Many a company has jumped into the content marketing space without a full understanding of how to execute a strategic campaign that resonates with its prime audience. Take the time to consider these five common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Overlooking the Buyer Perspective
Charging ahead with content that focuses on how great your company, products and solutions are is the hallmark of diving in before you know how deep the water is.
Approach your content with your buyer’s needs, pain points and priorities in mind. Show that you understand the demands of their job and their industry well enough to offer well-crafted solutions. Share your company’s perspective, but describe your solution with language that communicates urgency and demonstrates an immediate opportunity to solve their problems.
Failure to Target Your Distribution
Like any strategic initiative, content marketing needs a defined audience and explicit, quantifiable expectations. The targets of your individual assets may vary as you address multiple stages in the buying cycle. Use detailed personas built on existing customer data or customer and prospect interviews to bring your audience into sharp focus with a clear understanding of their responsibilities and challenges and how they approach their challenges.
You may opt to set job roles in your sights, and you may go after specific company sizes in select industries or regions. Targeted distribution will help keep your marketing costs contained while focusing on your points of differentiation.
The smaller the group you target, the larger the incremental impact. An Optimove study measuring the correlation between the granularity of target groups and campaign uplift found that marketing to VIPs resulted in an average uplift five times greater than when marketing to all customers.
Going Interactive Without a Plan
B2B buyers increasingly prefer interactive and visual content. But interactivity that’s all style and no substance can fall flat and reflect poorly on your brand. Take the time to build interactive components that serve a purpose for the user and offer engaging breaks from dense copy blocks. Choose carefully among short- and long-form assets to deliver useful infographics, listicles, gbooks, calculators, iPapers and other interactive experiences that offer real value to your audience at every stage of the buyer journey.
Neglecting to Measure Outcomes
Beyond email opens, click-throughs and brand impressions, metrics can tell you how your brand story resonates with your target market. Match your metrics to your campaign goals to learn how well your tactics are working:
- Awareness: search engine rankings, website traffic, uplift in first-time visitors, social likes and new followers
- Engagement: content views, downloads and interactions
- Lead generation: form fills and registrations
- ROI: marketing-qualified leads, sales-accepted leads, closed deals and sales
Forgetting the Unique Value Proposition
A recognizable value proposition optimizes sales conversions – particularly for lesser-known brands. You may choose to adopt variable phrasing to correspond with a variety of storytelling formats, but the value proposition must be clear.
In an infographic, you can break that value proposition into its component parts to illuminate each part of the promise with a stat that demonstrates its success. A case study portfolio weaves that value proposition into several client success stories. The relevance and unique value you offer prospects needs to shine through in every asset.
Follow Our Success Strategy
Mapping out a strategic plan at the outset is the best way to ensure that you’ve programmed your campaigns for success. If you’d like to chat about content marketing trends and best practices, reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian.