Content marketing is the heart of B2B marketing. It is a well-known fact and reasonably so, given that we are over-saturated and over-exposed to traditional advertising. Throughout our day we are so constantly bombarded by irrelevant advertising messages that we have subconsciously formed an emotional unsubscribe to all advertising messaging. Be it digital, non-digital, television, newsprint, or billboards, we have conditioned ourselves to ignore the advertising elements.
This has led to content being the superhero that has come to the rescue of B2B marketing. Specific to the B2B context is the added bonus that relevant content can be created for every stage of the marketing life-cycle. Starting from lead generation, lead nurturing, sales pipeline, up to customer loyalty management content can and should be customized to fit your marketing needs. That content is essential has been established without a doubt. However a recent survey conducted by the content marketing institute showed that only 32% of enterprise B2B marketers believe they are being effective in their content marketing. Why then the content marketing crisis?
The problem is both internal and external. Lets take a look at the internal challenges first. In most companies the internal content marketing is tactical and usually has no over-arching strategy. Most of the time it is developed and driven by the needs of whichever campaign is being run. The most common scenario is that you have a campaign in hand and you will either set out to create the content necessary or source for it.
This results in a non-cohesive and highly fragmented content identity and the larger the company the more fragmented the content marketing strategy tends to be. Every department would have its own ideas and tonality in the content leading to lots of sporadic content types scattered throughout various departments that does not present a cohesive message about your company. Many a time it is akin to the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
On the external end content marketing looks to be facing the same fate as social marketing whereby everyone is professing to be a content marketer these days. SEO Agencies, copywriting houses, and even video production companies are calling themselves content marketers. This muddying of the waters means that our prospects are getting buried under loads and loads of mediocre content. Sooner rather than later this will result in them performing the same emotional un-subscribe they have done for advertising.
It has become imminent that B2B marketers need to pull themselves and their resources together, learn from previous marketing errors and most importantly to stop producing mediocre content. We need to align our goals, metrics, tonality and strategy both internally and externally to optimize our content marketing efficacy. Without a concerted effort by marketers content marketing is not going to have a bright future. After all the biggest roadblock of content marketing is the content itself.