Why B2B Marketers Should Listen to Thoreau…

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify!”
– Henry D. Thoreau


B2B marketers should follow his advice. Everyone is pretty much on content overload these days − I know I am, and I just can’t keep up with all of it. There are too many blogs, too many guides and too many websites with too much content.
So how do you help your business stand out in the crowd? Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Make your b2b content simple like Thoreau

1. Simplify Your Content

Your audience isn’t reading what you’re writing. Research has shown that 79 percent of Internet users simply scan content; only 16 percent read word-by-word.

Solution: Create scannable content. There are many ways to do this effectively, and here are just a few:

 

Use Headers:

Headings add structure, focusing the eye downward, guiding the reader through your content.

 

Make Lists:

  • Lists break up large blocks of text to make it more reader friendly
  • Lists allow your eye to quickly run down the list of main points
  • Our brains like lists!

 

Use Good Formatting for Emphasis:

  • Bold
  • Italicize
  • Underline

2. Simplify Your Website

One of the best ways to lose a customer or prospect is to create a boring and/or indecipherable website. If it’s too hard to find, users will go elsewhere. Here are just a few of things that B2B marketers can embrace when creating a website:

  • Create image-centric content: In a recent study, 70% of marketers plan on increasing their use of images in 2014. Clicking on a picture or watching a short video (get to the point, already!) is much more satisfying than wading through a list or, worse, long-form content.
  • Simplify navigation: In a study to determine how website design influences buyers, 94% of the feedback focused on the design and layout. The 3-click rule would save a lot of people a lot of time and make for a much more satisfying user experience.
  • Optimize for mobile (mobile responsive design): There are numerous reasons to optimize for mobile, but here’s a pretty significant one. 30% of shoppers abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile. Optimizing for mobile also applies for landing pages. If a user is on a smartphone and clicks on a CTA, they need to be able to find the link to the landing page without zooming in, zooming out or scrolling forever down the screen.

3. Simplify Your Purchasing Process

According to Harvard Business Review, decision simplicity in the purchasing process is the #1 reason people are likely to buy your product or use your service. Brands that simplify decision-making are 86 percent more likely to be purchased.

The most effective marketers use three tactics:

  • Minimize the number of information sources consumers need before purchasing
  • Provide trustworthy sources of product information and recommendations
  • Offer tools to help consumers to weigh their options

I was inspired to write this post when I came across this one in Forbes. Considering how many Apple® products I have laying around the house, and how many my friends and associates use on a day-to-day basis, I would have to conclude that Thoreau would have made a great B2B marketer.

He would just simplify, simplify, simplify.


An Introduction to B2B Blogging

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