When it comes to driving engagement, content is, as the saying goes, king. You’re playing in a very crowded place with lots of others josttling for position.
It’s simple… without the right marketing plan you’ll be hard pressed to find an audience to engage with.
Fact: Some 94% of small B2B businesses make use of a content marketing strategy but only 35% rate their strategy as being very effective!
No matter how you slice it, that’s not a good looking number ☹
94% of small B2B businesses make use of a content marketing strategy but only 35% rate their strategy as being very effective!
So why do B2B companies fail at content marketing? Where do they miss out?
Below are some of the reasons B2B content marketing strategies fail…
POOR QUALITY OR IRRELEVANT CONTENT FOR B2B CLIENTS
All content should meet some basic criteria – it should be useful, entertaining and well written. If you skimp on any of these areas then engagement will definitely suffer.
If your content
- Has no use or value to your audience then there is no reason for it to be read
- Isn’t entertaining then it will not hold your reader’s attention
- It’s far less likely to be shared and sharing really is caring in this space, and
- Isn’t well written it can drive readers away from your site and make your brand look unprofessional.
A lack of visual flair is also a big problem. Content without images or videos rarely achieves meaningful results. There are millions of royalty-free images available from sites like Pixabay and Unsplash. There is something for every possible subject and situation.
LACK OF CONSISTENCY
Having the right content is only the first step to improving content marketing. Content must be produced on a regular schedule.
It takes, commitment, effort and dedication to constantly release content but it’s essential when it comes to building and maintaining an audience – whether for B2B businesses or B2C
You or your team must post to a set schedule. If you decide to do a daily post, do it. If it’s weekly, do that. But don’t ‘cop and change’ or you will confuse your audience. (If pushed for time, update an older post with fresh content.)
Posting just for the sake of posting is a big no-no – it’s better to re-broadcast something that has previously been posted than post a frivolous, irrelevant space filler. Trawl your analytics. Which posts have been the most popular. Are they ‘ever-greens’ that still contain relevant content?
If you are ever short of ideas, call a customer and ask if you can write a post about their business! Do you think they’d reject your offer? They may even reciprocate. And as a bonus, they may even write the article for you.
POOR OR NON-EXISTENT SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
According to Statistica.Com, we all spend an average of 136 minutes every day browsing social media channels. Scary? Are you there for them?
Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are a great way to engage with your audience. In fact, your clients will often monitor supplier social media profiles to keep abreast of news.
If your updates are irregular or lack consistency in posting, they are likely to look elsewhere for information. And yes, it’s OK to post the occasional meme but make sure it is relevant to your business activities or those of your customers.
And whether we like it or not, Facebook Messenger has become a communication bridge where customers expect fast responses. If you are not monitoring your social media accounts, you could be missing opportunities to reinforce existing or build new relationships.
While this may sound like hard work, you need to treat your SM activities as simply another sales channel. That means you have to anoint someone with the responsibility. Depending on the size of your business, that may mean an hour a day or a full-time appointment.
You can also automate many activities by using a ‘bot’ to answer many general inquiries. There is also an excellent platform that will bring all your conversations to a single point of focus. That means you do not have to monitor all your channels individually 😊
THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME?
Is the medium right? Is it the place your B2B clients ‘hang out’? If your products have strong visual appeal, you need to be on Pinterest. Are you frequently updating your catalogue? Twitter may be critical.
Is your target audience made up of ‘road warriors’? We’re all time-poor and they are no different. So why not consider podcasting so that you can ‘talk’ to them as they drive or fly to meet their clients? Podcasting is thriving in many B2B segments. Should you be there?
Think hard! Where are your customers spending their time. You need to be ther for them when they need you.
LACK OF PERSONAL BRANDING
Regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, most clients would rather connect with or trust a person rather than a faceless business. Even in an online setting, having that human touch is invaluable, especially on social media. Your business needs a face and a human contact. Having that one point of contact and recognition will help you stick in clients’ minds.
If you’re concerned that staff come and go over time and that you’ll ‘lose’ that face, there are two easy solutions:
- Use your face! People love to deal with the person at the top!
- Develop an avatar… someone who has all the persona of a real person but who will never quit!
Telling the story of your company and employees can also help to humanize your brand. It also gives you the opportunity to create an engaging framework to build content around.
Fun fact: We all love gossip. We want to know about other people and how they got to where they are. Your clients are no different.
GROWING THE BRAND WITHOUT INVESTING
While there are some fairy tales of brands that have grown organically over time with no investment from the owners, the reality is that when it comes to marketing, you get what you pay for.
Having a set budget for your online campaigns is vital. That way – either using internal or external resources – you can pay for top quality advertising/marketing. A budget will also create disciple because you know how much money is available. That will force you to decide how and where needs to be invested to generate the best business growth opportunities.
ADDING IT ALL UP
Marketing is a long-term game. Have a plan. Make a schedule and stick to it, but be sure to have the flexibility to adapt to changes or incorporate new ideas or strategies that can benefit your brand.
Have a budget for your marketing and the goals you are reaching for.
Most importantly, work with a trusted partner or team of creative professionals who can help you achieve your vision.
How do you see your B2B marketing activities changing in the next year? Will you dedicate the financial and human resources required to achieve your goals?