5 simple mistakes that all B2B content marketers are guilty of
You can’t mess with the mantra ‘quality over quantity’. Senior Account Manager Helen Hamilton takes us through 5 simple mistakes that content marketeers are guilty of, and how to combat them.
Ever since Bill Gates coined the phrase ‘content is king’ back in 1996, marketers have jumped on the content creation bandwagon, thinking that the more you create, the more sales you would make. Fast-forward 25 years and we have come to realise that you can’t mess with the mantra, ‘quality over quantity’. But interestingly, as B2B marketers we still catch ourselves making silly mistakes which get in the way of producing quality content.
So let’s recognise once and for all the simple mistakes that we as content marketers are all guilty of, and how to combat them:
1. NOT HAVING A CLEAR OBJECTIVE
We’re all well versed in the ‘SMART’ objective rule and its importance, so why do we forget to apply it when it comes to content creation? Your objective should be your line of focus, your ongoing point of reference, and something that can evolve over time. But if you don’t know what your objective is, where do you start? Let’s find out:
- Start at the top: what are the company’s overall business objectives? Is there a priority order?
- What are the overarching initiatives which have been put in place to deliver on the company’s business objectives – i.e. specific campaigns or product launches? Therefore, what are the objectives of these?
With the above points in mind, you should be able to drill down a bit deeper and create a clear objective for your content, and from there work out what it’s true purpose should be.
2. NOT KNOWING YOUR BUYER PERSONAS
So now you know what your objective is, but do you know who you are targeting? If not, then consider asking yourself:
- Who are the key decision makers that influence the purchase?
- What are your buyer personas and their responsibilities?
- If you have multiple buyer personas, what are their individual needs?
If you can answer all the above – great news, it’s time to get content planning! If not, it should be a priority to find out, otherwise you will risk putting time, money, and effort into creating content for all the wrong people.
3. NOT HAVING A CONTENT ROADMAP
Planning is the key to success for all marketing activities, and content is no exception. You need to have a content roadmap, i.e. something on paper that will see you through from short to long term. The content you input should:
- Map back to your objectives and the personas you’ve already outlined
- Be structured with a timeline in mind, yet flexible enough to respond to macro and micro changes
- Identify content formats and what channels you plan to push your content out to
Another point to consider is that you don’t always have to create new content from scratch – think about repurposing existing content into different formats or refreshing small sections of the original piece to keep it feeling fresh.
4. WASTING VALUABLE CONTENT
Developing content can be costly, in terms of both time and money, so surely you would expect B2B businesses to squeeze the life out of their content before retiring it? But no, SiriusDecisions* once estimated that 60–70% of all content produced by B2B companies goes unused! Not to point out the obvious, but what a waste!
As mentioned above, think about what channels are most suitable to host your content, and how it can be syndicated in different places. Pay attention to where your buyer personas hang out, and identify whether they are owned, earned, or paid channels. The easier you can make something to find, the more likely it is to be viewed and shared, and ultimately acted upon.
5. NOT MEASURING SUCCESS
Last but not least, there’s no point in creating rich content if you aren’t going to measure its success. This is a crucial final step, as it could impact the opportunity for a business to learn and grow from its content in the future. Make sure that:
- The measurement ties back to the business objectives
- You select only the most important metrics to measure against – don’t measure for the sake of it!
- You keep tabs on the ROI – remember this could take months to collate in the B2B world, due to lengthy buying cycles. Don’t think you’ve failed if you don’t see immediate results!
- You register what types of content worked and what didn’t, so you can optimise for next time
PERFECT YOUR CONTENT WITH PURPLE
Although we try our best to develop great content, we have to remember that we’re all human, and sometimes the task at hand can feel overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is that great content should encourage your audience to engage, feel and act. If your audience believes in your content, your job is already half done; all you need to do is build on that relationship and convert their interest into a long-lasting partnership.
If in doubt, we have a tried and tested method to get your content working for you – check out our 6-step guide which covers how to plan your content marketing roadmap:
- Gather insights
- Identify your buyer persona
- Create a content map
- Content development
- Content syndication
- Measure, report, optimise
There are no excuses for making simple mistakes – get started on your content roadmap and plan for success!
*SiriusDecisions stat: https://go.forrester.com/blogs/summit-2013-day-2-recap/
Helen Hamilton is a Senior Account Manager at Purple Agency. For 9 years she has been working with global B2B brands across a number of industries, and has extensive experience developing and delivering all manner of successful content campaigns and initiatives.
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