Top 5 Content Marketing Myths
Content marketing has exploded. And it’s not just Business to Consumer (B2C) companies marketing their brands through content—Business to Business (B2B) companies are following suit.
There are many different opinions about what works in B2B content marketing and what doesn’t. A Google search for “B2B content marketing” returns over 16 million results! With all of this information, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.
In this article I’ll cover five B2B content marketing myths that need to be debunked:
- B2B Content is/should be dry and boring.
- If nobody shares your blog post on social media, it means it failed.
- You should focus on your company, not the customer.
- You’ll see great results from content marketing—immediately.
- Coming up with new content is hard.
Have you heard these myths before? If you’ve been using any of these five myths in the past, it’s time to alter your course. And if you’re just starting out with content marketing, you’ll save time and get better results by avoiding these mistakes. Either way, read on to learn why these myths need to be debunked!
#1: B2B Content is/should be dry and boring.
Do you enjoy reading dry, boring articles or books? Unless your prospects are academic professors, they don’t either. Unfortunately, if your prospects don’t read your content, they probably won’t do business with you. Why should they torture themselves with prose that puts them to sleep when your competitor sells the same widget, but in a way that actually catches (and holds) their attention?
As Zion & Zion Senior Copywriter DD Kullman always says, “you can’t bore someone into buying something!” If you know your audience well, then you can write in a way that engages them and motivates them to take the next step in the sales process. How do you get to know your audience? Here are a few tips:
- Talk with your sales team regularly to find out what questions/comments/complaints customers have.
- Join groups on LinkedIn that your customers/prospects are active in to see what they’re talking about.
Once you get to know your audience well, write in a way that captures their attention:
- Use storytelling in your content. Everyone loves a good story. Make sure it’s one that your customers/prospects can identify with (you’ll find inspiration from your discussions with your sales team, and LinkedIn).
- Unless you’re in a highly complex or specialized industry, and your target buyer is the end user of your product/service, keep buzzwords to a minimum.
In B2B marketing, you’re usually selling to someone other than the end user first, such as a Controller who’s in charge of purchasing. As a former accountant, let me tell you that finance professionals think differently than people in sales, human resources, or anyone else for that matter! Make sure your content addresses the questions your specific reader will have. For example, a Controller wants to know how much the product/service will cost, how much time/money it will save their company in the long run, and whether the decision to purchase will make them look good or bad to their boss (everyone wants to look good).
#2: If nobody shares your blog post on social media, it means it failed.
Don’t see anyone sharing your blog post from the share buttons on your blog? Don’t worry! This myth was brought up at this year’s Digital Summit Phoenix content marketing workshop with Arnie Kuenn. Arnie gave a great example of why you shouldn’t get hung up on the number of social media shares your posts get. He talked about a company called River Pools, which was working hard to get more business through content marketing. One post, in particular, had zero comments and zero social media shares—yet from that single post they made $1.7 million in sales!
Focus on providing quality content in every blog post (or marketing piece) you write, and you’ll get results, even if it’s not going viral on social media.
#3: You should focus on your company, not the customer.
Your prospective customer doesn’t care about your company. Shocking, right? What they DO care about is solving the problems they have! When you focus your content marketing strategy on helping your prospects answer their questions and solve their problems, more people will read your content, sign up for your newsletter, or contact your sales team for more information. A lot of businesses don’t understand this, so there’s a great opportunity for you to set your business apart from the competition.
#4: You’ll see great results from content marketing immediately.
Patience. It’s a requirement in the world of content marketing. And it’s a hard thing for business owners, who want to improve the bottom line ASAP, to practice. Though it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme, the long-term payoff of content marketing can be huge! If you stick with it, you’ll get great results from your efforts in time.
#5: Coming up with new content is hard.
Think it’s too hard to constantly come up with new, quality content? It’s not! It’s so easy, a caveman can do it (after you train him how to use a computer, of course).
Remember the caveman campaign by Geico? The commercials were not only hilarious but showed how one good idea can be used in many different contexts. And the same can be done for your content—a blog post or white paper can be repurposed for an email marketing campaign or infographics, videos, and social media posts. A quality piece of content can have lots of legs and reach more prospective customers than you may realize.
So remember, you don’t have to create new content every single time—you can repurpose and reuse the content for different mediums.
You should also curate content from third party sources on social media sites such as LinkedIn, for a couple of reasons: third party content from a reputable news source—such as an industry publication or The Wall Street Journal—provides validation. It also helps your prospective customers get the information they need to make a decision—and may even position your business as the solution to their problem!
So there you have it—five B2B content marketing myths debunked! I hope this has helped you see the content marketing world with new eyes. It’s full of opportunities and the door is open to any business willing to invest in it. All you have to do is walk through that door (with a strategy and clear goals, of course).
Need help creating a content marketing strategy? Read the article How to Create a Well-Rounded Content Strategy.