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5 VITAL CLASSES
OF CONTENT
A Framework for B2B
Content Success
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Contents
3 4 5 15 22
In the B2B world where long buying cycles mean that
the role of content is stretched over a wide length of
time, it’s absolutely essential for marketers to employ
the full spectrum of content, each with its own specific
purpose, or desired effect on your buyer.
Introduction Overview of
Framework
Framework for
Content with a
Purpose
Content Purpose in
the Buyer’s Journey
Summary
Originally published in blog format with the Content Marketing Institute.
http://contentmarketi nginstitute.com/2014/09/framew ork-creating-content-vital-levels/ | 2
Content Drives
Buying Decisions
Contentis the vehicle in which a
company tells its story. It
highlights the product,the team,
what they have to offer, and
ultimately does or does not drive
conversions.
The role of contentcannot be
ignored – it is solely what
prospects engage with during the
majority of the buyer’s journey.
That means that if content doesn’t
do its job, buyers are out the door
and onto the next vendor before
even speaking to a sales rep.
70%
of the Buyer’s Journey is
complete before engaging
the vendor
SiriusDecisions
87%
of B2B Buyers say that
content has an impact on
vendor selection
Social Media Today
| 3
Introducing a
Framework for
Content with a
Purpose
In order for content to successfully engage and convertbuyers, it must
tell the entire story of a company. Only then will contentboth educate
and connect with buyers in all the ways they need to be throughouttheir
long buying journey.
Effectively telling the entire story of a company is not simple – rather,
there are multiple layers to achieving this, and as such requires
employing multiple classes ofcontent.
In fact, there are five essential contentclasses, and employing them
altogether is the most successful way to tell the full story. Think of
these contentclasses as a pyramid with five layers moving from the
base to the tip. At the bottom of the pyramid is the foundational content
that highlights the productand company,and moving up the pyramid is
content that engages audiences on a deeper level,motivating them to
act.
Each contentclass in the pyramid is defined by its purpose,or the
specific effect on the buyer that it is aiming to achieve. Why define
class by purpose? One: contentis developed more effectively when
you know its end goal.And two: defining contentclasses by purpose will
help ensure you’re engaging the buyer on all necessary levels,which
will ultimately keep them moving through the buying cycle and on to
conversion. The pyramid,therefore, acts as a framework for content
with a purpose.
| 4
CONTENT CLASS #1
Informational
Informational contentincludes the
facts, figures, details,and
explanations ofa company and its
offerings.
Successful informational content
helps your buyer understand how
your productfits their needs, how
it works, and how it resolves their
problems.
Purpose: Build confidence and
knowledge in your product
Your product
is great!
| 5
CONTENT CLASS #1
Informational
Example:
Types of informational content
include data sheets, productpages,
case studies,and press releases.
| 6
CONTENT CLASS #2
Contextual
Contextual contentincludes
thought-leadership,best
practices, and market trends,
insights,and analysis. It shows
that your company is the industry
expert.
Effective contextual content
proves to your buyer that they can
trust you for the best innovations
and for reliable advice. Notonly
does your productmeet the
buyer’s needs,but your team
behind the productunderstands
the market and how best the
buyer can tackle their challenges.
Purpose: Build confidence and
respect for your company and its
position in your industry
Your
company is
great!
| 7
CONTENT CLASS #2
Contextual
Example:
Types of contextual content
includes blogs,whitepapers,
solution pages,webinars,and
contributed articles.
| 8
CONTENT CLASS #3
Emotional
Emotional contentincludes
anecdotes and imagery of
everyday life and successes and
situations that people can relate
to and connectwith.
Emotional contentis a big leap
from highlighting the company
and its productto focusing more
on the audience. It causes
buyers to feel good aboutthe
company – not in that they can
trust and rely on them, but in that
they feel the company can relate
to them. Emotional contentdrives
positive vibes.
Purpose: Create feelings of goodwill
and affinity in your buyer
I feel
connected.
| 9
CONTENT CLASS #3
Emotional
Example:
Types of emotional contentinclude
images,videos, and blogs.
| 10
CONTENT CLASS #4
Motivational
Motivational contentincludes
stories of courage to pursue the
new and differentand pushes
buyers to take on big challenges,
and to push the boundaries.
Successful motivational content
propels buyers into motion by
showing them the impact they can
make.
