Why Your B2B Content Strategy Might be Failing
Marketing complains that sales doesn't use the content that they create. Sales complain that marketing materials are not relevant. The overall business suffers because sales and marketing aren't collaborating. Unfortunately, many companies are creating a lot of content that is not getting used. According to Sirius Decisions, 65 percent of B2B content goes unused. So, what’s the problem?
Location, Location, Location
Okay, this may sound like an excuse, but many salespeople don’t use marketing materials because they aren’t easy to find. If it takes an hour to search for the right piece to send, then many salespeople simply give up or create their own marketing materials (that’s not good). Companies invest in a CRM system, a content management tool, a storage repository, an intranet, etc. but they don't often link to each other and it creates unnecessary confusion and lost productivity. If you are going to invest in multiple systems then make sure that they are necessary, useful, and that they can easily integrate. Otherwise, you are wasting your money.
Some effective ways to organize your content include:
Establish a clear naming convention and file folder structure for documents that marketing needs to share with sales.
Create a master folder with sub-category folders (one for every type of asset and piece of content sales will need to access).
Label files with one consistent format such as creation dates or project types, version numbers, etc.
Store everything in one place.
Less is More
Many marketing teams crank out a lot of materials. But, are they all necessary? Sometimes, “less is more” really is the best strategy. First of all, you can only send so many promotional pieces to your customers before they start disregarding everything you send. Secondly, pieces need to be short and to the point. The average attention span is eight seconds! That is a real stat so sending a 30-page whitepaper doesn’t make sense unless you are sending it to an academic institution. Third, your marketing materials should be memorable because they are visually appealing. Research shows that 10% remember what they read but 65% remember what they see.
What is your client struggling with right now? If you are in marketing, you might be guessing because you are not speaking directly with customers. If you are in sales, you should know, and you should be passing on that information to your colleagues. Do your marketing materials address the following basic questions?
What are the most common misperceptions about your product that you can clarify?
How does your product or service save your clients’ time and money?
What are your biggest competitive differentiators and why should clients care?
Have pieces been created that address these questions already and if so, are the pieces easy to digest? You’ve probably noticed how politicians repeat the same thing over and over? It might be infuriating if you don’t agree with the message, but chances are that you remember it. So, take a lesson from them and make sure your materials hone in on the most meaningful things that your customers care about.
In summary, your content strategy can be a major component of a successful marketing plan. However, if your materials are not being used, then you are wasting a lot of pressure resources and creating frustration on both sides. Sales and marketing need to work together but they can only start to build a stronger connection once they listen to each other and their customers.