry is boring?
Now you have an almost limitless resource of rich, digestible B2B content. Put that in your content pipeline and smoke it!
Here are five ways to unlock magnetic, relatable, human B2B content ideas from a dull business.
Write tiny anthropological stories
Anthropologists say the best way to write up your findings is to lose your field notes.
Sir Edmund Leach, the British anthropologist, wrote his most famous ethnography after losing his field data (to enemy action).
Relying purely on his story telling prowess, ‘The Political Systems of Highland Burma’ went on to become an anthropological classic.
Why? Because people preferred his analogies and metaphors.
Write your own tiny anthropological stories. Let your customers relate them to their own experiences… Because when that happens, they’re much more likely to read, share and be influenced by your B2B content.
Be upfront and honest
In business, if you’ve made a mistake (and who hasn’t) – how you recovered from that mistake nearly always provides the narrative for an interesting story. Everyone loves triumph over adversity. So dig deep into any challenges you’ve overcome and talk about what you did to make things good again. A little vulnerability is authentic. It’s also incredibly powerful, and can set a new direction for the future. So wrap it in your B2B content plan.
It’ll make you seem more human. Just like your readers.
Employees are your B2B content gold
Do you rely solely on your marketing department for generating B2B content ideas? It’s amazing how many do. Yet it’s the specialist knowledge of your staff that puts the meat on the bone. They’re the ones with the precious insights and juicy opinions to make your content sing.
And, because your employees are subject matter experts, if they’re passionate and enthusiastic, they can be thought leaders too. Encourage them to write stories and blogs — or speak out on social media. Sit them down in front of a copywriter if needs be. Anything that encourages them to share their voice.
Do you censor yourself so as never to offend anyone? In our desperation to be liked, or simply not to tip the apple cart, many people sit on the fence. Writing vanilla B2B content that churns out the same watered-down company messages is a false economy.
Sharing your thoughts won’t always make you the most popular. But for the people for whom your content really resonates—they’ll be listening a lot harder next time.
Dont’ be shy: include some pics
A picture tells a thousand words. We all know that, but how many of us actually put a picture to our copy? And not just a boring head and shoulders passport picture, either.
Why not show a picture of you climbing Mount Everest? Or holding your prize pumpkin? Or dancing like no one’s watching? It’ll do the job of catching people’s attention – which, after all, is what this content malarkey’s all about. You want to get people curious about you and what you’ve got to say.
Final points for discovering endless B2B content ideas
When you’re scratching around for something to write about, forget company announcements (unless they’re really important and interesting) – chances are they’re not. And write human-interest based B2B content. You’ll never run out of ideas that way. And it’s the best way to make people nosy. Gives them the chance to see what’s under the hood and the people and personalities that make it all happen.
When people see what makes your people tick, you build their trust. Show them that you’re interesting, intelligent, well-read, well-travelled (or whatever it is that makes you special) people – and they’ll be 100% more likely to want to buy from you.
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