2BE6B9D920In musical circles, rock bands have been competing for the title “Loudest Rock Band in the World” for decades. And although some really iconic groups like Led Zeppelin and The Who have both carried the title, loud does not always equal great.

The same is true for your content marketing. In order to rock your customers’ world, you need to create relevant and impactful content that resonates with your potential buyers. Your firm may be pumping out a massive amount of content, but quantity does not always equal quality. CMI’s latest study on B2B content marketing trends for 2016 found that only 30% of organizations say their organizations are effective at content marketing. And the cost of being ineffective is steep. As CEB reports that 94% of potential customers have disengaged with vendors because of irrelevant content. On the other hand, effective messaging helps generate more leads for your company and ultimately more revenue. And according to a recent study done by Quartz, 91% of executives say they would share content with colleagues if it was valuable.

So how can your organization become more effective at creating engaging and relevant messaging?

8 tips for building effective messaging

  1. Be clear about who your company aims to serve
    First off, who is your firm targeting? Your marketing collateral and website should address the industries and types of customers you can help. Don’t make the mistake of trying to talk to everyone with a generic message. Be obvious. If you serve CIO’s in the financial services industry, say so.
  2. Communicate and articulate the customer’s business problem and pain points
    How much space do you dedicate to talk about your customer’s situation before you deep dive into your solution? Your customer wants to learn more about their problem, how their peers are solving the problem and what your firm’s ideas are for improving their situation. You will build trust and credibility quicker by taking the time upfront to demonstrate your knowledge of your prospect’s circumstances.
  3. Highlight the dangers if your customer chooses to do nothing (i.e. sticking with the status quo)
    No doubt you’ve seen the SBI stat – 58% of deals are lost due to “no decision”. This means you have to convince your buyer why they should change, and what will happen if they carry on with “business as usual”. This is a great opportunity to paint the picture of what your solution will allow your prospect to achieve, and to compare that with their current situation.
  4. Put the customer in the middle of your story
    According to Forrester, 87% of marketers in a recent survey say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers. It’s hard to connect with your potential buyer when all you do is talk about your company and how great your solutions are. You need the right balance of “you” vs. “we” language. Instead of pushing product features, identify and choose key themes (such as “improving productivity”), then build your messaging around the benefits your solution delivers to customers. In other words, connect the dots for your buyer so that they are not left guessing how your solution will help improve their current situation.
  5. Use proof points to support your message
    Many firms miss this point entirely. Your prospect wants to see how you’ve helped other buyers, and the results they were able to achieve by implementing your solution. Think about how you can quantify what your product/ solution does for your customers. These are the factual statements that back-up your claims. Some examples – As a result of implementing our solution, we help…reduce business expenses by x%, grow your business by x%, improve customer satisfaction by x%, etc.
  6. Don’t sound exactly like your competitors
    Your buyer is confused enough with all of the choices available. Is your firm’s message truly differentiated and unique? The test – take an existing piece of marketing collateral and cover up your company’s name. Show it to your sales team to see if they know which firm produced the collateral. If they don’t, you have some work to do to develop a truly unique value proposition for your firm/ product offering.
  7. Tell a cohesive story throughout all marketing channels
    The average buyer engages with more than 10 pieces of content before making a decision (according to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth research). How consistent is the story you are telling across your website, social media, PR, email, event collateral and sales tools? Put your marketing materials side-by-side and look for breakdowns and inconsistencies across your messaging. Does your content tell a cohesive story?
  8. Avoid industry jargon and acronyms
    You may think you are showing your buyer how well you understand their industry, but using too many acronyms and vague business terminology can slow down the decision-making process and lead to confusion. Your goal is to simplify the message so that your prospect can clearly see the benefits of working with your firm.

In the end, you may not end up as the loudest company out there, but you will certainly be the most relevant in the eyes of your customers. Implement these 8 tips into your content marketing approach and rock customer engagement.