— May 27, 2018
Content shock and content saturation are real in the world of marketing. Even as far back as 2014, Mark Schaefer was discussing content shock and the repercussions. Content shock is “when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it (Source). Essentially, supply for content well exceeds the demand for content.
Now, the term content saturation is starting to make waves among the marketing community.
Both of these issues (shock and saturation) are to be blamed on marketers, businesses, and individuals who have lost sight of the purpose of blogging and content marketing. Content marketing is not the end goal, it’s a means to an end. We don’t blog simply because we enjoy it (well, unless you don’t plan on monetizing your ramblings). We blog and craft great content to help the end user achieve their goals.
While there is some great content (get it?) out there to help you deal with content saturation (see Mark Schaefer’s new article on content saturation), we are going to look at several B2B blogging trends we expect to die out in the (hopefully) near future.
These. Are. The. Worst. Content farms are the antithesis of crafting quality content that helps the end reader or viewer achieve their goals. They are websites that employ many freelance writers, and in some cases advanced AI, to create pages and pages of sub-par content simply to satisfy search engine algorithms. The great news is that search engines are catching on to these unscrupulous content farms and penalizing them for the poor quality content they create.
An alternative to content farms: Working with experienced, professional writers familiar with B2B blogging best practices and who have a clear understanding of storytelling and the needs of the audience.
Content Just Because
Doing anything “just because” is a terrible approach and often won’t meet any goals because no goals are set! We are looking forward to the demise of this “Everyone else, especially my competitor, is creating content so my company should too” approach to a B2B content strategy. Yes, we believe that content marketing for B2B companies is highly effective, however, there must be a strategy and a plan of execution with clearly defined objectives.
An alternative to just because content: Work with a seasoned B2B content marketing and blogging agency that understands your market, the pain points of your target market, and uses best practices for content creation.
Content Purely for SEO
Just like content marketing, search engine optimization is not the end goal. Ranking #1 for all of your search terms is garbage if you aren’t attracting and converting the right type of leads. Content created purely to satisfy search engines is already on the decline as search engines are starting to employ AI to understand what content is valuable to end users. Search engines want to serve up content that meets the needs of the end users and provides value. This is why your B2B blogging strategy should consider SEO, but focus on the end user.
An alternative to purely SEO content: Hire an SEO professional or a B2B agency familiar with SEO best practices who is also focused on conversions. It’s great to get traffic to your website, but if your content is meeting the needs of your target audience, they will never convert into leads and clients.
Crappy Content Creation
Not everyone is a great writer. They think they are, but they aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, there are wonderful, talented writers who create polished content pieces. However, there seems to be a surplus of really crappy content creators out there.
What makes content crappy? It’s poorly written, terrible grammar, lacks focus, never gets to a point, offers little substance, and/or has no new information for the target audience. When it comes to content creation, particularly for niche B2B marketing, you get what you pay for. If you want articles crafted at $ 50 an article – you get crappy content.
An alternative to crappy content: Seasoned, professional copywriters are out there. Enlist the help of a demonstrated writer who understands best practices for storytelling, speaking to an audience, creating an outline (FLOW MATTERS), interviewing experts, search engine optimization, etc.
Advertorial Content in Disguise
“Here is an educational blog post that discusses how to help you solve such and such problem…oh, and it happens to mention every single software product we sell, along with the features and benefits of each.” That’s not valuable content (unless it’s on a sales brochure), that’s an advertorial! We cannot wait to see advertorial content that masquerades as helpful, educational content die. B2B blogging strategies that center solely on product promotion are going the way of the dinosaurs.
An alternative to advertorials: Instead of listing the features and benefits of a product or service, focus your content on understanding the end user’s problem or pain point and give away information to help them solve or address it. Your B2B content marketing efforts should be represented by these verbs:
B2B Blogging Is for Your Audience
At the end of the day, your blogging efforts are not for the gain of your company, but for the target market. If your content is sub-par, your lead generation will also be sub-par. If you craft kick-ass content that solves problems, answers common questions, assists users in meeting their objectives, helps them with an issue, reduces their time on a project, minimizes errors, and educates them about their options – then you won’t be affected by content saturation and your target market won’t get content shock. Maybe include a sentence on what they WILL get (build trust, position themselves as a thought leader, etc.)