Where’s the disconnect for B2B content marketers?

B2B content marketers rely on campaigns, plans, and calendars—but none of these equate to a marketing strategy. Simply producing more content can affect the quality and dilute messaging, draining overall value.

Content marketers tend to “listen to whomever is screaming loudest,” according to November 2021 Parse.ly research, with 68.7% saying their content strategy decisions come from other teams’ requests. And 51.6% say they originate from anecdotal evidence—50.0% claim they come from executive requests.

Content marketing practices are mostly tactical, not strategic. Content marketing missteps include the following:

An editorial calendar is not a strategy. It’s a schedule—likely based on anecdotal evidence of a past asset’s success or a popular trend. Nor does a calendar provide processes or limitations for deciding which assets to create. In addition to all the content produced, marketing quickly becomes an in-house provider for one-off requests. Content creation and distribution without a strategy is ad hoc and disorganized.

Limited cohesion leads to disparate messaging. In the rush to create mounds of content, relevance often suffers, and quality can be subpar, potentially yielding content that lacks empathy, authenticity, and personalization. Almost two-thirds (63%) of buyers in North America disregard content if it’s not relevant to their interests, needs, industry, or role, according to Forrester.

Content doesn’t address the needs of the customer. Most content aims to attract new business. Only 46% of content leaders in North America provide content to their existing customers, Forrester reports—but the customer should be the focus of content creation.

“CMOs need to talk to the customer to find out what the customer wants,” said Kristina Halvorson, founder and CEO of Brain Traffic. “They should care about staying connected to the customer, their needs, and expectations.” The voice of the customer and brand advocates then become drivers of new business.

Read the full report.

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