I was doing competitive research for a B2B client recently and I noticed something odd.
Many of my client’s competitors had started creating content (blogs, white papers, case studies, etc.) years ago – but then stopped after a year or two. The content on their websites was years out-of-date.
My initial response was, “Oh, this company must have gone out of business.” So I dug deeper and did a Google search for each company, giving the search engine the parameters of articles published in the last year. Turns out those companies were still in business.
So why did they stop creating content for their customers? And why did they leave that old content up on their websites?
My guess is that these B2Bs either didn’t see the results they wanted quick enough from their content marketing efforts – or they just got too busy running their companies to bother keeping up their content marketing programs. Frankly, neither one is a good excuse.
Create A Library Over Time
As I talked about in a recent post about using content marketing to boost success sustainably, for the long-haul, content marketing is not a quick fix. But like a flywheel, your efforts compound over time, making the process easier and the results more substantial.
Over time, as you consistently and frequently add to your content, you build up a library for your customers. When people come to your website (or check out your social media, for that matter) to discover who you are and if your offering will solve their problem, they now have all the information they need to make a decision. They also have all the material they need to forward on to their management for purchase approval.
Creating content over the course of one year might not be enough. It might take two or three years to start seeing the flywheel effect take place – but once you stop, you derail much of your previous effort.
Creating a content library isn’t enough. Continuing to add to it, consistently and frequently, is also a huge part of succeeding in the B2B space today.
Look at what happened when I came across those websites with extremely outdated content. I thought the companies were no longer in business – and I wasn’t even a potential customer! Imagine if I was. I would not have taken the time to find out if they were still open. I would have just gone onto the next company on my list.
There’s no magic number to determine if your content is frequent enough – but my opinion is that no matter what industry you are in, if you are a B2B your content should be refreshed monthly at minimum to remain relevant to your audience.
On average, B2B customers do more research than B2C customers do. Neglecting your business’s content not only leaves a bad impression, but it makes it harder for your customers to make the decision to buy from you. Make it easy on your customers – create a content marketing strategy and stick with it for the long haul. You will get compound interest on your efforts.