B2B Content Marketing Mistakes

20 Mistakes Stopping You From Generating Leads and Sales

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20 Mistakes Stopping You From Generating Leads and Sales


Here’s how effective content marketing is:

  • Cox Media generated more than 2,000 leads in a year.
  • Workiva generated 84% boost in average blog views and 21% increase in referral traffic.
  • Optum received 20% more inquiries in two months through its content marketing efforts.

Content marketing is a powerful form of marketing that’s helped a lot of companies grow their revenue. You don’t believe me?

DemandBase, a marketing technology provider generated 1,700 new leads with a variety of content (infographics, white papers, webinars, etc) and generated over $1 million in additional revenue.

That said, even though content marketing seems to have all the gems but for some reason, a lot of B2B brands seem to struggle in having their reality match up with the statistics.

For instance, a recent survey carried out by HubSpot revealed that B2B businesses that churned out 11 times more posts than their competitors who only served zero or one post per month had 3 items more visits than the brands offering just one post to their audience.

Crazy isn’t it? However, if you’re like most content marketers facing challenges, you’ve probably “churned” out a lot of posts but seem to not be able to reach your lead or sales goals.

This happens for a reason. And it’s because of certain common content marketing mistakes you make. It isn’t just about serving content — you need to serve the right one.

Let’s see some of the major mistakes most content marketers make unconsciously or simply ignore:

1. Downplaying The Value of Content Marketing

According to research conducted by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, over 63% of businesses do not have a content marketing strategy!

That’s crazy, considering the previous data we just saw. This means that such B2B brands are losing out on a plethora of traffic that contains potential leads and ultimately sales

To avoid losing out to your competitors who have embraced the benefits of content marketing, you need to understand how valuable it is. Offering 1 content or 2 in an entire month won’t do justice to your offers.

Take for example, the brand Buffer, they started guest blogging on different authority sites, serving multiple articles each day as well as producing high-quality articles on their own blog. This technique/hack effectively drove them a 100k users.

 

That’s some powerful results which show the strength and value of content marketing. What’s more, Buffer now has over 400,000 users with more than 3 authority blogs.

Those are the kinds of results you can generate when you value content marketing.

2. Failure to Maximize Traffic

We’ve seen the power of content marketing and the amount of traffic it can drive, but what do you do with the traffic once it starts to pour in? That’s where a lot of B2B business make mistakes with regards to content marketing.

Traffic is great; however, simply getting a huge amount of people on your site won’t bring in sales.

You’ve got to have a method to capture these visitors in order to make them leads before you even talk about sales. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have a method to capture leads with your content you’re losing over 67% of your potential clients.

So how do you do this? Well, it’s a lot simpler than you imagined. Provide value using a lead magnet, in exchange for your client’s information.

These days’ people are trying to avoid spams and unsolicited messages but offering things like free trials, newsletters, updates or sneak peeks into your offers can get you any type of lead you want.

So don’t just let those visitors simply enjoy your content and fly off to the next page, get a hold of them by introducing extra value into your content that they’ll want to have.

3. Creating Content Without Sufficient Knowledge

More than 51% of B2B buyers have stated that they rely on content to make buying decisions, which means that you’ll get no sales if they don’t understand what your offer is all about or have no information on it.

What’s more? 78% of B2B customers consider the trustworthiness of content before even going ahead to speak to a salesperson.

That’s some stat!

And it shows you the vital nature of producing in-depth content. You can’t sound like a novice on what you’re offering, especially on your content.

That’s detrimental both to leads and sales. Nobody will pay you for what they don’t sufficiently understand.

So, before you churn out content ensure you have the know-how in details. Let potential buyers navigate from your content knowing all there is to know about your offer, leave no room for doubts.

If 51% of buyers rely on content before making a purchase then such content needs to be broad enough to answer every query they’ll have.

4. Having no Target

RipCurl’s “ultimate surfing brand” is a fantastic example of the power of targeting content to your user’s specifications. The brand dishes out a publication termed The Search, and it’s basically a chronicle of surfers for surfers.

It deals with surfers telling other surfers their experiences on different beaches, waves, surfing techniques, etc. And this simple method of creating a hub for their target market (surfers) has generated them over 100,000 YouTube subscribers and over 2 million Facebook followers.

Now, imagine producing content with no target audience in mind?

That’d be a mess; with little to no results because none of your visitors will feel what you offer is for them, and you won’t be able to create loyalty which is a massive aspect for sales.

Hence, ensure you target your content to the audience you intend to reach.

5. Ignoring Email Marketing

If you know the stats, this is probably one of the worst things you could do to your brand. You’d be practically robbing yourself of a huge number of potential sales.

