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How to Fix the 10 Biggest Problems with Your B2B Marketing Content

Posted by Sara Richmond   Jun 6, 2024 9:00:00 AM

PRN_Blogpost_06062024We don’t believe in simply whining about problems. We’d rather be part of the solution. To that aim, here’s the follow-up to our last post on The 10 Biggest Problems with Most B2B Marketing Content.

If you find your B2B marketing content lackluster, ineffective, or willy-nilly to the detriment of your sales, your marketing team’s motivation, and your sanity, check out our suggestions for fixing the 10 most-common problems we’ve observed in B2B marketing content.

How to Fix the 10 Biggest Problems with Your B2B Marketing Content

1. Get and give clarity. Answer the five “W” questions (who, what, when, where, and why) in as basic terms as possible, internally. Apply those answers to all your customer-facing messaging, with an emphasis on the most succinct answers to the following three questions:
  • What is our product/service/offer?
  • Who does it help? (Who are you trying to talk to? Who is your ideal customer?)
  • Why does it matter? (If potential customers don’t identify with your purpose, benefits, values, differentiators, etc., then you’ll be hard put to make them loyal.)

2. Set aside your ego and fear of not being taken seriously. Being personable and an expert aren’t mutually exclusive. If you take stock of major pitfalls of the digital age, they generally revolve around a lack of humanity and healthy relationships, including between businesses and their clients. The most feared people may be monolithic enigmas, but the most loved people (and companies and brands) are the ones who treat others well while allowing themselves to be truly known.

3. Write something you would want to read about a topic you hate. In other words: It either needs to be helpful or entertaining or both. If it’s none of the above, don’t expect it to merit attention.

4. Map out your marketing content. Connect each piece, literally and figuratively, to each other, to campaigns, to marketing and business goals, etc. Outline each piece of long-form content. Once a piece is written, take time away from it if at all possible before returning to refine/edit/toss it and start again (as necessary). And most importantly: Ask for second and third opinions from people who can actually write well. This may entail professional (paid) help. It’s worth it. Use everything you learn from their feedback/revisions to inform subsequent pieces.

5. Reframe your perspective on content marketing. It’s a long-haul effort. As one of my clients put it, a “slow seduction.” Respect the process. If you really care about serving them, then the foundation of that care is a respect for their autonomy and time. If you wouldn’t act pushy on a date, you sure as heck shouldn’t act that way toward prospects.

6. Cut out nearly all the middle men. If you’re in a marketing leadership position, give your team more autonomy once it’s clear everyone is aligned on your message and you have a solid editing process in place. If you’re not in a position to dictate the number of people on the approval committee, plead the case for removing the funnel and fewer “deaths by committee.” (God be with you.)

7. Adopt a more holistic measuring stick. We avoid things that aren’t quantifiable because they make us feel less in control. But there are too many data points, too much nuance, too many contributing factors to perfectly attribute a single marketing effort to a sale, unless the “convert” can categorically affirm so. And nothing worthwhile is built on data only. Removing your data “blinders” will almost surely enhance your patience, humanity, and strategy.

8. Stop treating your marketing team like human vending machines. Unless you want to (continue to) undercut their efforts, your success, and your revenue. Your business can’t exist without marketing. Reframe your respect, compensation, support, and communication from that understanding.

9. Align your marketing content with the basic tenets of content strategy, including:

  • Every piece of content has a purpose, and that purpose coincides with a business goal.
  • Every piece of content exists for a specific group of people, not “everybody” or “anyone.”
  • Every piece of content is made for the audience’s ease and clarity.

10. Create a distribution plan. (Huge surprise, I know.) This should include the answers to:

  • Who are you going to share this with?
  • How (by what means)? What platforms are you sharing on?
  • Who is responsible for distribution? Who is responsible for engagement or follow-up?
  • How can the content be repurposed/reused (and redistributed)?
  • And in the timeless words of Yul Brynner, "Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!"

Would you add anything to this list? We’d love to hear (and learn) from you. 


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Topics: b2b writing help, b2b marketing content

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