August 10, 2020
The B2B landscape is an interesting one. There’s a common misconception that B2B organisations are low on usable content, but it’s simply not true. The landscape is actually flush with more information and eye-catching, challenging content than perhaps a lot of businesses realise.
What do I have right now?
Think back to the white papers you’ve researched and written, or some of the insight based reports your organisation has generated, or even the talent you have spread throughout your business – all that is intellectual property know-how detailing how to make a difference in your sector. You have far more knowledge that you probably realise about your business and it can all make for a fantastic base, begging to be accessed, if used in controversial and challenging content that addresses questions your industry has always had.
Unfortunately, marketing teams are not always supported or empowered to actually go and make fantastic content out of these materials, instead being relegated to do simple demand generation campaigns that are boring to look at, boring to listen to and would garner far more results if someone would just stop and think. Think the salesy-like content that is clearly just an image and statistic from a white paper – no discussion, no narrative, no debate. When marketing teams fail to pull out the controversy and show both sides of the story, then they are missing out on gaining viewership and dwell time.
Let’s take a look at how great content can be if given a little bit of thought beyond the norm. Watch this video – no need to go through the whole eight-and-a-half minutes, but definitely skim it to get a better understanding of what we are talking about. Also, just because the video is long form doesn’t mean it won’t perform well. We actually did a myth-busting breakdown on this topic, here, if you’re interested, but the basic gist is that if the content is good, people will watch it.
This all looks pretty swanky, doesn’t it? It was some of the Steadicam content captured during Fujitsu Forum TV 2019 – a live streaming proposition that we created for Fujitsu after three- or four-years’ worth of thinking. The Steadicam is actually going around the ‘co-creation zone’ of Fujitsu Forum Live, while our Managing Director, CJ interviewed Joachim Box, Fujitsu’s Global Head of Co-creation at Fujitsu.
A lot of what Joe is talking about is based on the business’ experience – findings from reports and white papers, feedback from clients and other content sourced internally. What we found while preparing this video was that the technology space is open to pithy, debate-filled video content. We worked on a co-creation story that helped boardrooms and particularly CEOs understand how even working with their nearest and dearest of enemies could help their business. Sounds pretty controversial, doesn’t it? If your target audience is C-Suite, and you suggested to your boss that your campaign should be around telling them to work with their competitors, you might be laughed out of the room. Well, to avoid that, you’ll need to explain that this subject matter drives curiosity, pause, discovery, interest – and that all elusive dwell time. That requires the confidence to back up your claims.
The biggest compliment we can give to Fujitsu during our time working with them is that they empower us to actually go and test something. We now know that this works. We are not talking about doing something that is controversial for the sake of controversy while also harming your organisation. We are talking about your organisation and its people fronting up to the common problems faced by your customers – challenges your organisation’s products and services help solve.
So, what can you do?
In the above video, the audience gave up almost 10 minutes of their time to watch because they learned something. What they learned were solutions that will help their business. You can achieve the same by looking at the controversial elements, the points of resonance, of your content and then creating engaging, attractive, and non-controversial messaging around it. Play devil’s advocate, see both sides, whether its co-creation or multi-cloud security, and you’ll start to see the whole picture.
Find a white paper and do what you would normally do – going in and pulling out the three or five key messages that you think jump out from them. Then ask yourself, “Are these really newsworthy?”. If your answer is no, if you think that you are just lifting content that will suit the business comfortable, then they are unlikely to solve problems a customer is facing right now, and you are even less likely to engage them.
However, if the information you are lifting is answering a key challenge, they you now have a message to build a campaign around. Think about the most impactful way you can fan that small idea into a core tenet.
It is going to take time. It is likely also going to take money, but you will ultimately drive more interest with your sales team. You may find some of your reports and white papers may be a little dated and may no longer be the right message, but you will have learned this all-important skill at discovering what the underlying thought of your campaign should be. Take us up on the challenge – better B2B content is waiting out there for your brand.