Wednesday, March 05, 2014

5 Challenges that B2B Marketers face and how to overcome them

In a recent post over at the Content Marketing Institute, they summed up a study of small business B2B marketers use of content marketing in 2014.

There are a bunch of charts but I wanted to focus in one only one of them here:

bar chart-b2b marketer challenges

I will tackle the top 5 and offer up some solutions:
  1. Lack of Time - I think I can use this as the reason for any challenge I have at work.  When I hear this response I start to dive into the whole "being productive" vs "being busy" issues.  When I am being productive I can attribute a completed task to a larger project that has a direct correlation to revenue.  If I am being busy then its harder to do that, if not impossible.  So I would say you don't need more time, you need to look at what you are already doing and determine if its important enough to continue.
  2. Producing Enough Content - enough for what?  If I get one whitepaper done and it generates enough leads and revenue to hit my target then have I produced "enough" content?  I would take the approach of matching content needs to the steps of your buyers process.  I usually see this issue related to blogging (btw this is the hardest form of content marketing there is!).  If you are thinking about creating a blog with daily posts then you need to have passionate writers in your organization.  A corporate blog will die within one month without this.
  3. Producing the Kind of Content that Engages - Now we are getting somewhere.  This should be the number one challenge.  To do this you need to have a few good sources within your company that really know your customers.  Preferably even some customers themselves.  Then from their pain points you can start to develop content.  I am not saying it will be 100% effective but it will at least come from a place where you know your customer already needs something.  Learn from your mistakes but make sure you make a few.
  4. Producing a Variety of Content - I agree that the same content type could get repetitive but I want to fall back to the concept of engaging content as being the key issue.  If your audience is busy and like to download and print out whitepapers and read them over a lunch break at work then keep producing them.  Sometimes the new flashy thing isn't the answer.  Also dip your toe in the water with a new content type first before investing in it.  You may love to watch videos but that doesn't mean your audience does (or can).
  5. Lack of Budget - Sorry folks but this is a poor excuse.  If you have a Subject Matter Expert(SME) under payroll then its your job to translate that knowledge into a digital format so your customers can consume and/or interact with it.  Is your SME a crappy writer?  Then put them in front of a camera. Not comfortable on video?  Do a webinar.  Find a way to get that knowledge out there to generate leads and interest from your target audience.
What have your challenges been?  How have you overcome them or have you at all?