How B2B leaders can overcome their content marketing blockers
Content marketing is a key pursuit for modern B2B companies. When the rise of social media first became influential in the B2C world, professionals may not have thought that it could have a similar impact in B2B, but it eventually did. There’s a simple reason for this: the line between the personal and professional worlds got blurred online, and it’s since become fairly common for B2B deals to be arranged through social media platforms designed for personal use.
This is why it’s a problem that so many B2B companies struggle with content marketing. They have good intentions, but they run up against blockers that slow their output and negatively impact the level of content quality they can achieve. In this post, we’re going to run through some tips for how B2B leaders can overcome their content marketing blockers. Let’s begin.
Hold company-wide ideation sessions
One of the most common reasons why content marketing slows to a crawl (or stops entirely) is that the ideas just aren’t present. Even when writers are sufficiently creative to come up with briefs, they’re not typically advised to do so – instead, they’re expected to wait until the work is passed to them, which causes problems when that work isn’t available.
This is often due to a lack of input from the people with the marketable expertise. Take an engineering company, for example: even when producing content for B2B marketing, it would need to take dry information from the engineers and polish it to make it fit for purpose. When internal communication is inadequate, this doesn’t happen, and progress can’t be made.
By holding company-wide ideation sessions that get everyone involved, B2B leaders can get their various teams working together to come up with content ideas that will make good use of the available expertise and ensure that there are clear paths ahead. The creation of a solid topic-based content calendar can save a lot of time in the following months.
They can also clearly assign campaign responsibilities, making note of which people are responsible for which milestones. This can be very helpful for sticking to deadlines – and it’s harder to run up against content marketing blockers when there are specific people in charge of making progress.
Invest in supporting their production teams
Content marketing needs a competent and effective production team behind it. High-quality material takes time and effort to create and refine, and each step along the way relies on a handful of people (even in the biggest corporations). If those people don’t get the training and support they need, there will be no way to achieve worthwhile results.
The nature of the training necessary will depend on the content being produced. If it’s written content, it makes sense to invest in writing skills. If it’s video content, then production, editing and animation are suitable choices. A classic blocker is that a writer doesn’t know how to tackle a brief and puts it to the back of their list of priorities. With training, they could be ready for it.
As for support, well, it’s currently more important than ever before to help employees with their mental health. B2B leaders should do what they can: there are plenty of worthwhile investments, including general therapy, fitness training, breakthrough coaching (services range from broad to niche), music services, nutrition subscriptions, and even financial planning services (money is a big source of worry).
The stronger and healthier the members of a content marketing production team feel, the more consistently and productively they’ll be able to work, and the more their company will be able to achieve through its carefully-honed content calendar.
Implement ROI-centric metric tracking
Lastly, it’s absolutely essential to ensure that every piece of content marketing is launched with a clear awareness of how it should (or could) provide ROI. Despite knowing that content marketing is important, big B2B companies – often falling behind the times – can be uncertain about what specifically it’s supposed to achieve (aside from yielding more money somehow). When they launch it haphazardly and don’t see clear returns, they can lose interest in it.
B2B leaders who don’t want to deal with various layers of admin stubbornly refusing to put effort into content marketing because they don’t believe in it have one simple (but tricky) task: lay out clear and obvious results showing that it returns value. And the only way to retrieve this compelling evidence is to have clear marketing metrics in place and use them as evidence.
It’s unwise to just launch a blog post. Instead, track how much it cost to make, identify the possible value return (product links in the post could get hits and drive sales, the post itself could be quoted on a relevant site with a strong domain and lead to better search rankings, etc), and come away with a clear notion of how effective it was. The more people know about how effective the content marketing is being, the more enthused they’ll be about improving it.
We recently sent a survey based on the four pillars of execution to 100 marketing leaders. The results of this survey were used in this report to demonstrate where marketers are at in their journey to digital marketing maturity. Check out all the findings here.