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We all need a hand at work sometimes. When you do, you know there are those people you’re drawn to because they get stuff done, they are on your wavelength, they make your job easier – and most days they make you smile. Great B2B brands can be like that too – your buyers think of them positively, they know what to expect, and your brand delivers. Clearly being that kind of supplier in your customers’ minds is gold, and great content plays a key role.

Advertising and other things we still call ‘above the line’ activity build vital awareness and drive new enquiries, but then adding great content marketing really engages your customer’s mind, shows how you think and fleshes your brand out – making your brand more like a real person.

Great content – an infographic, a blog, a stunning image, a podcast or a how-to video – can not only cement your brand in the right way in the minds of your customers, it should also in some way help your clients do their day job (or at least make them laugh). And if it does that then it’s likely to be shared.

To me consistently great content isn’t necessarily about huge budgets or being spread across a dozen channels: the secret to a content marketing plan is a strong brand persona and evident values. When these are visible the channel choice and way to write your content generally suggest themselves, with the net result being great information or entertainment that works to drive engagement, two-way conversation and purchase. As the audience you know me and, you give me content I need (or maybe just enjoy)!

To take Red Bull as one example – many years ago they needed ads to drive awareness of who they were and what Red Bull was, as it grew from a drink designed to keep Bangkok taxi drivers going to a global phenomenon, essentially pioneering the ‘everyday’ energy drink category. But they were then one of the first brands to move focus – and budget – ‘below the line’ to create adrenaline-fuelled events, world-record attempts and other addictive, shareable content. And of course now, it’s on a massive scale from club and music guides to events like rowing Drake Passage to Antarctica (and the odd chess player)!

But of course, we’re all aware that not everyone has the budget for their own Formula One team so if I had to summarise just three things about what great content should deliver I’d say it should:

1. Speak where and how I’d expect that brand to speak
Brands are made up of the ‘scraps and straws we find’ of a brand, as they say, and you’d expect those scraps to fit with each other. You wouldn’t expect M&S to tweet about Premier League football results, or Paddy Power about a new make-up range!

2. Reward the time I put in
It tells me something that connects to me, makes my day brighter, my job easier, makes me laugh or tells me something useful and new.

3. Make me want to get involved
In a number of ways - such as by interacting, following or subscribing, sharing or re-using.

What Red Bull showed us was the power of some clear brand values: they were fun, pretty mad, high-adrenaline things to do or see, meaning they made great experiences and created top-quality shareable video: they were a magnet for their target demographics. If you want to create great content that aligns with your values, connects with your target audience and truly engages them, then contact us now.