Nowadays it seems like all of us are being bombarded with more content marketing than ever before – whether it’s blog posts in our social media feeds or sponsored content on our favorite news sites. Lots of B2B companies are starting to discover the value of content marketing – which is good; after all, content marketing can help your organization connect with customers in a more targeted, impactful and relevant way than other conventional forms of advertising and marketing. Unfortunately, the bad news is that many B2B marketers are handling their content marketing budgets in the wrong way. Too much B2B content marketing is missing the mark, with off-target, out-of-touch, bland stories that lack the authentic human touch.
Here are a few ideas for why your B2B content marketing isn’t working – and what you need to do differently:
It’s not relevant. Make sure that your content is addressing urgent, relevant questions that are on your prospects’ minds – even if it’s not immediately related to your business, your content needs to be something that your prospects care about and will want to keep reading or watching.
It’s too technical. It’s true that selling B2B solutions requires a certain amount of technical expertise, but don’t put too much technical detail into your content marketing. Instead, content marketing needs to focus on storytelling and creating an emotional connection. The technical details can wait until later in the sales process when you sit down to do a product demo or answer specific questions from the prospect – or put the details on your website and let the most interested prospects read about it on their own time. Every piece of content marketing needs to be high-impact and command the audience’s attention.
It’s not authentic and “human” enough. Content marketing is your chance to be real, be human, be creative – even if that means taking risks. Of course, you have to stay within the parameters of your brand and be professional; we’re not talking about going crazy here. But look for ways to make your content marketing engaging on the human level. For example, could you use some humor in your infographics? Can you adopt a voice of “outsider” irreverence or idealism to talk about issues facing your industry? Could you do a long-form podcast where you explore Big Issues and Deep Questions that get to the heart of what your industry is really about? Often, in the world of content marketing, the companies that take the biggest chances are the ones that get the biggest rewards. “Fitting in” isn’t good enough – you need to stand out!
It’s not delivered in an easy-to-read, accessible, mobile-friendly format. Are you still emailing 50-page PDFs to your clients? Are your white papers too wordy? Is your website still not mobile friendly? If so, stop it! Lots of B2B buyers are using mobile devices to do their research now. Just like many people are using smartphones to do online shopping in our personal lives as consumers, more of your B2B buyers are going to be looking at your website from a mobile device screen. Is your company ready for that? Adjust your formatting and delivery as needed.
It’s not getting discovered on social media. Search engines still matter, of course, but if your content marketing is not getting read by the right influencers, not getting shared, and not getting talked about on social media, it might as well not exist. Start thinking strategically about how to create content that is shareable – with compelling headlines, concise synopses, and colorful infographics that command attention. Also consider investing in social media advertising to boost your content after you’ve shared it – spending some money on social media ads can get more people to read your content.
B2B content marketing is still an emerging field with lots of potential – many B2B organizations are still discovering the opportunities of creating content that speaks directly to their key audiences. But if you’re not seeing the results you’d hoped for from your B2B content, these are some of the probable reasons why. With a few adjustments to your strategy, you can start getting more sales leads from your B2B content marketing.
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