As content marketers, we live and breathe our brand all day and every day, so it’s easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to our content marketing strategy. This fixation can prevent us from critically looking at our content marketing strategy from an outsider’s perspective, and see where things could be done differently or need refreshing. That’s where this post comes in.
There are some best practices or routines that we can get in the habit of doing when we are creating and promoting content. However, some of these things that we think we are doing right might actually the wrong things for our strategy, and can potentially flatten our brand instead of lift it.
So, I invite you to try to remove yourself from this tunnel vision, read this post, and evaluate your strategy from the perspective of one of your buyer personas.
Let’s explore some habits that may actually be doing your content marketing strategy more harm than good.
Engaging Leads with Your Newest Content
Sometimes your latest content isn’t always your greatest content. It’s likely that you email out your content occasionally. However, ask yourself this: if this is a lead’s first time seeing your content, are they seeing your best work? Or are they just seeing your most recent work?
Of course, we believe you should consistently send content out weekly or monthly to your leads and subscribers. But when a new lead joins your database, we recommend that you set up a drip campaign that nurtures them. This nurture plan should be carefully thought out and prioritized, and utilize your best relevant content instead of adding leads straight to your newsletter list to receive your new content.
Ignoring the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is how a potential customer navigates their way around your brand from awareness to their purchase decision. Depending on where a lead is at in the buyer’s journey, this should dictate how you market to them and what content you provide them with when. While it may be tempting to send your leads the same content every week, you should segment them according to which stage they are in the buyer’s journey. Here are some examples of what to send:
- Awareness: Thought leadership blog posts and eBooks that give them tips and strategies to accomplish their goals better
- Consideration: Send information about how your brand can solve pain points they may face in their own personal or professional lives, like white papers or guides
- Decision: Email them with resources that prove your brand is the missing link in their business, like case studies
Some brands like to add an “advocacy stage” to the buyer’s journey, in which past and current clients advocate for a brand. This word of mouth recommendation is great for generating new leads so it’s a good idea to send your clients sharable content and set up a referral program.
If you patiently walk a new lead through all of the stages of the buyer’s journey, but they still don’t purchase? Don’t give up, as it’s likely they may be ready for purchase later. Keep them in a “closed lost” email drip where you send them news, updates and strategies so that your brand is on the top of their minds when they are finally ready to purchase.
Writing Too Much Content
Arguably, you should be spending as much or more time promoting your content and segmenting your leads than actually writing content. If you spend all of your time producing awesome content but nobody reads it, what’s the point?
Check out this post on how to promote your B2B content for ideas on how you should spend your time promoting the great content that you write for your brand. You can’t rely on people to find your awesome content on their own so perhaps you should analyze how you spend your time and determine if you need to spend less time writing content and more time promoting your content.
Giving Sales Leads Too Early
When you generate new leads, sometimes the sales team might get a little over-eager and want to call them right away. However, leads are more likely to become clients if they are nurtured first. The right nurturing campaign will provide the lead with brand trust and credibility way before sales reaches out to them.
We recommend that you send each lead a series of five emails before sales reaches out to them. These emails shouldn’t be self-promotional at all. They should be full of thought leadership resources like eBooks, blog posts, white papers, videos, etc. The fifth email can then have a CTA for the lead to register for a free trial or demo, or to get in touch with a sales representative if they are interested in learning more about your brand. After the 5 emails are dripped, then your lead should be considered ready for the sales team to reach out.
Expecting Instant Results
Content marketing can be a slow build, but it is worth the effort. When you create evergreen content, it can be discovered and generate leads for years to come.
Creating brand awareness and trust with your audience takes time, so don’t abandon your content marketing efforts if you don’t see big results right away. Like we mentioned, it takes time to walk your target consumers through the buyer’s journey. So, don’t expect instant sales after you publish a really cool eBook.
Set realistic expectations with your co-workers and leadership. When you launch your blog, it’s going to take time to get subscribers. When you generate new leads, it’s going to take time to convert them into sales. You catch my drift.
Have you noticed any content marketing bad habits that you want to tell us about? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @Feed_Otter