There are 3 big mistakes that most B2B businesses make when doing content marketing.
Let's unpack each of these individually.
There’s a difference between blogging and content marketing.
Blogging is producing content without a strategy or plan. A blogger might think of a good topic while driving to work, throw 500 words into WordPress, and call it good marketing. Bloggers only write on topics they find interesting and only publish when the mood strikes.
But there’s more to content than just posting articles on the web.
Content marketing is strategic. It’s a system that includes your goals, tactics, and the metrics you’ll use to measure the strategy’s performance. It’s documented, but it’s flexible enough to change on new information.
To effectively market your business with content, each article (or video, infographic, or whatever you create) needs to fit into a bigger purpose. With a clear strategy, you can multiply the value of each piece of content (e.g. leads, views, subscribers) to double or triple its effectiveness.
A key component of your content marketing strategy is promotion, but many businesses hit that publish button and call it a day. They have content marketing expectations, but again, they’re just blogging.
Publishing is just the beginning. Content must be promoted. Of course you know that. It's marketing 101. But do you do it?
The type of promotion you do will vary based on your goals. We'll get to that in a later lesson. But regardless of what you do, your content should to be emailed to subscribers, posted on social media and optimized for search traffic.
If you fail to promote your content, no one will find it.
I believe this last mistake defines the difference between blogging and content marketing.
Many businesses complain that even though they create a piece of remarkably valuable content, they see zero results. No one takes action!
This happens when companies spend an inordinate amount of time and resources educating their readers, but little or no time motivating them.
You see, most people aren’t willing to buy from you right away. They enjoy your content, but aren’t ready to give you money yet. They’ve put you in the friend zone, unwilling to give you a date.
You must nurture your prospects over time by educating and training them while gently motivating them to take action.
If you carefully balance education and motivation, they’ll come straight to you when they’re ready to buy. But if you get stuck endlessly educating, you'll have given your best content away with nothing to show for it.
(How do you strike the balance between educating and motivating? That’s the focus of my next two emails.)
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife and son.