In B2B content marketing, we’ve almost seen it all: The success when people get it right. The mistakes that cause content to crash and burn. It’s those mistakes that we’re going to focus on today so we can ensure you avoid them in the future. Read on to learn how.
Some of these mistakes are old timers -- others are newbies as the B2B marketing industry has evolved. We've created a comprehensive list that will help you ace content marketing.
7 Mistakes That Harm B2B Content Marketing Success
1. Slap Together a Haphazard Editorial Calendar
There should be nothing haphazard about your editorial calendar. It's your roadmap that guides you through the entire content creation process. It keeps you aligned with your monthly goals and campaigns. If it is just thrown together for the simple sake of having a calendar, it may impress your higher-ups, but it won’t help you reach your content marketing goals.
There’s a good reason why 53% of the most effective content marketers have a documented strategy -- it works! Work hard to plan topics and content formats that fit your monthly campaign goals, and you’ll have a B2B content strategy that works.
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2. Put All Your Content Eggs in One Basket
There’s an old adage that is particularly true in content marketing: “Different strokes for different folks.” You probably have your own content preference -- whether it’s reading blog posts, watching how-to videos, or browsing an infographic. While some may share your preference, there are many more who don’t. If you focus all your energy on creating one kind of content, you're ignoring a wide swath of your audience.The reality is that you may have the best content, but if someone can’t find the content type they prefer, they’ll go elsewhere. Think out of the box, with content such as:
- Blog posts
- Visual graphics
- Case studies
- White papers
For example, a recent study showed that 78% of B2B buyers prefer case studies over other content types. Are you incorporating case studies in your B2B content marketing strategy? Discover ways to involve your current clients -- consider offering them incentives, such as a discount. Once you have case study subjects, ask them what difficulties they had in the past and how your company has helped them to resolve those problems. Besides a case study, turn this content into a video testimonial, or snippets to be used in social media.
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Make sure that you’re casting your net as widel as possible. The more expansive your net, the more likely you'll catch someone's interests.
3. Stubbornly Pursuing Goals of Viral Content
Yes, everybody wants to create a viral sensation. It has even seeped into the mindset of some B2B content marketers that viral content is the gold standard. While it would be great to see your content voraciously shared, banish that thought. Here’s why.
It is virtually impossible to predict what content will go viral -- there’s no secret formula for success. Typically, content that goes viral happens by chance. The best thing you can do is focus on the quality of your content and put those viral dreams away.
4. Only Sharing Content Once
Unfortunately, because of the flood of content on the internet, if you only share your content when it is initially created, you doom it to the proverbial back-of-the-closet space of the internet. You’ve worked hard on your conten so don’t let it evaporate after just one go.
People take to their social networks at every hour of the day, so share your content multiple times per day initally and then sprinkle it in in the following weeks. Each time, you’re bound to get new eyeballs on it and new click-throughs to your website.
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5. Not Using Metrics
Did a lead come from your social media or email campaign? Are people clicking through from LinkedIn or Twitter? You won’t know unless you use metrics. Failing to use metrics is like driving your B2B content strategy blindfolded. Measurement is a vital component to your content marketing.
Today’s technology lets you match your content to specific leads. Services like Bitly generate unique tracking codes and URLs that you can attach to a specific piece of content or social media post -- showing you how people find your content. Google Analytics shows you how many people are accessing which blog posts. This let yous amplify what works, and ditch what doesn’t make the cut.
6. Not Optimizing for Mobile
More than ever, professionals are accessing content on-the-go. Is your content optimized for a smooth and enjoyable mobile experience? What does it look like on a smartphone or tablet? It’s important to find out and improve it.
For instance, if your content is too busy, it will be overwhelming on a small screen. The solution is to utilize white space -- multiple paragraphs separated by white space make your content easier to digest.
Visual graphics are another way to enhance the mobile experience. A well-placed image can break up paragraphs of text. An infographic may also make for an easier on-the-go reading experience. Before you publish any piece of conten, ask yourself, “How will this content look on a mobile device?”
Content marketing is a constantly evolving plane of reality. --Michael Brenner
7. Being Too Self Promotional
Many B2B content marketers fall into the trap of creating boastful content for the sole purpose of self-promotion. But honestly, outside of your parents, nobdy wants to read about how wonderful you are. Instead, they want you to prove it.
Create content that showcases your unique industry expertise, and builds your credibility in the minds of your audience. Great content fills a need for the audience -- answers questions, offers unique insight, or educates. This is the kind of content that will truly promote your business.
Key Points to Remember
- Develop an editorial calendar that will keep you on the right track throughout your content creation process.
- Create a variety of content to satisfy a wide array of preferences -- and don’t forget to include case studies, which are a growing trend.
- Measure your efforts to know what content is working, and what needs to be changed.
- Optimize all of your content for a smooth and enjoyable mobile experience.
There you have it -- knowing what not to do in B2B content marketing can help you to focus on developing a method that will truly help your B2B company succeed!
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