Empathy And Authenticity In B2B Content Marketing

It can be hard for B2B marketers to connect with target audiences inundated with messages about improving revenue, lowering costs and increasing efficiency. Companies the world over make the same pitch, with creative that can be depressingly similar.

Great content marketing efforts can be a real antidote to this same-as-everyone-else approach. But what makes content marketing great?

It starts with empathy. Content marketing is most successful when it’s more about what your target audience needs than your need to pitch your own products or services.

Whether developing a weekly newsletter, an e-book or a sponsored article for publication online, it’s important to put yourself in your target’s shoes. What are their biggest concerns in business and in life? What trends do they follow? What processes do they struggle to improve? What does continuing education look like for them?

Producing content that speaks to these concerns and provides real value as a result has a much greater chance of capturing your target audience’s attention. It also means they’re more likely to pay attention to your messages the next time they come around.



What also makes content marketing great is authenticity. As Rand Fishkin, CEO of MOZ, tweeted earlier in the year: “Ours is an era of authenticity. As marketers, we must atone for the sins of our predecessors & build brands worthy of our customers' love.”

While it’s one thing to address the concerns and aspirations of your target, it’s also important to speak them as one human being to another. Marketingspeak can routinely be so impersonal, so anodyne, that it ends up not really say anything at all.  We live in an era of authenticity, and if folks feel like they’re getting some kind of washed-and-sorted boilerplate, they’ll see it for what it is and dismiss it. Forever.

Find a unique voice for your content marketing efforts, and then use it consistently across all your communications. Ideally, one person or a small number of people in your organization will own this voice and, through real empathy, find authentic ways to consistently connect to their target audience.

The results? Better engagement. Repeat business. New business leads. And high regard for your brand.

3 comments about "Empathy And Authenticity In B2B Content Marketing ".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, October 18, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.

    I, for one, am quite tired of the myth of authenticity. Too often it also means "not saying anything important". The true theory is great. The ways it's being applied in the ad biz these days isn't.

  2. Justin Belmont from Prose Media, October 20, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.

    "Content marketing is most successful when it's more about what your target audience needs than your need to pitch your own products or services." This is a great point and is key to successful content marketing. If you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable leader in your industry then consumers will turn to you for advice and information. And when it comes time to buy? They will also think of you first. Helping consumers by sharing relevant information means they will be willing to help you by sharing your brand name and using your product or service in the future.

  3. George Armstrong from One Media Place, November 4, 2013 at 9:16 p.m.

    If finding your unique message means performing the difficult introspection needed to realistically understand and accept the value you claim to deliver, I agree.

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