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Why Content Marketing Is More Important Than Ever in B2B

Posted March 13, 2024
Why Content Marketing Is More Important Than Ever in B2B

Jordan Koene, Co-Founder and CEO of Previsible, joins our host, Camela Thompson, Go-To-Market Thought Leader and B2B Insights Expert, in this episode of the Revenue Marketing Report. Jordan shares his view on why getting content marketing right in 2024 is more important than ever.

Today, we are talking about why content marketing is more important than ever. What are your initial thoughts?

“There are a lot of things running through my mind right now and it’s interesting from our previous episode, we talked much about the proliferation of spam or useless marketing efforts that exist. Certainly content has been a victim of that too, whether it is with the introduction of AI or even before that. The pure manufacturing of content.”

Yes, there is a lot of bad content In the B2B space. There is some good stuff and there’s some bad stuff.

“Absolutely, and the reality is that we are going into a transformative year in 2024 in the sense that we are moving more and more into this cookie list world. Google and other major advertising platforms are making it clear that that’s not going to be the way in which we target users. And, in knowing that, there are going to be a couple of derivative impacts that happen to all of us as marketers. If we know a little bit less about where people are traversing the internet, we have to be much more mindful about how we target them with the content we have.

“I personally believe that the future of content on the internet is going to be an experience-based focus where it’s not about writing text. It’s not about putting up words on a page, shoving it with 70 FAQs, or adding a whole description about the history of the Roman Empire, even though nobody cares about it, on that page. I would love a glossary of all of your internal lingo of your software to help me as a buyer, who doesn’t even know what your software is. All that stuff is gone. It is in the past. However, what we are really looking for is experience-based content, content that truly resonates with our needs in how we’re trying to make a decision. This isn’t novel or new. 

“This is everything from how the innovation of content platforms like NerdWallet have evolved with calculators or different tools to manage money. Those are experiences. They are not just content tools, they are not the text on the page. They’re content tools that enable our knowledge of how to pick the best credit card, the best loan, or whatever it is, for our current lifestyle or the situation that we’re in. I think those are the types of efforts now evolving into the future that we are going to have to be mindful of.”

You’re so right. I work closely with RevOps Coop. It is a community and those are going to take off too in terms of vendor partnerships. What we do in that community is coach our partners on what kind of content, webinar formats etc, that work with our particular community. Now, we are dealing with a very specific persona, but they don’t like to sit and listen to talking heads spout opinions. They want a checklist, a how-to guide, something they can walk away with or push to put in place, and not all audiences are going to be like that. But it is a good example of the sort of content that people want to apply to their jobs, to make their lives easier, that kind of thing.

“100% and to add to that, people on the internet today, they’re more than ever before looking for a conversation. I think we have been missing that as marketers, especially B2B marketers, we’re failing our core audience by not allowing them to find a way to engage with us. I’m not talking about the pop-up chat widget that’s connected to your salesperson who is going to spew off some pricing to somebody. That is not a conversation. I am talking about forums, engagement, and different ways to solicit information about a user without them feeling like they’re giving you too much information. 

“The power of gaining an email these days is becoming much harder since consumers don’t know why they would want to give it to you. We know that thousands of users today, essentially spend all their time giving you fake emails. They give an email that’s a throwaway, their old Hotmail email. Are we engaging with someone who genuinely wants to give us not only their information, but wants to give us the right information so that we can have a genuine dialogue with them? That I think is missing today in the way we market our content.”

Absolutely! Respect for those who give actual information. Respect the trust they’ve put in you not to abuse that information. It’s because they are looking for content that they can use and interact with. I’m thinking back to the RevOps Coop, their newsletter, best practices, job posts, those sorts of things. Instead of feature spewing, don’t do it.

“Right. I’ve got an anecdotal email example which is I have a Yahoo email account that is my throwaway email and I’ve got a Gmail email account, which is my real personal email. Whenever I need to give up my personal email, if I at all feel uncomfortable about it, if there’s some lack of judgment in me giving this away, I am going to give Yahoo. I am not going to give my Gmail. My Yahoo account has ten times the amount of spam than my Gmail account has and they both have the same filtering capabilities and it doesn’t end on my main screen. But every month or two, I go into my spam and delete everything that’s in there and I think this is crazy how many spam emails I have in my Yahoo account vs. my Gmail. It’s because whoever I signed up with sold my data to some other company and I didn’t notice since the terms on that clickbox were font size 0.03. These are the tactics we as marketers are using. We created an entire community that lacks trust. So how do you build trust through your content enough to know that you’re going to get the right information for your user? That is the big question to ask your marketing team and your product team to ensure the right message is out.”

You shared an interesting study on how many pages don’t get traffic from Google. Do you want to talk about that?

“Yes. This was a great study by AHREFs, which is a tool used by content marketers and SEOs alike. It’s a valuable study that shows the proliferation of garbage content that Google has to sift through. The outcome of this study looking at their data, is 96.5% or essentially in their database almost 14 billion pages, receive zero visits from Google. These don’t even get any traffic, any awareness from Google whatsoever.”

I think two things. One, you need to get as close as possible to your customers and figure out where they hang out, and what they prefer to read. And as much as we bashed ChatGPT in the last session, it can be helpful when it comes to persona research. Therefore, start there, verify it with actual human beings, and determine where people are going. I think the other piece is we don’t spend time thinking about the type of content that we want to consume when we’re greenlighting a content strategy at our organization. If you are a TikTok user, think about how few accounts you bother to follow. What’s the difference?

“Yes. It’s a challenge for us as marketing leaders or teams that are in the mindset of production. It’s what gets us queued up and social media, to your point, has proliferated that. In order to be relevant in social media, it’s not about quality at all. It is the algorithm. It is about timing and messaging or triggering some sort of action and you’re doing it in a time-efficient manner. So volume becomes your friend in this situation. You have to try nine out of ten times to create a lot of virality in what you produce. However, very rarely in a social media circumstance is that you miraculously write the best tweet. No, it is not about the best tweet. It’s just because you happen to be there at the right time and the right place. 

“That is one circumstance or you’re able to use certain language that triggers others to elicit their response. It’s not about the best post. It’s not the best tweet. Rather, it is confined to those types of scenarios which breed this production mentality that doesn’t help us in this content world.”

I think social media and algorithms that prefer you post daily, that is not helping. Google has made positive changes though that we either aren’t aware of or are ignoring. For instance, you are probably better off waiting to publish a great piece, keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore. It just doesn’t.

“That is right. Not only is it that the tactics of the past like keyword stuffing aren’t going to help us, iIt is also a reality that we are all facing a crisis in terms of understanding what our content is messaging and why we’re messaging that to the user. And part of that is, especially in B2B circumstances, being a former CEO of a B2B company, I know this very well. We often get fixated on our own language, our own priorities, and our own objectives. Oftentimes, that completely misses the mark in the context of what consumers are thinking about or looking for. And thus, you miss the value message that we all talk about. So easy to talk about, oh you just need to create a value message to your consumer. That’s easier said than done. You have to peel back the layers of the onion to truly understand what the value message has to be.”

And, as much as I talk about not keyword stuffing, which do I believe. Keyword research using related searches or answers to the public can be useful in figuring out what people want to learn about.

“100%. The tools are an amazing resource for us. The data that we have at our fingertips as marketers has never been greater, in my opinion. That is super-valuable to make wise decisions on where to invest. However, the questions of how are often highly misunderstood, and the who is often misunderstood by us as marketers.” 

For more content on B2B marketing trends, listen to the full Revenue Marketing Report episode at the top of the article or anywhere you podcast.