As a matter of fact, according to a study done by SmartInsights, content promotion through email marketing gives an ROI of 40$ for every 1 dollar spent!

Amazing right? Imagine how much you’ve missed out on by ignoring email promotions simply because it seemed outdated. Don’t do that. As data shows it’s one of the best ways to get your B2B buyers informed about your offers or products.

To grab your attention some more, a Statista survey states that 90% of U.S males make use of emails on a consistent basis, which shows the kind of activity your content will get access to.

Embrace email marketing to get your content out there.

6. Being too Salesy (Promotional)

As we’ve previously seen B2B buyers are engaging content not because they’ve made a decision to buy but in order to make a well-informed decision and to find out if your offer is worth the purchase.

With that said, it means they aren’t seeking to be bombarded with “purchase now” buttons all over your content, they simply want to know more about what they are getting into.

Furthermore, 93% of marketers stated that interactive content is a lot more effective than static content.

Source: Giphy

So, you even have to go beyond, producing regular content, it has to pull the reader in and make them feel like they have a stake in what you offer.

Simply trying to just sell a product with a few words isn’t what B2B buyers are looking for — you’ve got to be capable of satisfying their ignorance on your offer, before even thinking about pitching your product.

It’s a huge mistake for the second line of your content to be a call to action asking for the buyer to make a decision when he/she barely knows anything about what it is or is yet to be informed to make a good decision.

For example, The Furrow, which is one of the earliest examples of content marketing dating back to 1895. The brand launched a publication which had the aim of helping customers with the problems they faced while displaying their expertise simultaneously.

Brilliant right?

Well, since then to now they’ve been going strong and now have an online publication. They didn’t just focus on trying to get customers to make a buy but sought to deliver content that was profitable to the customer first.

7. Promoting the Wrong Thing to The Right Audience

How well do you know your audience? What’s your knowledge base on what your users like and what they don’t? Regardless of the niche of your business, you need to narrow down who your audience is.

A great example is the AARP magazine that has won numerous awards for the quality of its content globally and has over 200 million readers.

But this is for a reason. They promote the right thing to the right audience.

How do they do this? They get feedback from their audience and utilize this feedback in creating content.

It’s basically like going to a restaurant and ordering a meal and getting it. You can never be dissatisfied if you’re the customer because you are getting what you want.

Imagine you sell software to your B2B clients and you can see through comments and emails they all want an update to a particular software but instead, you churn out articles about completely different software. That’d be detrimental to your business.

So, stick to what your audience wants.

8. Ignoring Blogging

Research from Okdork showed that blog content is the most shared content on the web! Now, that’s powerful! No wonder, 53% of marketers agree that blog content creation is a top priority for them.

In your content marketing strategies if you ignore blogging, you do so at your own peril. It’s a negative move. The data proves that web users love blog content because they get to have information on an offer or product from a personal perspective.

Hence, ensure that you embrace blogging as a major content marketing tool if you want to give your brand some awareness.

Everyone loves what other people like and if your content goes viral in a positive light, a lot of buyer’s decisions will be made even before they get to see a call to action.

9. Neglecting SEO

What to know how vital SEO is?

Well, 95% of people only look through the first page of Google, which means if your content isn’t on the first page you’re literally struggling for 5% of the remaining traffic. Foolish isn’t it?

What’s more? Other studies showed that half of these 95% clicks go to only the top 3 results of the first page.

So, if you ignore search engine optimization in your content marketing strategy, it’s safe to say you may be making a mistake and it’ll be a costly one.

Ensure that your content is probably optimized for search engines in order to boost your traffic flow.

10. Low-Quality Keyword Research

As a result of Google Rank brain, simply stuffing your content with keywords isn’t going to help it gain one bit of authority on the search engine results pages (SERPs).  It goes far beyond that and that’s where a lot of content marketers miss it.

You have to be capable of answering the queries of users before they ask. Google has to be certain that your content satisfies the desires of the user. A great way to do this is through the search suggestions.

They reveal to you the kind of questions users normally ask in regards to what you’re trying to rank for and this will help you in providing the solution to such queries before they even ask it.

11. Focus on Quantity Rather Than Quality

Many content marketers make the mistake of trading quality for quantity because they assume that bigger is always better.

Well, bigger could be better in some cases but definitely not in content marketing, you can’t expect to have leads because you write voluminous content, it doesn’t work like that.

When people visit your site they are not looking for a long and bulky content all they need is quality content to give them what they want.

Therefore if your content is very long but lacks quality, it is as good as useless to the visitor and once your content is considered useless, the chances of generating leads are very low.

As a matter of fact, you must pass your message across in 10 seconds.

