Make Your B2B Content Marketing Better
If you’ve been underwhelmed by the results of your B2B content marketing, it’s time to re-evaluate your efforts. There may be relatively simple solutions that will improve your results dramatically.
Is Your B2B Content Marketing Spread Too Thin?
It’s always better to do fewer things well than more things poorly. So if you’re on every social media platform known to man, are you sure you’re doing all you can to maximize your return on each? (And it may be time to give up on that MySpace page, regardless …) If you’re not sure, consider picking out the one or two channels on which you’re strongest or on which your team is most comfortable, and doubling down. If you improve your results quickly you’ll know your wide net wasn’t as effective as it should have been and a more targeted approach will yield better results.
Of course, if you have the resources to manage all the channels on which you’re active, that’s another problem entirely, but one that should be dealt with even more quickly.
Are You Dancing as Fast as You Can?
Similarly, if every publishing deadline feels like a race against the clock, chances are the quality of your content isn’t as high as it could be. Slow down, publish less frequently, but publish higher quality content. Your audience will thank you — perhaps not literally, but they will reward you with much higher engagement.
If there’s no there there, your audience isn’t going to stick around just to be polite. Your content needs to address a need (theirs) and make it clear that you’re an expert in that area. If either of those elements is missing, or if you’re selling and serving your own interests first, you’ll never get the engagement you need for your content marketing to succeed.
Are You Talking to Me?
Or are you talking to everyone? If you’re talking to everyone, there’s a good chance that no one is listening. So create your content with one client (or prospect) in mind.
I mean this quite literally. If you have the budget and time, do proper persona research. If not, create content as if you’re in a conversation with one person. Answer their questions, address their specific concerns, and when you’re done, review the piece to make it more broadly applicable – but only broadly enough to apply to other prospects in the same position.
If you need to appeal to a broader audience, break your content development down by audience segment and create content specific to each. This doesn’t have to double or triple or quadruple your workload. Chances are you’ll be able to take the one piece you’ve developed and adapt it relatively quickly to speak to each audience segment’s needs.
Are You Working the Numbers?
Finally, don’t ignore your numbers. It’s so easy to gather great data from nearly all of our marketing activities that there’s no reason not to be making adjustments based on the trends you see over time. At the very least, you should have Google Analytics installed and be reviewing reports monthly.
If a formerly productive social media channel isn’t getting results anymore, use the data to try to understand whether that’s because if your content, because of your competition, or because the channel is losing currency. (Have I mentioned MySpace?)
A solid process won’t guarantee results and it won’t necessarily make B2B content marketing “easy,” whatever that means. But it will help you to work toward steady, incremental improvements in your results. With that as your goal, you’ll always be pointed in the right direction.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")