Create Sales-Ready Buyers with Marketing Interactions

Ardath Albee

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How Catchy is Your Content?

Catch Factors are the Preferences and Aversions That Form a Prospect's Gut Reaction to Your Content and Communications

Information overwhelm. We all suffer from it. Our job as B2B marketers is to create contagious content that catches—and keeps—the attention of our prospects across the entirety of a long-term complex purchase. That means your marketing content has to work even harder than you may have thought to rise above the noise.

Seem daunting? Doesn't have to be. Not when you use Catch Factors.

How many times have you heard that your content has to be relevant? Probably a lot. The word relevance is used so much that it's a bucket term. It's simply too bottomless to be helpful in guiding the way to ensuring that your content is worthwhile to your prospects.

Catch Factors break down relevance into digestible bites so you can systematically improve your content—from concept to finished piece.

Catch Factors are the preferences and aversions that form a prospect's gut reaction to your content and communications.

Take a look at what your content must convey to be catchy:

  • Urgency - does it apply to a real business problem they have right now?
    People are busy. Content that's nice to have, but not immediately applicable will be ignored until the time is right. You need to learn what your prospect's top priorities are and address them.

  • Impact - is your information on a topic critical to their professional success?
    When your prospect engages with your content, do they perceive it to be valuable enough to help them take next steps toward addressing their priority issue?

  • Effort - how much energy do they have to expend to access and understand it?
    Is there a form? Is it too technical for a business audience (or the other way around). Is it scannable so they can determine value, or do they have to hunker down and dig in to figure it out? How many clicks does it take to get to it?

  • Reputation - what's their immediate perception of your company?
    Have they ever heard of you? If they Google your company, what will they see? Is your content written in a way they will perceive credible? (About them more than you.)

  • Intent - what will they think you want from them?
    Will they think you're selling or helping?

Now, a few things you need to know. No one goes through a check list in their heads when a message arrives in their inbox or they follow a link from a search result. Catch Factors are split-second assessments that happen naturally when a person is confronted with information.

Depending on their immediate situation, prospects can rank some factors higher than others. You don't have to have all the Catch Factors in play at once, but the more of them you do have, the "catchier" your content will be.

According to Deidre Wilson and Dan Sperber’s Relevance Theory, an individual draws a conclusion based on the first relevant meaning recognized, and the one that requires the least effort. This is where our millisecond attention spans come into play and why your marketing content needs to be compelling—at first glance.

Leveraging Catch Factors helps marketing content catch attention and accelerate your prospects’ buying behavior. Put yourself in your prospect's shoes and go evaluate your content against the 5 Catch Factors. How many do you find? Can you refresh your content to include more of them?




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More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.