Image result for web users spend only 30 seconds

Always ensure that the content you put up is of good quality and highly beneficial to your target audience, let the content be rich in information that is helpful to your prospective customers.

You can include pictures and videos in the content, this is what will make them interested in your content and also proceed to convert.

A study carried out in 2017 showed that written content, videos, and images are the three most engaging types of content on social media. You can take advantage of this information to generate leads.

No matter the length of your content make sure that the quality of the content is not compromised. Don’t succumb to the temptation of writing long, boring and useless content.

It isn’t about the number of content you churn out every day, neither is it about the length of each content you write, what your target audience needs are good quality content and it is only quality content that will get you the leads you desire.

12. No Call to Actions

Most content marketers often make the mistake of overlooking including a call to action in their content.

Not including a call to action in your content makes people to just come on your site, read your great content and then exit without making any commitment or taking actions that could generate leads for you.

A call to action is what prompts the reader to take the next step; it nudges the potential customer in the direction of making a purchase or converting.

When people read your content, and it answers their questions they are more likely to want to trust you and to purchase whatever they want from you, if there is no provision for that, they would assume you are only there to feed them with nothing but good information, therefore they will take their purchase to somewhere else.

For example, WordStream offers visitors a free report as a call to action, and every opt-in gives them a potential lead.

Call-to-Action Examples Wordstream

If you have a call to action, however, they will most likely follow the call to action and access the next stage in the sales funnel.

13. Poor Promotion

This is one of the most common content marketing mistake.

Content marketing doesn’t stop at creating good quality content, adding images and publishing, you need to promote the content in order to gain visibility and generate leads. Publishing content without promoting the content will get you zero leads.

Always ensure that you have a plan to drive traffic to your content before publishing it. Promotion includes partnering with influencers to share your content and also sending it to your subscribers via mail.

The type of promotion you choose to use does not matter, what matters is that you put in effort into promoting your content.

Take Coca-Cola for example, the brand ran 30 different influencer campaigns and saw an average of 9% engagement across all campaigns. Amazing!

influencer marketing campaign example Coca-Cola

Promoting your content all over the web is a sure fire way of generating leads. Creating content without any promotion plan is an unprofitable venture which will leave you drained and unproductive.

14. Irrelevant Content

The reason why you are not getting the number of leads you desire is most likely because you do not satisfy the need of your audience, hence they do not feel compelled to reward you by converting or making purchases.

If you want your audience to feel indebted to you, then you need to produce content that is relevant and contains information that triggers the interest of your audience.

Avoid making the mistake of getting caught up in constantly churning out content without considering the relevance of the content to your target audience. Don’t publish unrelated articles or videos or infographics that are totally irrelevant to your niches.

Let every content you produce have a specific topic that is relevant to the niche and let the content of the article be specific to the topic, let each point be related to the other.

15. Wrong Timing for Content Delivery

Accurate timing is important in content marketing as it is in every other aspect of a business.

Most often than not, business plans fail not necessarily because the plans were wrong but because the timing for the execution was wrong. The same is also applicable to content marketing.

Recent data even shows that most brands struggle with managing content.

Image result for content marketing wrong timing

Ensure that your content is delivered at the right time. The best way to do this is to observe the behavior of your prospective customers and what their habits are at every stage of the sales funnel.

Strategically delivering content that are relevant to each stage will pull the customers more towards making a purchase.

It also important to note that timing also has to do with the schedule you decide to adopt for delivery, you can post content on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Whatever timing you choose, ensure that you adhere to it, humans are habitual creatures and they are loyal to consistency.

If you keep to time, their confidence and loyalty to you will increase. If your audience considers you to be reliable in terms of the timing of delivery, they won’t have to go searching for alternatives and this will increase the chances of generating more and better leads.

Delay in delivery of content is usually frustrating for the audience and this could push them into the arms of your competitors.

To avoid this, ensure that the timing for delivery of content and the consistency is not negatively influenced.

16. Churning out Repetitive Content

In some cases, repetition is necessary for understanding, but in content marketing posting repetitive content is detrimental to the content marketer.

You do not have to constantly post content that revolves around a particular topic. It is okay to make sure that a topic is extensively discussed but don’t overflow it.

Try as much as possible to communicate all the information you have about a particular topic in two to three posts at the most. This is because people easily get bored with repetition.

Research has shown that one of the biggest content marketing challenges is delivering a variety of content. However, you can overcome this.

Image result for content marketing original content

To avoid boring your audience, don’t dwell on one topic and repeat it over and over rather research new topics that will be relevant to your audience.

Don’t re-post a particular content over and over again no matter how highly important or relevant you think it is. What you can do is to link new posts to the old post which you think is relevant. By so doing, you will avoid repetition and keep your audience engaged.

