Yet we see these mistakes every day.
You can come up with the smartest headlines and subheads; you can craft terrific content and polish it with the skills of a master wordsmith; you can target the distribution of your content with exquisite specificity … you can do all of this but you’ll fail to reach your audience if you haven’t taken care of the 3 biggest turn-offs.
Same old, same old
These mistakes are not new, but they still derail many
content marketing campaigns. Making it hard for your audience to get
hold of the content you want them to read makes no sense. Why would you
do it? I wrote a post about making your registration pages into obstacle
courses here Email Campaigns – fewer obstacles = more opens, where I cited marketers who want us to fill in more than 12 boxes before they'll give us access to content.
In partnership with the Netline Corporation, CMO Council’s Content ROI Center recently surveyed over 400 B2B content consumers around the world, to better understand how they source, rank, rate and share content online. Here’s a key question they asked:
The irony is that even the CMO Council wants us to fill out 9 boxes, with 6 marked mandatory. Don't marketers ever take their own surveys? The second turn-off on the list is just as well known -- brochures masquerading as White Papers - yet most white papers do turn into infomercials before the end of the first page.
The last point is even more obvious: unless you have something of substance to add to the conversation, you’re wasting your time, your reader's time and your content. It’s simple: your readers expect you to do your homework. A fourth turn-off that isn’t on the graph above is dense technical content; it turns off B2B readers in an instant.
What B2B content consumers want to read
The report says the study highlights ‘a critical need for more engaging, consultative and customer relevant content.’ B2B Content consumers answered 3 questions about what content they value most this way:
‘To drive greater content performance,’ says the report, ‘marketing organizations need to do more to ensure they are focused on content creation and delivery that excites and motivates buyers at every phase of the engagement process. Self-serving and promotional content is turning off buyers and short-circuiting the lead generation and nurturing process.’
In other words, give your audience the content it wants and needs, and make sure it’s insightful, thought-provoking, original and comprehensible. You can download the report here, and there’s a lot more useful data in it.
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