To spoil or not to spoil your content?



You hear that all too familiar sound. You look at your phone and see a text message from someone in your contacts: “Would you do me a favor?” »

That’s all you see. No flashing dots. You wait. You are still waiting. It gets annoying. It’s a game of chicken. They are waiting for you to say yes. You wait for them to say what the favor is.

You don’t trust the asker. (That’s not a absence trust because, interestingly, lack of trust might cause you to respond immediately.)

You probably only have a default “yes” for a few people. You will be of service because you have a solid history of trust. After 30 years, when my wife says my name in a particular tone, I know I’m about to ask myself to do something, and I’m going to do it.

But what about responding to others? Asking is a question asked to friends, colleagues, bosses, clients, etc. Who blinks first comes down to one thing: How low is trust?

Confidence is an emotion based on uncertainty

Researchers Claire A. Hill and Erin Ann O’Hara define trust as “a state of mind that allows its owner to be willing to make oneself vulnerable to another – that is, to rely on another despite a positive risk” of harm.

Simply put: Confidence is an emotion characterized by varying degrees of willingness to be vulnerable in the face of an uncertain outcome.

Trust requires a willingness to be vulnerable in the face of an uncertain outcome, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click to tweet

If no vulnerability is required or the outcome is certain, trust does not matter. Think about the classic trust exercise where you fall back into someone’s arms. How would the necessary confidence be different if you did this exercise on a pile of pillows or on a bed of sharp nails? If you did it for the 30thth spending time with the same person, would you still need to trust them?

But yes, this text is still there. Wait for someone to build trust first.

Let’s return to this text for a favor that is right there. The requester can first trust: “Let me tell you exactly what the favor is. » Or you can trust first and answer: “I would be happy to do that.” What is the favor?

Or a negotiation could take place. The asker can write, “I promise it’s no big deal” to reduce your uncertainty. Or you could say, “It depends on the nature of the favor,” to reduce theirs.

First someone has to trust you.

Secure content with shocking transparency

I am frequently asked whether to filter content in B2B content marketing. People focused on content marketing generally prefer content marketing. People who focus on lead generation usually want to control everything.

The result? Most B2B companies manage their content. It’s the equivalent of saying, “Can you do me a favor?” It creates the same kind of tension. Who will trust first?

B2B #content Gating creates tensions: who will trust first, asks @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click to tweet

Imagine if most companies were transparent in trading your data so you could access their latest white paper. The introduction might look like this:

Hi. In exchange for your personal data, we will provide you with a thought leadership document explaining why our approach to this business challenge is the best.

After registering, you will receive at least three phone calls and one email per week from our sales team. You won’t be able to miss them because they will all mention some level of urgency or follow-up. They will compliment you on your wisdom in downloading our white paper and ask you about your current purchasing status and challenges, even though your intent should be painfully obvious from the white paper’s content.

If you respond to this awareness campaign, expect to be harassed by phone to validate your spending power and who on the team we should be talking to, because it’s definitely not just you.

If you do not respond, you will be subscribed to our newsletter until you unsubscribe or your email becomes invalid. And let’s be honest, we’ll probably continue to email him even after he becomes disabled.

At any time, you can stop this onslaught of communication by simply purchasing our product.

Presenting this type of notification would be the pinnacle of brand trust. We can reasonably assure that anyone who has completed the form after reading it is a serious buyer.

So, what if you broke down what actually happens in your business when someone accesses a secure digital asset? What favor are you really asking from potential clients?

Should you block content?

To be clear, I’m not suggesting B2B marketers achieve an extreme level of transparency or never access an asset again. Appropriate times and reasons exist for both. The trick – and this is where most marketing and sales teams fail to agree – is to align on the relationship you want to build when someone converts through a piece of gated content.

Fortunately, only two possibilities exist. You want a relationship with:

  1. Take a buyer to the next step in their journey.
  2. Create a customer of your content – ​​an audience member – as they move and pause throughout their journey.

You can’t do both at the same time. When you try to count the prospect as both a lead and a subscriber, mediocrity arises.

You can’t create #content to both move a buyer in their journey and create an audience member for your content, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click to tweet

B2B marketers need to understand the difference between an audience member and a marketing database entry. It’s not that an audience will never become a lead or an opportunity, and it’s not that a lead or an opportunity can never be an audience. The difference lies in the trust established at the start.

Are you moving customers or building audiences?

When you build an audience, your brand first builds trust by offering valuable content, hoping that people who see the value will become subscribers. Subscribers – the engaged audience – then demonstrate trust by signing up for what they’ll get later. They are confident that you will provide future value based on the value you have already demonstrated.

Developing and maintaining this confidence in future value separates a subscribed audience from entries in a marketing database.

However, moving a buyer along their journey can be just as effective. This still requires the company to first build trust by providing some value that convinces the buyer to provide accurate information during the gated content transaction. And that means the buyer at least trusts your brand enough to feel emotionally, or even intellectually or financially, ready to take the next step in the buying journey.

So if you’re trying to take someone directly into (or through) a buying journey, tell them so. Don’t make any confusion on your form. Tell them exactly what will happen once you get their information.

When to Block, Unblock, or Mix Your Content Assets

By defining these two paths, B2B marketers have more flexibility on where and how to place calls to action on free content versus gated assets. You could:

  • Access content: Tell content consumers that they are embarking on a marketing and buying journey. Let them know that if they don’t want to, they can become an audience member.
  • Remove some content: Make assets available and provide a call to action for recipients who want “additional” or “consistent” value from your business by subscribing to a newsletter or accessing exclusive content. You are selling a subscription to marketing content.
  • Mix up your approach: Require registration for certain content, such as topical searches, that engages the person in the purchasing journey. Then, once that research has cooled, make it available for free. Or maybe you publish a summary for free and send the detailed e-book in exchange for them signing up for your newsletter.

Whichever option you choose, you must be the first party to establish trust. And that starts by eliminating any uncertainty about what happens when the buyer trusts you.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “The best way to know if you can trust someone is to trust them.” » In marketing, when you first establish trust, you move beyond counting favors and begin to build a valued relationship.

Subscribe to daily or weekly CMI emails to receive rose-colored glasses in your inbox every week.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button