“Discover the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid, from starting without a plan and overusing jargon to crafting ineffective content.”
Digital marketing overall presents notable challenges already, as the trend of omnichannel marketing continues to gain ground. Customer behaviors and expectations have changed drastically, in no small part due to the pandemic, following increasingly fractured customer journeys. Content marketing needs to account for these developments, and many marketers struggle to adapt in time.
In turn, B2B content marketing specifically entails even more such challenges, as marketers need to cater to sophisticated, knowledgeable decision-makers. Thankfully, learning from the marketing mistakes of others can help one avoid many such pitfalls. So, let us explore some of the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid.
#1 Not distinguishing B2B from B2C content marketing
The root of many common mistakes lies in failing to make this fundamental distinction; B2B differs drastically from B2C. The simple difference comes with the target audiences of each, of course, but this alone has massive implications.
Put simply, B2C content marketing seeks to appeal to broader, often impulsive audiences. B2C marketers can elicit emotional responses, lean more heavily on visuals and presentation, and so forth. Conversely, B2B aims for decision-makers; knowledgeable people whose decisions affect entire companies. Such audiences need deeply informative content to sway them, and they will scrutinize their options much more intensely.
Granted, this simple mistake primarily occurs for beginner marketers, but it does deserve its due mention here.
#2 Starting without a content marketing plan
That said, as with all marketing campaigns of any kind, success hinges on proper, thorough planning. B2B content marketing is far from an exception; in fact, it’s even more demanding – as highlighted just above.
For this initial phase, consider every relevant target and goal:
- Who are you marketing to?
- What are your goals?
- What content will you produce?
- Where will you promote it?
- What should your content schedule look like?
Alongside your SMART goals, such questions should inform your course from step one. Especially in such a demanding field, winging it will most often not suffice.
#3 Neglecting website conversions
Next, surprisingly still among the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid comes a weak focus on conversions. As we’ll discuss below, top-of-the-funnel content takes up much of B2B content marketers’ attention, sometimes leaving conversion rates lacking.
At a glance, this might make some sense. Lead generation and acquisition might indeed come harder than conversions, as leads might be easier to convert once found. Still, to get as many conversions as possible, one needs both ample traffic and compelling content.
Here you may examine the fundamentals of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), including:
- Content clarity and readability
- Strong CTAs and proper CTA placement
- Audience research, A/B testing, and readjustments
That’s not to say you should prioritize CRO over lead generation, by any means – only that both warrant attention. That is, you should ideally strike the golden balance that makes the most sense for you and your campaigns.
#4 Over stressing conversions
To illustrate, an equally common mistake occurs when the inverse happens; when B2B marketers do neglect top-of-the-funnel content. This extreme leaves them with a high-converting sales funnel, but also with no leads to funnel into it.
Databox research finds that B2B marketing teams primarily focus on top-of-the-funnel content, specifically:
- 67,4% top-of-the-funnel
- 27,9% middle-of-the-funnel
- 4,7% bottom-of-the-funnel
While this too can go to extreme lengths, as covered above, there’s a reason for this trend. Namely, B2B customers need more demonstrable value before they convert. Thus, overstressing conversions may actually be more harmful than its counterpart, leaving your sales funnel stagnant.
Of course, examining how much this marketing truism applies to you makes perfect sense, but ignoring its foundations likely won’t.
#5 Overusing industry jargon
Having examined the foundations of B2B content marketing, here we may outline another extreme as we delve into content itself. Namely, cases where the desire to impress and connect has marketers overuse industry jargon. This, too, is among the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid, as it only makes marketing harder.
Certainly, B2B content must showcase expertise. Jargon offers an effective way to do so, as audiences understand and appreciate that such content presupposes some industry knowledge. For example, this very article didn’t explain the B2C and B2B acronyms; to care for this subject, you likely know what they stand for already.
However, excessive jargon can hamper your content’s effectiveness, especially when discussing new or ambivalent terms. Your exact audiences and content strategies will dictate where the lines of excess lie, so remember to base such decisions on your insights and analytics.
