In a 2010 study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, 41% of B2B marketers said that producing the kind of content that engages prospects is their biggest content marketing challenge.
Why does some content fail to engage while some is downright magnetic? If yours lacks power to pull in the leads, chances are you’re making one or more of these 11 common content mistakes:
1. You’re Talking About You. The first and most important rule about content is to answer “What’s in it for me?” Talking to prospects about your product’s new feature or your enhanced capabilities means nothing to them; talking about how it will improve their productivity or reduce their costs has value.
2. You’re Not Calling For Action. Ask for further action in every piece of content you create – to read a related piece of content, to make an appointment for a demonstration, to use your online ROI calculator…anything that helps prospects learn more about you and draw them further down the sales funnel.
3. You’re Not Using The Right Form of Content. Don’t default to what’s easiest – don’t blog if a video would be stronger; don’t write a tip sheet when a whitepaper would do a better job of explaining the topic. Use the form that gives life to your topic and helps prospects digest it.
4. You’re Not Promoting Your Content. This is a case where “build it and they will come” does not apply. Build an optimized website and create great content and some will come; build an optimized website and create great content and tell people about it and they’ll come in droves.
5. You’re Not Promoting Where Your Prospects Will See It. Don’t waste the time you spent creating content by promoting it on the wrong networks. A strong Inbound Marketing strategy will identify the most fertile places to lure your best prospects. For most B2B business, LinkedIn is a fabulous place to promote. Read more about the basics of LinkedIn for B2B by reading our post, LinkedIn 101, and by hearing what the LinkedIn guru Wayne Breitbarth has to say on the subject.
6. You’re Not Focusing On Your Sweet Spot. It’s tempting to want to talk to everyone about everything you do. But Inbound Marketing depends largely on knowing who your best prospect is – the one most likely to need what you do and most willing/able to pay for it – and providing precisely what he or she needs to know in order to buy. What is your competitive advantage? What do you do better than anyone and how does it benefit users?
7. You’re Not Writing With Search Engines In Mind. Everything you publish should be written first and foremost with your prospects’ needs in mind; secondly, for search engines, by including keywords throughout content in a way that’s natural, not forced. Search engines are going to be a significant source of traffic to your site, and you can only attract qualified leads by using their search terms in your content.
8. You’re Not Consistent. For your content to be magnetic, you have to maintain a consistent online presence with fresh content and by engaging regularly on social media. Decide on a schedule for creating and promoting and stick to it. Once a week is enough for some organizations; for others, once a day.
9. You’re Not Serious. A HubSpot license is like a gym membership: you’ll only see results if you do the work. Perform the 6 steps of Inbound Marketing with passion and purpose: optimize your website, create quality content, promote the content, convert traffic to leads, nurture those leads, and analyze & refine your efforts. Every day.
10. You’re Boring. Some of the best content ideas never get created because they’re too costly, too complicated, take too much time, require too many people to contribute – too something. Fire up some excitement by executing at least one “big” content piece every quarter, like a video demonstration or an online survey.
11. You’re Not Hiring Skills You Need. If your internal team doesn’t have experience in search engine optimization, content writing, design, analysis, process management, strategy, PR, and social media, chances are you won’t see the amazing results possible with Inbound Marketing. Most organizations outsource some or all of their Inbound Marketing to firms like Weidert Group because the investment in expertise to integrate these skills is the best way to ensure healthy ROI.
Weidert Group has a whole lotta great information about the power of Inbound Marketing - why not download "10 Ways to Keep Your Blog Stocked with Great Content"?