Table of contents:
- Consider outsourcing your content marketing
- Hire a full-time content marketer
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Consider what your ideal audience is searching for
- Research keywords
- Use language that appeals to your intended audience
- Define clear goals
- Calculate cost of producing and distributing content, compared to sales as a result of that content
- Use tools
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to overcome the biggest B2B content marketing challenges. Once you know how to tackle them, your content marketing will soar to new heights!
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us.
But what were the biggest challenges for B2B marketers this year?
Unsurprisingly, many B2B companies struggled to find creative ways to overcome the hurdles of COVID-19. Businesses who previously relied on physical interactions had to completely pivot to digital communications. And many found they were falling short.
So, it’s unsurprising that a recent study by FINITE found that the biggest challenges for B2B marketers in 2020 revolved around their content marketing strategy.
But what else did the study find? Well, here are some other key takeaways:
- 35% of B2B marketers said producing enough content was their biggest challenge
- 26% of B2B marketers said their biggest challenge was reaching the right audience
- 16% said measuring ROI was their biggest hurdle
While these numbers make sense for 2020, they’re actually a pretty accurate representation of B2B marketing challenges in other years, too.
Creating an effective content marketing strategy takes time — and that’s something that busy B2B marketers don’t always have.
Why is content marketing such a challenge for B2B companies?
The FINITE study has shown that content marketing is a challenge for lots of B2B businesses. So let’s explore why this is.
Here are the most common hurdles that B2B content marketers face:
Struggling to produce enough content
Creating quality content is time-consuming. This can be a huge hurdle to overcome — especially if you’re a business owner, or only have a small team.
Marketers have to wear a lot of hats, so unless you have the option of hiring a full-time content manager, trying to keep up with content production can seem incredibly daunting.
Not reaching the right audience
Reaching the right audience with your content takes knowledge and training.
To have an effective content strategy, you have to understand concepts like SEO, and know how to perform in-depth keyword research.
If you’re a business owner who hasn’t been trained in these areas, you’ll probably find it hard to reach the customers you’re looking for.
Difficulty measuring ROI
As with any marketing strategy, the goal of content marketing is achieving a positive ROI.
But measuring the ROI of content marketing can be a bit more abstract than other forms of marketing. To understand whether your content is performing successfully, you have to know what KPIs (key performance indicators) to look for — and that’s not always obvious.
9 ways to overcome the biggest B2B content marketing challenges
Great content marketing takes time. It takes time in production, and it takes time in understanding and optimizing its effectiveness.
But maybe you just don’t have enough hours in the day. After all, you’ve got to manage all of the other aspects of your business!
If you’re struggling to produce enough content due to time, there’s a few things you can do:
Consider outsourcing your content marketing
When it comes to content marketing, outsourcing is one of the easiest ways to do more each day.
Working with a freelancer or a content marketing agency is a great way to completely hand over the responsibility of your content creation, leaving you with more hours in the day
And what’s more, you can rest assured that your content marketing is in the hands of a professional!
Outsourcing is also a great solution if you don’t have the ability or the desire to hire someone in-house.
But if you do want someone in-house:
Hire a full-time content marketer
Content marketing is a full-time job. So in order for it to be truly effective, it should be treated as such.
If you only have one marketer on your team, they’re probably trying to juggle quite a few areas (social media, paid ads, events — the list goes on!)
To maximize the impact of your content marketing, consider hiring someone with the sole responsibility of focusing on content. This will decrease stress in your current marketing team, and guarantee better quality content.
Focus on quality over quantity
Which brings us to...the importance of quality.
If you can't afford to bring on a new employee, or spend extra resources on outsourcing, concentrate on producing as much quality content as you can, and don’t worry so much about the quantity.
Content marketing experts all agree — it’s better to post one excellent blog per month than 5 mediocre ones.
Consider what your ideal audience is searching for
Reaching targeted markets through content starts with putting yourself in the shoes of a potential customer.
What are their pain points? What are their struggles? What terminology do they use to describe them?
Your content should aim to directly answer the questions your customers are asking.
So, consider what these questions are — and how they might phrase these questions in a search engine.
Once you’ve considered what your customers are asking, it’s time to consider the keywords they’re using!
Words and phrases that are often used by your potential customers — words you want to be recognized for — are called keywords.
To make sure you’re using the right keywords in your content, carry out some simple research on how often they are searched, and which terms your competitors are using.
Simple software like SEMRush or Ubersuggest can help you with this!
Use language that appeals to your intended audience
If your content is filled with jargon — or terms that someone outside your organization may not normally use or understand — your content probably won’t be found.
93% of all online searches begin with a search engine. And if you’re using different language to your potential customers, search engines probably won’t recognize your content as a good match.
Define clear goals
What exactly do you want your content marketing to achieve? Is it brand awareness? More qualified leads? More conversions? All of the above?
Before you begin on any piece of content, lay out what the specific goal is for that content.
For example, while you may want your new eBook to increase qualified leads, an email to those new qualified leads is probably aimed at increasing conversions.
Make sure that your goals are super clear from the get-go. This will make it easier to measure success in the long-term.
Calculate cost of producing and distributing content, compared to sales as a result of that content
This is probably the most straight-forward way to measure the ROI of your content marketing.
All you need to do is calculate the time it takes you to produce content, how much that time costs (based on your hourly rate), and how much time or money it took to promote that content.
Then compare that overall cost with the total amount that the content generated in sales.
This may take time, as some forms of content have a longer life span (like blogs vs. emails) so make sure to determine when you’ll measure results as well.
Technology has made it incredibly easy for marketers to do the things we mentioned above, including understanding what your audience is looking for, researching keywords and promoting your content.
Some of our favorite content marketing tools include:
- Google Analytics or Woopra for understanding audience behavior
- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram’s built-in analytics
- Hootsuite for social media content performance measurement
- BuzzSumo, Ubersuggest or SEMRush for keyword research
- Hubspot for measuring ROI
Looking to outsource to a company who can help you solve all of these content marketing challenges and more? Check us out at Scribly.io.