#6 Narrowing content scope down
This second half of our list will delve into content itself; its scope, purpose, quality, distribution, and so forth. Predictably, this front offers a wealth of pitfalls all in itself – so let’s begin this exploration with scope.
By “scope”, in this context, we mean the different channels and types of marketing you might employ. Remember the note on omnichannel marketing in the introduction? That was because customers now reside across different channels and expect different forms of content. LinkedIn PPC marketing alone may work somewhat, but integrating other forms of marketing into your campaigns can only help further.
Consider such forms of marketing as:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- PPC marketing
- Cold calls and SMS marketing
You shouldn’t engage in all of them indiscriminately, by any means. However, limiting yourself to few forms and channels will only limit your scope – and your effectiveness in turn.
#7 Not personalizing content
Moving on to content itself, overlooking content personalization is another among the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid. Surprisingly, some B2B marketers may still make this mistake, despite their field requiring it so deeply.
DemandGen asserted that “the lines between B2B and B2C will continue to blur”, which might explain this somewhat. Still, it also found that a staggering 97% of B2B buyers value personalization very highly. 79% of them identified the “significant impact” of their winning choice’s personalized, relevant content on their decision. Yet, some B2B marketers overlook this demonstrably crucial factor.
Yes, expanding one’s scope to “keep up with buyer demand” might make personalization less feasible. However, neglecting it will hamper both lead acquisition and conversions, as content won’t speak directly to your intended audiences. Worse yet, it might attract more leads but cost you the more valuable ones among them. So, you should ideally reconcile the two in a way that best suits your business – but never neglect it entirely.
#8 Not optimizing content
On the subject of content optimizations, we may now touch on SEO. We love SEO – and so should you, as we’ve argued before.
SEO is certainly a very expansive set of practices, enough so that covering them all would require many standalone articles. The exact need for it will also depend on your business and marketing practices; the aforementioned balance between attracting many leads and valuable ones. Still, SEO helps ensure online visibility, which no website should afford to overlook.
SEO has 3 distinct subsets; on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. All of them warrant attention, but in this context, we care for on-page SEO optimizations like:
- Image optimizations
- Formatting and readability
- Keyword density
Neglecting such practices is still among the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid. It doesn’t just cost you customers; it also costs you Google’s favor. So, while perfecting SEO is a monumental task, you may best delve into its fundamentals early.
#9 Producing poor content
SEO aside, B2B content arguably has much higher quality demands. Yes, satisfying Google will serve you well, but it’s your audiences’ satisfaction that matters most. As of last year, most US B2B marketers focused on CX and website improvements for this very reason.
Thus, your content must be impeccable and offer undeniable quality. In this phase, you may examine your content for such qualities as:
- Readability; is your content highly readable and clear in its proposition? Does it offer a clear path for your customers to proceed across your sales funnel?
- Professionalism; do your style and tone match your brand image and industry? Do they match your audience’s expectations?
- Trustworthiness; does your content offer demonstrable value and cite authoritative sources? Does it inspire trust with new audiences?
Of course, this examination should then extend to visual content, email copy, and so forth, depending on your campaigns.
#10 Not promoting content
Finally, on that subject, we may conclude with shortcomings in content promotion. You may craft excellent content and reinforce your sales funnel, but underpromotion may still sabotage your efforts. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
To avoid this simple, ever-present mistake, you may embrace omnichannel marketing and promote your content far and wide. Expand to new platforms and explore cross-posting opportunities; explore more channels; fine-tune your website for visibility. Yes, your budget will determine how far you may go, but extensive, effective promotion is all too crucial to neglect.
Summarizing the most common B2B content marketing mistakes to avoid
In summary, B2B content marketing mistakes often hinge on content itself; quality, tone, purpose, promotion, and so forth. Sometimes they also come about due to poor planning, neglecting SEO, and poor lead prioritizations.
While only cursory, we hope this article helped you avoid them and meet your goals. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.