10 Ways to Create and Enable Compelling B2B Content

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We all need more effective and compelling content to connect with our customers and prospects in a world where there there is a lot of noise. This is a 17 Page Visual Whitepaper detailing effective and useful tips in both the creative and enablement side of compelling content creation.

First we cover creating great content, and then enabling that content into awesome, simple and beautiful user experiences. Because poor content is, well, lame. But good content poorly enabled or delivered is a waste too. In the linked whitepaper we look at 5 keys to creating compelling content, and 5 keys to enabling that content. For each point we share our perspective while linking to outside resources and ideas. So please have a look, and feel free to share your ideas, examples, and feedback with us. Thank you!

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10 Ways to Create and Enable Compelling B2B Content

  1. 1. Empowering Authentic Stories for Growth 10 Ways to Create & Enable Compelling Content for Content Marketing, Social and Mobile A Visual Whitepaper 200 South Wacker, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60526 | info@storyquest.com | 312-258-0111
  2. 2. Empowering Authentic Stories for GrowthWhy this Whitepaper?Because there is so much noise out thereand it is getting worse. Because good content, poorly enabled provides little value.Because bad content, even when wellenabled is still bad. Because we believe good content, beautifully enabled drives marketing, improves conversations and speeds up sales cycles.About StoryQuest:StoryQuest is a digital agency based in Chicago. We exist to capture and shareauthentic B2B stories and thought leadership. We believe nothing is more powerfulthan the sound of an honest voice. That is why the stories and voices we producecome from simple conversations, never traditional video shoots. This allows us tocapture stories from all over the world, in any language, without the cost and hassleof traditional video shoots. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 2
  3. 3. Connecting Is HardYou know it intuitively and there Content is becoming a key vehicleare stats everywhere that bear it in making connections, butout. content can also be part of the problem. Specifically bad content,Everyone has more information and the deluge of it.they can possibly use. Lots ofnoise, some signal. But there is a way out:And it’s getting worse. As Good content.technology lets us reach more Delivered effectively.people, with more content, inmore ways - the noise gets louder That is what this visual white paperand connecting gets harder. is all about. How to create truly compelling content and thenThere is a great Slideshare called enable it so people will see,“Crap. The Content Marketing consume and share it – beautifully.Deluge” - and it makes this pointbeautifully. First a bit of context. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 3
  4. 4. Content Matters … Content is KingI wish it wasn’t. Really I do. I wish The top challenges for marketersface to face mattered more. But are:today, as we as we broaden ourreach, we lessen our face to #1. Creating Enough Contentface. So like it or not - content is #2. Compelling & Engaging contentking. But you have a choice.When you enter the arms race ofcontent you can choose toeither feed the beast and createmore noise or create focusedvalue.While good content actuallydoes both, the key is to focus onthe latter, which based on a It may just be semantics or the wayrecent Content Marketing the survey was conducted, but weInstitute study is not the current believe the order should be flippedindustry trend. Start by creating great content, then focus on creating more of it. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 4
  5. 5. But Humans RuleContent may be king. But humans 2. Make it easy for humans to share.still rule. If you want content This is job #2. First make greatconsumed, the #1 way to make it content, they help others consumehappen is for content to be about and recommend it. How?and recommended by otherhumans. By providing: •  A Great User ExperiencePeople trust people they know. So •  Mobile Ready Contentif you are going to be effective •  Super simple sharingyou have to create:1. More human content. Thismeans content that goes beyond People I knowboilerplate text that any Online opinionsmarketing department can Editorial contentauthor, and include uniquely Branded websiteshuman elements: Emails I sign up for•  Honest Voices, Real Faces•  Authentic Stories Ads on TV•  Doubt, Imperfection © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 5
  6. 6. Creating Compelling Content© 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 6
  7. 7. Tell StoriesStories are the holy grail of Why?connecting. They provide the Because stories work. Cognitively,shared context, content and emotionally and effectively. Therenarrative we all need. Engaging is all kinds of research that bearsstorytelling is the single most this out.important factor for creatingcompelling content. Stories put abstract concepts into real world situations. And when customer tell stories they are even better. Not only because customers are more credible, but because in customer stories we get to watch and learn from others’ mistakes and successes. What types of stories? Customer stories are the most valuable, but company and thought leader stories work too. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 7
