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how to craft good B2B marketing contentAfter my checklist for assuring the depth, originality and timeliness of marketing content, it’s time for the other side: How to avoid spamming prospects with content they hate. Remember, these lists aren’t just based on my own say-so, but on a survey of real, live B2B customers.  

I hope this second “print and post” offering helps in your content marketing strategizing, and execution, in 2014.  Let me know, of course, if I can be of any further help on specific projects.

What prospects hate in marketing content: To make sure you’re not spamming them:    
Too many requirements for downloading (such as registration forms) Limit your use of registration pages to those further along in the purchase process, when they’re more likely to trade their contact info for valuable content. When you must use a registration form, keep it as short and easy to complete as possible. 
Blatant promotion If you find yourself struggling through rewrites to accommodate every slide in the corporate messaging deck, you’ve probably gone to the dark side. Also, ask a customer (or a friend) to read your collateral and ask them if it sounds informative or like an ad.
Nonsubstantive or uninformed content See recommendations in previous post LINK.  under “Breadth and depth,” “ease of access and understanding” ‘originality” and “timeliness”
Overly technical or complex Danger signs include dense charts, more than one acronym per sentence and more than one subsidiary clause per sentence. Any sentence that takes up more than three lines of text is an issue. If in doubt, apply the “Mom and Dad” test. (If your Mom or Dad can’t at least get the general idea, rewrite it.)
Poorly written Put the draft by your bedside and try to read it while you’re relaxing before sleep. If you dread reading it or it puts you right to sleep, it’s poorly written. Compare it to blogs, Tweets or Web sites you like to read and see if it sounds the same. If not, do it again!

 

The good news is that prospects respond to quality content. The bad news is getting it right takes time and effort. Here’s to better content, and better results, in 2014.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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