Content Marketing, Guest Posts, Social Media Strategy, B2b Social Media

Rocket Content – Your B2B Secret Weapon

Guest post by Ian Greenleigh, the Social Media Manager at Bazaarvoice – the market and technology leader in hosted social commerce applications. He also blogs at Dare to Comment.

There’s no doubt about it, those of us tasked with enterprise-level B2B marketing have some incredible hurdles to overcome. The business decision makers (BDMs) that have the purchasing authority for our products and services tend not to be involved very heavily—if at all—in social media. And although we might not discuss this fact very openly, the truth is that we can’t realistically expect anything we do in social media to directly lead to new customers when BDMs are involved. They aren’t reading our tweets, they’re probably not reading our blogs, and they’re definitely not Liking us on Facebook.
rocket content
But we have a secret weapon: Rocket Content.
Rocket content…
• …shoots up the chain of command, toward decision makers
• …influences each person it touches
• …contains information that is irresistibly shareable
• …helps employees sell your solutions to those above them
• …has the biggest impact on those that at the top

With rocket content, your end goal remains the same. Your job is to use social media to reach and influence decision makers at companies in your target space. The problem here is that many marketers see this path as a straight line—from them, to the BDM, to the purchase. This just isn’t how it works in the enterprise world. The missing link? The person that is most likely to understand and be excited about your company’s value proposition, the person that puts your solutions on the BDM’s radar. This person is far more likely to be engaged in social media, and they’re more likely to take the time to listen to what you have to say.

Aim Lower

Recognizing the power of the people that don’t appear in the “About Us” section of their company’s website is crucial, because they act as decision support for their company’s leadership. In fact, when it comes to finding the work related information they need, a Forbes study found that 77% of Fortune 500 executives rate “guidance from colleagues from work” as “very valuable.”

If you can’t easily imagine your readers emailing what you’re writing to their bosses, it’s probably not rocket content. If your research shows that the prospects most likely to become closed deals are the ones that have downloaded your whitepapers, for instance, your content should be aimed at getting those whitepapers downloaded by people one or two steps below the BDMs at a typical prospect organization. People don’t keep good content to themselves, especially when it helps them appear smarter in the eyes of their superiors.

Rocket content doesn’t even have to be read by BDMs to influence them. Employees might extract, rewrite and repackage bits and pieces of what you’ve written, or reference it in a hallway conversation with a superior. As long as the message you intend to convey makes it to them, you’ve done your job. The message is what matters, so make it sticky.

Often, rocket content is executive summary style, bullet point by bullet point, with a prominent call to action linking to a more comprehensive piece. This strategy works because you’re covered either way: If a BDM happens to find your content first, it’s brief enough for them to digest given their busy schedule. If someone under them finds it first, they can devote more time to reading the content you’re linking to.

If all that mattered was traffic, B2B bloggers could write about Justin Bieber and win every time. But since we’re more concerned with numbers that actually matter—conversions, demo requests, downloads, etc.—we need to design rocket content, place it in front of the employees that act as decision support for their superiors, and let it make its way up the purchase path.

(image by Shutterstock, a Convince & Convert sponsor)

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Ian, thanks for the wonderful post. I think in summary what you’re saying is that great content doesn’t just sell potential new leads, but it sells BDMs as well.

    The thing I’d add is that I would think rocket content unfortunately must be short and to the point, much like great blog posts. I often cringe because the posts I feel are my best work, with lots of deep, useful information, don’t get retweeted etc. nearly as much as “Top 10…” posts, stuff that’s very useful and practical, but not all that deep. And I think the same is true for rocket content for BDMs. We’d like to all think they want to read our deepest, impassioned treatise on how to boost the bottom line. But mostly, they just want a summary of 10 items that will move the needle NOW.

    • says

      Hi Patrick,

      You nailed it with your summary. I’m not sure I agree that it’s unfortunate posts get more circulation when they’re “Top 10” lists and such. As long as they lead to “deeper” content, a longer conversation, and the like, they are an incredible asset. BDMs aren’t dumb; they won’t base decisions on Top 10 lists. Those just start the conversation, while things like white papers and case studies work better later in the sales cycle. Thanks for dropping by!

      • says

        Hi Ian, yeah, I guess there’s nothing wrong with the selling point coming from a Top 10 list. I just think it’s more an ego thing, that you hope the deep nuanced content is what sells. When realistically it’s the short and sweet stuff that sells best. I guess the deep white papers do sell ultimately, it’s just not what most people pay the most attention to upfront. Thanks for responding!

  2. Dorthe Stricker says

    I am building a blog from the bottom right now. I have been so annoyed lately that the Danish ( I am from Denmark and writing in Danish) businesses just doesn’t seem to care about their online presence.

    I am trying to write all my posts in a very down to earth language so hopefully it will be easy and quick to take in. But I am also having a difficult time with the fact that I should convey everything to lists. It just seems so… boring. But I can see your point: it is very easy to pass on.

    • says

      Lists are part of the picture. Other content types, like white papers, case studies and videos address different types of learners, job types and functions. Keep it up–it gets easier.

  3. Christie Love says

    I like that you called attention to creating content that actually stays with potential consumers. Great Article!

  4. says

    Thia is the line that hit me “People don’t keep good content to themselves, especially when it helps them appear smarter in the eyes of their superiors”. Dead on … thanks!

  5. Amy Bermar says

    I love this. No one has time to create good content these days, and most people don’t even have time to read things thoroughly. So any vendor who manages to be truly objective and authoritative — as well as bright and tight and useful — fills an enormous, gaping hole.

    It’s tough to break out of old corporate patterns (“I,” “We,” “Ours”)…here’s to hoping.

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