What Should Your B2B Blog Post Be About When You Have Nothing New to Say? What Would Mr. Ed Do?

For anyone not old enough to remember the television show from the sixties, Mr. Ed would never speak unless he has something to say. He probably wouldn’t blog either.

That would be a mistake, and I’ll explain why.

All the content you produce to fuel your marketing efforts should show you have helpful, insightful, differentiating, and even entertaining thoughts and ideas to share with your marketplace. But beyond showing you have something interesting to say, your content should show you are listening.

Many of the early advocates and experts on content marketing were right when they advised marketers to adopt the “80/20 Rule”. Only 20% of your content, intended for distribution via social media, should be about your brand. 80% should be about your customers and their stories and interests, observations on your industry such as; emerging trends, research findings, cautionary tales, success stories, innovations, history, future, etc.

There are many benefits to listening.

Ask any good salesperson. Sometimes, as marketers, we become too accustomed to and comfortable creating content that’s inherently promotional.

If you believe, as I do, that we need to be better listeners, your next step might be to ask “how?”. That’s a great question, and the answer is different for each of us depending on the resources you have available and your plan for implementing what you learn from listening into your content strategy.

Start with engaging with the frontline, client-facing humans in your organization.

From sales to customer service, to accounts payable, and every touchpoint in between, you probably have people in your organization that hear problems or needs and see them be solved or addressed multiple times each day. Those individual, real-life success stories can often be crafted into credible content to share with your entire audience. With permission, and where appropriate, you may be able to reference actual clients, but otherwise, you will need to make more general references in case studies. When content is based on authentic experiences, even if the names are changed to protect the innocent, it will be more credible and relevant.

Next, you need to take time to absorb more content from established influencers in your industry that are not within the walls of your organization. Centers of influence include the trade journals, the industry organizations, academic leaders, research institutions, market research firms, and last but not least, bloggers.

There are many articles on how to effectively and appropriately curate content that will be relevant and interesting for you and your audience. You may have an opinion or perspective to add that either agrees with or contradicts the source and that often makes the information more interesting. Of course, proper attribution to sources is important and it’s another topic you can easily find good advice on.

If you aren’t taking time to listen, you aren’t learning…

And if you aren’t learning, you will often time run out of things to talk about, write about, and share that show you have your finger on the pulse of your market and your profession.

The more your content is based only on your limited perspective, business offerings, and thought leadership, the less it reflects the full spectrum of your customer’s interests and the dynamics of your industry.


And now, just for those of you that have never heard the words to the song:

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

Go right to the source and ask the horse
He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
He’s always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.  

Go right to the source and ask the horse
He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
He’s always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed.

People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day

But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And this one’ll talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse?

 Well listen to this.

 I am Mister Ed!

 

How to Create Relevant Marketing Content for B2B Marketing

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