According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ fourth annual B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, 93% of business-to-business marketers say they are utilizing content marketing this year. With that being said, only 44% of B2B marketers have created a documented content strategy. That number seems awfully low, considering how those B2B marketers who hold true to a strategy experience a greater feeling of confidence and success in their content marketing endeavors.
A whopping 84% of marketers who label their content marketing efforts as “ineffective” said they don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. On the flip side, marketers who have a documented content strategy are far more likely to feel effective.
With those percentages in mind, let’s take a look at where B2B marketers are going wrong and how you can avoid common pitfalls.
We made content! We’re done, right?!
No. Creating great content can be a process and once it’s made you should want it to be viewed as much as possible. Slapping content on your company’s blog and walking away isn’t cutting it. What other avenues are at your disposal? Think along the lines of what Social Media properties you can incorporate for distribution, can your content appear on other industry sites or blogs, would an easily sharable infographic be a good addition to your piece, etc.
If you don’t have a plan to promote and distribute your material, how can you assume that it will ever see the light of day? You can’t. Evaluate your resources and push your content across as many channels as possible.
Get a grip on your team. If you have more than one person pumping out content, make sure they all have the same goals in mind and communicate often. A weekly review of the content calendar and “idea generation” session is beneficial for all players involved. Sticking to a strategy will help ensure the quality of the content produced, keep the team unified, and put “checks-and-balances” to keep everyone accountable. You wouldn’t want a content creator to go “rogue” and waste resources producing material that doesn’t quite fit into your overall vision, would you?
Content Creation 101
When deciding on content subject matter, dig into the data. You may have a hunch on what would fly with your audience or your client may have a specific topic they want covered. Before spending valuable time turning out that piece of content, do your research. Check out SEO keywords and see what your target audience is searching for and what needs your competitors might be overlooking. I personally like to hunt around Social Media sites and the internet looking at what material on any given subject matter already exists.
Hook, Line, & Sinker
Don’t underestimate the value of closing out an informative piece of content with a call-to-action. You’ve put in the effort to supply your audience with valuable information, you now need to spur them into action. Without a clear call-to-action, what’s the point? Creating nice reading material? No, your intention is to engage with your readers and connect them with your business.
Keep these tips in mind and remember that B2B marketers who follow a well thought-out documented strategy are more effective and struggle less with all aspects of content marketing. Learn how to create a stellar content strategy for B2B business here.