Everyone is jumping into content marketing. The challenge is not only how to do it, but how to do it well. One of the best things a marketer can do is learn from the mistakes of others. For this post, we asked some of the participants in the upcoming Keys to Content Marketing Virtual Summit on August 14th to share the mistakes they see on the market today.
Content creation is too narrowly focused on a single buyer.
Narrowly focused content tends to be out of step and misaligned with the reality of buying in most companies today. The biggest drawback is that content then becomes non-shareable since it lacks relevancy to others. The solution: When considering the buyer personas for whom you want to develop content, content producers must consider more than just the single buyer or buyer persona. This is true when conducting buyer insight research - it is a mistake to interview only those whom you assume are direct buyers. Buying in organizations today is fluid, dynamic, flatter, and involves more participants. (Tony Zambito)
Companies create content for themselves not their buyer.
You are not your buyer – get over it bro! Before you create anything – dig in deep with your current client base and your sales staff, they will give you the insight you need to create really compelling content. This is probably the biggest mistake in content, albeit the most forewarned. So listen up! (Justin Gray)
Their content voice sounds like a corporate twit.
From our early school days we were taught that formal writing = good writing. Somewhere along the way marketers found out that this is absolute crap, however the old days of getting slapped on the hand with a ruler for "writing as you talk" are hard lessons to break. Honestly, it’s the only reason I enjoy content creation in modern sales/marketing, all of the sudden its cool to speak to people like people again. And they're buying it! I just wanted to start a sentence with "and" there to see if a huge cosmic ruler would hit me. (Justin Gray)
Content is created without any personality.
Content that is written as an instruction manual will come across as just that, instructions. There’s so much crap content out there and there'is a need for good writers with personality and opinions based on their own experience. That’s what I want to read. (Jason Miller)
Companies are jumping in the raging river of social media and content marketing without a plan or measurable goals.
Social and content marketing are not just hobbies or activities. They are business processes that should be approached with a strategic plan and metrics to measure success. (Don Perkins)
Want to learn more about content marketing? Join us for the Keys to Content Marketing Success Virtual Summit on August 14th by registering below!
Turkey and B2B Lead Generation? What is the gravy that makes your demand gen programs sing?
Even companies such as Green Leads do our own lead gen. Here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for this year as it pertains to b2b lead generation in hopes that you might find an idea or two that you could implement:
- Alumni - Our largest source of leads. After 5 years of 2x plus growth year after year, the tribe is huge. Nurture your alumni, don't just let them move on. Deliver quality service and stay in touch with your clients. They will come back if you did a good job. LinkedIn is your tool.
- Expand - In one day we acquired a company that overlapped 90% with Green Leads' offerings, delivered the market a one stop shop for Americas/EMEA b2b marketing, and doubled our size again. We were able to expand many of their European clients to the US and many of our US clients to Europe. Look at your existing client base and ask "how can we expand?"
- Inbound - Yet again, our inbound leads consistently came in and our SEO was kept fresh by using HubSpot. Our blog subscriber list doubled, and our rankings improved. The two key elements we find to a successful inbound program is content and social activity. Keep the visitors interacting and coming back and SEO will follow.
- SiriusDecisions Summit - By far the best place to be if you are into b2b sales and marketing. We sponsored both Scottsdale and London and in both cases walked away with tons of valuable information and new network contacts. Always be learning.
- Technology - No inside sales/outbound lead gen team should be without VoIP, Click to Dial, and some sort of power dialing system (we use 8x8, Skype, Salesforce CTI adapter and ConnectAndSell). Selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Do what you can to have more conversations.
What are you thankful for? What filled your pipeline this year?
I've recently been on the conference circuit, speaking and tweeting whatever sales and marketing goodness I can find. One topic that came up at each conference was the quality of the content presented by the various speakers. Some sessions were brilliant; some were nothing more than veiled commercials.
- The key as an attendee is to be able to pull the brilliant content out of the commercials.
- The key as a presenter is to avoid the commercials and present brilliant content.
Let's face it. It doesn't matter if you're at an analyst-sponsored event or an industrywide event with multiple sponsors, the companies buying the hors d'oeuvres and beer want to deliver their messages. And as attendees, we kind of owe it to them to listen. That said, we want to hear value.
Vendors can deliver their message themselves, or they can put customers or industry experts on stage to do it for them. Either way, as we b2b demand gen folks know, it's all about the content, so let's provide it. I challenge all the vendors -- bring value to the audience.
Tips for earning respect as a vendor:
- Consider using industry experts and/or customers to present your message.
- If you're going to use one of your own executives, make them tell a compelling story.
- Keep the commercials to a minimum. Talk about real issues and real solutions.
- Invite conversation, questions and provocative thought. Engage the audience.
- Entertain a tiny bit. Conferences are hard to sit through. So while delivering valuable content, make the crowd smile.
- Carry the conversation to other mediums. Tweet and blog, record videos, post your slides on slideshare.
Just remember -- when someone is done listening to your 45 minutes of fame, do they walk away thinking, "I got some great nuggets from this appointment setting tips session. And hmmm ... he uses Green Leads, I might check them out" ?
Guest post by Paul Simon, Sharper Content, @paulcontentman
We all form instant impressions when meeting someone new. Guess what? The same thing happens when we read something from someone we don't know - and the proliferation of social media puts an awful of "new" people in front of us.
As Michael Damphousse says, "Good content creates value. Value creates trust. And, yes, trust creates leads."
On the Internet, it's all about content, whether you have a product to sell, service to offer or leads to pursue. The best content is clear, concise and compelling, creating a bond and a relationship with the reader. Can poor writing, misspellings and grammatical errors interfere? You betcha.
A few days ago someone in a sales group on LinkedIn posed this question: "Love reading and participating in this group, but I could not help noticing all the blatant spelling errors in our posts. Do you think it reflects negatively on our attention to detail and professionalism not to re-read our posts before we hit the send button? "
Intriguing responses followed, some dismissing an occasional error in a group comment as inconsequential and others characterizing them as a general lack of professionalism. Here are a few of my favorite comments:
"Numerous mistakes indicate a lack of attention to detail. If I am thinking of hiring someone to take care of my business, I want someone who is brilliant in their field AND cares about the details..."
"If one person, someone who is important to you, forms a negative image of you because of something you've written, doesn't it make sense to be more mindful? I would hate to think that I was shut out of an opportunity because I failed to take a few extra minutes to ensure that my spelling and grammar were up to snuff."
As someone who makes a living writing and editing other people's copy, I've often wondered about the same thing when I see a lot of errors. I've made my share of typos in rushing out an email here and there, but it does seem that a business communication rife with errors really gets you off on the wrong foot.
Can you afford to take a chance? Are your content marketing efforts going to impact demand gen? You owe it to yourself to pay attention.