CMO Alert: Cheat Sheet for Content Marketing That Leads Conversion
October 13, 2022
Believe it or not any cheat sheet for B2B content marketing will evolve with time. To that end, every effort has been made so that the tactics mentioned here are generally fresh and very beneficial. Any feedback on this cheat sheet is welcome for us content geeks at Koda. Let’s look at how to make sure that every piece of content that you have on your website converts.
Keep these points in mind when you take B2B content marketing to your audience:
Highlight your best product or service
This is an overlooked and underappreciated tactic. Many companies have multiple products and services in a single vertical, and it can be hard as a CMO to focus on what needs attention. Picking the best product or service that you offer and then building on it by highlighting its best aspects is a winning strategy.
Once you have picked the right product to sell (based on profit margin, current market size, growth trends etc.), you must focus on how best to highlight content on the product, so that it converts.
Here are three great tips:
Get the hierarchy right
What are the most important features of your product or service? Is there an order in which the features are used? For instance in a car, the security features will take precedence over comfort features. Get this right for your SaaS content marketing efforts to bear fruit.
Keep it feature-driven
Listing out features improves transparency with your customers. Features (and not benefits) are how your customers compare your products with others. Pair the product features and customer pain points and then bring out the benefits. Have a dedicated banner for each feature of your product on your website.
Show, don’t tell
Video is the future. Observe the numbers and pick your top five features. Use videos to describe each extensively. Or if you prefer the rule of three, pick any three features.
Apply the “Goldilocks Rule”
The Goldilocks rule states every individual stays motivated at the edge of their cognitive capabilities. Something that is too challenging or not challenging at all is not noteworthy. Now applying this to B2B content marketing, we can come up with the following principles:
Ask open ended questions – Ask questions that make the person think but not too hard in the challenge spectrum. Do not ask too many questions either, maybe one or two in a blog.
Keep it interactive – Invite users to express their comments after reading your blog or case study. Make sure you have this set up even before you start ideating on what to write.
Do not let it be too complex or too simple for your audience – Have your audience in your mind when you are writing. Pick every word you want to use with this in mind. Do not use too complex passages, and do not make them too short either.
It must add value – In the story, Goldilocks picks the items that belong to the baby bear because she herself is a child and she finds those most suitable. In a similar way, in B2B and SaaS content marketing, always strive to communicate something that is novel and interesting in every paragraph you write.
Make clear and tangible promises
Remember that B2B content marketing is an inbound effort and not an outbound one. Make sure the promises you make about your product or service are clear (easily understood) and tangible (achievable and well represented). Unlike an outbound effort where there is initial human contact, in an inbound effort you have to solely rely on the power of your words, and therefore any loss in clarity will be amplified.
Make clear and tangible promises by:
Using case studies – Highlight how the product or service will benefit the customer and solve their pain points using long-form content. Case studies or whitepapers can help remove any doubts the customer may have as to how your product or service works. Make sure you make it relatable, tell a story, and use the right numbers.
Using the rule of three – What good is an idea if there is no recall? Research shows that the rule of three is the best way to retain any idea or process. The US marines swear by the rule of three. Highlight the three main aspects of your product or service and present them distinctly in your B2B content marketing efforts.
Highlighting testimonials in emails, newsletters etc. – There’s no better way to convince than to tell a convincing story, and a real one. Make sure you use testimonials in your emails, newsletters, website copy, share them on your Instagram and Linkedin pages for better reach. You could also invite clients to share their experiences on review platforms.
Presenting it the right way
In SaaS content marketing, it is important to pay attention to how you package and present your content. When you package and present your content, be well aware who the audience is, how they have responded in the past, and what is generally trending. When picking a content format always look at:
How can you best demonstrate your key messages?
Think how best you can communicate your key messaging for the particular product or service you are selling. For instance, if you are a manufacturer of gardening equipment, you would want to focus on articles that talk about how to maintain a garden by yourself, though a lot of people might actually prefer a gardener!
Are these formats achievable and is it scalable?
Video is great, and everybody might want to do a great series of video ads for their product or service, but do you have the time or the resources to accomplish it? If you want to do a weekly podcast, do you have the dedication and the team to accomplish it? If you are able to start, how long can you keep it going to see measurable growth from your SaaS content marketing efforts?
How public do you want your content to be?
Overexposure might help content growth, but do you have the resources and the time to share on every channel out there, specifically in a way that is suited to that channel? These questions are best answered by looking at where your audience is and how they prefer to receive your content. No matter where you choose to put your content, maintain consistency of thought.
A/B test content and gather feedback
How do you know what content headlines work best for you, what images to use, what should be the appropriate blog length and so on? You don’t, and that is why you must A/B test your content at every step of SaaS content marketing. These are the features you must split test:
Headlines – Look at your headlines and write a short one and a slightly longer one. Push them to separate audiences (50-50) and see how they react.
Featured images – An image is worth a thousand words. See if you can work with images that work better in a certain geography or with a certain culture, or A/B test them as you did with headlines.
Blog lengths – Though Hubspot opines that the ideal blog length is about 2500 words, it also says that one-third of its most popular blogs are less than 1500 words. See what works best for your industry and your audience. And then A/B test with two word lengths, the one most often used by your competitors and the other slightly longer or shorter.
CTAs – No conversion happens without a great call to action. This is a golden rule everyone who has ever done B2B content marketing knows. What do you want your customer to do? Once you know you want them to let’s say download a case study, upgrade a subscription or merely opt for a trial, split test your CTAs. Test color, copy, positioning, offers, options etc. in your CTAs.
Opt-in forms – Believe it or not, when it comes to forms its generally not short and sweet. In fact, obtain as much information from the customer as possible, including Name, address, mobile number, age, gender, employment and organization details. But have a smaller opt-in form as well, which is a simpler version down to just the name, mobile number, and email address. A/B test both and see which one gets more responses and on which pages of your website.
That’s all folks! This brings us to the end of this cheat sheet for content marketing. Hope it helped and would continue to help as a ready reckoner!