25 B2B Content Marketing Mistakes (& How to Avoid Them)
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Top 25 Content Marketing Mistakes B2B Brands Make (& Ways to Avoid Them)

Content marketing is a powerful form of marketing that has helped a lot of B2B companies grow. When it’s done right, it can lead to more leads, more sales, and more customers. In fact, according to research by the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers say that content marketing has helped them generate revenue (58%), create demand for their products or services (84%), and led to increased brand awareness (76%).

But what if your content is missing the mark?

Even though content marketing seems to be the ace in the hole for revenue growth, the reality of many B2B brands does not match up with the statistics.

If your content marketing efforts are failing to resonate with your target audience and achieve the results you want, the culprit may be that you are making one (or more) of these common B2B content marketing mistakes. To survive (and thrive) in a competitive B2B market and take full advantage of the power of content marketing, learn to recognize—and avoid—these blunders.

Mistake #1: Downplaying the Importance of a Robust Content Marketing Strategy

Jumping head-first into making content without having a strategy in place is a big mistake. The last thing you want to do is “wing” your content and hope for the best.

One of the biggest content marketing mistakes you can make is not having a robust, detailed, well-researched strategy in place. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Unfortunately, a lot of B2B marketers forget this essential part of content marketing. While 73% of B2B marketers use content marketing, only 40% have a documented content marketing strategy—and 33% follow a strategy but don’t document it anywhere. That leaves an astounding 27% of B2B marketers who are making things up as they go along—and reinventing the wheel every time they want to publish a new piece of content.

A content marketing strategy is a roadmap for how you plan to develop and distribute content to your target audience. It should be tailored to your industry, your audience, your goals, and your brand identity and include a content marketing calendar to ensure consistency and help you stay organized.

With the right content marketing strategy in place, you can attract your ideal B2B prospects, share your brand message, and generate more leads.

Mistake #2: Failing 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 businesses make mistakes with regard to content marketing.

Traffic is great; however, simply getting a huge amount of people to visit your website won’t bring in sales. You need a method to capture those visitors in order to make them leads before you even talk about sales. Otherwise, you’re missing out on a lot of potential clients.

So, how do you maximize traffic and capture leads? It’s a lot simpler than you might imagine: Provide value using a lead magnet in exchange for your visitor’s information.

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

Don’t just let these 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 explore—so much so that they’re willing to give you their contact information.

Mistake #3: Creating Content Without Sufficient Knowledge

You can’t sound like a novice, especially in your content.

B2B buyers rely on content to make purchasing decisions, which means you’ll get no sales if they think you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Producing in-depth, thoughtful, helpful content is vital. It will build trust with your audience, establish you as a thought leader in the industry, and ensure your audience has all the information they need to make a purchase.

Before you churn out content, make sure you have the expertise required to make it high-quality and valuable to your audience. There are many ways to provide information-rich content for your buyers, from adding statistics to including diverse industry perspectives. Your goal should be to put your best foot forward with each piece of content you create.

Mistake #4: Having No Target Audience in Mind

Who is your target audience?

Your gut instinct may be to answer this question with “everyone,” right?

Trying to create content that appeals to and targets everyone is one of the worst content marketing mistakes. B2B brands that develop and distribute content without an ideal customer in mind get little to no results because none of their visitors feel like their unique concerns, pain points, or problems are being addressed. They also fail to create brand loyalty, which has a massive impact on sales.

It’s essential to narrow your audience as much as possible.

Your ideal customers are the people who will buy your products or services. Take the time to conduct thorough audience research, define your audience, and create content tailored to them. Tools like buyer personas, negative buyer personas, ideal customer profiles (ICPs), and competitive analyses can help with this process.

Mistake #5: Ignoring the Power of Email Marketing

There are 4 billion daily email users, and this number is expected to reach 4.6 billion by 2025.

If you’re not investing in email marketing, you’re practically robbing yourself of a huge number of potential sales. As a matter of fact, the average return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is $36 for every $1 spent—that’s higher than any other channel. And an astounding 87% of brands say that email marketing is critical to business success.

Amazing, right?

As the data reveals, email marketing is one of the best ways to engage with your B2B audience and keep them informed about your products or services.

Embrace email marketing and get your content out there.

The average roi for email marketing

Mistake #6: Being Too Salesy

B2B buyers engage with content not because they have already decided to make a purchase but because they are deciding whether to make a purchase and want to be well-informed before determining whether your offer is worth it.

With that said, successful content is helpful, engaging, informative, and useful—not “salesy.”

Content that is too pushy or focused on promotion will quickly turn off B2B audiences that are just looking to understand what your business can deliver. Buyers may tune out or get upset if they feel they’re being pushed into making a decision, which can not only reduce engagement but also ruin your brand’s reputation.

