I see companies routinely make two major mistakes when embarking on a content marketing program. Fortunately, they’re easy to avoid.
1. Exclusively developing one type of content.
Your customers like to consume content in different ways. For example, some people might prefer to watch a video as opposed to reading a white paper. Some people might want to read an article as a PDF, whereas others prefer HTML.
One of the variables here is the type of device they’re consuming it on. If you’re reading a document on a laptop, a PDF might be a perfectly appropriate format. If you’re reading it on a smartphone, you might prefer straight text.
Another variable is where they’re consuming the content. If they’re at work, they might not want to watch a video on their work computer in a crowded office environment. They might prefer to watch the video at home, where they won’t be annoying anyone.
It’s a best practice to spread your content library into different kinds of assets to accommodate all of these preferences.
2. Creating content for content’s sake.
This happens when companies create content simply so they can have a content library. Every piece of content you produce needs to have a strategy behind it and a specific goal. In B2B context, the most important goal for your content library is to nudge prospects into and through the sales funnel.
From a content definition standpoint, you need to map the funnel to specific content pieces. This means that a white paper might be very good at the top of the sales funnel because it’s good awareness-building material, whereas a short sales video might be ideal for prospects who are close to the bottom of the funnel.
Before developing a content library, I recommend that companies first take a look at their existing sales process and identify the specific types of content that would be most helpful at various points of that process. Then, of course, make sure that there’s sufficient breath of content types to accommodate prospective customers’ preferences.
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