Creating content is an important element of your business strategy. It can break down barriers, get you into the buyer's journey at an earlier stage and ultimately encourage business loyalty through thought leadership.
But why isn't your content working?
It certainly isn't a case of just writing for the sake of content creation alone. In B2B we need to make sure we're focussing on two important areas during planning:
The buyer's journey
People will be coming to your blog or website at various stages in the buyer journey, particularly for products which have a longer sales cycle. You need to make sure that the content covers all stages, and that you're addressing any glaring gaps. If you've got a heavy awareness focus, how do you expect to convert? If you have a high volume of decision based content, how are you aiding those just coming to your site, not knowing they even have a problem yet?
Beware of trying to make a post too generic. You're highly unlikely to be able to create a 'catch all' piece of content, and if you try you're at risk of making it too unspecific. Got elements that would be of interest for both awareness and decision? Consider a second post in order to make your points stronger with a bigger potential impact.
Who are your audience?
Remember that there are often many people involved in B2B decision making. It shouldn't all be about the IT Manager who's going to be implementing and overseeing your services. Yes, they're important as a key influencer but ultimately they're going to have to convince the budget holders and end users, all with different individual agendas and knowledge levels.
Your content base needs to speak to a variety of people and not just hone in on the technological specifications. By investing some time in creating content for those end users, you're ultimately aiding the process and limiting the risk of losing a deal due to lack of company buy in.
One last tip? Remember: your audience are unlikely to have as much knowledge as you do. Often much less. Keep content informative but remember your audience and buyer stages to keep it engaging and useful.
I think one problem that we have in B2B marketing is a lot of times we target the wrong part of the funnel. This is actually really common. In B2C, usually things that hit on one of these hit on a lot of them. The same things that create awareness about a product or a brand also help with conversion, also might help with comparison because of brand affinity, and also might help with consideration and retention. It's less true in B2B, not to say not true at all, but less true. So I think one of the jobs that we have is to look inside our funnel and then identify which part needs help versus which part works fine.