Best-selling author, tidying expert, and star of a massively successful Netflix show, Marie Kondo, is really on to something. Her simple yet effective tidying method is brilliant, but what it stands for is what’s truly inspiring.
All over the world, people are asking themselves a simple yet powerful question: Does it spark joy?
But be honest, B2B marketers: When’s the last time you stopped to consider whether your marketing efforts were sparking joy for your audience? (Was it before, during, or after you dropped your latest white paper?)
Joy is a powerful emotion—it signals happiness, triumph, and exuberance. And in a time where delivering amazing, personalized experiences to our buyers is the new bar, we need to commit to delighting our audience throughout their journey. When we do this, we not only give them what they want and need, but we can also build a stronger connection with our brands.
So, what does it take to spark joy? How do you delight your buyers throughout their journey? Here are a few top tips and considerations.
Don’t Make Them Wait for Joy
As much as it pains me to say, your audience isn’t hanging on your every word. In a study of their own content, CoSchedule found that only 10-20% of their readers made it to the bottom of the post. Many readers never made it past 20-30% of the way through the post.
Delight your audience by getting to the point, making it easy for them to capture inspiration and insight early on. As Chris Brogan recently said at Social Media Marketing World 2019:
“The average human reads only 19 minutes a day. That includes texts, emails, and BuzzFeed articles. They’re not going to read your 2,000-word missive. You can’t write your content like it’s a murder mystery and reveal the butler did it on the last page. Get the story into the first paragraph.”
Look to your own online-reading experiences to give you some perspective here. Odds are, you often skim articles and blogs for the nuggets of information you’re looking for. So, don’t let your content hide those nuggets away.
And that’s not to say that you can’t provide a little mystery or intrigue. Your goal should always be to pull your reader through to the end. The real point here is to give them a reason to keep reading.
Empathize By Humanizing Your Brand
Your customers, prospects, and target buyers are real people. They want transparency and authenticity from the brands they do business with both professionally and personally. They want to work with brands they feel like they know and trust. For marketers, that means connecting on a human level.
One way? Make your audience laugh.
Laughter reportedly boosts the immune system, relaxes the body, protects the heart, and triggers the release of endorphins. And as longtime marketer and comedian Tim Washer has pointed out: When we can make someone laugh, we make an intimate connection; we show them that we understand their point of view.
“Comedy is the most powerful way to humanize a brand because it demonstrates empathy,” Tim told us in an interview. “Let’s face it, a lot of true comedy comes from pain. So, when we can come out and touch on a customer pain point, we show them that we understand their point of view. When we do something that is self-deprecating, when we look vulnerable, and when we let our guard down a little bit that’s when we make a connection.”
So, tell a joke, share a personal story, make a pun, share a meme that has relevance and resonance for your audience. It will delight them to know they’re understood.
Another way? Connect them with the insights of the people they know, think they know, and trust.
Couple general distrust with historical skepticism of marketing and advertising messages, and it’s more imperative than ever for B2B marketers to focus on building trust and credibility with buyers and prospects. Partnering with influential voices and industry thought leaders can help you do just that.
As Rani Mani, Head of Social Influencer Enablement at Adobe, recently shared with us:
“The main benefit is that influencers humanize a brand and capture the personality behind the logo. Additionally, influencers raise brand awareness and engagement by giving companies access to an audience they may not otherwise have through a trusted and credible source.”
Give Them Something to Delight Their Senses
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But so much B2B content is still text-based today. Pictures, gifs, videos, charts, and other visual aids can not only grab attention, but they can also help you communicate ideas. In fact, visuals communicate those ideas more effectively than text-only content, according to eLearning Industry:
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
- The human eye can register 36,000 visual messages every hour
All that said, we’d suggest kicking it up another notch to provide joy-worthy experiences. How? With interactive and/or mixed media content. Why? Interactive content is more engaging that static content for the long-term, offering potential drive results at every stage of the funnel. Need an example? Look no further than a “Break Free of Boring B2B” gem that’s affectionately being called “Laser Bear” around these parts.
It’s fun. It’s bold. It’s insightful thanks to the several industry thought leaders who contributed. And it allows the reader to choose their own content consumption adventure.
Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode
Plus, it was paired with a fun teaser trailer to bring the fun to other platforms.
Become an Advocate With Best Answer Content
Your audience has questions. And you have the opportunity to provide answers—the best answers.
“Great content answers questions and solves problems for your customers,” Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic, has said. “When you do that—no matter what platform or format—it works and generates engagement every time.”
Use keyword research, CRM data, web analytics, crowd-sourcing, and other sources of customer insight to guide your content strategy. This ensures the topics you cover and questions you choose to answer are ones that your customers are actually seeking.
What does best-answer content look like? Our own CEO, Lee Odden, says best-answer content encompasses the following:
- Specific, in-demand topic
- More valuable and useful than other sites
- High quality
- Device friendly, accessible
Spark Joy. Spark Audience Connections.
Your audience is hungry for information and connection that informs, engages, and inspires. They want to satisfy their queries, needs, and wants—they want joy. So give them something to be joyful about.
What else does it take to be the best answer? Read our guide to creating a Best-Answer Content Strategy.