  8. 8. Harvest More – Author LessWhile we can all type, yet we are Think about it. Authoring isnot all good authors. contrived by definition. We think about what we want to say,Effective writing, video or any structure our thoughts, write andcommunication is hard – and the rewrite. This is the path tobetter you are it, the more you marketing speak.know how true that is. To makethings easier on everyone – we Harvesting is different. Realrecommend authoring less and people talk, walk and do theharvesting more. things you write about.That means capturing: Yes, you have to do the work of•  Live Presentations cleaning, editing, and organizing•  Webinars what you have harvested. But•  Conversations. when you start with harvested content, you leverage the ideasIn that bounty, are the real stories, and credibility of experts ratherideas, and turns of phrase that than just talking about yourself.can either feed your writing, orstand alone as content by itself. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 8
  9. 9. Share DoubtWhat do all your prospects have in When you share fear and doubtscommon? of your customers two things happen.(Hint – it is not a set of businessproblems or goals such as 1. You tell your prospects you“increase X” or “lower costs”.) trust them and that they can trust you. No one is perfect, when youFear & Doubt. Fear that they will share only perfect successes youwork with you not get value. Doubt invite prospects to wonder whatthat you don’t offer the value, you are not telling them.features, or benefits they need.Worry they may get blamed or 2. You build credibility. The realfired for a bad choice. and imperfect journey of how one customer went from fearIf this were not true they wouldn’t and doubt to success is the mostbe a prospect. They would either credible story you have. It letsalready be a customer or utterly off others watch, learn and believe.your radar. That is much easier to do with stories than with promises. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 9
  10. 10. Record VoicesNothing is more powerful than thesound of an honest voice. Those voices can support limitless - NPR producer content types. Transcribe them and you have blog articles andWithin the sound of a voice there is case studies. Publish into aso much information and feeling podcast. Add visual elements tothat you just never get from text. turn real world voices and storiesAge, ethnicity, gender, passion, into compelling video and salesturn of phrase, and of course tools.stories. These are the things thatmake us human and let others The key is good quality sound.judge and connect with us. This makes all the difference in the world. The best place toIf you are looking to connect, try learn how to recordrecording your leaders, product conversation, phone call and justmanagers, and customers without about anything is Transom.org. APowerPoint decks or messaging great resource used by audionotes. documentarians and has great how to articles. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 10
  11. 11. Use Video (without shooting it)Video is the most compelling Video without “video”medium we have. These alternatives allow you toAudio, visual, movement, story – its be more exact with yourall there in well produced video. message, more creative with your visuals, and more flexible inBut despite all the DIY articles and production.tutorials out there, the truth is …shooting and creating good video Separating the audio and visualis hard. In fact it is the #1 most makes things easier for everyone.outsourced medium. Easier for storytellers (your leaders, experts and customers) becauseThere are great alternatives to they can share stories intraditional video shoots: conversations rather than presentations. Easier for•  Graphic only videos. producers because audio,•  Graphics with voiceover. photos, and graphics are all•  Cartoons and animations. captured separately without the•  Digital storytelling cost, risks and hassle of traditional video. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 11
  12. 12. Butcher Your ContentYou’ve got a lot to say. But your Butchering content requires thataudience is too busy to consume you do two thing right:lengthy presentations, whitepapers and case studies. 1. Set and establish context, so that your message does not comeSo, butcher your content. out of the blue. This means thinking through how your audience willCut it up. Make it more digestible, come to any particular bite. E.g.and bite sized. Label it, tag it and how the piece is introduced andmake it more attractive to your presented in the surrounding webaudience. Your audience can page. Providing all the relevantnavigate to the exact piece of information to one particular bitecontent they want, and you get can prove challenging.more articles, microsites, tweets,and videos to drive content 2. Make more meat availablemarketing, demand generation Provide easy to access to relatedand SEO. content, both topically in other stories other logically structured content within the same story. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 12
  13. 13. Enabling Your Content© 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 13
