The most effective B2B marketers focus on better, more engaging content to drive sales lead quality. Most B2B marketers know that producing more and more content doesn’t necessarily translate into better quality leads. That’s because lots of content that no one engages with is useless. Today, many marketing automation systems provide B2B marketers the ability to measure which content is most effective. However, when everyone within an organization can see the numbers, the importance of producing engaging marketing content only increases. This post discusses why engaging content creation is hard and ways to overcome the challenges.
Top B2B marketing content challenges
Making B2B marketing content engaging is often challenging because of highly technical, or seemingly dry, subject matter. It can also be challenging to measure content effectiveness accurately, especially because it usually takes a while, and there are so many factors that can impact its engagement. Another ongoing challenge is producing engaging content consistently, usually because of resource limitations. Finally, many B2B marketers find it a challenge to understand their audience. However, understanding the target audience using Buyer Personas is critical for producing engaging content.
Below are three content production challenges many B2B marketers face and how to overcome each
Challenge 1: Understanding prospects’ and customers’ business
The internal marketing team doesn’t understand their prospects’ and customers’ industry or business well enough. Therefore, they write content from their own perspective, not the prospect or customer’s perspective.
- Solution – Marketers should spend time with the sales team, prospects, and customers in the field, on phone calls and in meetings. Hearing conversations and seeing first hand is invaluable for gaining this understanding. Marketers should take this opportunity to learn as often as possible. It’s not a one-time thing.
Challenge 2: SMEs not delivering the content needed
Internal subject matter experts (SMEs) don’t have the time and/or are not good writers. For many B2B firms, SMEs are often engineers, software developers, R&D, etc. These individuals know the company’s product or service from the ground up. They may even know how customers use the product or service. However, writing content for the marketing team is not their priority and many times they are not good writers.
- Solution – Marketers should determine which SMEs can deliver content (with a real commitment to deadlines). Also understand which SMEs can be a resource to help develop content topics (ideas, webinar speaker, or being interviewed by content writers).
Challenge 3: Technical marketing content is hard
Content writers may be unable to research, interview SMEs, use technical research reports, etc. to develop educational and informative content that will truly engage the prospect or customer. Many writers and marketers, whether in-house or outsourced, simply lack the ability to translate complex technical information into compelling educational content. Content their prospects and customers want and need. This is not an easy task for many writers and marketers who come from a liberal arts, journalism or marketing background.
- Solution – Find a marketer with a technical background. If that person doesn’t exist on your in-house team, find a freelance or other outside resource who can fill this role. Sometimes it’s a marketer with a double major like marketing and economics or math. Or look for someone who came into marketing from a technical field, even engineering like I did.
What are you doing to produce more engaging B2B marketing content?
Susan Mitchell is owner of B2B Marketing Source and a freelance B2B marketing consultant to domestic and international firms. She provides marketing strategy, content marketing, sales enablement tools, and lead generation as an extension of your B2B marketing team or to fill resource and capability gaps. Visit her blog “Musings on B2B Marketing” to read more.