3 Creative Nuances That Can Make or Break Content

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I’ll be one of three presenters during the workshop “Building a Buyer-Focused Content Strategy” at this year’s Content2Conversion conference. We’ll be taking personas, content audits, content mapping, content formats and content ideation.

We’ll also review some of the subtleties of building a buyer-focused content strategy, including the importance of having a content-creation team with B2B content experience.

It’s easy to assume staffers and trustworthy freelancers could do the job, but B2B content marketing is different from traditional B2B marketing. If you’ve never done content marketing before, you might need to find new creative talent.

Consider these three creative nuances that teams must properly execute on to produce engaging content.

1. Appropriate expression of value proposition. Prospects don’t want to hear about your products all the time. Sometimes, they don’t realize they have a problem that your product could solve; and other times they are more interested in benchmarking, researching and more clearly defining what their problem is.

Yet, all content pieces in a nurture—even early stage—are components of a larger story about value proposition. Expressing value proposition inappropriately per format and buyer stage is a turn-off to prospects and disrupts the telling of the overall story.

2. Storytelling: Each piece of content must prompt three actions to be successful: convince time-starved prospects to dive in, draw them in so they finish consuming, and then tempt them with an offer they bite on, whether it’s to download another piece of content or contact a sales rep. This is where verbal and visual storytelling skills are crucial.

B2B nurture content generally covers complex, multi-faceted topics and must do so with compact, powerful and complete stories in a variety of formats. If you don’t think this requires skill and experience, then you’re about win in the cheap labor department but waste time and money on an ineffective nurture.

3. Tone. Both visual and verbal tone needs to be on point or the prospect will either conclude the piece is not for them or that it’s a hard sell not worth their time. Word choice, sentence structure, cadence, color motif, layout, images and typeface all contribute to the tone of a content piece. Different personas call for different tones, and certain formats express certain tones better than others. Sometimes a topic calls for an urgent tone, and other times a more instructive tone is appropriate. Successful content pieces draw prospects in with a comfortable tone that they don’t even notice.

If one of your goals is to start or reformat your content strategy to be more focused on buyers, then think not only about the process and tools required, but also the content-creation talent. Ultimately, prospects must consume content for it to its job. It would be shame to work hard building personas and mapping messaging only to have the resulting content be deleted before it’s fully consumed.

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