Did you ever hear the phrase only boring people get bored? Well, this idea can extend to B2B content. No matter what your subject matter, skilled content writers and marketers should try their best to make their pieces interesting to the right audience. Maybe you’re writing a piece about electrical engineering. The general population may not be jazzed about the topic, but if you can make it compelling to electrical engineers, you’ve won.
It’s high time to leave boring B2B content in the past. Let’s go over 7 tips anyone can use to make their content more interesting, higher performing, and truly valuable to their audience.
1. Put your audience first
First and foremost, you want to center your B2B content around your intended audience. This means you’ll need to consult your ideal customer profiles to develop a content strategy that meets their needs. Consider what your audience’s pain points are and how you can create content that speaks to those values. This way, you’re developing content that your customer actually wants to read.
A common structure for various types of content is to present a problem and provide a solution. For example, in the blog The ABM Tech and Tools B2B Marketers Should be Using, we’ve identified that our audience is interested in implementing account-based marketing, but they don’t know which tools will help them do so. We use our expertise to point them in the right direction. It’s a simple formula, but one that works.
2. Talk to people like they’re, well, people
I get it, you work for a B2B company. There’s a required level of professionalism in this sector that you won’t see in marketing communications from your favorite sneaker brand. However, keep in mind that, behind the products or services, companies are made of real people.
B2B content doesn’t need to be void of personality. You know your buyers best, so consider how you might speak to them if you were chatting on a Zoom call. Maybe your audience likes direct language, or maybe they’re intrigued by a more casual tone. When in doubt, review your brand guidelines to determine how you should be writing for your audience. Don’t have brand guidelines? BOL can help with that.
3. Find balance between keyword value and readability
By now you probably know keyword stuffing is basically a mortal sin in the content arena. Back when search engines first started, many early content pioneers crammed as many keywords as possible into their web pages, and this worked for a while. Then algorithms got smarter and smarter, leading us to where we are today.
Search engine algorithms rank web pages by much more than keywords alone. In fact, they can tell the difference between keywords used to add value and those thoughtlessly scattered throughout content to try to fool the almighty algorithm. So, how do you know when you’ve gone off the rails with keywords?
If your content doesn’t sound natural because you’ve tried to squeeze keywords into places they don’t belong, you’ve gone too far. At the root of it, algorithms are trying to provide the user with the most valuable information they can. Keyword stuffing can diminish the clarity of your content by making it harder to read or understand.
Instead, use keywords strategically by placing them in titles, headlines, meta descriptions, and alt text. When using keywords in body text, ensure that it flows naturally in the sentence. Also keep in mind that you don’t need to use your primary keyword twenty times–just a few will suffice.
To learn more about how to thoughtfully incorporate SEO into your content strategy, check out this article.
4. Remember that people are likely to skim your content
Very few people read blogs, articles, or web pages word for word. Most people will scan your content to seek out the information most relevant to their query. To help these readers on their quest, it’s important to format your content in a way that makes it easy for users to find the information they need. Check out these tips for structuring your content:
- Use clear, concise headers
- Incorporate bulleted lists (like this one!)
- Break up your content with relevant or helpful images
- Add links to applicable resources that may help the reader dive deeper into certain topics
- Isolate important definitions, when appropriate (if it’s a good one, maybe you’ll even make the featured snippet)
5. Explore timely topics in your industry
What’s the big news that’s hit your industry recently? Maybe it’s a new law, software update, invention, or event that impacts your business. Whatever it is–talk about it in your B2B content.
If something momentous has happened in your industry, it’s likely your audience will be searching for information on it. This gives you the opportunity to be one of the first brands to put out thought leadership on the topic. Not only does this show your company is on top of industry trends, but it can also help you become an influential voice on the subject.
Instead of simply providing a play-by-play, jazz up your content by giving context or your opinion. This is especially helpful for complicated subjects in niche industries. Your audience doesn’t just want to know what this topic is about, they want to know how it affects them and their business.
6. Smart people use simple terminology
I once had a professor who told me, “The smartest people can explain things in the simplest ways.” B2B content can feature some complicated subjects, but there’s no need to use overly convoluted language. Yes, technical jargon will be necessary for most industries, but that doesn’t mean you should have run-on sentences that readers need a user’s manual to understand.
You don’t need to patronize your readers by overexplaining basic concepts, but do remember that the person has sought out this information to learn something new. There are elements in your topic they may not be familiar with, so be sure to elaborate on those ideas in a way that’s easy to comprehend.
7. Break up content with images
People are visual creatures. For many of us, blocks of text can be intimidating or tiring. Create visual interest on your page with relevant images, graphs, charts, or examples that boost understanding of the content. However, resist the urge to throw a random stock photo into the mix that doesn’t enhance the quality of your content.
You can also create visual breaks in the text by calling out important definitions or quotes like you’d see in a newspaper article. This is helpful for those of us who are quickly skimming the content to locate the most important information.
8. Don’t rely solely on ChatGPT
Ah, ChatGBT. This tool has become such a celebrity, you’d almost think it was human… but it’s not. And since it’s not, it has limitations that real writers don’t.
This AI chatbot is wildly impressive, I’ll give it that. However, ChatGBT has problems with accuracy, plagiarism, formulaic responses, and other issues that could be avoided with a human touch. ChatGBT also lacks personality, because, well, you know… it’s not a person. Tone, nuances, humor, all of these elements will be lost on the bot.
If you want to make your B2B content more interesting, don’t rely on ChatGPT alone. To use this tool effectively, you could consult it for certain sections of your content, then edit the copy yourself.
Bonus tip: consider outsourcing content development
Not all B2B companies feel the need to hire an experienced content marketer or copywriter. Or, their team may be stretched too thin to give this marketing effort the attention it deserves. If this sounds like your company, consider outsourcing your content marketing. Some B2B marketing agencies, like BOL, have a team of highly skilled strategists and writers with the knowledge to make your content stand out.