When it comes to content marketing, getting it right can play a key part in the success of your company. However, there are several mistakes that many B2B marketers make without even realising it. This is largely because the concept of content marketing is still relatively new for many brands, and as such, they often jump feet first into producing content without giving enough thought to the process, strategy or overall mission. With no differentiated story or clear direction, the content marketing fails every time. Here’s what to look out for…
1. Lack of strategy
It sounds straightforward – when it comes to content marketing, you need to have a plan. However, for some reason, only 37% of B2B marketers were found to have actually written a content marketing plan. This is up from 32% the previous year, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Studies have found, however, that those who keep a record of their goals, consistently review them, and share these goals with their friends and colleagues are 33% more successful in actually achieving what they have set out to do, than people who just had thoughts but kept them in their head.
Documenting your strategy may not seem a priority, especially given that it can be time-consuming. If you have a small team, you may also feel it isn’t necessary. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, and no matter the size of your workplace, documenting your goals remains key. Once you have a structure in place for your plan, it’s just a case of adding in the information – which you should already know, if it’s in your head. You can then share this with all your team, who can then align their work with your goals.
2. No differentiation
One of the key things that may be killing your content marketing is that many B2B marketers aren’t setting their company out as being different. What makes you unique to your competitors? Chances are high that most are going to have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and newsletters. These characteristics are so commonplace that it’s now important for marketers to start thinking outside the box. It also means you’re fighting harder than ever to get people’s distracted attention.
Part of the solution is asking yourself the question “why should our customers care?” When you post something on Facebook, ask yourself why it matters to them. When you send an e-mail, consider why they should bother opening it. Make sure the content that you distribute is different.
3. Writing to a broad audience
Commonly, marketers forget to consider their audience. But ask yourself now; Who am I writing for? Who will be opening this e-mail, or seeing this post on their news feed? You might have a few different audiences that you are targeting with the same content initiative. The goal is to be able to connect with each of them, without feeling too vague. The more focused your message is to your audience, the better the response will be.
Important questions to ask yourself include:
– Who is your audience?
– What is their buyer persona?
– Why are you communicating with them?
– What behaviour do you want to see from them?
– What do they need to do?
– What is the benefit for them?
– Is there any incentive for them to change their behaviour?
– What problem are you solving for them?
– If you didn’t provide this solution, can anyone else fill the gap?
– How are you better than anyone that can also do what you’re providing?
4. Not focusing on the customer journey
Part of understanding the customer journey comes through understanding your buyer. Who are they? What is their job? What do they spend their day doing? What problems or challenges do they experience in their job? What might lead them to your business? Is the buyer the primary decision maker?
How many people will need to consider the decision alongside them? Will the buyer be engaging with you on a specific device? How do they usually source information? In what way will the buyer expect you to communicate with them? All of these questions feed into understanding what journey your customer will be taking when it comes to buying from you.
If you are communicating to your audience through your website, it is important to consider what search terms they will use to find you. This is known as ‘search engine optimisation’ and there are many tools available to you online that will ensure you are including the right words effectively across your content. It is also important to look at your website through a customer’s eyes. What will they be looking for? Is all the information easy to find? Are your contact details readily available? Will they know how to find this?
5. Producing too much content
It sounds crazy to suggest that too much content can be a bad thing. Can you ever produce too much, and why would that be a hindrance? However, as the adage goes, “quality over quantity”. It doesn’t matter how vast your quantity output is if it isn’t relevant, valuable and effective. You need to ignite your customers’ minds – are you making them want to know more? Are you sparking business? Are you teaching them why they ought to work with you? If your efforts are careless, your customer won’t waste their time reading it. They’re busy people and their time and energy should be respected.
How to ensure your content marketing is on point:
- Keep it short and compelling. You need just enough to cover the essentials, while also keeping it interesting.
- Make sure it includes relevant and timely information but be concise.
- Your customer has a short attention span. Make your content easy to scan with the use of subtitles, quotes and call-outs.
- Include links to back up your point, but also so any further information isn’t clogging up the page.
- Keep your audience engaged – sharing content at least once a week should be the minimum requirement.
Need help with your content marketing? Aphra is a full-service sales and marketing consultancy with a team of expert copywriters on hand to help with all your content marketing and copywriting requirements. Get in touch with us today: [email protected]