One of our interns who is researching and writing initial research for us was asking if I had any ideas on how to expand that research to ensure the content was well-rounded and compelling. For the last month, we've been doing research with Amy Woodall on visitor behavior that helps with this question.
Amy is an experienced sales trainer and public speaker. She works closely with sales teams on helping them recognize indicators of intent and motivation that sales professionals can identify and use to move the purchase decision forward. One of the mistakes that we often make through our content is that it reflects the author of the content rather than speaks to the buyer.
Your audience is motivated by 4 elements
- Efficiency – How will this make my job or life easier?
- Emotion – How will this make my job or life happier?
- Trust – Who is recommending this, using this, and why are they important or influential?
- Facts – What research or results from reputable sources validate it?
This isn't listed by importance, nor do your readers fall into one element or another. All elements are critical for a balanced piece of content. You can write with a central focus on one or two, but all of them are important. Regardless of your industry or your job title, visitors are influenced differently based on their personality.
According to eMarketer, the most effective B2B content marketing tactics are in-person events (cited by 69% of marketers), webinars/webcasts (64%), video (60%), and blogs (60%). As you dig deeper in those statistics, what you should see is that the strategies that are most effective are ones where all 4 elements can be fully utilized.
In an in-person meeting, for example, you're able to identify the issues that the audience or prospect is focusing on and provide it to them. They may hone in on the other brands you serve. For our agency, as an example, some prospects see that we've worked with major brands like GoDaddy or Angie's List and that helps us to dive deeper into the engagement. For other prospects, they want case studies and facts to support their purchase decision. If we're standing there, we can produce the right content in front of them.
It's not surprising that this is a growing market. Companies like our client FatStax provide a data-driven mobile application that runs on a smartphone or tablet that puts all of your marketing content, sales collateral, or complex data you wish to share in the palm of your hand (offline) to provide your prospect at the time they need it. Not to mention the activity can be recorded through third-party integrations.
In a static piece of content, like a presentation, article, infographic, white paper or even a case study, you don't have the luxury of communicating and identifying the motivations that help convert your readers. And readers aren't motivated by any one single element – they require a balance of information across the 4 elements to help motivate them to engage.