Content marketing radically improves your marketing AND sales conversion ratios. Companies are slowly realising this and are beginning to turn away from traditional outbound marketing and are moving towards inbound marketing. So being able to create engaging, educational content has become an important skill, amongst others, that any B2B inbound marketer needs in order to create an effective lead generation machine. We've found that a lot of companies are a little stuck between the old and new methods of content marketing. If you type “rules for good content marketing” into Google you are going to find a myriad of articles telling you what to do. Now, while some of these make for great tips and give amazing advice, it is the same as with everything: some rules were simply made to be broken. Continue reading if you want to find out what to avoid.
1. Don't make SEO the sole purpose of your content
SEO optimisation is important, as it drives traffic to your site, no doubt about that, but keyword stuffing can not only harm your content, make it unreadable and boring it can also put potential customers off you forever. The solution to this is simple, write for your readers first and for search engines second, this way you can create relevant educational content, draw readers to you and get on Google’s good side.
2. Don't make your website only relevant to your business
It's no use creating content that is relevant to just you, you should be creating buyer-centric, educational content. So if you are a company that sells coffee beans, don’t just write about how great your coffee is. Research what your buyer personas want to read so you can engage them. They are more likely to revisit your site if you can offer them valuable educational content that's assists them in solving their problems. Write about where the best places are to source coffee beans, write about current coffee trends and regulations and give your buyer personas insight into the industry not just your business. This will not only drive traffic but build trust with potential clients.
3. Don't post too much content constantly
As much as you want to be found through your content, don’t overdo it. It takes time to build steady traffic to your website. Make sure you have enough material and topics to last you for a while. With content it really comes down to quality over quantity. I am a big advocate for consistency, set yourself an achievable schedule, to which you think you can adhere. If you commit to blogging once a week, stick to it, it doesn’t matter if this is less frequent than your competitors as long as you ensure your blogs continue to help solve your buyer persona's problems.
4. Don't create a marketing plan and never evolve it
As we have discovered in a previous blog post, ad-hoc marketing is a thing of the past. You need a plan to get the best out of your marketing. Have a strategy and a goal to work towards, so you can track how you are doing and how much closer to achieving your goal you are getting. Having said that however, you need to be prepared for the unknown. You are operating a business, which involves human interaction and changing circumstances, so your marketing strategy needs to be flexible. This doesn’t mean you need to be prepared to throw your whole plan over board when things go awry, it frankly means you need to be prepared to adapt and alter along the way. Some previously planned blog topics might not work once you get five months down the line or a previously created ebook isn’t generating enough leads. Don’t panic, this doesn’t mean your whole strategy is flawed, use the opportunity to learn what can be improved. So the rule here is to never get complacent and lazy, be sure to review your content marketing strategy regularly, analyse the results and adjust your tactics so your strategy can improve.
5. Don't just randomly engage in all social platforms
Yes, you want to be visible, yes, you want to attract as many potential buyers through your content as possible, and yes, social media and web exposure go together like peanut butter and jelly but not all platforms are relevant to your costumer, so make sure you do your research. Know that to maximise your B2B lead generation, LinkedIn generally converts more leads than Facebook, Twitter has more influence than Instagram and Google+ can potentially reach more people than Pinterest. You need to research with your team where your buyer personas 'hang out' online and find out:
- Which social media platforms they 'hang out' on most.
- Who the key influencers in their industry are. Influencers are people that your buyer persona trusts for industry advice, who have lots of followers that actively engage with their posts i.e., shares, likes, comments.
- Which industry leader websites your buyer persona visits to read up on the latest news relevant to them.
This will allow you to get the most out of your social media platforms and focus on optimising your posts to fit each platform.
Not all tips and tricks work for everyone and you will only find out which strategy and which guidelines work for you and your business once you’ve tried a few approaches. Never be afraid to break a few rules in order to find your marketing path. If you'd like to gain more insight please download our free ebook 'The Content Marketing Revolution'.