How to Use Cliffhangers in B2B Marketing Content

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During the Broad Reach + Intelligent Lead Nurturing = Increased Revenue webinar I participated in yesterday with Scott Mersy of Genius.com, Brian Carroll of InTouch and Andrew Gaffney of DemandGen Report, I talked about how content can help promote prospect responsiveness.

I presented 3 components that should be incorporated into your content to help you build engagement and progression with your prospects. After all, your content has a job to do, right? If it's not helping your company build pipeline momentum, then it's slacking off.



The 3 components that help drive momentum include:

I received a question that we didn't get to during the event about providing some examples for how to use cliffhangers during a B2B complex sale.

For those of you who didn't attend, a cliffhanger is created when B2B marketers use a serial format for execution of a content program. It's that "to be continued" type of idea. Or "you won't want to miss what's coming" that sets anticipation for more of your valuable content.



Cliffhangers are about planting the the seed for your prospects to expect more of the great stuff you provide that they've come to rely on to help them solve their highest priority issues. It's all about motivating prospects to do something more than passively reading your content.

You want to give prospects every opportunity to tell you just how interested they are in the topic by opting in to be notified when the next installment is released or by bookmarking your site, subscribing to your RSS feed, or whatever other method you make available for them to keep up with your content. Don't just tell them something is coming, make sure you provide a way for them to get it.

Some examples of cliffhanger strategies include:

Series: Think about creating a series. This can be a series of articles, videos, webinars or blog posts based on a theme or topic of interest to your prospects. An example is the series of 3 webinars and eGuides that Genius.com used last summer to present components of marketing automation. Another example is the Buyersphere series of webinars and white papers that Enquiro did last year.
 
Event: Use an article or blog post on a topic of interest to your prospects and include a notice that you have upcoming research or a webinar or other related content coming and invite prospects to opt in for notification  when that content is available.
 
Next Steps: Let’s say you have a 10-step process your prospects find value in. Post an article discussing step 1 and then tell your audience that the next steps will be posted each Tuesday (or whenever) for the next 9 weeks. If possible, invite them to opt in for notification about the  the next installment. 



B2B marketers can incorporate a cliffhanger effect into almost any content if they think about it creatively. It also helps immensely to develop an editorial calendar.

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