Purpose: Incite your audience into
taking a desired action
I am going to
take action!
| 11
CONTENT CLASS #4
Motivational
Example:
Types of motivational content
include case studies,research
reports, and industry stories.
| 12
CONTENT CLASS #5
Inspirational
Inspirational contentincludes
novel perspectives and stories of
dreams and visions. It focuses on
the human condition and changes
how with think, what we do, and
how we relate to others.
Inspirational contentdrives the
buyer to think beyond their direct
role and impactto how they can
bring significantly larger benefits
to their company and their own
customers as a whole.
Purpose: Influence your buyer’s
beliefs on what is possible
I am going to
change the
world!
| 13
CONTENT CLASS #5
Inspirational
Example:
Types of inspirational content
include videos,blogs,and
microsites.
| 14
Content Purpose in
the Buyer’s Journey
The stages of the buyer’s journey typically include:Discovering,
Learning,Choosing,and Procuring.
By leveraging a framework for content with a purpose,you can provide
a balanced contentapproach thatignites intellectual,emotional,and
passionate engagementwith your buyers – all of which are imperative
to keeping prospects moving through the buyer’s journey. Conversely,if
you do not employ all classes of content, you will lose prospects at
some stage.
Indeed,every marketer and sales rep has suffered three common
content pitfalls with buyers that result in losing them at some stage in
the buying cycle to a competitive alternative. Likewise,successes can
come in multiple forms as well.
Discovering
Learning
Choosing
Procuring
| 15
Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring
Pitfall #1 Only Information Content
You may focus purely on informational content,so your product may
sound great to the buyer, but they leave in Choosing as they find
another provider that appears to understand their business challenges
and market place better.
Nice product, but
we have gone
with another
vendor that
understands our
needs better.
| 16
Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring
Pitfall #2 No Emotional Connection
You provide both informational and contextual content,but you have no
emotional connection to the buyer so they exit very late in the sales
process. In fact, you may be left guessing as to why they chose a
differentproduct because they simply disappeared.
I just don’t
feel good or
excited
about your
company.
| 17
Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring
Pitfall #3 All Fluff
You provide too much fluff content, and your buyer immediately leaves
in Learning because the contentlacks specificity and productdetails. In
fact, you will likely never even know this buyer exists because they will
not choose to engage before looking elsewhere to solve their business
needs.
I don’t
understand
what your
product can
do.
| 18
Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring
Success #1 Connecting Emotionally
You provide buyers with informational and contextual contentand start
to establish an emotional connection as well.
I really want
you guys to
win!
✔
| 19
Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring
Success #2 Unlock the Status Quo
You provide motivational contenton top of establishing an emotional
connection and a foundation of trust and credibility,thereby spurring
buyers into action that were previously stuck in their buying process.
We weren’t
ready to
move on
this, but now
we are. ✔
| 20
Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring
Success #3 Content Nirvana
You engage your buyer leveraging every class of contentup through
motivational and inspirational,and the buyer gloriously declares that
they are ready to work with you.
Let’s find a
way to do
business
together.
✔
| 21
Summary
Especially in the B2B world where long buying cycles mean that the role
of content is stretched over a wide length of time, it’s absolutely
essential for marketers to employ all five classes of content, each of
which has its own specific purpose,or desired effect on your buyer.
When used in its entirety, the content with a purpose framework
ensures that you engage with prospects in all the ways you need to
engage with them in order to convert them. As a result, you establish a
more relevantand powerful connection with buyers,from understanding
your productand company to feeling good aboutyour company,and
finally to being motivated and inspired to act.
Inspirational
Motivational
Emotional
Contextual
Informational
| 22
About the Author Jeff Freund
Jeff Freund is a 15+ year veteran of the contentindustry. He is
currently founder and CEO ofAkoonu, a strategic marketing platform for
B2B enterprise companies.The Akoonu Platform helps marketers
deliver high quality buying journeys through a deep understanding of
their audience and the production ofengaging,buyer-centric content.
Previously,he was a founder of Clickability,the leading SaaS Web
ContentManagementplatform,and served as the company’s CTO and
CEO.
Throughouthis career, Jeff has worked closely with customers to truly
understand the needs of marketers and technologists in industries such
as High Tech, Financial Services,Media,and Manufacturing. He has
been active in the Digital Marketing ecosystem through extensive M&A
experience and as a thoughtleader speaking atconferences and on
panels.
Connectwith Jeff: www.linkedin.com/in/jefffreund/
| 23
© 2016 Akoonu, Inc. All rights reserved.
hi@akoonu.com
www.akoonu.com
!
