Many B2B companies are fairly new to content marketing; only in the last few years has the practice become mainstream. As a result, the profession is fighting to reach a level of maturity – there is currently no standard practice to produce and distribute content.
But there is another industry which has been producing and distributing content for hundreds of years – professional journalists and publishers! So content marketers can look to publisher’s techniques to find best practices to create their own content. And when it comes to B2B content, surely the best people to go to are B2B trade press and national press writers.
B2B publishers typically break their content production into the following categories. Each are useful and offer value to their readership.
Typically shorter articles with short sentences and monosyllabic words
Limited number of sources to verify the news story – and comes from people who the reporter has spoken to personally
Features – Analysis and Commentary
Analyse the causes and effects of major stories
Take longer to be written as they aren’t a knee-jerk reaction to an issue
The feature writer interviews experts and take reference from a wide number of sources; news articles, other commentaries, literature and wider ranging socio-political events
Typically longer in length and attempt to take a balanced point of view
Practical information on how to apply wider trends to your business
For an example; this is a step-by-step guideline (admittedly with opinion fleshing out the wider points)
Simply an opinion written by someone
Tends to lack that many references
Places the writer in the middle of the action
Have the highest impact when the writer is an authority on the subject
Now, the majority of the articles that we read by B2B brands fall into the opinion category, even though they are trying to be analysis and commentary. And why do they fall shy of the mark? Simply because there is not enough substantiated evidence for their point of view.
Are you communicating too much opinion and not enough analysis?
This article was written by a former publisher who produced B2B special reports for UK national newspapers.