17. Lack of Personalization

Research has shown that most brands place a high value on content and experience management. And this is for a reason.

Sometimes all you need to do, to boost your lead generation is to shift your focus to the needs of the right audience.

For you to be able to get the best out of content marketing, you need to know your target audience and have a proper analysis of the basic needs and questions of the audience at every level of the sales funnel.

It is only when you understand your target audience that you will be able to create content that will cater to their needs and create value.

When you know who your target audience is and what their questions and needs are, you will be able to make posts on social media handles and other online platforms that are targeted, original and valuable to your audience. Doing this can solve a huge percentage of your content marketing problems.

The reason why there is a lot of failure in content marketing is that content marketers know little or nothing about their target audience, they believe that all content is appropriate for everybody and everybody can benefit from all content.

Well, this is not true. People don’t just come online and starts looking for random things, they come online to search because they have a specific need that they want to meet.

Knowing the particular group of people you can help and providing content that will solve the problems will keep you relevant will enable you to endear your target audience to you.

It is also important to note that even when you know your tablet audience well, you need to occasionally monitor and update the information you have about your target audience and their questions and needs, this will enable you to constantly provide content that are relevant to their needs per time.

18. Failure to Interlink Relevant Pages

A common mistake that content marketers make which reduces the leads generated is the failure to interlink relevant content pages. You can reduce your bounce rate by linking out to your previous posts in an attractive way.

When site users click on the link, they’ll land on a new page that further provides more information about the ‘parent’ topic.

You interlink content through inbound links and outbound links. Interlinking entails linking a page with other relevant pages.

For example, if I am writing a content on “How to lose weight” I can link the content to other post I have written in the past that are related to the topic of weight loss.

Such topics could be “what to eat if you want to lose weight,” best weight loss exercise for women “and any other page that is relevant to the topic.

What this does is that, by interconnecting the content, you are getting your audience more engrossed in your site and subtly nudging them into taking actions that will benefit you.

Ensure that you only interlink topics that are relevant to each other, don’t just link between pages for the fun of it, let every link to newly added content is valuable to the reader.

Also, ensure that you build strong backlinks. Linking out to other credible sources can improve the value your audience gets.

But it is important to note that you cannot link to just any site that has the information you need. The reputation of the site matters a lot.

Linking to sites that are spammy or that violate the regulations of search engines will not only affect your ranking in search engines, it will also make your target audience to doubt the credibility of the information you provide.

And once they lose the trust they have for you, they will abandon you and search for more credible sites.

19. Depending on Third parties For a Proper Understanding of Customers

The assumption has never been beneficial especially when it comes to business. Don’t base your knowledge of your target audience on the information you get from flawed buyer personas which are usually made up.

A lot of content marketers make the mistake of trying to figure out what customers want without directly interacting with the customers.

Most of the time decisions are made based on the assumed knowledge of the needs of the customers which is often wrong.

Identifying and understanding the needs of your target audience shouldn’t be based on consensus from your team members. It should be based on the information you hear from the customers.

Basing your decision and content choice on the consensus of team members is often flawed because the consensus is often a reflection of the opinion of the most opinionated or loudest member of the group which doesn’t reflect the true needs of the target audience.

Allowing flawed personas to guide your choice of content will lead to the creation of content that is unattractive to the target audience or content that will be incapable of moving them through the steps of the purchasing journey.

To avoid running into errors, always work with the information you hear from the horse’s mouth (i.e. target audience).

Getting first-hand information from the target audience through surveys and other media will enable you to create content that hits the nail on the head and content like this are capable of generating leads like magic.

20. Failure to Optimize Leads

Your leads need to be optimized for you to get the best out of the traffic that comes to your site. Let every potential client go through the appropriate phases before you pitch your offer.

Each potential client should receive content optimized to their perceived stage in the buying process, as well as the landing pages, offers, and call-to-actions. Take a look at the lead content optimization process below:

 

Also, ensure that your sales funnel is in order to facilitate a smooth flow of the target audience through the stages of the purchase.

Ensure that everything is put in place to enable the potential customer effortlessly transforms into a lead and makes a purchase.

Conclusion

Quality content is the most powerful aspect of any marketing strategy.

However, a lot of B2B brands seem to struggle with turning its profitability into reality due to the numerous mistakes listed in this article.

Hence, in order to see your leads and sales multiply you need to avoid these pitfalls and create content that pulls in high ROI.


Written By Solomon Thimothy

Solomon Thimothy is co-founder of OneIMS. He began his career in marketing over ten years ago with a focus on helping businesses grow their online presence and thrive in a digital world. Follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/sthimothy

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