Marketers are generating volumes of content to help move prospects through the buying cycle. But in many cases, that content is not resonating with the buyer.
In her session at the upcoming B2B Content2Conversion event, Albee will discuss strategies for creating content to become and stay relevant to buyers, influencers, and customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle and across all channels.
Demand Gen Report recently caught up with Albee as she prepared for her presentation.
Demand Gen Report: A major theme of this year’s B2B Content2Conversion is content as the fuel that drives demand generation. Are you seeing this as a greater focus area?
Ardath Albee: What I’ve seen is that people are realizing that it takes more than publishing content to get something to happen. It used to be the people would call me and say, ‘Can you help me convince my boss to give me budget for content marketing?’
Now, they call me and say, ‘Look, we bought into content marketing. We’re creating content and people are reading it, but the needle isn’t moving.’ Nine times out of 10, it’s because they don’t have a strategy. They’ve just gone out and published content like that’s going to create a difference. The publishing of content on its own is not what makes a difference.
DGR: How can marketers take content to the next level in terms of making a difference to the buyer?
Albee: Most of the content being produced today is pretty good, but it doesn’t ask anyone to do anything. Publishing a cool blog post or a great article isn’t what engages buyers. Great content should be helping buyers learn how to do something and pique their curiosity for more.
The C-level executive has delegated down the research and the business-case building to a subordinate, to a director level or a manager level. We need to think about how we talk to all these different people differently. If sales isn’t going to get in the conversation until much later, marketers need to think about how they’re getting their company’s expertise and ideas into the conversations that are taking place amongst that buying committee. Whether they are there or not, their ideas need to be there.
Storytelling is all about helping your prospect be the hero. You have the solution to the problem that they need to solve or a goal they want to achieve.
DGR: Storytelling and digital relevance are the themes of your new book. What was the inspiration for the book?
Albee: Mostly it comes from project work. What you learn over time as you watch what happens with your content, your personas and how they’re informing your strategies, is that you have to continuously tweak until you get to that sweet spot — if you will — where it’s actually engaging the right people and getting them to do the things you want them to do.
The more and more you look at it, it’s got to be personally relevant to them. It has to address context that makes sense to them.
If you’re not segmenting your content and speaking to a persona or a segment of your audience that cares about the same stuff, what ends up happening is content that is too high level because it’s trying to cover everything for everyone. Then it’s not relevant to anyone because it’s not specific enough to really give them an ‘aha’ moment, if you will.