The 4 tests for quality B2B content marketing

Are you one of the guilty ones?

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Take a look at your marketing output and consider this question: do you allow content marketing campaigns to become diluted so that they start to read more like straight marketing?

Answer these four simple questions to see if your copy passes the quality content test.

Is it authoritative?

If you’re asking someone to take time out of their busy working day to look at your content it better be coming from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Analysis by LinkedIn found that research-focused posts were the most shared type of B2B content, showing why your content needs to carry weight.

For example, this article from RBS is written by the bank’s chief economist of Group Economics – someone with real authority.

Is it independent?

How hard is your article, infographic or guide selling your company or its services?

We’re all finely attuned to spot even the softest of sells and will automatically question the value of such content – and be much less likely to share it.

The marketing part of content marketing comes from the value of association, the exposition of expertise and the building of trust. Try and have a clear line between marketing copy and content marketing, and find a way to let your audience know what to expect.

This article from Unum on diversity at work is not pushing any products or services. Instead, it is purely providing objective advice on an issue relevant to its audience of senior HR and C-suite business leaders.

Is it professionally practical?

You won’t be able to answer ‘yes’ to this unless you’ve ticked the two boxes above – but there’s more work to do.

For your content to be really valuable it must be of direct use to someone within their job. That doesn’t mean it needs to be focused on their precise role, but B2B content needs to work in a business context.

ABN AMRO produced this report to educate the owners of SMEs on the potentially complex ways to seek finance: it provides focused, practical information to a specific audience.

Is its purpose clear?

Can you – the content marketer – explain why the content was produced and what purpose it is meant to serve? Was it created to be shared, or to be linked to? Is it meant to drive leads or merely build the brand? Is it educating the market about a need for services or illustrating expertise with case studies and research?

Above all, what should the audience be doing as a consequence of reading the content? Content needs to be delivering a return, and it’s crucial to have this as a focus throughout the commissioning and publishing process.

This report from Carter Murray on employee branding ticks all the boxes above and also has a simple email data capture prior to download (NB: always ensure GDPR compliance).

Full disclosure: all the examples cited above were created in partnership with Progressive Content.