This week I was reminded of a post I wrote back in March on jumpstarting your B2B content. The reminder? MarketingProfs’ latest B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends report. The report provides some great insight into how B2B marketers are thinking about content and where they’re stuck. Though 70% of the marketers who responded are creating more content than they did a year ago, they are experiencing a number of challenges that still plague their efforts. Those challenges range from budget issues and lack of training to struggling with consistency and engagement. Today, I wanted to examine the top three challenges cited in the report and how to think about combating them.
Challenge #1: Producing Engaging Content.
Ah, yes. It can certainly be hard to find a way to be engaging if your company specializes in things like enterprise cloud storage and virtualization. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. First things first, make sure you’ve researched your audience. It’s likely you already know them from a sales perspective, but what do they find valuable from a human perspective? What do they read on a daily basis? What questions are they asking? Check out what they’re sharing and discussing on social media. Go through any recent customer FAQ’s. Once you get a feel for their interests and habits, you can start to create content that they’ll find interesting and informational. Become a resource for your audience — not just a resource on your individual company, but also a resource on the industry. Above all, make it a point to stay fresh and original. Copycats are boring.
One helpful tip: if your B2B brand is active on social media, you will be able to get additional insight on your audience through their proprietary analysis tools. For example, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you have the ability to see things like audience interests, seniority levels and more. This will help you further dictate and target your content.
Challenge #2: Producing Consistent Content.
There are plenty of excuses for not producing consistent content, “We don’t have time,” or “We don’t have enough to write about.” The bottom line is that if you want your content program to succeed, you absolutely have to be consistent, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. Choose a schedule and stick to it so your brand is providing a steady flow of content and your audience know what to expect and when.
Create a content calendar that will map out the topics you want to cover and the days you’ll focus on them. Documenting your strategy will help hold you accountable. As the report shows, those companies who said they had a documented strategy found themselves to be more efficient, more consistent and better at measuring their overall program’s effectiveness.
Challenge #3: Measuring content effectiveness.
Measurement can be a mystery for many content marketers. Only 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI, and there was a 10% year-over-year increase in those who found measuring content effectiveness to be challenging. There isn’t one magic metric that will tell you how your content is doing. What success means for you depends on what your goals are for the program. Is it to generate awareness or site traffic? Does your business need to generate leads? It’s important to know what your goals are so that you have something to measure against. If you want a deeper dive on the ways you can measure your content marketing, be sure to check out our webinar that will walk you through best practices and beyond.
What are your biggest B2B content marketing challenges?
Senior Marketing Analyst
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