There are so many ways for people to miss your B2B marketing content.
The wrong keyword could bury it in their Google search results.
A weak headline could cause them to miss it in social media feeds.
And then there’s the most common mistake of all: poor organization that makes your content impossible to discover. Sure, each piece might get an initial wave of traffic from social media and email referrals — but then what?
Think of it this way:
You’re not publishing content for visitors who would move mountains to find it. Most people are passing by on their ways to other destinations and may stop if and when something helpful falls in their laps.
As content marketers, we need to stop churning out new blog posts and landing pages with no overarching structure to help people find them.
We need to move the mountains.
You’re about to learn four proven strategies of high-performing content Hubs. There are plenty of ways to make content more discoverable. But how should your content be organized? The answer depends on a number of variables specific to your audience.
1. Overcome overwhelm…
…by asking: Who are your best customers?
In this famous study, grocery shoppers were presented with two alternating sampling stations. One included 24 jam flavors. The other offered six.
Which station do you think resulted in more purchases? It was the one with fewer choices — by a landslide. Although the larger sampling station attracted 20% more traffic than the small one did, the majority of those visitors left empty handed. When people were presented with six flavors, 30% bought at least one of them. When they saw two dozen options, only 3% went on to purchase jam.
Shoppers could access all 24 flavors, but it was easier for them to make a quick decision based on six.
The same concept applies to your content. Even the most polished Hub can debilitate visitors who feel overwhelmed by too many upfront choices.
One of the surest and easiest ways to overcome this “analysis paralysis” is to structure content so it’s directly relevant to each persona. Marketers want to see content that’s relevant to marketing. IT folks want tech-focused info. CFOs and COOs want high-level insights. And on it goes.
For example: Avanti — a Canadian software company that “brings Payroll, HR, and Time and Attendance together into one single solution”— does an excellent job of presenting content in its Hub based on each of those individual roles.
2. Encourage deeper engagement…
…by asking: What do they seek?
Recent research shows that consumers choose brands that engage them on their interests 42% more often than they do those that simply urge them to buy a product or service. As a result, content has turned the traditional path to purchase into a path to purpose.
In other words:
People visit your content Hub in search of specific answers, not casual bedtime reading.
What problems are the people in your target audiences trying to solve? What subjects interest them? What are they passionate about? What answers do they seek? Conducting a thorough content audit will allow you to uncover overarching themes and topics you can use to further categorize the navigational structure of your content Hub.
But don’t stop there.
You can also leverage topic categories to add internal links (like I’m doing here), relevant calls to action and related content platforms that customize options based on what visitors are currently consuming.
For example: Formstack’s blog, organized by topics that are of particular interest to digital marketers, ends each post with a call to action that draws attention to another piece of relevant content. “You may also like” options further condense hundreds of posts into three helpful choices.
3. Make everything digestible…
…by asking: How do they consume?
So often, we hear about video as the future of content marketing. But did you know that there are four distinct groups of millennials — and just 18% of them are best reached through video content? Or that, according to this consumer classification system, many C-suite execs have big appetites for content they can consume in magazine and mobile formats?
Different people want to consume content in different ways. We look for answers first, but are naturally drawn toward formats that suit our style. I prefer to read online; my husband likes to listen. Where I might consume a 3,000-word eBook, he’d go for the podcast.
The more you slice and dice a topic — into eBooks, webinars, presentations, cheat sheets and more — the more granular you can get when filtering it for different personalities.
This is especially important if members of your audience view content on different devices. While infographics are beautifully insightful on an oversized desktop monitor, they can be difficult to decipher from small-screen smartphones. Likewise, the blog posts that people prefer to read using mobile tablets while on the go are often more digestible on laptops when they’re presented as flipbooks.
For example: After breaking down resources by different interests and business goals, Monetate’s Hub offers premium content based on formats people might seek while in different stages of their “paths to purpose.”
4. Personalize more than ever…
…by asking: Where are they located?
I’m not talking about geography here. Few Hubs will benefit from organizing content based on beach bums versus urban dwellers.In this instance, “location” refers to data-backed insights you can probably glean by becoming friendly with sales.
Allow me to explain…
This Marketo study shows that companies can become 67% better at closing deals simply by aligning sales and marketing teams.
Do you know why? Your sales team has hit lists. Sales knows which companies, departments, and accounts are bound to be your next best customers… right down to IP addresses.
Getting marketing and sales in sync helps make account-based marketing possible. It’s the ultimate way to organize your Hubs and make your content more discoverable.
For example: Here at Uberflip,we’re starting to build out specialized content Hubs devoted entirely to engaging, nurturing and building relationships with key accounts.
Now, back to our original question: How should your content be organized?
While the process used to make that determination won’t change too much from company to company, the answer will. To help, we’ve put together a quick-reference decision tree you can use to start the process:
Are you ready to make your content more discoverable?
Now that you know these four proven strategies, how will you make your content more discoverable in 2016?