Very often, B2B organizations put the cart before the horse.
They desire with all their hearts to send their offering out on a stage, “performing” mightily for an adoring audience who will then shower the organization with sales orders.
“Yes! That widget just sang the most amazing rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ I’ve ever seen! Quick! Someone throw me a pen so I can sign a multi-thousand dollar order on the dotted line!”
It would be a marketer’s dream if it happened that way. But unfortunately, it doesn’t.
And it doesn’t happen that way because human nature doesn’t allow it.
The #1 Human Nature Trait Marketers Need To Know
Remember when you were a little kid? Your mother or perhaps another adult caretaker may have said these very words to you:
“Share. Let little Jimmy play with your toy, too!”
In fact, this video shows how one woman was trying to get the message across to a little boy, even reading him a book about the importance of sharing.
He wasn’t buying it.
Sharing doesn’t come instinctively to human beings.
Think about it. What purpose does sharing one’s toys accomplish?
It probably pleased your parents. It stopped them from nagging you when you were little so you finally gave in and shared your toys with the neighbor’s kid.
But did you really want to share? Probably not.
Even this little girl’s response to Sesame Street’s Grover sounded rehearsed:
We know from observation that most children don’t like to share and must be taught that it’s important to do so.
What is fascinating to me is that this inclination to not share doesn’t go away when we become adults. And you can see it reflected in how people respond to marketing.
“Don’t Touch My Stuff!”
Watch how a young man responds with his first new car. Or watch how a woman acts with a new purse or pair of leather shoes. There is a protectiveness around the new item, a watchful eye, a guardian attitude.
In other words, they’re not sharing and if you ask to borrow any of it, you’ll usually be told “No.”
In fact, people’s possessions come to mean a great deal to them. Some even go so far as to put some of their possessions into a safe or a secret storage location.
And when it comes time for a divorce, what usually causes the most bitter arguments?
Who gets the stuff.
Okay. So what does this have to do with content marketing?
Your Buyer Doesn’t Care About Your Stuff
I know it’s painful to think about, but really, your buyers couldn’t care less about what you’re offering them.
As the great advertising pioneer, Claude C. Hopkins, said:
“Remember the people you address are selfish, as we all are. They care nothing about your interests or profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising. Ads say in effect, ‘Buy my brand. Give me the trade you give to others. Let me have the money.’ That is not a popular appeal.”
I have worked with marketers who still haven’t learned this very important truth.
They want to shout about their widget and how it is better than their competitor’s. They want to brag about all the bells and whistles. They want their prospective buyer’s to notice the widget’s extraordinary elegance and beauty.
Yeah. Your buyer doesn’t care about that.
Your buyer instead, only cares about one thing.
It’s all about them. They’re the ones who are allowed to sing the “Me-Me-Me Song.” And rightly so.
Because they’re the ones who have the money.
So if you want them to fork over their hard-earned dollars, you’ve got to give them what they want, which isn’t your bright, shiny widget.
It’s whatever their greedy little hearts desire.
Cracking the Content Marketing Code
If you really want your content marketing to reach your intended audience, then you need to do just one simple thing.
Figure out what they want.
I know some marketers may wring their hands over that one because they’ve got the CMO and CEO breathing down their necks to sell more widgets because daggonit, somebody’s got to keep the lights on in the place.
But trust me. Your buyers really don’t care about your widgets.
However, they do care about looking smarter than their brother-in-law.
Or saving time doing a mundane chore so they can spend more time with their family.
Or knowing that if they’ve got your blatantly branded laptop sitting on the table at a conference, everyone knows they’re part of some cool circle of rabid fans that will gladly fork over thousands of dollars for a device that usually sells for $899.
A Very Quick Way to Figure Out What Your Buyers Want
A quick, easy way to figure it out is to simply do this:
Listen to your current customers.
What do they love about your product or offering? What do they wish you would do? What are the top five requests you get to improve your product or service?
Listen. Listen. Listen.
I’ve always thought marketers should have a much closer relationship with their customer service department.
THAT’S where all the GOLD is!!
Seriously. How much more stinkin’ easy can it get?
Head on down to the customer service department. Chat up one of the reps.
Ask, “What are the most common complaints customers have?”
And then for the love of all that is pure and holy… take copious notes.
Figure out what can be done about those complaints. Bring in the design team or whoever is needed to be in on the conversation. You need to create the solution first, THEN you can market it accurately.
If it’s a matter of the solution already being in place but the marketing isn’t cutting it, then your job is easier. You just need to create better copy that hits on the buyer’s pain points and makes it abundantly clear why they need what you’ve got.
This type of information isn’t just good for your website’s FAQ page.
It is vital to use it as the foundation for all of your content.
You must start first with the buyer in mind.
Not your product or service.
The buyer’s desires must be the foundation of your marketing.
Figure out what he or she wants, give it to them, and then you’ll be golden.