Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Parse.ly, and Google Analytics are useful tools for monitoring and evaluating these metrics. Using them can overall help you understand where your content is lacking and shift your effort to what's most effective.
2. You’re selling, not educating
Here's the thing — modern buyers can spot a sales pitch from a mile away and they're quick to veer out of the way.
Don't believe me? 39% of B2B buyers reported that vendors could improve their content by curbing sales messages.
In other words: They don't want to be sold to.
They want and expect to have product information available freely so they can do their research and comparisons at their leisure without a biased vendor breathing down their necks.
They want to be empowered to make the best purchase decision for themselves; not have someone with stakes in the game tell them what to do.
In fact, 70% of B2B buyers already have their minds made up before engaging with sales. This means your prospects are searching for solutions to their problems, consuming content, and forming purchasing decisions long before they reach out.
If your content isn’t adapting to these new trends and behaviors, your prospects are looking elsewhere.
How to fix it
Keep up to date on the current trends, then investigate how to apply them.
Are they flocking to the new social media platform? Are they leaning more toward video? Do they land on your site and not know where to go first?
If your customers are looking to use live chat, try it. If they are looking for a self-guided buying experience like a self-selection tool, figure out how to make that happen too. Video? Get ready for your closeup.
Also, pay attention to metrics as noted in point one. These will help you see how your audience specifically is acting.
4. You have an agency creating your content
When you're eager to get started with content creation and marketing, hiring an agency can seem the like a fast, easy solution.
There are certainly pros to working with an agency, but, over the years, we’ve seen that relying on a third party to write blog articles and create videos for your business can often lessen the quality of your finished product.
For example, when working with agency, your content may not get focused attention, as the team juggles your needs with their other clients. This may make your content less effective and give you far less freedom to create content as needed or make changes quickly.
Plus, as an outside party, there's only so much they can truly know about your company. By handing over content to an agency, you run a higher risk of the final product sound off-brand or be misrepresentative of what you actually offer.
While this can be a greater upfront investment, the long-term benefits are lasting and invaluable.
Creating your content in-house can speed up the creation process and ensure the content you’re creating is genuine and accurate for your brand and business.
Furthermore, you won't be held to a contract that only allows you a certain number of hours or finished products a month. When your team is in-house, you can pivot more freely and turn around needs without as much red tape.
Even if you bring content in-house, you can still go down the wrong path if you don't have someone owning the initiative.
I see it all the time. People get excited about content marketing and figure they can just make it a group effort.
Fast forward a month or two and crucial articles are being delayed or falling off the back burner as team members tackle other things.
Nothing is getting published in a timely manner — if it's getting published at all.
How to fix it
Hire a content manager — or a director of content, a content writer, or whatever you want to call them.
The point is: hire someone to own the content strategy and production at your organization full-time.
Content is a full-time job. Research, interviewing, writing, editing, publishing, and optimizing — these are all things that take time, focus, and precision. They aren't things that can be tacked on to an already heavy workload.
You need someone in-house whose sole focus is planning and getting content moved across the finish line.
This person may not write every single piece, but it will be their job to do what it takes to keep your content strategy moving. That may include, but is not limited to:
Obsessing over creating high-quality, on brand content
Interviewing your company’s subject matter experts to create content.
Working directly with the sales team to collect content ideas and use content in the sales process. (More on that next.)
Monitoring your organic search performance and routinely improving ranking and traffic results.
Updating content to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
When you have someone in-house owning your content strategy, you can better control what's being done and also hold someone accountable for getting it done.
6. There's no input from sales
So, we've already talked about speaking to sales to determine topics or other content needs. This is important because salespeople are the ones hearing customers’ most urgent needs and questions first-hand.
They are on the front line providing answers and gaining direct insights on what they want to know.
These are the concerns your content can help calm and the objections to buying it can help eliminate.
A revenue team meeting is a meeting held regularly between key players from your sales and marketing teams.
All activities in this meeting, regardless of individual roles, are centered around the shared goal of increasing company revenue.
Sales sharing any new questions coming up in their calls or meetings
Marketing sharing new content that has been created and how it can be used
Sales discussing which pieces have been most helpful
The primary goal of this team and meeting is to develop and execute a strategy of content to be used in the sales process that will increase close rates and keep both sales and marketing aligned.
7. Leadership is not bought in
No company initiatives die faster than those without the backing of senior management.
That being said, if content marketing isn’t made a priority by them, good luck making strides.
You'll likely find yourself without the budget, time, or resources you need to get the job done. You may find subject matter experts won't make the time for interviews or filming. Pieces may hit a bottleneck while waiting for approval.