Content is not king if it fails to ignite any interest or engagement from your customers. If it fails, your B2B content is noise and easily forgotten.
In her new book, Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content & Strategies that Drive Results, Ardath Albee outlines 8 ways (I added one ) your content practices are making your content, and thus your company, irrelevant and ineffective. Are you committing any of the following sins?
- A website visitor fills out a form and you instantly send the lead to sales
- Sales immediately contacts the website visitor, who isn’t a qualified prospect
- You send emails to people who haven’t indicated they want them
- You create content simply to keep your company top of mind
- Company newsletters only tout company events, achievements, products and new hires
- Your corporate Twitter profile only tweets company-focused blog posts and offers
- Ditto for your corporate LinkedIn profile, with no discussion about or after your post
- The most updated part of your website is the press release page, cluttered with self-promotion
- The webinars you hold are simply product demos
If you are a B2B Marketer committing any of these sins, stop today. Realize that your organization is company-focused, not customer-focused. In today’s competitive world, company-focused content marketing doesn’t cut it. No one likes a blowhard.
Buyer Personas, Strategy before Content Creation
To reverse course, you need to change your mindset and figure out who your best customers are at a deep level, learn how they progress through the buying cycle, and learn what motivates them. You also need to create a strategy to engage prospects, turn them into buyers, and then into advocates. Only then can you create content that delights and engages prospects, turning them into customers. While it sounds simple, it’s not easy.
Many B2B marketers commit the sins above because they simply create content skipping the buyer persona and strategy work. Yes, it’s difficult, but very necessary.
Luckily, Ardath shows B2B marketers how it’s done. Her principles not only work for enterprise companies with complex sales but any company that wants to become customer focused. Buy the book – I’m only through the first chapter, but I will devour the rest.
If you aren’t familiar with Ardath, you might want to check out her Marketing Interactions website, which is stuffed with great content.
(Full Disclosure: I’ve worked with Ardath. But I purchased the book, and she did not solicit a review or this post.)
Tell me: What problems have you had changing the mindset at your company? Please share any tips or resources that could make it easier for others. Or, if you like this post, please share it using the buttons below.