Company and B2B blogs aren't news outlets. Content marketers don't report breaking news or tap into the news cycle. Instead, they have very concrete goals: attract the right readers, generate leads, and ultimately, have an impact on company revenue.
In the increasingly competitive SEO sphere, where the best keywords have long since been taken, investing in content isn't easy for B2B sales companies. For content marketers, achieving first-page ranking in search engines is harder than ever before.
In chasing search traffic, marketers become fixated on keyword research tools and SEO tactics. This can often lead to content marketers becoming tunnel-visioned, with search results for virtually any lucrative keyword revealing a bunch of copycat articles that share almost identical titles and content as the top-ranking sites. Lacking any sort of additional analysis or comprehension, this constant repetition of imitative information means that very few articles actually resonate with their audience or offer their readers any real value.
How can marketers write relevant content for their audience and still be original? In this article, you'll learn how trigger events can be an incredible tool for sourcing ideas, finding novel angles, and ultimately creating content that is value-adding and makes your audience want to consume it.
Content marketing for humans, not machines
Search tools are extremely useful, but problems arise when we become too reliant on these tools. Besides causing you to accidentally sleep-walk into copycat content, search tools don't reveal your target audience's exact current situation and needs. This happens because search tools work with a very particular data set: existing search results. It can be hard to come up with novel angles when you’re only looking at what's already out there.
To overcome this problem, and avoid writing for machines, marketers should use SEO tools in conjunction with the creativity and critical faculties of a real human being. Your sales team is a great place to find out what your customers need to know and source content topics. Sales reps talk with customers every day, hearing their needs, interests, and questions about your product or service.
Of course, asking real people isn't without problems, and content teams can easily be overwhelmed with new ideas and requests, so be careful not to get bogged down!
Trigger events uncover relevant content topics for B2B blogs
With companies undergoing change at a faster rate than ever before, it's become difficult for marketers to keep up and stay on top of these changes. For that reason, marketers should turn their attention towards and focus on trigger events.
"Trigger events" is a weird-sounding term with a simple meaning: any company change that creates an opening for sales or marketing opportunities. Take this example: a new office location requires plenty of supplies and services. Depending on your offering (e.g., office cleaning services), this can be a prime moment to reach out. Solid logic, right?
Also known as sales triggers or buying signals, trigger events help salespeople find the best time to nudge a prospect, or help the salesperson uncover new sales opportunities. From Google alerts and industry newsletters to sales intelligence tools and funding announcements, there are a multitude of ways to track trigger events.
Seasoned salespeople are likely to know their way around trigger events, but marketers? Not so much.
Knowing what changes lead to the emergence of needs in your target audience can inform you of the content topics that you should write about so that, before future prospects even begin researching, you’ve got an article that is relevant for them ready.
Just so we’re on the same page: Trigger events matter in marketing, too. Knowing what changes lead to the emergence of needs in your target audience can inform you of the content topics that you should write about so that, before future prospects even begin researching, you’ve got an article that is relevant for them ready. Those little nuggets of information create a direct link between your content efforts and your audience's current needs. In this way, trigger events give you the necessary context to achieve personalization at scale.
3 reasons why B2B content marketers need trigger events
Writing becomes faster and easier
Albeit rarely, content teams may have trouble coming up with new ideas for B2B blog posts and other content pieces. Luckily, there are many ways to source new ideas: keyword research, sales conversation, product development, internal meetings, books, blogs, forums, social media, etc. Finding new topics to create content about is the easy part of the job. The tricky part is figuring out which of the ideas will actually be value-adding and nurturing those ideas to fruition.
Many content ideas sound good as a pitch but fall apart once you actually try writing it. Trigger events may be a less predictable source of content ideas, but they do come with the added bonus of implicitly validating your content ideas. Understanding the changes that are happening within your target audience will guarantee that your content topics are something that your audience actually needs.
When all is said and done, trigger events give you a way to systematize content ideation and discover angles that your audience will appreciate and benefit from.
