My favorite part of playing a sports video game is the “Create a Player” feature. It gives me the opportunity to put realism aside and imagine the most legendary and dominant athletic specimen imaginable. On the basketball court, no real playmaker would be able to compete with “Dimes McGee,” my custom 7-foot-10 wunderkind with 99 marks for shooting, passing, handling the ball, speed and defense. . Talk about optimization!
What if you could “build a player” in B2B content marketing? What attributes would you like to maximize in order to build the best performing practitioner possible? It’s a fun and interesting question to ask yourself, in large part because the answers are now different than they were a few years ago.
What traits and characteristics define the most successful B2B content marketers in 2021?
Optimized: 5 Traits Of The Best B2B Content Marketers
Some skills required, such as creativity and a good communicator, are so obvious they go without saying. But a new set of characteristics is emerging that differentiates the best B2B content marketers in this reshaped business environment.
If you’re looking to hire a content marketer (or an agency), or if you’re looking to develop your own skills, these are the traits that are worth highlighting.
The game is changing. New innovations are shaking up the profession and many fundamentals are evolving. By mapping the main B2B marketing trends for 2021, CEO of TopRank Marketing Lee odden envisions a massive shift towards digitally-driven tactics and practices, citing AI and chatbots as technologies that will help lead the way as organizations focus on digital customer engagement.
Adapting to this revolution requires a curious and open mind. Those who are frozen in their ways or engaged in conventional thinking will be in difficulty. We must be prepared – even willing – to question our own assumptions about our audience’s needs and how best to meet them.
A good B2B content marketer isn’t someone who insists they know everything. Instead, he’s someone who readily admits what he doesn’t know, questions what he thinks he knows, and shows a fervent curiosity to find out more.
It can be a sticking point. Since content marketers tend to be writers by trade, many of us (myself included) are averse to math. So the idea of calculating numbers and calculating measures can seem a little daunting. The good news is that marketing analytics can handle most of the math for us; B2B content marketers have a responsibility to leverage this information and draw meaningful and actionable conclusions.
In other words, to be analytical means to be scientific in our curiosity. Intuition and instincts are important, but they should never overshadow solid evidence in our thinking. The widespread availability of data today offers a world of opportunities to verify, validate or revise any theory we may have.
For practical advice on the subject, I encourage you to consult Annie leuman publish on how data can guide your B2B content marketing strategy, from benchmarking and goals to audience and personalities to content mapping and more.
A critical caveat: Being analytical doesn’t mean content marketers should get stuck in a chronic state of decision paralysis. While remaining flexible and attentive to analysis, we must be prepared to pursue our convictions decisively and take the lead.
The newly released Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 sets a mandate for companies and CEOs: « Act first, speak later. » With businesses currently considered more trustworthy than NGOs, government or the media, content marketers have a unique opportunity to speak up and solidify the credibility of their brands. Those who boldly capitalize and deliver for their audience will be parting ways this year.
Another key directive from Edelman’s latest report: « Have the courage to speak up, but also to empathize and respond to people’s fears. » It is not necessarily an easy balance to find.
In a recent survey by Singular, Chief Marketing Officers have identified empathy as the biggest marketing super-trend this year after digital transformation. Nothing else came from a distance.
Content marketers are the primary channels between a business and its potential customers. They help internal stakeholders understand the needs and values of the audience, and they shape external perceptions of how the brand responds to those needs and values. Empathy is essential to ensure alignment of these two sides.
To some extent, empathy comes naturally, but it can be refined and strengthened through a curious and analytical mindset.
“Seasoned marketers are more strategic about how to invest in the customer experience to enhance customer satisfaction and retention in addition to complementing customer acquisition strategies,” wrote Brian solis in one message from forbes last year, it remains very relevant today. “By measuring the real-time and aggregated customer experience, marketers can learn exactly how and where to improve them, with both the COVID and post-COVID markets.”
It’s been almost exactly a year since I set this top priority for B2B marketers in 2020: slow down your roller. From customer experiences and strategy development to social media management and SEO tactics, I’ve seen opportunities to pick up a pace and become more methodical.
In the end, we didn’t have much of a choice. The onset of a global pandemic soon after forced the business community as a whole to slow down, with budgets shrinking, employees confined to their homes and purchasing decisions delayed. Distractions and disruptions were rampant. LinkedIn Sales Status 2020 The report found that 44% of respondents said their customers’ sales cycles had lengthened in the face of COVID-19.
Now we just have to adjust. Patience will be a virtue for B2B content marketers who thrive in the coming year: patience with their colleagues, customers, business partners and measuring results. Maintaining a positive and productive mindset during a year of transition and uncertainty projects confidence and stability.
As the old saying goes, « Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to maintain a good attitude while waiting. »
Bring your marketing « a game » in 2021
Through curiosity, analysis, daring, empathy and patience, B2B content marketers can be prepared for whatever comes their way in 2021. Let those traits shine and shine. your production will do the same.
Ready for more tips on overcoming the challenges ahead? Discover the attributes that will lead the most successful influencer marketing efforts this year by by clicking on Lee’s message for tips and examples.