Crafting original content for maritime & offshore B2B

Posted in Social media

So you’ve set up your content marketing strategy, but are struggling to come up with original ideas for content?

Content marketing improves a brand’s reputation and can enhance customer relationships, not to mention social traffic and search engine rankings. Yet, many B2B companies still feel that content marketing is the sole domain of consumer products and struggle to come up with ideas for content.

In our experience, content marketing can be of equal benefit to B2B companies, although content generation may require a little more finesse and originality. So here are our top tips for generating awesome content:

content360Remember what it’s about: creating value

You’ve established goals, defined your audience, and worked out your routes to success (including how to measure it). So that’s all good. However, for every single piece of content you’ll create, make sure you keep one question in mind:

Does this create value for my audience?

Value can be created in a lot of different ways. Many companies in maritime and offshore B2B perceive their products/services as unglamorous, concluding that they need to limit themselves to informational and educational content. True, there is wide scope for such content in our complex industry, where legislation is ever-changing and research is continuous. But that doesn’t mean entertaining and light-hearted content is off-limits. It just takes a little more originality. Consider the excellent ‘Will it blend?’ campaign from Blendtec, which offers a refreshing view of a potentially uninspiring product:  https://www.youtube.com/user/Blendtec

In short, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself what you would find useful, entertaining, engaging, funny, educational and so on. And whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of confusing valuable content with plain old advertising.

Have a big old brainstorm

Obvious, you say? Yes… and no. Brainstorming with the rest of the marketing department will generate good ideas, but the advantage of involving other departments is that they bring different perspectives.

Sales and customer service colleagues usually have a closer relationship with your customers, and a clearer understanding of their interests, likes and purchasing triggers. Meanwhile, colleagues from R&D and Engineering will bring the technical insight that can set the imagination free. Maritime and offshore is a complex business, but your job is to inform, educate and entertain: why wouldn’t you draw on every resource for content at your disposal?

So gather people from marketing, sales, engineering, customer services, R&D etc. and just go for it! If you need some pointers, this website has some interesting brainstorm techniques: https://www.mindtools.com/brainstm.html

Create the right mix of news-related and evergreen content

Most successful content marketing strategies include a mix of evergreen and news-related content. News-related content provides a steady, low-effort source of content: if you have a thorough understanding of your audience, you can draw a wide range of content from current events.

On the other hand, evergreen content will be of interest weeks, months or even years after it was created. Examples include: how-to’s, FAQs, case studies, etc. Evergreen content usually takes longer to create, but provides something to fall back on when there’s a lull in relevant industry news. It also has the benefit of attracting visitors over a longer period of time than topical content, while its impact on search engine rankings is stronger.

The problem with evergreen content is that its long-lasting value can mean there’s a very good chance that someone has created it before, or something very much like it. The solution is to create content that comes from your unique viewpoint and specifically targets your audience.

Measure

Last but not least: measure! You will never find out what particular type of content works best for your audience unless you measure the results. So create a few different types of content and measure which angle works best, which format, what time your audience is most responsive to your posts, etc.

If you still get stuck

Check out this (slightly old but still very useful) list of content ideas.
Or, this lovingly visualised Periodic Table of Content Marketing (great piece of evergreen content).

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this, please drop us a line.

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