B2B Content strategy pitfalls you should avoid
Content marketing is not just a buzzword. It’s also not something that will be here today and gone tomorrow. Consistently writing B2B content (and having a strategy) is key to continued business growth.
And, while your business may not explode with new leads overnight, the right content can help you in a variety of ways. Great content can get new, qualified eyeballs coming to your site, help your sales team close a sale, and delight current and past customers with ongoing helpful information.
But, just because you write it, does not mean they will come. There are many pitfalls to watch out for when creating new content. Here are seven common mistakes marketers make that you need to watch out for.
1. Not having an overarching content plan
Ever try to go on a trip without planning it out? If you have children, even a day trip to the beach requires proper planning to make sure you have everything you need for the day.
B2B content marketing is no different. Consider digging deeper into the following to help create your plan:
- Talk to various people at your company. Not just those on the marketing team either. Chat with the sales team and support staff too. These team members are on the front line with your customers and they can offer a wealth of information.
- Look at your competitors. Keep track of what your competitors are writing about and posting to their websites. Either write about the same topics (with a different spin of course) or go in an opposite direction and write about something completely different. Most likely it will be a combination of both. Follow your competitors on their social feed and subscribe to their newsletter. Keep on top of what they are talking most about and react as needed. Remember to be proactive!
- Know what search intents and topics you want to start to rank for. Yes, keywords are important and we’ll get into that more later. But search intents are where it’s at. What are your audiences searching for? What can you write to help provide them with that information? Like I said, more on that later.
- Make sure your content helps achieve the company’s goals. Every company has goals they want to achieve. Maybe you’re announcing a new product or service, or enhancing a product or service you already offer. The content you write needs to support those initiatives by educating and enlightening your audience.
By putting together a content strategy, you can be sure to write about those topics that matter most in a way that is organized and consistent. Keep in mind that even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
So, while a plan is a great start, you may need to be flexible to react to competitors, changes in the industry, and even changes in the world (i.e. Covid shutdown).
2. Diversifying your content
When creating your content marketing plan, make certain that not all content is on the same exact subject. While all your content should not be on the same subject, you need to consider creating topic clusters and pillar pages to support each cluster.
A high-level “pillar” page should act as the main hub of content. Then, add multiple content pages that are related to that same topic and link back to the pillar page and to each other.
Not only should you diversify your content, but you should create content in different forms. People absorb content in different ways – some like videos, others prefer to read. A person may prefer long-form content whereas others want to quickly read or watch and move on. Take a certain topic and create pillar pages with different types of content.
3. Writing for your audience (not your business)
I know. It’s tempting to write about all that you and your business does – the service you offer, the product that is leaps and bounds above all other similar products. But that’s not always what your prospects and customers are looking for. They have needs, concerns, and problems that they are trying to solve. Or information that is needed.
Take this marketing content piece for example. Sure… I could write about how awesome our B2B digital content writing team is. And, how we start by formulating a plan aimed at your goals, then write content following all the best practices. And so on. (Yes, that was a shameless plug!).
But instead, based on how you most likely came across this article, you’re interested in how to create your own content and how not to make any mistakes along the way.
That is what I am truly hoping you get out of this article. Write for the people who will be reading it. Talk about their pain points. Tell them what is in it for them, not what’s in it for you or your business. Page rank is based on content more than keyword terms. Of course, if you need help, you can reach out for more guidance and support as we are only a form-fill away.
As for the amount of content, it varies. Take a look at your competitors and see what and how they are writing. Back in the day, 250-300 words was good. But these days, long-form content performs better. It’s recommended that posts be no shorter than 500-600 words, but 900 – 1000 (or more) is beneficial.
4. Ignoring the rules of SEO
SEO seems to make a lot of people cringe lately. There is so much that goes into search engine optimization and the rules are always changing. But, if you write for your audience, the rules will come naturally. Here are just a few of the rules to keep in mind when it comes to SEO:
- Focus on one (1) target keyword term per page/post.
- Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs and use secondary keyword terms within the content. If you have used the target term 3 times, start to use its variations.
- Add internal links to provide additional value to the content you are writing.
- Include image alt tags and try to make sure the image file name has your target keyword or a variation in it.
- Proofread and make sure that the post can be digested easily and is formatted properly on multiple devices.
Want to learn more about the love story between SEO and content? Check out this webinar to learn how to reach your audience more effectively.
5. Incorrect web page structure
Behind the wonderful world of content and SEO is a proper page structure. What is a page structure you may ask? Think of it like a hardcover book.
Like a book, every page must have a title – but only 1 title (not 2 or 3). And sometimes a book can have a subtitle, which in digital webpage terms is your Heading 1 (or H1). Again, there should only be one H1 that will help keep your content focused on one keyword term (or topic).
Also, while a book has sections and chapters, your on-page content will have H2s, H3s, and so on. Importantly, your title and H1 should never be the same. But it should speak to the keywords or their variations.
And don’t forget everything behind the scenes. When writing your meta description, keep it at or about 150 characters and always try to use a keyword variation.
Keep your URL at a readable length. If you try to make the URL longer thinking you’re pleasing the search engine gods, you are only annoying them. This can negatively affect how the algorithm ranks that post or page.
6. Not enough (or too many) links
As mentioned above, linking is important both to support your research (external linking) as well as keep the reader engaged in the content pieces on your site (internal linking).
External links should always open up in a new tab as you do not want visitors to leave your website. Internal links can open up in the same tab or a separate tab depending upon your intention for that link.
Best practices say that depending on the length of the post, you can add 2-5 links per post. For a 1500-word article, five internal links would be sufficient. But don’t force it. You don’t need links just for the heck of it. If it makes sense, add it. If not, leave it out.
Don’t try to add too many links either as that can create confusion with the reader. They may not know what to click. Remember, there truly can be too much of a good thing.
7. Setting it and forgetting it
Congratulations! You planned out content, wrote it for your audience in many various types, made sure it was optimized and built on a great layout, added links to keep your reader engaged, and published it. All done, right? Think again.
Watch how the content resonates with your audience. Are they finding it? Are you promoting it on social media, through emails, and so on? How much time do users spend on the page as well as on your site?
Check your metrics and make edits as needed. Consider heatmapping a page to see how people are interacting with it. Where are you losing them? Do you need to move CTAs higher up? Also, look at the content as time progresses. The content may need a refresh down the line.
Start planning your B2B content marketing strategy
Writing content is not something to be done quickly or without some kind of strategy. If you invest the time and effort in a B2B content marketing strategy, the more you can get out of it over time. Wondering where to start? Go to the beginning and create a content planning strategy to keep organized. Download our Content Calendar template to keep yourself on target.
Since 2005, we have been writing optimized copy at every stage of the content marketing funnel. Schedule a call with us to connect about how we can help you accomplish (and blow away!) your business goals.