Instead, concentrate on providing content that provides value to your audience.

Mistake #7: Promoting the Wrong Things to the Right Audience

How well do you know your audience? How much do you know about what your buyers like and don’t like? Where do they spend their time online? What are their pain points, and how does your offering address them?

Regardless of your industry or niche, you need to narrow down what they are looking for and then meet their expectations.

If you struggle with this aspect of content marketing, you’re not alone: most B2B marketers (57%) say creating the right content for their audience is a challenge.

Imagine, for example, that you sell software to B2B clients. Thanks to comments and emails, you know that your customers have questions about a particular software product, but you decide to create articles about a completely different product instead. Even if that new content is helpful, informative, and engaging, it isn’t what your audience wants—so it would be detrimental to your business.

Stick to what your audience wants. Get feedback from surveys, interviews, and social media, and utilize this feedback when creating content.

Mistake #8: Forgetting About Blogging

The first blog was created in 1992, and the term itself wasn’t even coined until 1999. And yet, blogs remain one of the most popular forms of online content today, with 2.5 billion blog posts published every year.

But is anyone reading these blogs?

Research from the Content Marketing Institute reveals that 79% of B2B marketers use blogs as a channel to distribute content—and 40% agree that blogs produce the best results.

The data proves that audiences love blog content. If your content marketing strategy ignores blogging, you’re missing out on serious opportunities to share information, offer new perspectives on your products or services, and generate brand awareness.

B2B marketers use blogs as a channel to distribute content

Mistake #9: Neglecting Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Want to know how vital SEO is?

The top three results on the first page of search results get 54.5% of all clicks, and only 0.63% of users click on a result from the second page. That means if your content isn’t on the first page of Google, you’re fighting for less than 1% of the remaining traffic.

If you ignore search engine optimization in your content marketing, it’s safe to say you’re making a mistake—a costly one.

SEO plays a significant role in whether your content reaches your audience (or not). Ensure your content is properly optimized for search engines, both on-page and off-page, in order to boost traffic and help prospective customers find your content.

Tip: When it comes to ranking content on search engine results pages (SERPs), Google values content quality, page experience, and links more than any other quality. Get these factors up to par, and you’ll be well on your way to better SERP rankings.

Mistake #10: Conducting Low-Quality Keyword Research

Simply stuffing your content with buzzwords isn’t going to help it gain one bit of authority on SERPs—and that’s where a lot of B2B content marketers miss the mark.

To make things even more complicated, keywords with a high search volume are much more difficult to rank for because they are so competitive. Focusing all your energy on high-volume keywords means you’re missing out on niche traffic from low-volume but relevant key terms.

A strong SEO strategy requires in-depth, audience-based keyword research. Use SEO and keyword research tools to figure out the best keywords to compete for and create content that organically addresses the needs of audiences who are searching for that key term.

Additionally, you have to be capable of answering the queries of users before they ask. Why? Because search engines want to know that your content meets the needs of your audience. One way to navigate this aspect of SEO is by searching for a keyword and reviewing the “People also ask” suggestions. They reveal the kinds of questions users normally ask relating to the keyword you are trying to rank for and are a helpful guide to creating content that answers questions and is helpful to your audience.

Mistake #11: Focusing on Quantity Over Quality

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

Well, bigger may be better in some cases, but definitely not in content market.

When people visit your website, they aren’t looking for unnecessarily long or bulky content—all they want is high-quality, relevant content that answers their questions, addresses their concerns, or teaches them something useful.

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

Always ensure the content you publish is of good quality and highly beneficial to your target audience. Include pictures, videos, and interactive elements that will keep them interested, engaged, and entertained. Most importantly, no matter the length of your content, make sure that quality isn’t compromised.

Mistake #12: Overlooking Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Publishing high-quality content tailored to a specific audience and distributing it on the right channels will get your message to the right people.

But what happens after they read or view your content?

If you don’t give them something to do or capture their attention, they will most likely leave—which means you’re missing out on their potential business.

An effective, engaging CTA can prompt a lead to take the next step or nudge a prospect to make a purchase. By including a CTA on your content, you can prompt your audience to take the next step in the buying process, whether that is signing up for a newsletter, registering for a free trial, or reading a related article.

Avoid generic CTAs. (When was the last time you followed instructions to “click here”?) Instead, use descriptive CTAs like “schedule a demo,” “download a free guide,” or “subscribe to our blog.”

If you add a strong CTA to your content, viewers will most likely follow the instructions and access the next stage in the sales funnel.

Mistake #13: Dropping the Ball on Distribution & Promotion

Creating winning content is only half the battle.

Content marketing doesn’t stop at publishing good, high-quality content. Publishing content without promoting it will get you zero leads. You also need to promote the content in order to gain visibility and generate leads—and that’s where many B2B brands drop the ball.

Always ensure you have a plan in place to drive traffic to your content before publishing it. Your promotion strategy may include partnering with influencers to share your content, sending content to your newsletter subscribers, and posting content across relevant social media platforms. The important thing is that you put effort into promoting your content.

Mistake #14: Sharing Relevant or Outdated Content

One reason you are not getting the number of leads you want from your content is likely that you are not satisfying the needs of your audience; therefore, they do not feel compelled to reward you by converting or making a purchase.

Constantly churning out content without considering its relevance to your target audience is a mistake and a waste of resources. Don’t publish articles, videos, or infographics that are irrelevant to your niche. If you want your audience to feel indebted to you—and, in fact, delighted to make a purchase—then you need to produce content that is relevant and contains information that triggers their interest.

Another mistake a lot of B2B marketers make is letting their existing content get outdated. Don’t forget to update older content pieces with the latest and greatest statistics, resources, and insights so they stay interesting and helpful to your audience.

Mistake #15: Delivering Content at the Wrong Time

In content marketing, timing is everything.

Many B2B brands have an otherwise strong content marketing strategy and distribution plan, but they make one catastrophic mistake: They publish and distribute their content at the wrong time.

How do you know the right time to deliver content? Conduct audience research, observe the behavior of your prospective customers, and learn about their content consumption habits at every stage of the sales funnel. Then, create a content delivery schedule that aligns with these habits so you can increase the likelihood they will engage with your content.

Whether you decide to post content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, keep to a regular schedule; remember that humans are creatures of habit and expect consistency. Any delay in expected content could frustrate your audience and even send them to your competitors. On the other hand, if they know when to expect your content, they won’t have to search for alternatives and will stay loyal to your brand—increasing your chances of generating more (and better) leads.

Mistake #16: Churning Out Repetitive Content

In some cases, repetition is necessary for understanding. In content marketing, however, posting repetitive content can be a significant disservice to your brand.

To avoid boring your audience, don’t dwell on one topic—and repeat it over and over. You don’t have to constantly post content that revolves around it. Instead, research new topics that will be relevant to your audience. While you should make sure important topics are extensively discussed, don’t overdo it.

Try to communicate all the information you have about a specific topic in two or three pieces at the most. As an alternative to reposting a content piece over and over, link new posts to the old one. By doing so, you will avoid repetition and also keep your audience engaged.

Mistake #17: Lacking Personalization

One reason there is a lot of failure in B2B content marketing is that many marketers know little or nothing about their target audience—they believe that all content is appropriate for everybody and that all viewers can benefit from all content.

As we discussed earlier, this is simply not true. People don’t just come online and start searching for random things; they come online to search because they have a specific need they want to meet.

To get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you need to understand your target audience and then create content that caters to their unique pain points and concerns. B2B buyers want to feel like they are being listened to and are looking for information that speaks directly to their needs. It’s your job to create tailored content that exceeds their expectations.

When you know more about your ideal customers, you can use marketing automation software, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, and other technology to segment and personalize content pieces. By personalizing content, you will ensure it is relevant to your audience’s needs and solves their problems.

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

Mistake #18: Neglecting to Interlink Relevant Content

A common mistake B2B content marketers make is failing to interlink content pages. You can reduce your bounce rate and encourage your audience to stay engaged with your website by linking to other relevant content pieces.

When site visitors click on the link, they’ll land on a new page that provides more information about the same topic. By interconnecting the content, you are getting your audience more engrossed in your website and subtly nudging them into taking actions that lead to a purchase.

Ensure you only interlink topics that are relevant to each other—don’t just link between pages for the fun of it. Every link should add value to the reader.

Also, build strong backlinks. Linking out to other credible sources can improve the experience of your audience. However, note that you should not link to just any website that has the information you need; the reputation of a site matters a lot. Linking to websites that are filled with spam or violate search engine regulations will not only affect your ranking in SERPs but also make your target audience doubt the credibility of the information you provide.

Relevant, helpful, credible links are a huge benefit to your audience.

Mistake #19: Relying on Third Parties for Audience Research

A lot of content marketers make the mistake of trying to figure out what audiences want without directly interacting with that audience. Most of the time, decisions are made based on assumed knowledge of their needs, paint points, concerns, and problems—and those assumptions are often inaccurate.

Identifying and understanding the needs of your target audience should not be based solely on consensus from your team members. Allowing flawed assumptions to guide your content marketing strategy will lead to the creation of content that is incapable of engaging buyers or moving prospects through the sales funnel.