Sales and marketing alignment
Far too much marketing content goes unused by sales. Why? Often, content marketers think the long game, aiming to earn organic traffic over time. Although this is a perfectly valid approach, from the sales perspective, this type of content might not really address the challenges that a prospect is experiencing at a precise moment in their customer journey.
Trigger events can act as the glue that sticks your sales and marketing efforts together and ensures alignment between the teams. If sales reps and content creators track the same trigger events and share a content calendar, they’ll be able to collaborate to unify content creation and distribute the right content at the right time.
Timely content distribution
Get this: Almost 60% of all B2B blog traffic comes from organic search. But, as we established earlier, it’s a crowded, competitive world, so traffic from other sources is equally important. Trigger events give marketers an excellent reason to focus on non-search distribution channels, such as email marketing or social sharing.
Timing's everything. Trigger events are small nudges that alert you when you'll have the undivided attention of a company or a group of companies. Anticipate this moment by creating content beforehand and distributing it when the time is right.
Articles and content pieces that don't rank well on search engines can get extra life on other distribution channels and generate more traffic to your site. The best part of it is that you can automate this process by connecting your marketing automation platform to a sales intelligence tool. By doing this, targeted and personalized email marketing campaigns can launch as soon as a trigger event occurs—all without you lifting a finger.
That same principle applies to social posts and ads. Based on trigger events, you can create and launch hyper-targeted campaigns.
Trigger events help you supplement your most popular blogs with middle and bottom of the funnel content. Ultimately, creating content based on trigger events will bring you closer to your audience because the central idea behind the content piece will have been influenced by the reader’s circumstances, interests, and needs.
Find the traffic that drives conversions
Many B2B blogs get the bulk of their traffic from a few top of the funnel posts. But organic search traffic growth doesn't always generate more leads. This happens because top of the funnel content doesn’t drive conversions. It’s mostly obvious, non-specific information. You’ll get more eyes on your company blog, but those new visitors won’t convert as much. Worse, your content could entirely be bringing in the wrong traffic—people who will never be interested in your product or service, even though they’re genuinely interested in one of your posts.
Traffic and conversion rates don’t grow proportionally, even if you expect these numbers to do exactly that. As a result, if you spend too much time worrying about top of the funnel traffic, you’ll be at risk of creating content that doesn’t satisfy your readers. Your audience doesn't follow along because they don't consider your content valuable.
Trigger events help you supplement your most popular blogs with middle and bottom of the funnel content. Ultimately, creating content based on trigger events will bring you closer to your audience because the central idea behind the content piece will have been influenced by the reader’s circumstances, interests, and needs. You'll be writing about the things that they actually want, or even need, to read.
Here's an example:
A company registers a new web domain with the local authorities
A company registering a new web domain could indicate many things, such as the launch of a new product or service, a rebranding, or some other strategic project. Generally, all of those things are usually an early indicator that something marketing-related will be coming out soon. Companies in this situation are likely to search for products and services that will help them in this process and achieve their objectives. In this case, a blog post that explains how to succeed with a new product launch might be just the thing they’re looking for--so why not give it to them?
Content marketing isn't a walk in the park. To achieve your business goals, you have to attract the right people, be helpful, thought-provoking, and original. Many keywords are ultra-competitive, and, unfortunately, that is unlikely to change. Coming up with new ideas is problematic in a landscape where every other content marketer tries the same tactics.
SEO tools are extremely useful, too, but they don't guarantee you will find the right audience. On the other hand, trigger events help you anchor your efforts to the needs of your target audience, so you can deliver content that is truly relevant.
With the help of real-time company information, the number of trigger events you can track is almost infinite. Eventually, you can follow any change in any data point in your systems. Here you can see a few examples.
Trigger events don't mean that marketers need to sign up for countless news alerts. Much of the process can be automated by using a sales intelligence tool. Vainu, for example, connects to CRMs and marketing automation platforms. Want to find out more? Drop us a line.