By Sandra D’Souza
Over the last few years, it has become a common practice among business-to-business (B2B) marketers to use ebooks as their bait to hook web visitors into helping them generate leads or make conversions. However, ebooks are not the only type of content these marketers can use to attract the attention of their prospects. There are other content marketing strategies they can utilise to achieve their respective business goals and objectives.
Workbooks, playbooks, and blueprints
Jay Acunzo of Cont called these documents the “cousins” of the ebook. But unlike the ebook, these content formats are “less about reading and more about using documents as a step-by-step way to guide readers through a recommended process or activity more efficiently and effectively.”
To come up with good workbooks, playbooks, and blueprints, Acunzo said you should formulate ways to make your content follow the “less reading, more action” principle. You should package these documents in a way that they can easily provide readers with very specific action steps they can execute. Also, you should try to avoid lengthy discussions of business theories and complicated issues. If there’s a need for you to elaborate on a particular subject, you should keep it to a minimum of two pages or less.
Project templates, Acunzo explained, are the “guardrails” that help your customers complete a project quickly and efficiently. Your prospects can use the templates to improve existing business processes or practices to get better results and/or save time and resources. To develop good project templates as part of your content marketing strategy, you should create steps your target customers should take to complete their daily tasks. Also, you consider providing ideas for resources that can replace or remove those time-consuming tasks.
Reporting templates are basically spreadsheets, presentations, and other files that can be used to report overall business performance. It is no secret that some people find it difficult to come up with performance or financial reports because they don’t know what the correct format for creating such important documents is. As such, this presents you with the perfect opportunity to provide a solution to your prospects’ problem (and make a conversion in the process) by offering them reporting templates.
When creating these templates, Acunzo said you should give them extra attention. “These templates should be outlined and wire-framed by you, including any computational formulas that you might want to include in a relevant spreadsheet. Your target buyer can then simply plug in their own data whenever they need to build a report,” he wrote.
Repurposed old content
Laura Hogan of Business2Community.com, meanwhile, offered some ideas on how you can put those old ebooks to use. According to her, while ebooks can be boring and basic, you can repurpose or revamp them so you can offer your customers something more fun and interesting. You can use the information, ideas, or data discussed in your old ebooks and incorporate them into your animated or educational videos, webinars, mini blog posts, and infographics.
According to Hogan, people are naturally curious and statistics have shown that most web users are using search engines to look for answers to a question. As such, one great marketing strategy for B2B marketers is to provide Q&A, or questions and answers, type of content. Hogan said you can either answer the questions you get on a daily basis or those that your salesmen often get in their conversations. This will give you enough content for a few different blog posts.
With different content strategies you can use, B2B marketers like you don’t have to stick to the old ebook marketing method to generate leads and make conversions. Just use your imagination and think outside the box so you can come up with different types of content that will appeal to your target market.
This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/content-marketing/winning-content-strategies-for-b2b-marketers/