  14. 14. Be a ConciergeAll of us have a new job. Then, to recommend few rather than lots of options. Google does aWith our boss, our kids, and great job offering tons ofcustomers. It is the same job as the moderately relevant options. Ourconcierge a great hotel. job as a concierge is to do more. Provide less information but moreFirst, to listen. Then to consider, not value.just what was said, but what wasmeant. What is the real need? Finally, to deliver with eleganceJust a nice place for dinner, an and grace. For a concierge, thatadventure, or romance? means a smile, a map, directions or a cab. Also, offering options forThen consider all of your relevant additional service or information.knowledge, even what you don’tknow. What can I offer, where can For B2B marketing that means aI or you get the right information? great mobile optimized user experience, and calls to action that don’t require too many hurdles or headaches. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 14
  15. 15. MicrositesMarketing speak and noise. 50% of B2B marketers rate microsites as the most effectiveThis is what is on most corporate content marketing tacticwebsites. That’s the norm, and not - Marketing Profs, 2013 Benchmarkslikely to change. Corporatewebsites are for everyone, and no Keys to good microsites:one. They are forced to providedthe highest level value •  Less content. It’s a microsite, make it micro.descriptions in lowest commondominator terms. After that they •  More focus. Give them one primaryget crowded with unlimited links thing to focus on. One video or textand content. message. Make it dominant and then surround with relevant content.Micro-sites let you focus on your •  More personal. Since your site is foraudience, and let them focus a specific audience, you knowyou. On the message, content them better, so get personal.and calls to action you have for Provide a warm introduction, tellspecific audiences. They let you them what you have to offer.show your love! © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 15
  16. 16. Less Curating. More ContextContext is THE big problem in the Think of a customer story. It is aconnection economy. It’s also THE great story, but any part of it mayopportunity. not resonate with your audience.Sharing content in the right There is lots of talk about curatingcontext of your audiences’ content these days. In fact here isproblem, culture, or position in the list of popular curation tools tobuying cycle is half the battle. Too gather and repurpose content.much high level context peopleget bored and click away. Too But you can’t be a thought leaderlittle and people don’t know why on the backs of other peoplescontent is relevant to them. Set ideas. You have to add somethe wrong context, and again you perspective and value. Often thatget, “why should I care?” means framing an idea from another domain to be relevant forBut here in lies the opportunity. your industry. This context settingAfter butchering you content you helps you create more content,can set the context to precisely fit with more focus for eacheach audience. audience. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 16
  17. 17. Mobile Enable sers   top   Brow Desk 2015 By 2015 - Morgan Stanley ResearchThis one is the no-brainer: Todays smartphones areYour audience is going mobile, standardizing their web browserYour content must go mobile too. capabilities around HTML5 and h.264 encoded video. This offersUser experience is what will set you a cost effective, "write once –apart. Since connecting is so hard, deploy everywhere" solution thaton the odd chance your email or allows any web developer tocontent actually gets clicked on, leverage mobile web applicationyou need it to work no matter what frameworks (which work acrossdevice it’s consumed with. the vast majority of the most recent handsets) and createBuilding a native mobile app is highly tailored mobile interactivesomething to consider if you have multimedia experiences.a complex or highly interactiverequirements. However, for most Use of mobile content has risenB2B marketing use cases and to be from 15% in 2011 to 33% in 2012successful quickly, mobile ready We still have a ways to go!web sites are the way to go. The - Marketing Profs, 2013 Benchmarksgood news is, this is getting easier. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 17
  18. 18. Calls to Action“What do you want them to do?” Effective Calls to Action: •  Subscribe to our blog or our“I want them to read the content newsletter •  Follow us or Message us on Twitter,and call a sales person.” LinkedIn, etc. •  Access, Download, Register for:If you have been in this situation, Whitepaper, Video Webinaryou know that this is:A. Probably not going to happen. Providing access to premiumB. May not be measureable. content without registration is ideal, because the #1 goal is toWhether it’s for Inbound or share your message. To measureOutbound marketing efforts, you these actions, you can set upwant to get action and know it tracking with data from your CRMhappened. The keys to good Calls or integrated marketing software.to Action are: Requiring registration is OK, just•  Make simple to do don’t get greedy. Making them fill•  Make it clear what it means and out a full contact form will only what value they will get out of it•  Make it measureable hurt results. Ideally, all they should have to provide is an email. © 2013 StoryQuest Inc. www.storyquest.com 18
  19. 19. Empowering Authentic Stories for Growth200 South Wacker, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60526 | info@storyquest.com | 312-258-0111

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