It’s Time to Lose Some Weight … in your Content
By Rod Griffith
February 2, 2016
A simple resolution for B2B technology marketing
Personal resolutions are an annual tradition. Hopefully you’re already on the way to reaching some of your personal goals this year. But have you made your marketing resolution? If not, let me make it easy for you.
Resolve to Reduce the Size of Your Content
Now, let me be clear. I’m not suggesting you reduce your focus on content marketing. The 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report from the Content Marketing Institute revealed that 72% of B2B marketers surveyed indicated a top priority focus is on creating engaging content in 2016. And for good reason; engaging and useful content can make a significant difference in gaining customer attention and mindshare.
Note the emphasis on engaging and useful. Engaging and useful content is rarely voluminous content. Long before “content marketing” became a popular focus, successful marketers recognized that to create content that is engaging and useful, it needs to be purposeful and immediately accessible. And it should be concise.
Technology industry communications can often suffer from content bloat: too much detail, overly comprehensive descriptions of features and functionality, and just too many words. If this describes the content your organization produces, consider a resolution to reduce your content this year.
That said, I recognize that carrying out this resolution to reduce content size can be as difficult as sticking to one of the most common personal resolutions -- to exercise more. (You’ve probably heard the one about the new gym called “Resolutions”? For the first three weeks of the year, it’s a gym. For the rest of the year, it’s a bar.)
3 Tips to Help You Reduce Content Size
Here are three tips meant to help keep your communications concise and purposeful. You’ll note they look very similar to tips for healthy living.
1. Leaner is healthier
Find a way to say it with fewer words and less overall content. As a rule, always make the leaner choice. This requires extra thought and effort, but if you can get to the heart of the matter quickly and clearly, you’ll be more likely to engage more members of your target audience in a healthy dialog.
2. Don’t let your appetite take over
You know your company and its offerings. You’re passionate about your solutions and how they’re best suited to address your customers’ needs. And there are just so many great things you want to communicate to support your points.
Your audience doesn’t want to spend all day consuming your content. Include only the information a prospect needs to decide whether or not to act on your call-to-action. Anything further could reduce the impact of your messaging and hurt your response rates.
3. Find opportunities to “exorcise”
Exorcise your content of needless and distracting detail. Remember – great content is rarely created on the first pass. It requires thoughtful editing and rewriting. Use a highlighter to mark each sentence that is vital to helping the customer learn exactly what they need to know in order to decide whether to respond or not (and nothing more). What’s not highlighted should be removed.
In addition, look for opportunities to replace text content with an infographic, illustration, or photo. (“A picture is worth a thousand words,” right?)
The bottom line on results
It doesn’t matter how far into the year it is, the resolution to reduce content size and simplify your communications can start now. While there are many similarities to healthy living advice, the big difference is that your efforts to create more engaging and concise content can have an almost immediate positive impact on your marketing results.
Want to learn more about content marketing for B2B technology? Click here to learrn the Three Key Attributes of an Impactful Sales Story