B2B content marketing: How to think like a journalist and get more readers

Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash

Journalists are expert information gatherers, storytellers and writers – they have to be, they want people to pay to read what they’ve written or get clicks on their website to satisfy advertisers.

Here are four tips and techniques B2B content creators and content marketers can adopt to make sure content grabs attention, is compelling and stands out from the competition.

1. Finding a good story angle πŸ”Ž


Journalists are described as having a nose for a story. The first consideration will always be their readers/viewers/listeners: What is most relevant, useful or of interest?

You can see this in action by comparing national newspaper headlines on similar stories. Each publication will angle the story to the interests and demographic of their main readership.

People will read what is useful, interesting and what resonates.


Journalists operate in a competitive market. The same press release will likely have gone to their rivals, so they look for a point of difference to make their version of the story stand out.

That might mean finding extra information their rivals don’t have. Or looking beyond the obvious for a different way of telling or illustrating a particular story or idea.

They are good at getting creative.

2. Adding the human and relatable πŸ•ΊπŸ»

Journalists understand the power of people in stories, from profiles and case studies to pull-out quotes and reactions.

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From sceptic to supporter: The case for B2B content marketing

Not everyone sees the value of B2B content and content marketing, so how do you convince the sceptics and get employees on board to help boost the visibility of your posts?

This was the topic of the August episode of the B2B Comms Breakdown live webinar, which I co-hosted with Ayo Abbas. You can catch up with the video replay (scroll to the bottom) or read on for an edited transcript.

We started the discussion with the case for creating B2B content…

What is worthwhile about content marketing?

Ayo: One of the biggest things about content marketing is that it is a way of positioning yourself as a thought leader, getting your views and projects out there and getting known for what you want to be known for.

It’s about building a brand rather than letting others build it for you. It’s how people get to know, like and trust you and keeps you front of mind. So when I want to buy, I think of you.

The LinkedIn B2B Institute put out some research that showed 95% of the market isn’t in a state to buy. That means only 5% of your target market is actually ready to buy.

So, how do you keep them warm? That’s where content marketing is a valuable tool to help you do that.

Stacey: I see content as a conversation, as a narrative with your existing and potential clients. It’s about nurturing that relationship and keeping that channel open.

There’s a practical element, too. Adding content to your website is good for SEO; that content is sitting there, and people can find it.

It’s all part of your brand building, but it’s not just about the hard wins, the business sales and people wanting to work with you.

That is part of it, but it can lead to speaking opportunities, networking opportunities, and opens the door offline just as much as online.

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Summer content ideas for B2B businesses

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Summer meant slimmer issues of the B2B commercial property magazine I worked on, as more of our subscribers were on holiday.

But we still produced weekly issues with some seasonal, lighter or different features.

One I remember was a ‘favourite film’ survey of property CEOs and managing directors. It was fun and showed a different side to the industry leaders’ personalities.

The choices also became a talking point.

We also used summertime as a hook to look at usually unexplored commercial property markets such as seaside towns and holiday parks.

There were lots of tourist and holiday-related property angles to explore.

While the summer was a slightly quieter time for the property industry, not everyone was away.

And people perhaps had more time to read.

There are also those who might not completely switch off while they are away and might spend a bit of time catching up with some reading.

So don’t discount the Summer period and stop publishing blogs, articles and LinkedIn posts completely.

There is still an audience and a potentially more easily engaged audience.

It’s also a good time to try some different content, perhaps ahead of the autumn period.

Here are some Summer B2B content ideas:

πŸ’‘ Is there a particular Summer related problem or challenge clients have that you can cover in an article or series of articles?

πŸ’‘ Do you get certain types of enquiries over the summer that you could write about?

πŸ’‘ Do a summer-themed survey of clients and/or staff as a lighter get-to-know-you piece, e.g. favourite holiday destination, ice cream flavour, best summer film etc.

People’s choices and favourites often make a fascinating read, and humans are naturally curious.

πŸ’‘ Use summer events as hooks for market-related content; here are some property examples:

  • Staff summer party – the value of bars with terraces
  • Staff fun day – piece on leisure-tainment
  • Sporting events – sport venues and impact on regeneration

πŸ’‘ Building designs that make the most of sunny weather

πŸ’‘ Safe working on developments during hot weather

πŸ’‘ How your business manages workloads during the holidays

πŸ’‘ What the summer is like for your business (it might be a busy time).

What are your Summer content plans?

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More content goodness you might like to read:

B2B press release lessons from the world of theatre

Theatre press releases aren’t always a box office success. Photo: Young Vic Theatre box office sign taken by me, Stacey Meadwell

Here’s a lesson B2B comms can learn from theatre production press releases…

As a theatre blogger in my spare time, I get sent 20-30 press releases a week about upcoming productions.

But at least a third are missing key information

I’m not talking about forgetting to include the name of the lighting designer.

The information missing might be the date of press night, production dates, or sometimes even the theatre’s name.

As a result, I have to spend time Googling to get the details I need to decide on whether I can or want to review.

Or I just don’t bother. I don’t have unlimited free time to spend on my hobby.

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From yawns to yehs: Refresh your B2B content ideas and banish the boring

B2B content creation can feel like a treadmill, can’t it?

The constant need to feed social channels, websites and newsletters can zap creativity and have you scrabbling around for good ideas. And how do you make those dry topics interesting?

In the July edition of the B2B Comms Breakdown with my fabulous co-host Ayo Abbas, we went live on LinkedIn to talk about how to come up with cracking content ideas and get more creative.

Here are the edited highlights; scroll to the bottom to watch the video replay.

How do you find ideas when you have none?

Ayo Abbas: There are ideas all around you. I take stuff from my life, as I walk along, I might see an ad that I think: ‘Oh, that’s smart’.

Or what are they doing? How did they do that?

Also, think about the questions that clients are asking you right now: How do we do this, or I’m finding this really tricky.

Those answers that you’re giving are topics that become content.

There are tools you can use, like Answer the Public, where you search for keywords, and it’ll give you lots and lots of variations and questions around those keywords.

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