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Good vs Bad B2B Content Marketing

Stuart Thompson | 11 April 2017


Today, content is the engine that drives the internet. From music and video to blogs, images, webinars and ‘How To’ guides – gone are the days of static brand web pages populated with company histories and visions. B2B content marketing has vastly changed how B2B customers find and engage with businesses. 94% of B2B buyers begin product searches online, and content is a powerful deciding factor on whether a visitor remains on a website or not. Unfortunately, there’s more to crafting a killer B2B content marketing strategy than simply publishing content and hoping the leads flood in. But to create incredible content that’ll strengthen your brand and attract the right leads to your business, you need to know the difference between good and bad B2B content marketing.

Before we examine what makes a content strategy fly, let’s look at some bad content strategy habits that set you up for failure:


1) Not hiring a professional copywriter and proofreader

You might fancy yourself a dab hand at writing copy, but not hiring a professional copywriter and proofreader could have a dire effect on the efficacy of your B2B content marketing efforts. It might sound obvious, but your content needs to be faultless in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Not only that, it needs to be written coherently to convey its intent properly. Shoddy quality and typos – especially in a B2B context – will make your brand appear less than professional and alienate potential leads.

2) Focusing too much on your product, service and business

B2B content marketing is customer-centric, not product-centric. Publishing ten blog posts about the benefits of using your product, or why your brand is so brilliant will not facilitate the demand generation you’re after. Your content needs to be written for your ideal audience, their needs and interests, and offer them valuable information to help them find solutions to their pain points. Your mindset should be one of adding value, not selling.

3) Neglecting SEO when publishing video content

Usually, an SEO strategy is associated with getting as high in search engine results as possible. Yet, many brands invest a lot of time and money into creating stunning videos and then forget to search engine optimise their video content to ensure it appears as high as possible in search engine and YouTube rankings. Search engines scan blog posts for keywords; they can’t scan your video for keywords used, but they do rely on descriptors in the title, video description and YouTube playlists to rank your video.

4) Omitting CTAs from content

The point of creating content (besides adding value to customers) is to generate leads, and, later on, grow revenue. But for a site visitor to become a lead, or a lead to progress down the buying funnel, you need calls to action (CTAs). Without them, a potential lead could read a blog post, extract value from it, and leave the site. CTAs, combined with forms and landing pages, encourage site visitors to share their contact details with you.

Now that you know what not to do when it comes to content take a look at the habits that’ll make your content grow your brand and bring in leads:


1) Write with your ideal personas in mind

In point two of the bad content habits above, we mentioned the importance of writing for your target audience. Before you can begin creating content, you need to create buyer personas. These are representations of your ideal customers, based on data, market research and information you have about your current customers. This data will give you insight into what makes your personas tick, helping you create content that’ll truly resonate with them. Make sure these personas are updated on at least a yearly basis.


2) Align your content with the buyer’s journey

Once you know who you’re writing for, you need to break that content down according to the different stages of the buying funnel. A persona who has just visited your website won’t be interested in the same topics as that same persona once they’re ready to make a purchase decision. For each persona, make sure you produce content for the awareness (~70%), evaluation (~20%) and consideration stage (~5%).


3) Incorporate internal links to your product pages

This habit is essential for maximising your SEO efforts. Including keywords in content copy is great for ensuring that posts appear high up in search engine results, but internal links help individual web pages on your website get visibility too. Your blog posts should contain links to product pages, which helps build authority with search engines for these pages.


4) Integrate content with your other lead generation tactics

We’ve discussed the benefits of the halo effect when implementing a multi-channel marketing campaign in this blog post. The same applies to your content. If you use your content as part of a holistic lead generation campaign – along with paid media, PR, B2B telemarketing and email marketing, for example – its potential to generate leads and brand awareness is amplified by the other components of the campaign. The most important thing is to ensure that there’s consistency in messaging across all channels in a campaign so that your audience receive a uniform experience.

If you’d like to find out how a holistic approach to a lead generation service can benefit your lead pipeline, download our guide:

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