Content marketing is a long-term strategy that can work very well for your B2B company. When it’s well-planned and executed, you’ll develop a deep understanding of your audience, connect with them in all phases of the buyer journey, and consistently grow your business.
Even with a great strategy and team around you, there might be a few mistakes you’re still making that are holding you back. Behaviors and actions that turn away your audience and make it harder for you to connect with them.
Here are six mistakes that you should stop doing with your B2B content.
1. Ignoring Your Mobile Audience
It’s surprising when a business has a website that’s not mobile-friendly. Or one that publishes content that’s not mobile-friendly. Over 4 billion people access the Internet on a mobile device, so when your B2B website doesn’t work on it, you risk alienating your target audience. You risk damaging the customer experience, but also you’ll impact your position in search results. Mobile responsiveness is one of Google’s ranking factors.
Test your website and content to see if it’s mobile-friendly. Try it out on your own mobile devices and run it through an online tester to verify it, such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or BrowserStack’s responsive tester.
When you test your content, look at the size of the font on the screen. Is it easy to read? Is the layout easy to flow through and navigate on a mobile device? You may have to adjust some of these if they are hard to read or use. You can also survey your readers to ask for their feedback on the content.
2. Publishing Only One Format
Today’s content marketers publish a variety of content in various formats, such as blog posts, social media messages, videos, images, infographics, and everything in between. One of the biggest mistakes B2B companies make today is publishing the same content format all the time. You cannot expect to connect with your audience if you only speak to them one way.
Look at your content calendar or create one if you don’t have one. See how varied your content formats are and identify where you can create more interactive, creative, and engaging formats. For instance, which topics can be covered in short videos, which could be turned into graphics or infographics, and which can be converted into longer-format posts, articles, or eBooks.
3. Marketing Without a Goal
With so much online competing for their attention, audiences expect more from their content. So, why is your B2B company still publishing content in bulk without a real plan? If your content doesn’t speak to your audience by answering their questions and engaging them in conversation, it doesn’t really do much for you. It doesn’t work because you didn’t develop it to be helpful or shareable. Audiences want to consume high-quality content that helps them achieve their goals, is sharable with their networks, and engages them.
Develop a marketing strategy that can serve both your goals and help your audience achieve theirs.
- For you: Identify a goal you want the content to achieve (increase traffic, grow your subscriber list, educate, etc.) and align the content to that goal.
- For your audience: Make sure the content helps them solve a problem, learn about an idea or industry trend, etc. Include compelling calls-to-action (CTA) that encourage readers to share, respond, or otherwise engage with your content. The CTA should align with your marketing goals and is relevant to your audience’s goal.
4. Insisting on the Hard Sell
All marketers are tempted to use content for the hard sell, especially B2B companies selling expensive products and services. Even if you think it’s subtle, your audience will see right through your content and recognize the sales pitch. And they won’t be happy about it. The B2B sales cycle is long, and the people reading your content are not always the decision-maker. There’s no sense in pressing hard for the sale when your audience has no control over the ultimate decision.
B2B audiences don’t want to be sold to. They want to consume relevant content that speaks to them and their unique position. Your content should educate and engage them in ways that support their decisions.
Save the sales pitches for your landing pages and bottom-of-the-funnel content. Develop buyer personas that describe what your audience looks like at all levels of the buyer journey, from the employee to the C-suite. Discover their online behaviors, goals, and pain points, and consider how your content can speak to them directly. You can go even further by mapping out the entire buyer journey and identify key moments where your content can help them take the next step.
5. Using Too Much Jargon
You might think that internal language is okay to use in your marketing content, but it’s not. You might think this only happens with B2B technology companies, but you’d be wrong. When you use business or tech jargon in your marketing, you exclude a part of your audience. Casual audience members who could benefit from your product, but are unable to decipher how.
Instead, listen to your audience and note the language they use when talking about your products, services, or the obstacles they face. Social listening is an essential tool to help you learn how they speak and search.
- Ask your sales team for a list of questions they hear from prospects and add them to your content plan.
- Ask your customer support team for a list of questions and topics most customers ask about and add them to your content plan.
- Monitor industry chats online to see what people are talking and asking about and add them to your content plan.
When your B2B marketing content uses the same language as your audience, you’re more likely to resonate with them and develop relationships with them.
6. Forgetting to Optimize for Search
Along with not optimizing your content or site for mobile devices, many B2B companies forget about SEO. They publish content without thinking about SEO, which reduces its effectiveness. Your content isn’t found by people looking for it, nor is it even listed in search engine result pages. Even basic SEO gives your content a better chance of being found by search engines and reaching relevant audiences.
To start, set up a website analytics tool on your website, such as SEMRush or Google Analytics. These tools will help you learn more about those visiting your site and how they engage with it. If you’re using WordPress, install an SEO plugin to give you access to the features you’ll need to correctly optimize your site. Next, create a sitemap for your website to help search engines identify the pages and content to index. Don’t forget to submit it to search engines. Finally, verify that your website can be indexed by search engines using an appropriate online tool.
For more advanced optimization tasks, you can:
- Do keyword research and incorporate them into your content.
- Find long-tail keywords and semantically related keywords for your topics.
- Optimize your images and videos for search by including meta descriptions and title and alt tags for each one.
Content is a crucial part of the B2B buyer journey and helps move people from prospect to lead to customer. It can drive incredible results for your company when done right. Yet many B2B companies continue to make mistakes with their strategies.f Acknowledging and fixing these six frequent content mistakes will put your B2B company on a better path to marketing success.
Avoid them entirely, and you’ll shorten the buyer cycle, engage your audience more often, and drive website traffic and revenues.