Learning to speak a new language is hard! In content marketing, learning your customers’ words is critical, especially in BtoB.
Content marketers often take direction from the inventors of the product. Inventors are smart people, rightfully proud of their inventions, their babies. They can go on and on about all the great features and technical specs. How the new solution’s better than the old. Why it’s better than the competition.
But inventors, God love ’em, often don’t see benefits in the same way customers do.
To succeed in content marketing, marketers need to gain access to customers’ voices in any way possible … at a trade show, in person, by phone.
Listen deeply to customers. Listen to understand the customers’ pain points, expectations and questions, in their own words. Note their exact words. Ask clarifying questions.
BtoB buyers perform two-thirds of their buying process online, independently. They search for content, read trade articles, talk to peers. All that activity may happen before they appear on a marketer’s radar — by filling in an inquiry form, stopping by a trade show or calling.
Your new prospects search the Internet with their questions, needs, pain points and passion points. You may have a great description of your product or solution online, with all the benefits and features, yet lack what your customers are searching for – cures for their specific pains.
One question is always on your customers’ minds: what’s in it for me?
Customers care most about solving their own problems. With bigger purchases, decision-makers care about not risking their own careers.
Customers often describe their pain points with painfully precise specificity. To learn your customers’ language, listen closely – to their exact words, to the facts, and to their underlying emotions. That’s one key to creating great content marketing.
Content marketers: How does your customers’ pain feel, exactly? First, understand it. Then explain, convincingly, how you’ll cure it.
As a marketing change agent, I consult with clients, lead content marketing workshops for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and write the weekly Simplify Marketing blog.
With experience from Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, RR Donnelley and Tellabs, I've been named:
- Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
- Best Marketer by BtoB magazine.
- A B-to-B CMO to watch by Fierce CMO.