by Jayne Burch
Only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing.
Only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) They are blogging, publishing white paper offers, posting on social media, optimizing their website for search, sending email and so on as part of a content marketing effort; but not seeing the results they want.
As a marketer responsible for generating leads for the organization, it can be really frustrating to do all that work and not see the return. You want to be able to show what’s working and what’s getting the best ROI.
Interestingly, 55% of B2B marketers say they are unclear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)
When done correctly, content marketing brings more qualified leads, sales and delighted customers. However, it's easy to get off track or discount the importance of creating content, without an appreciation of this fact - the internet has forever changed marketing and sales.
Today, only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, because they have already done their research online. 62% of consumers - B2B and B2C - say they consult a search engine to learn about a product or services. (HubSpot, 2016)
In fact, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
This means customers have more control over their buying process than ever before. To attract new business, companies now need to be visible online where their customers are searching for information at every stage of their buying process. The more excellent, targeted content you publish, the more traffic, qualified leads and new customers can find you and choose you.
So, before you conclude that content marketing doesn’t work for your business type, or decide to abandon content marketing all together, consider these eight mistakes that may be interfering with your results.
Mistake #1 Blogging inconsistently or not at all
The obvious big mistake is to stop or not start blogging. There are a lot of reasons why organizations don’t publish regularly, but the biggest is, time and lack of in-house skills. It takes time and commitment of resources to research and create quality articles, images or videos. The effort is worth it, though. If you’re not getting results, you may not have created enough content yet to see movement. Consider these numbers.
- B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)
- Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015)
Mistake #2 Blogging with no strategy or plan
While some content is better than none, having a content strategy plan that purposefully builds content around a specific target audience, buyer personas and keywords, with goals in mind will produce more results. Create a content plan that follows your messaging and educates your prospects and clients about your product and service.
Mistake #3 Creating very generic content, not for a specific audience or specific to the buyer’s need
The purpose of publishing content is to attract and engage your target audience. Your prospective buyers are at all different stages of the buyer journey. Some are at the awareness level, just starting to look into addressing their problem, while others have progressed to comparing solutions and different options before buying. Create content that speaks to your buyer personas and where they are in the buyer journey.
Mistake #4 Neglecting SEO in your content
SEO starts with being aware of the best keyword phrases that are being used by your buyer personas to seek out information at all stages of the buyer process. This one is easy to fix. Use a good keyword tool like Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find the right phrases and add them to your content. Plan each article around one primary keyword phrase.
Mistake #5 Not promoting your content
Optimizing for Search Engines is just one way to make sure your content gets found. To drive traffic to your website you must amplify your content by pushing links to it out on social media platforms and through email, such as a newsletter. Let people know that your content exists.
Mistake #6 Content isn’t great or useful
Your content reflects your brand. Make sure it’s interesting, well-written and non-promotional. If you don’t have confidence in your own ability to create readable, sharable content that your prospects will want to read, consider engaging an inbound marketing consultant to help you create a content marketing plan.
Mistake #7 No calls to action on your blog
The purpose of the blog is to attract traffic to your website. Once on your blog, the goal is to capture leads with relevant content offers such as a white paper or ebook in exchange for contact information. Leverage your content; don't leave your visitors wondering what the next step is. Each article on your blog should have at least one call-to-action for a top-of-the-funnel offer like an ebook, checklist or infographic.
Mistake #8 Not enough offers on the website
Create offers for all three stages of buyer funnel. Top-of-the-funnel offers are items such as informational ebooks. A middle-of-the-funnel offer might be a webinar or product demo, and the bottom-of-the-funnel offer could be a consultation. The more offers and calls-to-action available on your site, the more likely you will capture leads from the traffic you're driving.
Content marketing drives traffic and turns that traffic into leads and clients. If your content marketing is not producing results, consider working with a consultant who specializes in inbound marketing. Start by getting a website evaluation to discover how you can get more from your website and the content you already have.
Please do us a little favor and share this article with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their lead generation.
To help you get started using personas and content marketing, DOWNLOAD THIS FREE GUIDE "7 Tips for Creating Irresistible Content and Offers". You will learn how to create content that drives traffic and generates leads.
Entrepreneur | CEO | Lead Generation Systems Expert | Inbound Marketing Expert Through Marketing Monsoon she has helped hundreds of business owners to develop automated marketing systems with their website. Ms. Burch has a background in organizational development and leadership development in large healthcare organizations. She is a Graduate Master Business Coach.