We’ve been running the same B2B Content playbook for over ten years…at least.
It worked. So we just kept doing it.
I can say “we” because I’m just as guilty as anyone else.
Create content that’s just good enough, put it behind a form, capture the contact information of your readers, and then? Pester your audience until they unsubscribe or bend to your will.
(Past tense emphasized)
This “strategy” has become deeply flawed for two reasons.
One, inevitably, you hit a law of diminishing returns. You can only force so many people through this experience. You go to your owned channels over-and-over again. Your “strategy” becomes less effective as your owned audience becomes less engaged. The only way to continue to produce results is to create more content. Now, content quality suffers and you’re on a hamster wheel of producing very average content.
The second reason this playbook has become flawed is because while it hasn’t changed, our audience has. When gated content rose in popularity in the 2000’s when consumers weren't used to curated experiences. Think about Netflix, Spotify, Zillow, Stitch Fix experiences. Consumer expectations have changed. Our B2B strategy hasn’t.
In the B2C space, experiences are bingeable. Maybe you’re familiar with this screen:
Or maybe you were one of the Zillow surfers during the pandemic. *raises hand*
Instead of creating boring B2B experiences, let’s begin creating bingeable B2B content experiences.
Content overload is the challenge.
As I referenced above, content marketers feel a pressure to constantly create content to squeeze every ounce of results out of their audience. And our audience feels the brunt of that. In a survey we hosted prior to launch, we found that 40% of B2B professionals interact with 10+ content pieces per week. 60% of content marketers create at least one new piece of content each day.
There’s too much f*cking content!
This leads to curation becoming more valuable than creation.
The B2B buying process is complex.
It’s an overly complex process. Here’s an overly simple question: Is your content adding friction or removing friction from this process?
I talked to one Enterprise B2B SaaS CMO who said it better than I can,
“B2B content is just broken. We spend all of this money and resources on a beautiful deliverable and then we try to entice someone with a shi**y landing page.”
We all struggle to separate the signal from the noise. This is why platforms like Netflix and Spotify thrive. They combine the right amount of curation and discoverability.
How much time does your team spend curating content for your audience vs. creating more content?
What would it look like to balance these efforts? What if instead of creating more content, you spent a portion of those resources curating content for your audience at the right time.
The proper balance of content creation and curation is how your strategy can move from boring 2 bingeable.
There are four strategies that we recommend to move your new B2B strategy in this direction:
- Meet your audience where they are: For marketers, our biggest competitor is attention. Don’t create new attention, steal attention from where they’re already at -- platforms, communities, competitors. Putting content behind forms on your website and hoping they come to you no longer works.
- Create Brand Rabbit Holes: You’ve already created a lot of content. Stop creating more content. Instead, think about how these different pieces relate to each other and the problems your audience is trying to solve. Then, never share one piece of content. Create rabbit holes with related content. Recycle your own or share content that validates your message.
- People not personas: Don’t be a robot. Creating content for “each stage of the funnel” is not the way. Look at the process above, there is no funnel. Similarly, not every person in your ICP enjoys the same content format. Atomize and analyze content to know which format performs best for which audience.
- Forget B2B, we’re all type C: Think about all of the capital C Consumer experiences we enjoy. They look different from B2B. And we love them. We’re marketers. What marketing do you enjoy interacting with? Do that.
To summarize, there’s a new playbook being ushered into the B2B space by individuals that are breaking the old school playbook. We call them Modern-Day Marketers. These individuals know:
- Content overload is real. We’ve been creating content quicker than we can effectively distribute or discover the right content at the right time.
- Their opportunity is as much about curating content as it is creating new content.
- When they effectively do this, they’re creating bingeable experiences.
[In an effort to follow the playbook here, this post itself is not new content. This article was adapted from a presentation we shared prior to launching The Juice. We’ve recreated it in written format, to see what best resonates with our audience. Thank you to Jimmy Daly of Superpath and Ross Simmonds of Foundation Marketing. Their office hours on Content Distribution inspired this article.]
Check out how to start enjoying a less boring and more bingeable experience with B2B content and sign up for The Juice. 🧃