B2B marketing has changed dramatically in the last ten years and is still evolving due to innovative marketing technologies (MarTech). Consequently, misconceptions about what content marketing is and how it must be done, have resulted in common content marketing mistakes. This article explains the most common mistakes in B2B Content marketing and how to solve them.
Content Marketing Definition
Let's start with a definition: What is content marketing?
"a marketing strategy that involves the creation and sharing of different pieces of content aimed at attracting, engaging, and retaining customers".
The types of content for a b2b content marketing strategy can vary. Search engine optimization, blog posts, relevant articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, eBooks, and social media, are a few examples.
Planning content and post content depends on the needs and goals of each business. With this approach b2b businesses and stakeholders establish expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keep their business top of mind.
When creating content, it is important to realize the importance of context in content marketing. In the digital age, content is created with the help of marketing technology (MarTech) to make marketers' jobs easier.
"the software marketers use to optimize their marketing efforts and achieve business objectives."
It uses technology to plan, execute, and measure marketing strategies and campaigns.
Content strategies, social media, Marketing Automation platforms and Big Data are a few MarTech examples. They affect how B2B marketers curate content. In the evolving MarTech field, mistakes are easily made.
Common content marketing mistakes in B2B Content marketing
Here is an overview of the most common mistakes in B2B Content marketing:
#1: Only highlight products and services in content
Many B2B marketers believe, the main purpose of content creation is to help visitors choose our solutions over our competitors. This is only one of the purposes B2B marketeers need to fulfil to gain the attention of the target audience. Each web visitor follows a specific buyer’s journey, with each phase longing for a different type of content.
A customers buyer’s journey consists of four main stages:
Stage 1: Recognize the Problem
A web visitor starts to search for a better understanding of a specific problem or challenge they encounter. The visitor is not yet aware they need to buy any product or service for their issues. If only focus on selling your products or services, people can find your brand annoying and will no longer be interested.
Educate your target audience on their specific pain points and concerns.
Focus on being a helpful source of information instead of selling.
Analyse what web visitors are searching for and create valuable content.
Stage 2: Explore Solutions
The web visitor is more aware of its pain points and problems and willing to explore solutions for the problem. Clients might want to know more about your solutions. This is the time to analyse which activity changes you see on your website.
Provide them with potential solutions for their problems.
Create an opt-in form on your website to collect email addresses.
Send specific email campaigns with solutions for the main pain points your target audience encounter.
Stage 3: Consider specific products or services
In this stage, content should convince web visitors to buy your product or service. It is time to personalize your landing pages to specific customer segments. Analyse what product categories your target audience is looking for.
Link your product or service value proposition to the solutions and challenges in the content your target audience consumed earlier.
Highlight how your solution works and what benefits customers can expect.
Ask current customers for a review of your products.
Stage 4: Improve upselling after buying a product or service.
In the fourth and last stage, a customer has finally bought your product or service. The work is not done yet. Now you need to show your new and existing customers you care about them. It is time to strengthen your customer relationships.
Create a great onboarding experience with user guides and FAQs for new customers.
Help customers use your solution more effectively.
Delight existing customers with extras to make sure they want to buy extra products and services from you.
Content creation as a B2B marketer is far more than selling a product or service to a target audience. Your target audience needs to be informed, entertained, taken care of, and helped to buy your product or service.
#2: Re-using the same content
People differ in how they consume content, so it is important to reuse the same content in different formats. A blog article is different from a podcast, eBook, or infographic, although the content may be the same.
Yet, only reusing the same content repeatedly is not what content creation is about. B2B marketeers need to create lots of added content in a variety of formats to meet all customer's needs. Only in this way they can provide helpful information and easy solutions.
#3: Use content only for inbound marketing
Blogging, webinars, SEO, and social media are a few of the many inbound marketing tactics B2B marketers have for content creation. Although creating content for inbound marketing activities is important, it is hardly enough.
Moreover, only focusing on inbound marketing makes it more difficult, tardy, and expensive to reach the target audience. It is unrealistic to expect that your entire target audience will find your content via social media posts and your website. B2B marketers do therefore not need to limit the impact of their content to inbound marketing alone.
Although inbound marketing is important, B2B organizations need to look further and invest in sales of leads, contacts, and campaigns. Expanding the content reach beyond the existing business website and social media channels is extremely important.
#4: A content format for the entire target audience is enough
People can access the online and offline content they need to inform buying decisions more easily than ever before.
They differ in content format preferences. Each content format serves a specific goal. Depending on the time, place and device, your target audience is searching for, they prefer long-form or straightforward content.
An occupied person will enjoy short headlights while on the go and longer-form content when behind their desktop. Whereas a pensioned person might have plenty of time and search for more in-depth product analysis.
B2B marketers must create content in various formats to meet the widest range of preferences of their target audiences.
#5: Digital Content makes decisions easier
The overload of available digital content makes the decisions process easier for consumers, but the opposite is the case. Decision makers are overwhelmed by the flood of conflicting information; it makes them more frustrated and slows done their decisions.
Help your target audience navigate through the existing information overload. Understanding their needs and concerns and providing them with relevant and helpful content. This will help them make decisions easier, quicker and with less frustration.
#6: Neglect your customers and sales department
Not only prospects and clients are your target audience, but also other B2B organisations. Collaboration with start-ups and small organizations can help your company benefit from more sales and customers.
Sales representatives that reach out to prospects, early in their customer journey are valuable for the B2B marketing team. They help them create the right content that aligns with the specific needs of the customers.
Also talking to the customer service department might help to understand what common issues customers have while purchasing your product. This can all be helpful to create educational content, top-of-funnel content, and sales material in line with customer needs.
#7: Not being prepared for change
Digital marketing is always evolving. B2B marketers need to be prepared for change. Covid-19 affected content formats with a significant increase in webinars and online videos. Changes in society can change the tone of voice of content and even the distribution forms.
Content is created in a context. Your target audience does not consume your content in a vacuum. And audiences do not just accept any content.
Experiences, circumstances, and preferences shape the way your potential customers absorb information. Being aware of what your potential customers are experiencing is key to ensuring your content has the desired effect.
#8: social media isn't relevant to B2B Marketing
B2B businesses often think social media is not relevant to their organization. Having a social media presence can deliver the same value for B2B as B2C although the marketing techniques differ.
As everything is moving online, target audiences get used to mixing business with pleasure. B2B organizations should be where their audience is.
Social media can boost product awareness, brand reputation, customer service and market intelligence for B2B organizations when done correctly. Creating a social media channel, having a social media presence on any social media account and leaving it unattended, are incorrect.
Social Media is relevant to B2B organizations. B2B marketers must create a social media content plan, with a social media content calendar and social media goals. And regular posting on social media channels and on specific social media platforms.
LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform choice for B2B marketers. Business leaders also spend hours on other social networking sites, so social media for B2B is not limited to LinkedIn only.
Social media is a measurable marketing method which can provide insightful data about the target audience. B2B objectives, such as brand awareness, product validation, and lead generation, must align with social metrics.
Does your B2B business want to avoid common content marketing mistakes? Do you want to how social media can help your business to prosper? Contact us.