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How to Create B2B Content That Doesn’t Suck

Marketers have a bad habit of ruining everything!

Go to google and type a keyword relevant to your business. Any keyword.

What do you see?

You will see vendor blogs, how-to guides, and listicles that are all trying hard (and succeeding) to rank for that keyword. Yet, do you notice something about the content?

It all sucks.

It’s either dry and boring, or it’s trying too hard to be something it’s not. It is a self-serving, thinly veiled sales pitch, or it is regurgitated information you could find literallyeverywhere else.

There is nothing original in any of the top results. Finding an in-depth article written by someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about the subject is like finding a needle in a haystack.

And it’s all because of the hyper-focus on driving organic traffic. SEO has created a world where the primary goal of content is to rank well in search engines rather than to be interesting or useful.

Or, more accurately, it’s all because of marketers who measure their success on vanity metrics instead of actual business results.

Don’t get me wrong, organic traffic is important. But it’s the quality, not quantity, that should matter.

The problem is that success is a numbers game. Marketers are rewarded for bringing in large amounts of traffic, regardless of whether or not the traffic is doing anything.

This has created a situation where the goal is to get as many people to your site as possible rather than to create content that appeals to your target audience or serves a specific purpose.

The result is generic, lowest-common-denominator content that does nothing to differentiate your brand or build trust with your audience.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to start creating content for the people, not for search algorithms. It’s time to start valuing quality over quantity. Here is how:

  • Stop idolizing organic traffic volume
  • Stop explaining the basics to pros
  • Stop writing listicles
  • Write content for your target audience, not for Google algorithms
  • Team up with subject matter experts
  • Come up with original ideas
  • Expand into new content formats
  • Stop creating content for the sake of creating content

Stop idolizing organic traffic volume

Many marketers focus too much on keywords and backlinks in their articles with the hopes that their content will rank high on Google and the traffic will pour in.

And it does.

The issue is, though, that this traffic is completely useless for your business.

You didn’t attract the people who are potentially interested in your product or service. You brought people who were just looking for a quick answer to their questions and happened to click on your article because it was at the top of the search results.

The traffic you want is targeted and engaged, not just random passersby. It’s time to stop valuing organic traffic volume and start valuing quality. This means looking at things like:

  • Organic traffic conversion rates
  • Time on page
  • Scroll depth
  • Bounce rates
  • Newsletter signups
  • Social shares
  • Comments generated on social

This means creating content for the people who are actually interested in what you have to say. It means writing articles that serve a specific purpose, whether that’s to educate, entertain, or inspire.

It might mean foregoing some easy traffic in favor of creating something truly original and interesting. But it will be worth it, I promise.

Stop explaining the basics to pros

For most B2Band tech companies, their target market is not made up of people who need to be educated on the very basics of your product and industry. Newbies and laypeople won’t ever buy your pen-testing services or your CRM software. And yet, these are the people you’re targeting with your blogs, such as “What is pentesting?” and “Top 3 benefits of CRM systems”.

People you want, need, and should be targeting:

  • have a problem that needs to be solved, and they are looking for answers
  • widely read and like to be exposed to fresh perspectives
  • are constantly trying to improve themselves and their businesses
  • are always on the lookout for new ideas.

To target these kinds of people, you need to create content that goes well beyond the basics. You must write articles that challenge assumptions, offer new perspectives, and push boundaries.

Stop writing listicles

Listicles are the bane of the internet. They’re easy to write and they get clicks, but they offer absolutely nothing of value.

Every day, B2B buyers are bombarded with listicles like “The 5 Best Ways to Boost Your SEO” and “7 Tips for Creating a Successful Email Marketing Campaign.” And they’re sick of it.

These articles are nothing more than fluff pieces designed to get clicks. They offer no real value or insights, and they certainly don’t help build trust or establish credibility.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to start creating truly original content that provides real value to your audience. Write something that will make people think, “Hey, I’ve never thought of it that way before!”

Write content for your target audience, not for Google algorithms

If you are focused on drawing large quantities of organic traffic with SEO over-optimization, the vast majority of people who are clicking on your article are not going to be interested in what you have to say. Most of them will leave your site within seconds, never to return again.

And yet, marketers continue to obsess over organic traffic numbers. They see a spike in traffic and think, “Yes! We did it!” when, in reality, all they’ve done is lure a bunch of unqualified people to their site.

It’s time to stop focusing on organic traffic and start focusing on relevant organic traffic.

The first step is to create content that appeals to your target market and provides them with value. This means creating content that is interesting, informative, and relevant to your audience. And no, we marketers can’t create that kind of content ourselves. You need to team up with subject matter experts to do that.

Team up with subject matter experts

A lot of content is created by marketing writers without any input from subject matter experts.  And it shows; the vast majority of corporate blog posts are full of fluff, filler, and platitudes. It repeats the same safe and uncontroversial information found anywhere else on the internet.

If you want your content to stand out, you need to team up with actual experts who can provide valuable insights. These people have first-hand knowledge of your industry, product, or service and can offer a unique perspective worth reading. This can include original research, interesting case studies, or detailed how-tos.

If you’re serious about creating content that appeals to your target audience, it’s time to start teaming up with subject matter experts. It is actually not that hard:

  • Get a subject matter expert from your company on the phone for a 20-minute interview, and you can easily generate a blog post that is 10 times more interesting and informative than anything a marketing team could come up with on their own.
  • Can’t find a subject matter expert who has the time to talk to you on your team? Go to Linkedin and find someone who works in the field. You are bound to find at least one person who is willing to chat.

Come up with original ideas

The internet is already full of content. There’s no need to regurgitate the same information that’s already out there.

To stand out, you need to come up with original ideas and new perspectives. This means thinking outside the box and taking a fresh perspective on things.

It also means being willing to experiment and try new things. Marketers are often too risk-averse, and they end up playing it safe all the time. But if you’re not willing to take risks, you’ll never come up with anything original.

Expand into new content formats

Blogs are great, but they’re not enough. To really reach your target audience, you need to expand into new content formats. This could include:

  • YouTube Videos
  • Long-form LinkedIn posts
  • TickTocks
  • Podcasts
  • Online courses

Yes, those formats are resource-intensive compared to blog posts from a content mill, but they’re also very effective. And if you want to reach your target audience, you need to be willing to invest in quality content.

The bottom line is that if you want your content to stand out, you need to start thinking outside the blog post. You must experiment with new formats and find what works best for your audience.

Stop creating content for the sake of creating content

In an effort to “keep up with the Hubspots”, many companies have adopted the “publish or perish” mentality when it comes to content marketing.

The thinking is that if they’re not putting out new content on a regular basis, they’re going to fall behind their competitors. So they churn out article after article, regardless of quality, just to keep their vanity metrics up.

This is a recipe for disaster.

Not only does this approach result in subpar content, but it also means that your team is constantly under pressure to produce new material that is completely useless for your target audience.

It’s time to stop the insanity. It’s time to focus on quality over quantity. It’s time to create fewer (but better) pieces of content that have something original to say.

Conclusion

Marketers have a bad habit of ruining everything. From SEO to content marketing, we have a tendency to focus on vanity metrics and ignore what’s important. It’s time for us to focus on quality over quantity, engagement over traffic, and actual business goals over vanity metrics.

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