What do hundred-dollar cheesesteaks, a golf ball destroying blender and a phone booth with a trick door have to do with creating great B2B marketing content?
In his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger uses each of these viral marketing sensations to help explore the question of why some products, ideas and behaviours succeed while others fail (a question at the heart of all marketing). While there isnât a formula to ensure your B2B marketing content willÂ be widely shared, thereÂ are six key ingredients that make up a recipe for contagious content. Collectively, Berger calls these the STEPPS.
- Social Currency According to Berger, social currencyÂ manifests when âpeople share things that make them look good to others.â If youâve never heard of New York bar Please Donât Tell, youâll want to check this out.Â From a B2B perspective, you can create social currency by delivering information that will make prospects look good when they share it with others, such as members of the C-Suite, managers, or colleagues.
- Triggers Triggers are âstimuli that prompt people to think about related things.â When thinking about triggers for B2B marketing content, carefully consider context. Successful B2B marketing content is designed for every prospect’s unique environment, situation and business problem, helping to make things personal and keep the brand top of mind.
- Emotion B2B marketing is often thought of as less personal, but B2B marketing content can still be rooted in emotion. However, as the book notes, content that is physiologically arousing (such as anger or excitement) tends to outperform content that evokes other types of emotion. From a B2B perspective, focus on highlighting core paint points and intimating how your expertise can solve a problem like increasing revenue, decreasing costs, improving productivity or decreasing risk.
- Public As highlighted in the book, the late great Steve Jobs understood better than most that observability matters (hence why the Apple logo faces outwards on the top of its laptops). Designing your B2B marketing content so that itâs powerful enough to stand alone and leave a lasting impression is crucial. People tend to imitate and share because the choices of others help provide information, known as âsocial proofâ. A great way to lend social credibility to your content is to include brief case study features that highlights the successes of your customer base.
- Practical Value The simple idea here is that people like to help others and are more than willing to spread great content of practical value. Be sure to keep your B2B marketing content concise yet detailed, and remember to âpackage your knowledge and expertise so that people can easily pass it on.â
- Stories Embedding B2B marketing content into stories canÂ help toÂ turnÂ virality valuable. Stories, like ancient Greek tales, help to carry information in ways that straight content canât. Focus on building Trojan Horses by embedding your content into a greater storytelling narrative that relates to the stage of the buying process your content is targeting.
The STEPPS framework is aÂ good tool for B2B marketers to validate and develop marketing content ideas. If youâd like to understand more about marketing strategy and tactics, or need help developing great B2B marketing content, feel free to reach out to me.