8 B2B Content Marketing Faux Pas

1. Lack of Goals. Maybe because content marketing is so broadly defined, sometimes the goals are similarly farreaching. Other companies may be latching onto the latest buzzword without a clear understanding of objectives. Whether the aperture is too wide or too narrow, the end result is a fuzzy picture of performance. Here's an example of a killer content marketing program with a laser-sharp goal: GM's Corvette Quarterly magazine exists solely to convert Porsche buyers into Corvette drivers. FIX: Start with a specific objective. (And obey speed limits.)

2. Self-referential Messaging. "Me" is the enemy of "we." Remember, your customers care more about your knowledge than they do your products. Self-referential content is marketing collateral with a new name. FIX: Create content about what you know, not what you sell.

3. Good Enough Ain't Good Enough. You aren't just competing against similar vendors when it comes to content. You are competing with every publisher – bloggers, trade journals, Twitter influencers, even daily newspapers. FIX: Invest in your content; create a unique point-of-view and don't forget to market your content.

4. Lack of a Content Calendar. Break the fixed, serial campaign mentality. The content you create should be planned, yet flexible enough to adapt to inspiration. It's also vital to think about creating multiple uses out of a single asset. FIX: Create a content marketing editorial calendar but leave room for inspiration.

 5. Going It Alone. Content marketing is a team sport. Your colleagues are vital to the creation, distribution and socializing of your content. FIX: Identify employees who are active content creators, and inspire them to join your effort.

6. The Work Ends at Creation. Even the best content needs a push if it's going to be discovered en masse or by the right audience. Unless you are a rock star – and I mean an actual rock star – finding an audience requires time, patience and effort. FIX: Find out where your customers are hanging out on the social Web and get active in those communities. (And buy a lunch box.)

7. No Chief Content Officer. All great media brands have a chief editor who owns the content mission. FIX: Find a chief editor internally or hire one. While everyone in a company may be responsible for content, one person needs to be accountable for it.

8. You Lack Content DNA. Most brands aren't inherently publishers. It's a new strand of marketing DNA. FIX: Hire a journalist or a specialty agency.

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