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B2B content offerings should be targeted, strategic

What do B2B buyers want from informational content?

When creating materials for B2B viewers, organizations are really trying to inform, and to do it better than any other company in their field. They want to be the first reference consulted when relevant problems crop up, because if they can get their branding in front of people in need of solutions, those individuals may be swayed into signing a contract, or at least reaching out directly. This means that materials can't just exist for their own sake - each item must be exemplary, a well-calculated encapsulation of a problem readers might be having at that very moment. Content production must serve this quest for improved insight.

What the customers want and need
Creating content without any sort of plan won't lead to the type of thought leadership B2B firms aspire to offer. According to Business 2 Community contributor Andrew Gaffney, this failure to dial into a solid strategy may be what is leading numerous organizations astray today. He urged firms to do their proverbial homework and find out what is in demand among the professionals who could one day become their buyers. He cited a Spiceworks survey that determined many businesses don't get the results they are looking for, and drew a direct line from their main worries to the fact that they don't know their audiences.

Engagement is the key word when it comes to designing downloads and informational resources, and Gaffney pointed out that 42 percent of surveyed firms are falling short in this area. Remedying the situation is simply a matter of getting the leaders of the content initiative on the same page as the clientele. If the items produced are factually accurate and visually compelling but don't strike a tone that readers identify with, the connection may be faulty. The ideal end goal is trust, with the customer feeling he or she already knows what a business is about and is ready to deal with it based on the excellent content  provided.

How the materials are split up on the offering company's Web page may also determine whether they are read. Gaffney noted numerous firms are creating different content niches for each of their own products, rather than basing their content decisions on the kinds of shoppers who might be browsing or how far those individuals may have come on the customer journey from looking to purchasing. Consumers chart their own course when viewing content, and this means it should be presented to them in ways that are easy to consume and learn from, with as few impediments as possible.

Reaching out through mobile devices
Of course, talk of being more customer-centric is only valuable if B2B companies back it up through action. This means reaching out to consumers in ways they can understand. As B2B News Network's Andrew Moran recently pointed out, the way to be relevant is targeting mobile. He noted that the rise in Internet use through phones and tablets has been substantial, and continued ignorance of that fact may be problematic. Giving clients what they want means not forcing them to go far from their comfort zone to access materials. If they are interested in mobile, and surveys say they are, then content pitched at that space is a must.

Corporate Learning & Performance
B2B Publishing

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