B2B content marketing helps build brand awareness, educates prospects about new ideas and nurtures them through your sales funnel. Unfortunately, potential mistakes and missteps abound, but content marketing best practices will put your program on the right track.
ALL TALK, NO ACTION: A blog post that ends without an inviting call to action is like a song that ends on the wrong note. It leaves readers hanging, wondering: And so ...? If youve taken them this far, why not at least point them to the next door they might enter?
Always end with a useful link to click on, a phone number to call or at minimum, an implicit question to ponder: Have you, dear reader, ever thought of that?
LINKS TO NOWHERE: Lost was a great TV show, full of false clues and puzzles, but dont make it the model for your B2B content. Nothings a bigger turn-off for readers than links that fail to deliver. If content about, say, a specific product feature links to something as vague as your catalogs home page, youre wasting everyone's time and energy.
The solution: Make links deep and specific, and double-check them. Consider running all content by an editor or test-reader before pushing that publish button.
MIS-READING MOBILE: Smartphone usage is exploding, no question, but your B2B marketing content wont necessarily read well on small, hand-held screens. Try it, youll see. Remember, you get only one chance.
So, make sure mobile content gets to the point quickly, so readers can avoid excessive scrolling, which only distracts. Think of mobile screens as a billboard, good for making quick impressions, not inviting much contemplation.
EASY DOES IT: Content that over-sells your brand, product, or company is less likely to influence, persuade, or encourage return visits. The best B2B content issues a voice of authority, and the slightest shade of hype can ruin the vibe.
Sales pitches are out, information and insight are in. Scrutinize content for any hint of the former. Otherwise, your audience may opt for the button marked bye, not buy.
KEEPING KEYWORDS COOL: The only thing worse in B2B content marketing than choosing the wrong keywords to begin with is leaving them there.
To cut through the Webs din, fine-tuning SEO keywords is a must - not once but constantly. Fortunately, lots of tools are available to help, starting with Google AdWords.
LOST AT SEA: Without anyone at the helm and adjusting the course accordingly, even the best-written materials wont keep your B2B content marketing campaign afloat.
Collect stats, adjust keywords and content, repeat.
WRITE RIGHT: B2B content that doesnt talk the readers language, so to speak, will ring false, especially in technical fields like computing and engineering.
If you must use outside writers, hire those who can talk the talk, who can use jargon convincingly if not artfully.
NO BLOG IS AN ISLAND: Content left isolated wont find much of a readership.
Make sure to promote your content in email signatures, via social media, and by posting to other, relevant blogs. Creating more trails that lead to your content means winning more readers.
Have you made blunders, then applied some best practices in your content marketing? Please share your story in a comment.
Martine Hunter is the creative director of inbound marketing with the Atlanta advertising agency, MLT Creative, which specializes in B2B marketing. She holds the Inbound Marketing professional certification and serves the Atlanta chapter of the Business Marketing Association as a member of the board of directors.