" @Akoonu
Akoonu
#
$
350	Townsend	Street,	Suite	220
San	Francisco,	CA		94107%

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5 Vital Classes of Content: A Framework for B2B Content Success

  • 1. 5 VITAL CLASSES OF CONTENT A Framework for B2B Content Success
  • 2. page page page page page Contents 3 4 5 15 22 In the B2B world where long buying cycles mean that the role of content is stretched over a wide length of time, it’s absolutely essential for marketers to employ the full spectrum of content, each with its own specific purpose, or desired effect on your buyer. Introduction Overview of Framework Framework for Content with a Purpose Content Purpose in the Buyer’s Journey Summary Originally published in blog format with the Content Marketing Institute. http://contentmarketi nginstitute.com/2014/09/framew ork-creating-content-vital-levels/ | 2
  • 3. Content Drives Buying Decisions Contentis the vehicle in which a company tells its story. It highlights the product,the team, what they have to offer, and ultimately does or does not drive conversions. The role of contentcannot be ignored – it is solely what prospects engage with during the majority of the buyer’s journey. That means that if content doesn’t do its job, buyers are out the door and onto the next vendor before even speaking to a sales rep. 70% of the Buyer’s Journey is complete before engaging the vendor SiriusDecisions 87% of B2B Buyers say that content has an impact on vendor selection Social Media Today | 3
  • 4. Introducing a Framework for Content with a Purpose In order for content to successfully engage and convertbuyers, it must tell the entire story of a company. Only then will contentboth educate and connect with buyers in all the ways they need to be throughouttheir long buying journey. Effectively telling the entire story of a company is not simple – rather, there are multiple layers to achieving this, and as such requires employing multiple classes ofcontent. In fact, there are five essential contentclasses, and employing them altogether is the most successful way to tell the full story. Think of these contentclasses as a pyramid with five layers moving from the base to the tip. At the bottom of the pyramid is the foundational content that highlights the productand company,and moving up the pyramid is content that engages audiences on a deeper level,motivating them to act. Each contentclass in the pyramid is defined by its purpose,or the specific effect on the buyer that it is aiming to achieve. Why define class by purpose? One: contentis developed more effectively when you know its end goal.And two: defining contentclasses by purpose will help ensure you’re engaging the buyer on all necessary levels,which will ultimately keep them moving through the buying cycle and on to conversion. The pyramid,therefore, acts as a framework for content with a purpose. | 4
  • 5. CONTENT CLASS #1 Informational Informational contentincludes the facts, figures, details,and explanations ofa company and its offerings. Successful informational content helps your buyer understand how your productfits their needs, how it works, and how it resolves their problems. Purpose: Build confidence and knowledge in your product Your product is great! | 5
  • 6. CONTENT CLASS #1 Informational Example: Types of informational content include data sheets, productpages, case studies,and press releases. | 6
  • 7. CONTENT CLASS #2 Contextual Contextual contentincludes thought-leadership,best practices, and market trends, insights,and analysis. It shows that your company is the industry expert. Effective contextual content proves to your buyer that they can trust you for the best innovations and for reliable advice. Notonly does your productmeet the buyer’s needs,but your team behind the productunderstands the market and how best the buyer can tackle their challenges. Purpose: Build confidence and respect for your company and its position in your industry Your company is great! | 7
  • 8. CONTENT CLASS #2 Contextual Example: Types of contextual content includes blogs,whitepapers, solution pages,webinars,and contributed articles. | 8
  • 9. CONTENT CLASS #3 Emotional Emotional contentincludes anecdotes and imagery of everyday life and successes and situations that people can relate to and connectwith. Emotional contentis a big leap from highlighting the company and its productto focusing more on the audience. It causes buyers to feel good aboutthe company – not in that they can trust and rely on them, but in that they feel the company can relate to them. Emotional contentdrives positive vibes. Purpose: Create feelings of goodwill and affinity in your buyer I feel connected. | 9
  • 10. CONTENT CLASS #3 Emotional Example: Types of emotional contentinclude images,videos, and blogs. | 10
  • 11. CONTENT CLASS #4 Motivational Motivational contentincludes stories of courage to pursue the new and differentand pushes buyers to take on big challenges, and to push the boundaries. Successful motivational content propels buyers into motion by showing them the impact they can make. Purpose: Incite your audience into taking a desired action I am going to take action! | 11
  • 12. CONTENT CLASS #4 Motivational Example: Types of motivational content include case studies,research reports, and industry stories. | 12
  • 13. CONTENT CLASS #5 Inspirational Inspirational contentincludes novel perspectives and stories of dreams and visions. It focuses on the human condition and changes how with think, what we do, and how we relate to others. Inspirational contentdrives the buyer to think beyond their direct role and impactto how they can bring significantly larger benefits to their company and their own customers as a whole. Purpose: Influence your buyer’s beliefs on what is possible I am going to change the world! | 13
  • 14. CONTENT CLASS #5 Inspirational Example: Types of inspirational content include videos,blogs,and microsites. | 14
  • 15. Content Purpose in the Buyer’s Journey The stages of the buyer’s journey typically include:Discovering, Learning,Choosing,and Procuring. By leveraging a framework for content with a purpose,you can provide a balanced contentapproach thatignites intellectual,emotional,and passionate engagementwith your buyers – all of which are imperative to keeping prospects moving through the buyer’s journey. Conversely,if you do not employ all classes of content, you will lose prospects at some stage. Indeed,every marketer and sales rep has suffered three common content pitfalls with buyers that result in losing them at some stage in the buying cycle to a competitive alternative. Likewise,successes can come in multiple forms as well. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring | 15
  • 16. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring Pitfall #1 Only Information Content You may focus purely on informational content,so your product may sound great to the buyer, but they leave in Choosing as they find another provider that appears to understand their business challenges and market place better. Nice product, but we have gone with another vendor that understands our needs better. | 16
  • 17. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring Pitfall #2 No Emotional Connection You provide both informational and contextual content,but you have no emotional connection to the buyer so they exit very late in the sales process. In fact, you may be left guessing as to why they chose a differentproduct because they simply disappeared. I just don’t feel good or excited about your company. | 17
  • 18. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring Pitfall #3 All Fluff You provide too much fluff content, and your buyer immediately leaves in Learning because the contentlacks specificity and productdetails. In fact, you will likely never even know this buyer exists because they will not choose to engage before looking elsewhere to solve their business needs. I don’t understand what your product can do. | 18
  • 19. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring Success #1 Connecting Emotionally You provide buyers with informational and contextual contentand start to establish an emotional connection as well. I really want you guys to win! ✔ | 19
  • 20. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring Success #2 Unlock the Status Quo You provide motivational contenton top of establishing an emotional connection and a foundation of trust and credibility,thereby spurring buyers into action that were previously stuck in their buying process. We weren’t ready to move on this, but now we are. ✔ | 20
  • 21. Discovering Learning Choosing Procuring Success #3 Content Nirvana You engage your buyer leveraging every class of contentup through motivational and inspirational,and the buyer gloriously declares that they are ready to work with you. Let’s find a way to do business together. ✔ | 21
  • 22. Summary Especially in the B2B world where long buying cycles mean that the role of content is stretched over a wide length of time, it’s absolutely essential for marketers to employ all five classes of content, each of which has its own specific purpose,or desired effect on your buyer. When used in its entirety, the content with a purpose framework ensures that you engage with prospects in all the ways you need to engage with them in order to convert them. As a result, you establish a more relevantand powerful connection with buyers,from understanding your productand company to feeling good aboutyour company,and finally to being motivated and inspired to act. Inspirational Motivational Emotional Contextual Informational | 22
  • 23. About the Author Jeff Freund Jeff Freund is a 15+ year veteran of the contentindustry. He is currently founder and CEO ofAkoonu, a strategic marketing platform for B2B enterprise companies.The Akoonu Platform helps marketers deliver high quality buying journeys through a deep understanding of their audience and the production ofengaging,buyer-centric content. Previously,he was a founder of Clickability,the leading SaaS Web ContentManagementplatform,and served as the company’s CTO and CEO. Throughouthis career, Jeff has worked closely with customers to truly understand the needs of marketers and technologists in industries such as High Tech, Financial Services,Media,and Manufacturing. He has been active in the Digital Marketing ecosystem through extensive M&A experience and as a thoughtleader speaking atconferences and on panels. Connectwith Jeff: www.linkedin.com/in/jefffreund/ | 23
  • 24. © 2016 Akoonu, Inc. All rights reserved. hi@akoonu.com www.akoonu.com ! " @Akoonu Akoonu # $ 350 Townsend Street, Suite 220 San Francisco, CA 94107%