Why Use Author Names in Your B2B Content Strategy?

b2b content author signing his nameMost of what you read on the subject of "personalizing content" in B2B content strategy has to do with one of two things:

(1) Segmenting your target audience. Technology has given us far more capability for doing this, and it allows us to deliver the most relevant content to each prospect according to demographic, interest or need.

(2) Using personal names in salutations. Receiving an email that begins “Hi Tom” (providing your name is Tom) is invariably better than getting one addressed to “Dear Subscriber”.

Both of these are really important considerations, and worthy of all the attention they are given.

But here’s something that isn’t talked about nearly as much: the importance of using author names as part of your B2B content strategy. Or, in other words, who is this content coming from? I would argue that it’s not just important to get the address line right, but the signature line as well.

There are a number of things we could say about this, but the most important principle at work here is the simple fact that …

“... people don’t trust companies or institutions; people trust people.”

It’s my conviction that in your overall B2B content strategy, you should try to publish as little content as possible that is perceived to be coming from “the company”. Put a face to the company; give the author a name.

Blogging

Multiple staff may be writing posts, but this is no reason to publish them anonymously. Give bylines to each one, and let each writer develop their own voice. Ideally each can come to be seen as trusted experts. The organization gains the reputation of being a company of experts.

Newsletter

You might choose to have this sent from a key executive as editor, and also include content from expert staff. Again, let each piece have a byline. The goal is to build relationships and engage readers with real people.

Social Media

The key word is “social”. This medium is built on the interaction of personalities. It is a terrible mistake to post under merely a company name.

None of this means you have to produce all of the content in-house. You can outsource as much as you need to; every freelancer or agency you hire are contracted as ghost writers, so let them “ghost”. Make it a priority of your B2B content strategy to publish this content under the names of your executives. (This is a good reason, by the way, to establish an ongoing relationship with outside writers who can develop your voice over time.)

Remember the key principle: people don’t trust companies or institutions; people trust people. So, as much as you can, use the name of a real person as the author of every piece of content you create or commission.

 

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