Idea: In Business-to-Business Marketing,
Make Content a Tool for Work, Not a Diversion From It
In January, you’ll be hearing more and more about a new product called “Facebook for Work.” Envying products like Microsoft’s Yammer, Salesforce.com’s Chatter, Google Apps for Work and the current “it” product called Slack, Facebook is reportedly itching to dive into the enterprise collaboration marketplace where revenues are generated by fees rather than advertising.
But Facebook has a daunting challenge in pulling off this product pivot. To succeed as a business-to-business brand or product, the first challenge a B-to-B marketer faces is to convince business customers its products and supporting content are tools for work, not diversions from it. Unfortunately for Facebook, it is currently perceived as the 800 lb. gorilla of work diversion. As the company learned when it attempted to roll out an email service, the URL “facebook.com” can’t make it through the spam filters and firewalls of thousands of businesses, large and small. (No doubt this is the reason it’s saying its new product will be separate from the consumer version of Facebook.)
If the content you create and share via your business-to-business website or distribute to customers through email or other channels is perceived as content or services that divert people’s attention away from work, it will be formally or informally blocked or filtered.
On the other hand, if it is perceived as a tool for helping people do their work, your content will be welcomed, even encouraged.
Some examples of content that are tools for work:
- Information that explains something important in one’s job
- How-tos and tutorials that help customers use your products
- Explainers that provide a context for industry news
- eBooks and guides that provide an overview of trends impacting your industry
- Video user manuals that help customers overcome common glitches
Examples of content that are diversions from work:
- Repetitive promotional or self-congratulatory blog posts
- Consumer-like time-sinkers such as trivia games
- Hard-to-comprehend or superfluous infographics
- Cat videos
All work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but if your business-to-business marketing strategy diverts people from work rather than helps them get things done, you may never even know Jack.
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