B2B content marketing calls for businesses to fill channels with educational materials and emotional appeals to entertain, attract and convince audiences. Recent studies, like the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends created by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, demonstrated the popularity of content marketing, while also indicating common problems with deployment.
Many businesses begin publishing content without a documented strategy for success. One problem that stems from an unorganized approach is a massive output of content without a plan for how the material will contribute to B2B lead generation or nurturing. Companies could soon find themselves investing a lot of time and resources into a wave of digital advertising and print materials without seeing a ROI for their efforts.
When businesses do decide to create documented strategies or evaluate current methods of content marketing – preferably with the help of a professional content marketing agency – they should consider scaling back and focusing their efforts. Here are four indications a company generates more content than it can handle:
1. Can't give each channel enough attention
The expression "Jack of all trades, master of none" could describe many B2B marketing teams. In an effort to spread brand awareness, a business may try to produce content for every channel it believes reaches a desired audience. While an integrated marketing approach can create diversity and extend reach of materials, stretching resources too thin may mean no one channel hosts quality content.
In their rush to fill channels with content, B2B marketing teams may miss opportunities presented by each platform. The Sales Lion, a business consultant, praised a B2B company that prioritized its blog content by responding to each viewer who posted a question on the channel. The answers not only encouraged inbound marketing, but the questions inspired future blog content.
Organizations often use automation tools for materials like email marketing. Set it and forget it programs can be effective, but only if businesses program schedules and design content around specific audiences. Otherwise, companies just send messages indistinguishable from spam.
2. Can't build a loyal fan base
B2B marketing teams may try to saturate marketing channels with materials so audiences have no choice but to encounter content. Instead of being omnipresent, a B2B company could promote brand impressions by making their channels a source audiences want to visit.
The Content Marketing Institute said B2B marketing teams try to build a loyal audience on every channel they utilize. If a company hosts a blog that goes long stretches without posts, the audiences can't depend on it for content or insight into industry events. Companies should routinely engage with potential consumers on social media to ensure users share and interact with postings.
B2B companies should want to appear as thought leaders in their industries. Having a channel that regularly posts quality content, shared with multiple audiences, turns a marketing effort into a industry standard source for information.
3. Can't attribute success in integrated marketing
When a content marketing strategy relies on several channels hosting numerous pieces of content, it can be difficult for companies to gain insight into which material was effective and which ideas missed the mark. EMarketer reported about one-third of sales experts and B2B marketing teams feel conversions in their company can't be directly attributed to content.
Performance data can be a content marketer's best friend. Understanding which tactics receive results allows companies to design future materials based on proven strategies. A lack of performance visibility causes businesses to waste time and resources.
For example, if a business recognizes the potential of mobile marketing it may create paid advertisements for phones or tablets. If the company doesn't analyze how mobile audiences engage with materials, it could throw money away on mobile advertisements that don't format properly or videos audiences are quick to mute.
4. Can't create original content marketing
One of the surest signs a company creates too much content marketing is if the material the business produces isn't very good. Prioritizing quantity over quality causes companies to lose site of the purpose of marketing and encourages companies to hit benchmarks instead of seeking conversions.
Kissmetrics gathered research from numerous sources to determine what causes content marketing to fail. The information demonstrated small businesses or other companies with limited resources turn to content creation to stretch funds. Smaller businesses may feel like they don't have the ability to match industry leaders in terms of marketing quality, so they just generate as much content as possible on free channels or through inexpensive production methods in hopes something will hit.
Flooding channels with low-quality content may lead to impressions, but it probably won't create the kind of brand engagements companies hope for. Audiences ignore unappealing materials and grow annoyed by bombardment. New search engines are equally as picky. If B2B marketers want to prioritize search engine optimization, they can no longer rely on pages of written materials with keywords injected throughout. They need quality, diverse content the search platform recognizes as something audiences want to see.
(1). 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends
(2). 5 B2B Companies Crushing It with Content Marketing
(3). You Are Publishing Too Much (and Failing)
(4). How Much Does Content Help B2B Sales?
(5). 10 Common Reasons Why Content Marketing Isn't Working for You