Content marketing is an important way to reach and engage your audience. Done well, it can boost page views, leads, and sales. It will:
- Build trust with your audience
- Build brand awareness
- Boost your SEO
- Generate more leads
- Keep your audience coming back
- Establish thought leadership
On the other hand, done poorly, content marketing can eat into your time and budget, biting into your bottom line.
Want to ensure your content marketing stays on the plus side? Read on to discover the top B2B content marketing mistakes...To avoid.
10 Common B2B Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Lacking a Grand Strategy
Content marketing is just one tool in your overall Internet marketing toolbox. It's all too easy for a well-meaning manager to read articles about how two-thirds of businesses are blogging and immediately jump onboard without considering his larger strategy.
A blog is good for communicating with customers, it's true, but it's also effective for leveraging keywords, boosting SEO, and integrating link-building strategies.
That's why you need a content marketing plan. The plan needs to include your purpose, objectives and goals for content marketing. Why are you doing it? How will it advance your marketing goals? The plan needs to address those questions. Without it, you'll be unfocused and directionless.
2. Focusing on the Brand, Not the Customers
It's easy to get into an “it's all about me” mindset when engaging in content marketing. You undoubtedly love talking about your products, and that's fine, but you can't focus solely on yourself.
Content marketing is fundamentally about providing value to the people viewing the content. By all means, if you have a cool production process, make a “how we work” video showing your work behind the scenes. Doing it nonstop, however, just makes it a tedious sales pitch.
The key is moderation. Strike a balance between self-promotion and putting out content people will genuinely find useful or interesting.
3. Getting Obnoxious with Keywords
Keyword strategies in online marketing is a fine balancing act. On one hand, you want keywords to help drive search users to your site. But you can't forget that successful content marketing requires creating content that people want to view.
Keywords should be integrated into your text as naturally as possible, and without making it feel like the only purpose for the content is to serve as a vehicle for spamming those keywords over and over.
Just ask yourself: “Is this something I would want to read?” If not, it probably needs some work.
4. Flying Blind
Ignoring key metrics in your content marketing is like flying a plane without looking at your instruments -- it won't end well!
Tools like Google Analytics give you a window into how your audience is reacting to your content, what is doing well, and what needs to change. Pay attention to such metrics and adjust accordingly.
Establish goals for your content marketing. This will tell you what metrics you need to monitor. If your goal is brand awareness, then you need to monitor website visitors. If your goal is thought leadership, then keep track of social shares and other engagement metrics.
Ignoring key metrics in your content marketing is like flying a plane without looking at your instruments CLICK TO TWEET
5. Forgetting Internal Links
Internal links within your content to other parts of your site are a great way to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing. This actually serves multiple purposes, which is why it's such a valuable technique:
An array of internal encourages search engine spiders to spend more time on your site. (A sitemap helps with this as well.)
It encourages visitors to view more of your content. The longer they look at your site, the more likely they are to convert into leads.
And finally, it establishes you as an authority in your field, boosting your credibility.
6. Not Updating Consistently
For content marketing to work, you have to stick with it. In many ways, having a blog with a handful of posts that hasn't been updated in six months is worse than having no blog at all. It makes it appear that you won't finish what you start, or that you're lackadaisical in your approach to marketing.
A constant flow of new content encourages people to return while also ensuring that Google considers your website “active,” increasing search spider indexing.
7. Focusing on Quantity and Forgetting Quality
Don't get me wrong. Quantity has its place. It's important to have a solid pool of content. If you have a serious lack of content, visitors will flee and likely doubt your industry expertise.
But you should never sacrifice the quality of your content just to have more of it.
Take time to invest in the quality of your content. Create engaging, long-form content, which will boost your SEO status.
Check your content thoroughly for spelling and grammar mistakes. If this isn't your forte, invest in an editor who can thoroughly check your content before you hit publish. Quality content can't be riddled with errors.
8. Creating Text-Only Content
While blog posts are an essential part of content marketing, these should not be a solid block of text. If you've read a blog post like that, you know exactly what I mean -- it's claustrophobia on the page, overwhelming the brain and scaring off people.
Visual content does more than simply lighten up text. When presented with text-only content, 10% of people were able to remember what they read three days later. But when people were presented with the same content with a relevant image, 65% were able to remember the content three days later!
Whether it's a blog post image or infographic, create attractive and engaging visuals with the help of a free tool like Canva. And remember to create a content strategy that balances text-heavy content like blogs and ebooks with visual content such as infographics SlideShares, and videos.
9. Not Capturing Emails
As you continue to create and publish content, it will bring more visitors to your site. Letting those visitors go without giving them the option to join an email list is like trying to collect water in a colander -- it wastes all the effort of your content creation!
Use a simple opt-in form to capture your website visitor's names and email addresses. This will allow them to stay plugged into your brand and allow you to gently nurture them into leads.
You can also use your content as a lead generation tool by including relevant calls to action in your blog posts and other content. Create high-caliber content, such as ebooks and white papers, to attract and generate high-quality leads to your brand.
10. Being a Perfectionist
If you wait for your content strategy to be perfect, you'll never get it out of the gate. The bottom line is that no strategy is perfect. You will succeed in some areas and learn from others.
The basis of any good content strategy is to react to your audience. If you notice that your audience views your videos more than blog posts, then invest more of your time and energy into that. If you notice that your audience engages more with how-to articles, then turn your attention to that.
Every audience is different -- you can't know how your specific audience will react to your content until you take that first step.
B2B content marketing is an essential part of your business's strategy. Don't allow these easily-avoidable mistakes to keep you from the content marketing success you deserve.
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What major B2B content marketing mistakes have you seen, and how could they be avoided? Let us know in the comments below.
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