Quick question, B2B marketers: How many of you wake up feeling like this about your B2B content?
Not so much? Hey, it’s OK. You’re a passionate and proud B2B marketer. But finding a way to create exciting, inspiring, infotaining content that connects with your audience is hard work. After all, B2B isn’t innately sexy—it’s booooooring. Oh, and between content overload, changing consumer preferences for personalization, and diminishing audience trust, it’s increasingly hard to capture and keep attention.
So, here’s another question: Are you ready to say bye-bye to boring content and hello to exciting, inspiring, and infotaining content experiences?
Yes so much? Good. Because, as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden told a packed room at B2B Marketing Exchange this week, you can.
How? By bringing two incredibly powerful content marketing tactics together: interactive content and influencer content.
Why interactive? Why influencers? Why interactive and influencers? Here’s how Lee broke it down.
Why Interactive Content?
The digital content landscape is increasingly competitive. If brands don’t create great content experiences that grab and hold attention, they simply can’t compete. But interactive content can be a B2B game-changer.
Interactive content informs. Interactive content engages and entertains. Interactive content connects. Oh, and interactive content converts. And as Lee pointed out, research shows that 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content (CMI) and 70% of marketers say interactive content is effective at converting site visitors (Ion Interactive).
Why Influencer Content?
As Lee said, these days “buyers expect more, but trust less.” In fact, according to a HubSpot report, 65% of buyers don’t trust ads and a whopping 55% of those surveyed said they don’t even trust the companies they’re already doing business with.
The good news? Buyers desperately want to trust.
But who do buyers trust? Simply put, buyers trust people they know—or people they think they know. (Just for fun, take a peek at where marketers rank as compared to baristas. Uh huh.)
(Image credit: HubSpot)
Eighty-one percent of HubSpot respondents said they trust friends and family over business. In addition, DemandGen Report’s 2018 Content Preferences Survey showed that 78% of B2B buyers place a higher emphasis on the trustworthiness of the content source, and 65% have a higher preference for credible content from industry influencers.
Why Interactive Influencer Content?
To remain competitive, marketers need to create engaging experiences for their audiences while also building credibility and trust. And that’s precisely where interactive influencer content comes in. To really drive the point home, Lee pointed to a fabulous quote from Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing for SAP Ariba:
“Working with influencers to co-create content delivers mutual value. When that content is interactive, it creates an experience that is more engaging and inspires action.”
Working with #influencers to co-create content delivers mutual value. When that #content is interactive, it creates an experience that is more engaging and inspires action. – @AmishaGandhi Click To Tweet
What Does Effective B2B Interactive Influencer Content Look Like?
When you put relevant, useful, and credible content in an eye-catching, engaging format, incredible things can happen. Not only are you creating an infotaining experience for your buying audience, but also for influencer partners. You’re creating mutual value.
Examples of Interactive Influencer Content
#1 – Interactive Infographic
Topic: The Future of Influencer Marketing
Objective: Drive leads from original research report while also repurposing influencer tips.
Results: 6,971 pageviews and an impressive 42% conversion rate
#2 – Interactive eBook
Topic: Future-Proof Content Marketing
Objective: Leverage an entire year’s worth of content and insights around content marketing strategy, planning, and measurement to boost awareness and lead gen (small ask: participate in content marketing planning survey; big ask: request a trial).
Results: Exceeded small and big ask benchmark goals four times over.
#3 – Interactive Voice Assistant and Microsite + SEO-Driven Content
Topic: AI and the Next Evolution of Finance
Objective: Build industry credibility and engagement on AI and Finance with thought leadership content.
Results: 189% increase over benchmark pageview goals and 642% increase over benchmark engagement goals; 84 net-new keyword rankings
Buh-Bye Boring. Hello Infotaining Interactive Influencer Content.
B2B brands need to break free of its boring-to-boring reputations if they want to engage, inspire, and convert modern buyers. Buyers are ready for bigger, better, bolder content experiences—experiences they can trust.
So, B2B marketers, it’s time to ask yourself: Are your ready to create meaningful, trustworthy connects with buyers through your content? If you are, interactive influencer content deserves your consideration. Not sure where to start? Here’s Lee high-level checklist:
- Identify a customer solution topic that is relevant to your brand’s expertise and your audience’s information needs.
- Pick an interactive content type, story arch, and call-to-action that makes sense for the topic, audience, and objectives.
- Identify, qualify, and validate influencers that have the topical expertise and the right audience for the end-product. And map them to your topics and subtopics.
- Collect influencer tips, work them into the experience, and promote the heck out of the final product.
- Nurture influencers for future engagement; strong relationships are at the center of successful influencer programs.
In the meantime, here’s a little something to snack on:
For more live updates from the conference, you can follow @TopRank, @leeodden, @azeckman and @CaitlinMBurgess on Twitter. In addition to speaking and tweeting, team members from TopRank Marketing will be live blogging sessions (like this one) throughout the conference so be sure to follow the blog for more.