Bigger companies usually have resources to produce large amounts of diverse content, but often this doesn’t bring tangible results in the form of new leads. It is also sometimes the case that poorly conducted content marketing doesn’t even generate increased traffic or user engagement on the company’s website. This means that the time your team devotes goes to waste and doesn’t lead to the development of your business.
So what can you do wrong that makes your content marketing not work effectively? Let’s see.
The lack of regularity in content production is one of the most common mistakes in B2B content marketing. If the texts appear irregularly, you can’t expect to build a group of loyal fans — it doesn’t matter what content format you choose. Often the problem results from the lack of compliance with deadlines by employees who hide behind other “more urgent” tasks (I wrote more about this in the article: How to motivate employees to create content?) or situations such as employee’s illness or vacation days on demand.
If this is a scenario that applies to your business, find out if you have a stock of content that can be published regardless of random situations. That way you’ll protect your regularity against the lack of materials for your readers. Often the problem with regularity is due to the lack of a content calendar and planning for at least a few weeks ahead or the lack of a person responsible for it — someone who will ensure the smooth running of the process and keeping deadlines, or the developed content creation process (i.e. ad hoc creation, without a pre-determined action plan).
In the companies with which I worked, there were often just no resources to conduct content marketing. If this is the situation in which you find yourself, you should probably also read this article: No time for content marketing?
Another solution would be recruiting a content marketer.
You don’t generate leads because you write to people who will never buy from you. Working with tech companies, I sometimes see specialists write about technologies, delving into the meanders of systems, solutions or industry news, forgetting that their target customer is a non-technical person whose goal is not to find out how well the application code was written, but to obtain a solution to the problem he’s facing. In this case, the code will be only an insignificant part of the solution he wants.
Even if your decision-maker in 100% cases is someone who has domain knowledge (e.g. marketing director for a marketing agency) very often in the purchasing process on the client’s side there are people who are deprived of this knowledge such as lawyers, CFO or CEO.
If you have a developed buyer’s persona, make sure that the content your team creates is attractive to them. If you don’t have the persona ready — it’s probably time to develop it. And while you’re on this task, it might be worth trying to define the stakeholders (so-called decision influencers) who are next to your main decision maker in the purchasing process.
By the way: I noticed that in many B2B companies, a buyer’s persona is well established in the minds of founders and managers, but not necessarily in the minds of lower-level employees. You should check that.
Creating a buyer’s persona isn’t everything. It is worth remembering that even if you hit your target group with the content, each of these people may be at a different stage of the purchasing process. One person can only be thinking about a way to solve his problem, while at the same time the other one will have already decided on a specific solution and look for the best cooperation partner. You must address different messages to both of them. If one of them is missing, you automatically reduce your chances of conversion.
Each of your content pieces should be tailored to the stage of the conversion funnel it’s in. To achieve that and, over time, “draw” the user closer to the decision to submit the form, you should:
Content production machine: Quora
Example: you have a software house that creates mobile applications. You have written several articles on the company blog about why one should use the services of a software house in a certain case, a video with an employee who tells what your work looks like in the inside team in such implementations and a case study in which you show off the results of the implementation.
Between articles that utilize the same user need, it’s worth adding internal linking, and at the end of the article a call to action (so-called CTA) leading to the next material from the next stage of the funnel.
Another mistake that is closely related to the effectiveness of content marketing is the lack of encouragement for direct and indirect conversions. An indirect conversion can be subscribing to a newsletter, downloading premium material (e.g. an e-book) or downloading an offer. The direct conversion will then be submitting the form.
Check if you have a clearly defined Call To Action in all your content and links between different forms of content. When it comes to increasing user involvement it is important to display popups and exit popups on a website, so that we can convince the user to stay on the page longer or encourage him to e.g. to download an e-book in exchange for his email address (which you will later use for targeting ads on social media or in newsletter campaigns).
Your content will also be supported by launching remarketing and, depending on the audience you will be targeting — presenting ads encouraging direct or indirect conversions.
It’s good to start creating content by developing touchpoints between your content and your potential customers. It may turn out that you rely on video content distributed on YouTube, while your target group may not use this medium at all, but e.g. listen to a lot of podcasts. In this case, no matter how valuable the content you prepare, it won’t lead to an increase in the number of new leads.
The same applies to focusing your content marketing activities on one channel only. It is rare in B2B that a user chooses to contact you after seeing your content for the first time. Most often, to attract such a user you have to catch his attention in different places and different formats. However, this doesn’t mean that each of your materials must be unique. Use a content distribution model and create content from content.
You can find more about the above content production model in this article.
Just like in the case of a mismatch of content to the target group, it is a mistake to create content that won’t ultimately reach the interested people. You can create the best content in the world, but if only your employees and friends read it, you won’t generate any new leads.
When it comes to content marketing, you should primarily take care of:
The lack of content marketing analytics is a big mistake. You’d be surprised how many companies don’t measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. If you don’t measure the results of the content you create in any way — how will you know if it brings the intended results?
The main factors determining whether content marketing works are the number of conversions and the conversion rate. However, when these indicators indicate 0, it doesn’t always mean that content marketing doesn’t work. First of all, check what the users’ behavior on the site looks like (how much time they spend there, how many and what subpages they view and on what elements they focus their attention). This basic analysis will give you a clear picture of the statistical user of your website.
In addition, it’s important to check how your content marketing looks in the conversion funnel. It often turns out that it doesn’t generate direct lead conversions, but if it wasn’t there, the user would never reach us or confirm the belief that we are the right partner to solve a given problem.
If you’ve been investing in content marketing as a strategy for lead generation, but it hasn’t brought the expected results, you probably make one or more of the above mistakes. Thanks to the fact that you have reached the end of this text, you have the opportunity to stop that and start making other, new mistakes on the road to effective content marketing.
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