How to boost B2B content downloads.


Like most marketers these days, I have opted into sites that provide regular access to articles, white papers, reports, surveys and Webcasts that, hopefully, will make me better at my job.

Many of these are marketing sites (Target Marketing, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Ziff Davis eSeminars, DM News, BtoB, eMarketer and more). Then, because most of the clients I serve are technology companies, I try to keep up with that world as well (Information Week, Web Buyers Guide, IThound, CIO and IDG Connect, to name a few).

With all these emails swirling into my inbox every day, I’m exposed to invites to review hundreds of pieces of content every day — and so are your prospects. Will they take the time to read your marketing intro or abstract and download your content? Only if the headline catches their eye and their imagination.

To be effective, content headlines need to instantly communicate what the piece contains. If your headlines read more like these real-life examples, then you may be diminishing interest in what you have to offer:

  • “Unified Communications and Process Automation Combine to Maximize ROI”
  • “Managed data centre operating IT infrastructures successfully using innovative services”
  • “Cover Your Assets with Desktop Managed Services”
  • “Transforming Data Into Relevance and ROI”
  • “How Virtualization Changes IT Costs”
  • “Don’t let CRM push you over the edge: how to build your business case”

I’m sure the people who wrote these felt that they represented the content very nicely. And they may have. But these headlines are mushy. They provide no intrigue, no big promise, no revelations, no specifics. For example, “How Virtualization Changes IT Costs” doesn’t tell me if the change is positive or negative. Heck, for all I know “Virtualization” could be really expensive. Something like “5 Ways Virtualization Cuts IT Costs” is a clear, strong and instantly understood title.

As I stated in an earlier post — “Great B2B marketing demands you do your prospects’ thinking for them”– you don’t want your prospects to have to think, you want them to react to your message, or in this case, your content title.

Strong titles should instantly communicate a clear picture of what the content contains, as these examples do:

  • “Enterprise VoIP PBX: What to Know Before You Buy”
  • “4 Things Your Anti-Virus Should Do, but Doesn’t”
  • “20 Questions for Smart Business Decisions”
  • “How to Defend Your Network Against New Hacker Tactics”
  • “Top 5 IT Budget Killers: What You Need to Know”

With just a few active words, your content can move past sounding like another ho-hum white paper and become information your prospective customer sees as a “must read.” So I recommend you pay as much attention to your title as you do your content. It will make a difference.

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Other Links to this Post

  1. What the Skittles Brand Can Teach B2b Marketers « B2b Marketplace … — September 2, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  2. B2B Web Strategy Blog - eMagine » How to ensure that your email article or blogpost survives the title scan — September 8, 2009 @ 9:55 am

  3. Three Tips to Get Eyes on Your Content – The Pink Pen Blog — October 5, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

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