Overcoming B2B Content Marketing Challenges During the Pandemic
If you’re a marketer in a B2B business, you know that maintaining a well-planned, high-quality content pipeline is difficult even in the best of times.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many B2B companies are struggling to produce content consistently and many marketers are scratching their heads asking, “How can I face the content challenges during the pandemic?”
70% of B2B companies struggle to keep the quality and quantity of content high. This was the result of a recent finite survey of over 600 marketers. Plus, 35% of marketers said they struggled to produce enough content.
Given the decline in sales, the dispersion of the workforce, and increasing uncertainty, marketers are finding it difficult to get their content campaigns running on all cylinders. How can marketers meet the challenges of the pandemic and get their content creation going again?
Seize the opportunity to revolutionize the way you produce content. The first step is to get employees and key thought leaders on your side.
How to motivate employees to write content
Getting your co-workers to contribute content can be difficult. They are often too busy and don’t prioritize content as part of their role. Others just fail to see the importance of content to the overall marketing effort and branding strategy.
Whatever the reason, you can encourage people to contribute – by answering their inevitable question, “What good is it for me?”
1. Make the content all about it
Having your employees front and center in blog posts and knowledge articles will not only help the company but also build their own professional reputation. Once they start seeing content as an opportunity rather than a chore, they get invested in the process.
2. Involve all departments
It’s easy to focus on some of the higher-level employees or departments in a company, but using expertise and insights from all of the departments adds extra dimension to your content. Content can also be an excellent brand builder internally, both for the department and for the employees.
3. Provide incentives
Create a friendly competition by receiving an award for most read or shared article of the month. It will encourage people to write and share the content.
4. Calculate the ROI of your content
One of the most interesting revelations from the aforementioned Finite report is that only 8% of marketers attribute an ROI to their content. If you can’t demonstrate that your content is contributing to the business, you can go into an uphill battle to get people to help you.
What is your content worth? Set up ROI tracking for your content and show employees how it is contributing to business results.
How to Maintain a B2B Content Marketing Production Pipeline
Whether you are getting content from in-house employees or have the financial resources to outsource, here are four actionable suggestions that can help boost your content efforts.
1. Develop a content calendar
Avoid peaks and troughs in your spending by developing a content calendar with all the important topics, campaigns and dates.
Make sure each employee knows what is expected of them and when (possibly one article per week or per month) and schedule them as part of their priority list.
2. Give your employees space to create
Good content takes time and focus.
When that is not the core of a person’s role, content creation often takes a back seat. Work with leadership and management to get their support to ensure people have the time and space to focus on content. You don’t want people working outside of business hours, producing rash content, and annoyed at giving up their free time.
Since many employees work from home, the commute time has also been reduced. Present the opportunity to use this extra time productively.
3. Remove the overflow
If you are unable to hire someone in-house, you can work with talented freelancers and content agencies on an ad hoc basis.
A good contract writer can take the pressure off your team and get your content wheels moving again. The writer can work with your content plan and SEO research to create engaging content for your target market.
4. Combine copywriting with SEO expenses
Of the marketers surveyed by Finite, 70% said SEO was an important part of their strategy. SEO is one of the most basic principles of online marketing. While 70% seems like a high percentage, it means 30% of companies are missing an important part of their content marketing strategy.
Strong SEO performance requires a new stream of high quality content. Search engines love new content that is exactly what your customers are looking for.
Keyword research is critical to developing content to be read. If you don’t have the time or skills to do your SEO in-house, hire an SEO professional to do extensive keyword research and determine exactly what people are looking for online.
The results of this research form the basis of your content calendar and any blog posts and articles you author.
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It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified many problems for marketers and created a number of new problems. At a time when digital content creation should be a priority, marketers find it difficult to maintain a strong B2B content marketing strategy. The solutions aren’t always straightforward, but marketers need to make sure that the underlying content plan is strong and that tools are in place to measure the ROI of all content produced.
Work on promoting the importance of good content internally. Hire specialists to help you with SEO and content writing. Base your content on solid keyword research. These basics go a long way towards solving your immediate problems and giving you a solid foundation for the future.
Also, take some comfort in not being alone. Many B2B marketers face the same challenges as you!
More resources on B2B content marketing
B2B Content Marketing: Top Tactics, Goals, and Tools
Five tips for a more personalized B2B content strategy in 2021
How B2B content affects purchasing decisions [Infographic]