5 Disastrous B2B Content Marketing Mistakes That Are Costing You Big

Posted by Wendy Marx

Content Marketing

Are you getting the payoff you rightfully deserve from your B2B marketing campaign? What mistakes could be standing between your efforts and rocking results? Discover what you need to change, then sit back and watch your results soar!

1. Too Much Shameless Self Promotion

Conventional marketing wisdom taught us that marketing means blasting the word about our company and our product. After all, wouldn't companies want to know that they can buy from the best in the business -- us? Recent studies have shown, however, that this is not usually the case. Consider this truism: A business person needs to understand they need a solution before they begin to consider which solution they'll choose.

Instead of focusing on what your audience should be doing (in other words, choosing your product or service), spotlight your audience's challenges. You may even be able to show how a prospect's current activity is negatively impacting performance. Once that's established, you can more effectively introduce your company's solution -- and be heard. 

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2. Underestimating the Value of Visual Content

It's no secret that visual content engages. Visuals can come in many forms. Think photos, infographics, and videos. In fact, research shows that posts with an image produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts - a motivating statistic, to say the least.

"Visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly." - Larry Kim CLICK_TO_TWEET.png

Visuals help to evoke emotional responses that tap our interest. Even if you've been including visuals in your marketing all along, don't rest on your laurels!

With the advent of Facebook Live and other social media video options, visual content is at an all-time high. Take advantage of this trend by creating stellar video content that will capture eyeballs.

There are a number of amazing tools available -- some of them even free -- that can help you do just this. Canva and Picmonkey let you create killer graphics for each post.  YouTube Editor or Animoto help you produce pro-level video for your content marketing.


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3. B2B Content Marketing That Is Too Individualized

You often hear that personalization is what makes a sale. In fact, too much personalization can hinder your efforts in the B2B universe. Why?

Previously, you might have known exactly whom to address within a company. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. A recent study showed that an average of 5.4 people are involved in signing off on today's B2B purchase decisions.

With so many people involved in the decision-making process, there can be some very different priorities at play - including marketing, financial, and IT. By molding your content marketing to fit just one team in the company, you're in essence ignoring the other big decision makers. 

Your marketing should strive to bridge these differences and create consensus among your buyers. You need a cohesive plan that addresses the concerns of each person involved in choosing your product or service. Here are 3 crucial items for your plan:

  1. Focus on common ground among stakeholders. Choose content topics that will be preferred by the majority.
  2. Decrease perceived risk and increase perceived rewards.
  3. Have tools ready that communicate the value of your product or service.

4. Ignoring Important Metrics

It's important to know right from the get-go how potential customers are reacting to your marketing content. What works? What flops? 

To ensure that, add a testing phase to your content creation process. During this phase, you'll want to ask yourself the following questions about your content:

  • What are the best days and times to schedule your content?
  • Which CTAs perform best?
  • What headline is most read?
  • What type of content is most engaging?
  • Which visuals get the most eyeballs?
  • What email campaign performs best?

" the marketing and sales teams work collaboratively to create campaigns that positively affect the bottom line." - Kelsey Jones CLICK_TO_TWEET.png

Tools such as Hubspot, BuzzSumo, Bitly, and Google Analytics will help you to make sure you're on the right track with engaging content (for a more comprehensive list of tools, check out this post) Be sure to A/B test your content to see what performs the best. You may be surprised.

(Click here to learn about more great ways to energize your B2B content strategy)

5. Not Allowing Your Customer to Gauge Progress

It's human nature to want to move forward and see what we've accomplished. That's why every treadmill displays distance covered and calories burned. Your customers will feel more engaged along the sales process if they feel your meeting their needs and they're accomplishing set goals. 

Start by mapping out the entire sales process from beginning to end; research what questions and concerns your customer will likely have during each phase. Then create content that will specifically address each question or concern, addressing only one concern at a time.

Just as those blinking dots help a runner to visualize the finish line on a treadmill, your content can boost your customers' morale, and help them to reach the end with a smile -- which extends to your bottom line. (Click here for more ways to transform your content marketing into a growing asset.)

Now that you know what to avoid, it's time to get crackin' and turn your content marketing into a lead-generating engine. 

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Aug 15, 2016

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx