Content Marketing: Downtime Is Golden Time

By Kenneth Hein, Global Marketing Director, gyro

There you are, sitting at the gate waiting for the flight attendant to call for priority seating. It's taking longer than it should because the clean up crew didn't show up on time. It's only a small delay, they promise. You've heard it all before.

You've already scanned for important e-mails and read your texts. Now it's time to scan for a useful item to read. Something catches your eye. The article is about troublesome trends in your industry, and it provides three options for overcoming these challenges. It's well written and offers unique thinking. Only after you finish it do you realize that it is "sponsored content." You make note of the company that created the article just as the flight attendant invites you to board.

This is the exact scenario in which business-to-business (B2B) content marketing wins. Successful executives are expert multitaskers. The moments throughout the day when business decision makers are commuting or just waking up aren't really downtime. In fact, 44 percent of executives focus on news the second they wake up, according to Quartz Insights.

These are the times when content marketers win. Executives have a need to keep absorbing information at nearly all times. If you are providing them with something informative and useful, they will read it on their mobile device. Conversely, they aren't going to click on a mobile ad or watch pre-roll. In fact, they are absolute experts at clicking off of those units at maximum speed.

To reach B2B decision makers most effectively, here are four musts:
  1. Optimize for mobile. Executives are not stationary; they are moving targets who consume copious amounts of content on their mobile devices. And this trend has hit critical mass. By 2017, U.S. adults will spend an hour or more per day using their mobile device than they will their computer. That number will likely double to two hours for B2B marketers, per eMarketer.
  2. Solve a problem. Execs are hardwired to operate in problem-solving mode. Provide them with actionable steps. Don't leave them with: "Here's the problem." There has to be a solution. Say something new, and say it with integrity.
  3. Content must load quickly. As important as it is to avoid wasting their time with inferior content, it's equally as important to make certain that your content loads in three seconds or less. If not, you've missed your opportunity. In fact, peak performance is a 2.4-second load time, per SOASTA. Google has taken this into account with the launch of its Accelerated Mobile Pages in October.
  4. Sharability. Content must be easy to share. If it can't travel, what's the point? While some execs aren't big sharers, they are very receptive to receiving information from peers.
We are at an interesting moment in history when strong brand-created content is winning the battle for executives' attention more than ever. It's no wonder that
are looking to boost their budgets marketing, per the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.

There is a powerful opportunity to educate and inform target audiences. Just don't expect them to be sitting at their desks when they interact with your content.