FACT 1: 86% of B2Bs now use Content Marketing to connect with their target audiences.
FACT 2: Only 38% say their even “effective” at it.
That’s a low bar and a huge gap.
To get a clear picture of the problem and find the most efficient fixes, the Turbine Team embarked on a deep research mission then reconvened for a tactics brainstorming session.
Here’s what we found:
Of the random sample of 1,200 B2B businesses:
- 77% had live social profiles
- 67% of those social profiles had less than one post per week
- 43% were abandoned (no posts for at least six months)
- 14% were actively using LinkedIn (managed profile, at least one post per month)
- 5% had an active blog (more than two posts per month)
- 4% actively engaged with their audiences through any digital channel
- 2% offered inherently valuable content (content designed to help their audiences as opposed to self-promotional content)
See that’s your problem right there.
Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools the marketing world has seen in a very long time. And it works because it enables businesses to efficiently create meaningful business relationships at an almost unlimited scale.
The key word here is “meaningful”, as in it builds trust, provides relevant and useful information, gets stronger over time… basically the kind of relationship you want your sales team to build when they connect with a prospect.
Unfortunately, we found that companies using content marketing were going about it all wrong and therefore unlikely to see any benefit whatsoever.
To help companies get on track, we put together a list of the top three campaign killing content marketing mistakes along with quick fixes.
Mistake 1: Weak Commitment:
Going days and weeks without posting fresh content makes your company look unfocused and inconsistent. But by maintaining a healthy content cadence you can turn that around and build brand reputation and increase top-of-mind awareness.
How to Fix It:
Commit to maintaining a baseline level of healthy content marketing:
- Twitter: 3 Tweets/retweets per day
- LinkedIn: 1 Post per week
- Blog: 2 posts per month
- Engagement: Respond to all comments within 24 hours
Mistake 2: Mistaking content marketing for advertising:
Content marketing requires a different mindset than traditional marketing. Whereas the old way was about grabbing attention by any means necessary, content marketing is about earning attention and making your target audiences want to hear more.
In the face of great, useful brand content, the ROI on old-school marketing tactics is plummeting into negative territory. And if you apply such tactics in social media, be prepared for rejection or outright backlash.
How to Fix It:
Put every piece of content to this test:
Is it likely to make my audiences’ day a little better?
If the answer is “no”, do not post it. It’s content noise that will not help your cause in any way.
Take a step back, focus on your audience and revise it until you have something worth discovering and sharing.
Mistake 3: Not moving the relationship forward:
Even the best content marketing will fall flat if it doesn’t lead the targets to deeper engagement and eventually to the sales team.
This was tragically common in the companies we researched. So many blogs, white papers, articles, and tweets were created and sent out into the world without any clear content strategy to back them up. In that situation, even the great ones would have no lasting impact.
How to Fix It:
Keep in mind that content marketing isn’t about content for the sake of content. All content should serve a clearly defined strategic purpose that drives measurable goals.
To bring your efforts into alignment:
- Create a relationship destination: Start by identifying the primary action you want your prospects to take. This should be the smallest possible step necessary to open direct communications with them such as opting in to receive your newsletter or downloading a white paper.
- Show them the way: Drive all attention and activity to move them closer to the destination. Remember, if they like what you have to say, they want you to tell them how to get more and to make it easy to get it. To do this, make sure to include links to additional relevant content and make sure they can’t miss the opt-in call to action.
- Measure and Optimize: Track what content works and what doesn’t and pretty soon you’ll have a clear sense of what truly resonates with your audience. With these insights in hand you’ll be able to develop strong, evidence-based content marketing campaigns that drive sales.
Content marketing is on the rise because it’s what today’s customers, including B2B buyers, want. With these core best practices in place, you’ll have it working for you in no time.