Just because B2B companies have a long buying cycle and their products aren’t typically sexy doesn’t mean that B2B marketers have to abandon creativity.
The way that people are buying has changed, and B2B companies need to adjust their selling processes, Scott noted. “[Content] should educate and inform rather than interrupt and sell.”
He said progressive marketers are taking a more news-like approach to content development. He pointed to Raytheon, a defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions provider. The company hires journalists to produce content and structures its website much like a news site. “They look like CNN or The Wall Street Journal,” he told the audience. “Be agile, be instant, be real-time.”
Scott noted that Raytheon is also adept at so-called newsjacking — the practice of using news stories to position the company as a thought leader. Raytheon newsjacked stories about cybersecurity.
In addition to more real-time content, Scott said that B2B marketers need stop making all of their content require long and complex lead gen forms. Citing the Grateful Dead’s practice of allowing — and even encouraging — videotaping of its concerts, Scott advocated for a hybrid approach to content access that mixes gated and ungated content.
Scott noted that MailerMailer stopped gating its content and saw 20X to 50X more downloads. “While [ungated content] doesn’t let you collect emails, people blog, tweet and share free content. In addition, there was a second piece of content that required registration.”
Rid your content of images and text that are “gobbledygook” was another lesson Scott shared. “If everyone is using the word ‘innovate,’ you’re not innovative.” The same can be said for the use of stock photos.
Overcoming fear is essential to moving forward, Scott concluded. “One of the biggest barriers to success is fear, as we haven’t done some of these things before.”