Which Content Formats are Key to a Good Content Marketing Strategy?
Struggling to decide which content formats to use in your content marketing strategy? Find out which content formats resonate best with specific buyers.
Published: 27 Nov 2015
5 minutes read
For B2B marketers, there has never been a greater choice of content formats available at your disposal. From blogs, guides, e-books, infographics and so on, there are boundless opportunities for generating leads with quality, engaging content. However, with so much choice on offer, it’s important to consider which content formats will work best for your business B2B content marketing strategy.
In order to make the right choice, you need to develop a firm understanding of your target audience and the types of content that will resonate with them best. Their seniority, business role, technical knowledge and time pressures should all play a part in your decision.
The busy decision maker/director
With this type of prospect, time is of the essence. They are most likely juggling multiple responsibilities and choosing a service/product provider is just another task to tick-off as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a prospect high up in the business, this person cares the most about the top line results your service can provide. They need to quickly assess how your service will impact ROI, revenue and productivity.
Which content formats works best?
With less time on their hands, they are likely to need less nurturing and want to find a service provider that can deliver results as quickly as possible. Infographics, highlighting easily digestible facts and statistics, are therefore likely to resonate best with these prospects – as they allow prospects to quickly identify the benefits you’re offering them, without having to read through heaps of convoluted content.
A well-executed infographic should:
- Tell a story and present a convincing argument, rather than a collection of random statistics.
- Use well placed and relevant graphics to help bring statistics to life.
- Include original research (where possible) to highlight your real life business experience and knowledge.
- Have a design that prioritises simplicity to ensure information is easily absorbed.
- Be optimised for sharing, by embedding within blog posts and including social sharing buttons.
The pessimistic buyer
Most B2B marketers, especially those working in the tech sector, will have come across this type of prospect before. Typically, these prospects will have worked in their company for a long period of time, will be using an out-dated product/software and will be resistant to upgrade their existing system. With technology evolving at a rapid pace, these prospects may struggle to keep up with the latest products on the market and so may have limited current technical knowledge.
Which content formats work best?
The importance of an educational and consistent blog programme cannot be overlooked in this instance – as these prospects will require nurturing before they even consider buying. Blog posts should take the form of an introduction to your service and/or product, and help outline the overarching benefits on offer. As technical knowledge may be lacking, these blog posts should refrain from excessive use of jargon, as this language can confuse and isolate readers.
However, these prospects still need a good reason to move on from their trusted system. Comparative guides and e-books, highlighting the benefits of your service offering over outdated systems will help you to create a strong argument for upgrading, while clearing up any initial reservations.
The prospect under pressure to get results
This particular prospect is on the front line, but is unlikely to have the authority to make a purchasing decision – which will lie with the director (who has the added stress of answering to stakeholders). They probably are in charge of a particular division within the company such as finance, HR or operations (etc) and their results may be stalling due to the emergence of new technology and company growth. Consequently they are under immense pressure to find a service/product provider that has provable results.
Which content formats work best?
This person isn’t prepared to take risks. They need to find a service provider who is a ‘safe’ choice and is the most likely to get the business results and keep the director happy. In other words, this prospect is looking to delegate as much responsibility as possible. Which makes case studies a solid choice to demonstrate just how you can help – and your fellow marketers agree, with 77% using case studies as a marketing tactic, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
No amount of educational blog posts, guides and infographics can replace real-life experience with clients. For a prospect pitching a new service provider to their director, being able to showcase the company’s experience and proven results is much more likely to result in purchase.
Content creation impacts both those that visit your website and those that convert on the website. It's vital to get it right but it's not the only thing to do. If you want to further improve both, consider reading our broader guide - Everything you need to know about Optimising your B2B Website for Lead Generation.
Of course, if you don’t know who your prospects are, it’s going to be hard to know what content formats to use!
Developing your buyer personas is one of the most important parts of your content marketing strategy and you need to get it right. Download our free step-by-step ‘Guide to creating the perfect buyer persona’ by clicking the banner below.