Instead, knowledge of your audience should be based on information you hear directly from your ideal customers. Get first-hand information through surveys, interviews, case studies, reviews, focus groups, and other methods to ensure you create content that hits the nail on the head.

When you move past assumptions and start basing your understanding on first-person data, you’ll begin to see better leads, more sales, and engaged audiences.

Mistake #20: Failing to Optimize & Nurture Leads

Your leads need to be optimized to get the best out of the traffic that comes to your website through your content assets. Before pitching your offer, you must guide leads through the sales funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.

Not all content needs to be aimed at the top of the funnel. Each potential customer should receive content, landing pages, offers, and CTAs that are optimized to their stage in the buying process.

Nurture leads with relevant content through the entire funnel to facilitate a seamless journey from prospect to purchase.

Mistake #21: Neglecting to Tailor Content to Each Platform or Channel

Every marketing platform and channel is different, and a content piece that gains traction on one channel may not be as successful on another platform. Unfortunately, B2B marketers tend to share the same content via all distribution methods without considering how these channels differ.

Content must be tailored to the platform or channel itself as well as the audience that spends time there. Keep character counts, video lengths, image requirements, and other details in mind to ensure content works as intended. At the same time, tweak content to address the different user base.

In other words, just because something is popular on LinkedIn doesn’t mean it will get the same traction on YouTube—unless, of course, you do your due diligence and adjust the content for both the channel and the audience you want to attract.

Mistake #22: Forgetting to Consider the Buyer’s Journey

Do you have content that speaks to your audience at every stage of the buyer’s journey? If not, you are failing to meet the needs of prospects throughout the sales funnel. From the time a lead becomes aware of their pain points to the moment they decide to make a purchase, they should be nurtured with tailored, personalized, relevant content that is helpful to them at that moment.

Let’s briefly break down the content you should create for each stage:

Stage
Goal
Type of Content
Awareness StageHelp buyers understand and name their problemExplainer videos, infographics, checklists, blogs, guides
Consideration StageEducate buyers on the product or service that will help solve their problemWhite papers, industry surveys, product feature guides, technical ebooks
Decision StageShow buyers why your products or services are the best fit for their needsCustomer testimonials, case studies, product comparisons, demonstrations
Delight StageProvide buyers with an outstanding customer experience in the short- and long-termNewsletters, knowledge bases, workshops, seminars, live chats

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and develop strategic content that moves them along the path to purchase.

Mistake #23: Sticking with Static Content

Limiting your content to text-based pieces also limits your audience reach and engagement.

While text continues to be a valuable content medium, there’s more to life than sticking with only static content these days. Videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, interactive content—the list goes on and on.

Consider what content mediums your audience resonates with the most. Then, you can start creating content around their preferences to keep all your bases covered.

Creating diverse types of content helps you to interact with different audience niches, gets your content out into the world, and resonates with buyers who prefer to consume content in certain ways.

Mistake #24: Lacking a Clear Brand Voice

Another serious mistake B2B brands make is the lack of a clear brand voice—which leads to boring, inconsistent content that doesn’t engage or delight their audience.

A brand voice is the personality your company adopts in all its communications, including content marketing assets. It impacts both style and tone and, when done right, should be uniform across all platforms. An effective brand voice makes your audience feel like you are in a conversation with them, truly understand their needs, and foster a sense of connection.

Consider your B2B company’s unique value proposition (UVP), mission, goals, and audience as you define your brand voice.

Mistake #25: Putting Emotions Aside

B2B customers are logical and B2C customers are emotional, right?

It’s not that simple.

The reality is that both B2B and B2C buyers rely on emotions and other psychological drivers just as much (or more than) as logical thinking when making decisions—whether they want to admit it or not. If you don’t put in the work to connect emotionally with your audience through your content, you’ll lose business.

Emotional storytelling is a powerful way to humanize your brand, engage with your target audience, and win the hearts of your buyers.

Conclusion

Have you made any of these common B2B content marketing mistakes?

If so, don’t worry. We’ve got your back.

The OneIMS team is here to help you figure out how to address these errors and proactively avoid making them in the future. Together, we can create a content marketing strategy that connects with your target audience, generates more high-quality leads, and sets you apart from the competition.

Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how OneIMS can help your B2B company achieve your content marketing and growth goals.

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Written By Samuel Thimothy

As the Chief Growth Officer, I provide leadership, direction and resource stewardship to the organization’s sales and marketing function. I also collaborate with our digital marketing strategy team in developing and executing growth marketing campaigns for our loyal clients.

Solomon Thimothy - OneIMS CEO

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