Content marketing is dominating the B2B space, with 93% of marketers using it. And why not? B2B content marketing, after all, generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing while costing 62% less.
But before you get excited, know that it can fall short of expectations like other forms of marketing.
Yes, content marketing mistakes are just around the corner – waiting to be made. And as you will see, many have fallen prey to these pitfalls. What are these major mistakes you need to avoid? Read on and find out.
Mistake #1: No Documented Strategy – The Biggest B2B Content Marketing Mistake
To succeed in any endeavor, you need to know what success looks like and how to get there.
Want to succeed in content marketing? Then establishing the target metrics and creating a documented strategy is a must. Marketers may find it easy to set goals – add 1,000 newsletter subscribers, convert 10% of visitors to free trial sign-ups, and the list goes on.
But when it comes to documenting a strategy, many content marketers fall short.
A survey published by the Content Marketing Institute found that 83% of marketers do have a strategy. Nothing to worry about except only 35% have documented their plan of action while 48% rely on “verbal” strategy. And not surprisingly, the former fare better than the latter.
Among the marketers who have their strategy written down, 60% consider their organization to be effective. And only 32% of marketers with a “verbal” strategy think they’re doing well.
The lesson is clear as day:
If you want your content marketing campaign to go places, you better plan your action and have the strategy documented.
Mistake #2: Lack Of Distribution And Promotion Plan
You just published an awesome piece of content – maybe a free video course, an info-packed research report, or an engaging infographic. But if your target audience can’t find your epic content, what’s the point!?
Creating top quality content is only a part of content marketing, not the whole enchilada. For a piece of content to do its job, it has to be backed by a solid distribution and promotion plan. Unfortunately, many business owners and marketers seem to miss this.
A survey of the content marketing landscape found that only 53% of business owners recognize the need for distributing their content to the right channels.
But here’s the worse part:
Only 26% invest in distribution.
Don’t make the same mistake!
When mapping out a B2B content marketing strategy, create a detailed “marketing plan” for every piece of content. How are you going to distribute it? When should you start promoting? And where? All of these questions must be answered clearly.
Without a clear plan for distribution and promotion, one could be creating the greatest ebook, infographic, or case study no one has ever seen. A waste of time, effort, and money!
Mistake #3: Mistaking Content Marketing For Advertising
B2B content marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable content to attract, engage, and acquire a target audience. Advertising, on the other hand, is the process of calling public attention to one’s products and services.
The difference between the two is clear, but some B2B digital marketers mistake one for the other.
The content they create looks and feels very similar to advertisements. Every image included is branded with a logo. Case studies cited are nothing more than glorified testimonials. And “buy now” CTAs are all over the place.
Nothing’s wrong with putting one’s products and services in front of buyers. But too much self-promotion can sabotage a content marketing campaign.
Think about it:
Not every potential client knows they have a problem and need a solution. And a barrage of sales pitches will be met with a question mark.
“Why do I even need your product?”
A better way to approach these potential clients is to focus on the issues they have but are not aware of. After highlighting their unrecognized problems and challenges, introducing a solution – and being heard – becomes a lot easier.
Mistake #4: Disconnecting Decision Makers With Personalization Overdose
Personalization, or one-to-one marketing, is the key to sales. A study by Accenture, involving 2,000 consumers in the US and the UK, found that 73% of consumers choose to do business with brands that create relevant and personalized shopping experiences.
So how can personalization be detrimental to a B2B company’s content marketing efforts!?
The answer lies in the number of decision-makers.
In a B2C scenario, marketers and sales people need to pitch and personalize their message for one person only – the consumer.
But the B2B universe is different. There are more people involved in the sale, and they may represent different interests within the same company.
The head of marketing wants to see how the purchase will help them generate more leads. The CFO, on the other hand, needs to ensure that the company’s finances don’t take a hit. And then there’s the IT director whose main concern is rolling out updates efficiently while minimizing errors.
And what happens when content is personalized for every decision-maker? It disconnects the stakeholders, ultimately hampering the buying process.
So instead of disconnecting people through personalization overdose, focus on the common ground among decision-makers. Pick content topics and ideas that appeal to all stakeholders. By taking this route, a B2B content marketer helps the group see their collective solution.
Ready To Set Up Your B2B Content Marketing Efforts For Success?
B2B Content marketing is the digital marketer’s latest modus operandi, which means competition will only get tougher. And in face of stiffer competition, marketers are always looking for the latest techniques and workarounds to one-up the opposition.
However, one must also remember not to shoot their campaigns in the foot.
And in this post, we looked at four of these B2B content marketing blunders: not having a documented strategy, lack of distribution plan, too much shameless self-promotion, and personalization overdose.
Review your B2B current marketing campaigns and ask: “Am I committing any of these errors?”
And if you think you are, what steps are you going to take to set things right?