B-to-B Insights: Content Is King
4. Educate the Reader
Years ago, Duncan Hines ran an ad in women's magazines about its chocolate cake mix. The headline was, "The secret to moister, richer chocolate cake." Why was that headline so effective? Because it implied you would learn something useful just by reading the ad, regardless of whether you bought the product.
Generic advice won't cut it in content marketing today. The prospect doesn't want to read the same old tips he's seen a dozen times before repeated in your white paper.
Chances are, you possess proprietary knowledge about your products and their applications. Share some of this knowledge in your white papers. Give your reader specific advice and ideas that everyone else isn't already telling him.
Don't be afraid that by telling too much, you'll eliminate the prospect's need for your product or service. Quite the opposite: When prospects learn the effort that solving their problem entails, and see that you clearly have the needed expertise, they will turn to you for help.
5. Deliver Value
When you can, include some highly practical, actionable tips the prospect can implement immediately. The more valuable your content is to prospects, the more readily your content marketing program will achieve its stated objective. It's like fast food stands giving away food samples at the mall: The better the free food tastes, the more likely the consumer is to purchase a snack or meal.
6. Set the Specs
Outline the characteristics, features and specifications the prospect should look for when shopping for products in your category. If you do this credibly, the prospect will turn your white paper into a shopping list. And of course, the requirements you outline should fit your product to a tee. For example, if your white paper title is 10 Things to Look for When Buying a Static Mixer, your mixer naturally will have all 10 characteristics, while the competition's won't.
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.