Innovative B2B Content Marketing: Art or Science? with Andrea Clatworthy

Innovative B2B Content Marketing: Art or Science?

What’s the trick to creating content that grabs the attention of your target audience? Is it all about producing a campaign that captures the imagination and the zeitgeist? Or is it simply a case of giving people what they want?

For DigiConf we asked Andrea Clatworthy; Head of ABM, EMEAI, Fujitsu; for her thoughts on Innovative B2B Content Marketing. Is great content built on science or art?

Her answer? “Both.”

The Building Blocks of Valuable Content

If your content is to stand a chance of being successful, it needs to be built on a solid foundation of audience insight. It may sound like a given, but it’s a step that can easily be overlooked by businesses over-eager to create an era-defining piece of creative marketing.

“It’s important that you really understand your audience in the context of what you want to talk to them about,” explained Andrea, “whether it’s about your portfolio or your offerings; and in the context of what’s going on in their world. There has been a lot of change in 2020, but how is it impacting their business decision-making and shifting their priorities?”

So, where does this market insight come from?

Depending on your business setup, you’ll likely have a lot of this information already: CRMs are an obvious mine of valuable data for starters. Talk to your finance and sales teams too; learn what’s been selling and who’s been buying it. There could be some strong trends that you can adapt your content to.

“And don’t just do this once!”, stressed Andrea. “Keep optimising your content and gaining new insights.” 

Finally, organise it so you can use it! It’s all too easy to lose yourself in the dizzying volume of data that you collect, and easier still to miss an invaluable opportunity because your market research has resulted in little more than a long, cluttered spreadsheet of keywords and contact details.

Quality content, made-to-measure 

With a solid foundation of audience insight to build upon, the next step is to tailor your content accordingly. 

Your marketing lives or dies by how well it resonates with your audience. “Remember that we’re communicating with human beings, and there’s loads of research into how much personalisation people like in different contexts and different communication channels,” explains Andrea. “Work out what’s right for your audience.”

As important as it is to give your outbound marketing a personalised touch, how far do you take things? Too little personalisation and your content can seem insincere and generic; too much, and you run the risk of unsettling your customers with your frighteningly in-depth understanding of their work and life.

“In understanding their motivation, you are well-positioned to begin tailoring your content accordingly,” Andrea tells us. At Fujitsu, Andrea and her team go by the ‘80/20’ principle for content reuse: “80% of this content is standardised and applicable to almost every audience, ensuring consistency in tone and message. 

“The last 20% is easily tailored to fit specific audiences – this could be dedicated to something as simple as space for a logo on a mailer, or something more sophisticated to really tweak your content down to the industry or persona level.”

The key here is to make the process quick and efficient. Personalisation is possible without breaking the bank or tripling your workload; provided you understand your audience and what drives them…

Take the time to be concise

You’ve narrowed down your audience, settled on a potentially award-winning campaign idea and know how you’re going to tailor your content: now’s the time to spreading the word of your services and offerings en-masse, right?

In short: no. It’s important not to try and pack everything you want to say into one comms or content piece. 

According to Andrea, “You have to remember that your audience is likely to be busy and often bombarded with information, so be concise. Make your content easy for them to consume, and easy to understand your messages and your offering. Make the CTA really clear and simple – hopefully, you’ll get the engagement you’re looking for.”

This conciseness in communication isn’t just a case of saving time for your readers. It can also add a bit of intrigue! “You want them to be interested in what the next step might be: they want to dive in to really understand how you can help them.

“Ensure you help them understand what they will have after they’ve partnered with you,” Andrea adds. “How will you have improved their business outcome?

The time your audience spends engaging with your content should be of value to them. Respect their time. Be concise. Be specific.

Orchestrating your innovative content marketing

Once you’ve gathered your amazing insights and produced your suite of exciting, engaging content, you need to orchestrate it. Don’t just push it out there: Avoid random acts of engagement and decide which channels to use to reach your audience and when to reach them. 

Remember, you have this insight! So tailor your content to fit, be concise with your messaging, clear about the impact your offering can have on business outcomes and then take care to broadcast your message in the right place at the right time.

Watch the full video for Andrea’s guide to creating engaging, valuable content. And, to hear more from our expert speakers, just click here to view all the DigiConf sessions.