Content marketing has held the spotlight for B2B organizations for quite some time. It has proven to be an effective avenue for many things including lead generation. However, creating content that is relevant to your target personas and compelling enough to turn them into a lead is no easy feat for marketers. In efforts to do so, marketers make a few common mistakes. We highlight everything you need to know to avoid these common B2B content marketing pitfalls so you can achieve success with your content marketing strategy.
B2B Marketers Fail to Optimize
One mistake B2B marketers make quite often is not optimizing content. This sounds like a no-brainer, but failing to optimize old content and not focusing on optimization for new content is a common mistake marketers make. Optimization doesn’t have to be a large, lengthy task, but some are intimidated by the notion because marketers don’t know what to change to get better results. There are not an endless number of things that can be changed, so it can be challenging to know where to start.
How to Optimize:
To optimize content and other marketing efforts, start by gathering data on your blogs. This is often the best place to start when looking to optimize content. Ask these questions such as:
- What are your most visited blog posts?
- How do visitors get to your site?
- What does their behavior path look like? Do they browse a few posts or stay on one page?
Answers to these questions give you a better understanding of website visitor behavior. This helps in future content creation efforts.
Another way to enhance optimization is for marketers to take the time for educational opportunities, especially in the constantly changing industry of B2B marketing. Reading other content daily will keep you up to date on trends and what is being discussed most. To ensure you are up to date, pick an event to go to this year, take an online course or join an online community. These opportunities expose you to other like-minded B2B marketers that can help you optimize your new content and focus on topics that matter most.
Uncertainty About Return on Investment (ROI)
In a recent Content Marketing Institute study, nearly 51% of marketers are unsure as to their understanding of their content marketing ROI while 36% have a clear understanding of their content ROI. There is a stark difference between these two groups and uncertainty of ROI remains a common mistake B2B marketers make. What many marketers fail to recognize is that measuring ROI is about having the right goals, accurate data and maintaining a clean, organized marketing automation solution or other tracking tool.
How to Understand and Boost Content Marketing ROI:
To understand ROI, you need to start by establishing the goals and measurements that are important to your organization. Marketing goals should be linked to overall business goals. For example, if your goal is to increase Year-over-Year (YOY) revenue by 10%, your marketing goals might be to “meet or exceed monthly MQL targets and an overall 15% increase in MQLs YOY.”
Keeping a clean, accurate database will make the biggest difference in measuring ROI. Regular upkeep of your marketing automation solution or tracking tool is the first step. If you’re unsure about how accurate your data is, consider doing a marketing automation audit.
Another option is to utilize an ROI calculator. If you are using an automation tool you can leverage the system to measure and track ROI or you can create an Excel spreadsheet, set up necessary formulas and keep track of your results there. A few key metrics you’ll want to add to your ROI calculator are hours used creating content, traffic to the content and conversions. Putting a monetary value on these efforts and figuring out the percentage of revenue that can be attributed to your content marketing efforts is the second piece. When you’re able to communicate the value that content marketing has on new sales and engagements, you can effectively showcase the ROI and importance of content marketing.
Minimal Marketing Team Members or Resources
Many small organizations or startups simply don’t have in-house resources to create and deliver the content their business needs. Outsourcing is a great opportunity to bring in fresh, new content and get it done without having to hire additional people on your team. A mistake that many organizations make is not focusing on content, because understandably there are other priorities. But when content lacks, other marketing efforts quickly fall behind, which can be detrimental.
How to Maximize Your Marketing Resources:
Building an experienced in-house marketing team is both expensive and time-consuming. On the other hand, finding the right agency that matches your brand and helps you get closer to your goals can be a challenge, too. While these are often the top two ways to address minimal marketing resources, there are other options. Even with a small team, you can create a lot of bang for your buck. Building on existing content by republishing older content with new data and ideas takes minimal effort, but is very effective.
You can also repurpose the content you have on your website in new ways. Blogs can be compiled and turned into an eBook, stats from a case study can be used for an infographic or a guide can be turned into social media posts. There are several ways you can use your existing content for new options that still provide value.
Content Gets Created, But Not Utilized
Sometimes, we start creating content but stop halfway when other priorities take over. Sometimes we start creating content but don’t finish because the topic is no longer important. The reasons are endless when it comes to started yet not completed content. A common mistake marketers make is to discard this half-finished content. This content can be very useful, and we’ll tell you how.
How to Ensure Your Content Is Used:
Start by establishing topics that are relevant and key to your target personas. These topics can be broad, like “branding,” or “lead generation” but from there, you can identify subtopics that will help direct the creation of new content. For example, within branding, you might choose “brand development,” “style guides” and “identity positioning.” With these established, create a content calendar that fits all of your topics and/or subtopics. This ensures content that is created has a purpose. Define how often you will be posting about certain topics or subtopics to ensure that your content marketing stack has a well-distributed variety.
And one more thing; never delete your started content! There could still be valuable insights into what you’ve started that you can add to other pieces later or combine with a few other unfinished pieces. This tactic will also help when you’re short on writers or content ideas.
Looking for content marketing support? Contact us today or request a free marketing consultation. We’ve helped 100s of clients establish a content marketing strategy and create effective content to support it.