Which of these is you…

“We tried blogging but it just didn’t work for us.”

“A blog wouldn’t work in my industry.”

“We update our blog regularly but it doesn’t produce for us.”

“I need leads right now, I’ll focus on my blog later.”

I hear this kind of thing all the time from startup founders and B2B growth leaders and it’s just not true.

If you look at all the top high-growth companies in the B2B, SaaS, and tech worlds, you’ll see high-quality, well written, entertaining, educational blogs all over the place.

Do you think these companies this much time and resources into their blogs if they weren’t generating leads? No. They’d let them wither and focus their resources on ads, sales, and PR.

If you have the right B2B blog strategy, and you execute on it consistently, you’ll generate inbound leads.

B2B Blog Strategy Mistake #1: Procrastination

I always tell people — The best time to start content marketing is 6 months ago. Really, you probably should have started a year ago.

It takes time for your content to start producing results.

First, your content needs to pack enough SEO power to get ranked for a keyword that people in your market are searching for. Even then, B2B search volumes are generally lower than you would see on something like an eCommerce store.

That means even after you rank, you’ll need to wait longer for leads to start converting. From there, depending on what your sales cycle looks like, you’re talking about a fairly long time span from blog post to new customer. It’s no wonder so many people put off content marketing.

The problem is, if you don’t prioritize inbound lead generation via B2B content in your overall revenue strategy, you’ll be seriously behind the 8-ball when growth starts slowing from other lead sources.

There is no quick fix for generating organic inbound leads from content. You need to start as soon as you can. If you wait to produce content until you need a steady flow of inbound, organic leads, then those leads will always be out of your grasp.

Moral of the story — if you need leads now, start investing in your blog 6 months ago. And if you don’t have a time machine, start now.

B2B Blog Strategy Mistake #2: Inconsistency

Inconsistency is the number one killer of B2B blogs everywhere.

You’re busy. You’re handling 10 different jobs already. Who has time to write a blog post?

As a fairly small team, this hits home for us here at RevenueZen. There is always something else I can use as an excuse not to work on our blog, despite knowing how much value the blog brings to our company in the form of leads and new customers.

The problem: If you produce one post every few months, chances are slim to none that you’ll get many, if any, leads from inbound. You need to produce high quality, educational content that answers all of the questions that people in your market are asking. It doesn’t matter how good your content is if you only have a few posts.

Similarly, search engines reward consistency. You can’t just dump a thousand blog posts on your site tomorrow and expect results. You want your content strategy to prioritize consistency so that your content can evolve based on data, analytics, and broader trends in your industry.

Most of the time, inconsistency is a result of having the wrong team on the job. Are you trying to be a founder, writer, editor, SEO expert, and VP of Sales, HR, and Marketing?

That’s too much.

Hire someone to help you get started with your B2B content marketing strategy. This could be an internal marketing hire or an external agency (like RevenueZen!).

You know it’s important. Make it a priority.

You should also know when you’re asking yourself to do too much. Running a great lead generating blog involves lots of small moving pieces. You need someone to handle content strategy, content writing, copyediting, SEO, analytics, keyword research, content calendaring, and staging

Unless your company provides SEO services or something related to content marketing, you’ll usually want two different people handling these responsibilities:

  • Someone to handle the writing. This should be someone with domain knowledge and expertise, who is also a good writer.
  • Someone to handle the marketing. This should be an experienced editorial or content manager with SEO expertise.

Don’t ask your writer to handle SEO, and don’t ask your SEO expert to write great content on trends in healthcare tech or [insert your industry here].

B2B Blog Strategy Mistake #3: Shortsightedness

Content marketing is one of the most long-term growth strategies that B2B companies can adopt. No matter how much you want it to happen, you just can’t produce a few blog posts and expect organic inbound leads to start knocking on your door.

That’s why you need to be thinking in terms of years, not months, with your B2B blog strategy.

When you’re just starting to invest in a dedicated content strategy, if you hire a content marketing team, or person, then fire them for not producing leads after just a few months, you might as well flush cash down the drain.

If you’re going to invest in your content strategy, make sure you are looking at this as a long-term investment that will generate leads and position your brand as one that is a force to be reckoned with in your market.

That never happens overnight.

It takes time, dedication, and consistency. You need to have the vision and the determination to see that strategy through to completion.

And just because leads aren’t coming in doesn’t mean that there aren’t leading indicators that your content is positioned to gain traction. Keep your eyes on search rankings. Track keywords. Watch your traffic analytics. These are leading indicators that your content strategy is on the path to success.

Beware: Being too shortsighted about goals is one of the top ways I’ve seen executive teams undercut their marketing team. Producing good B2B content means you need to have a strong long-term vision for what kind of content will produce quality results over time. If you scold your team for not producing leads after a few months of content, then you’ll shoot yourself in the foot as your content team manages two jobs: producing content for you, and looking for a new job with a company that understands marketing.

Honorable Mentions

If you’re not getting results from your blog, chances are good that you’re either procrastinating on investing in a thorough strategy, inconsistent in your execution, or you just aren’t giving the plan enough time to work.

With all that said, if you’ve never run a B2B blog strategy that generates leads before, here are a few other common mistakes you might be making:

Mistake: You’re producing content that no one is searching for.
Solution: Research search keywords in your industry. Write about what other people want to read, not what you think is interesting. If you have a unique angle on a topic, figure out a way to connect that angle to a search phrase that you can confirm has search volume behind it.

Mistake: You talk about yourself too much.
Solution: Give value. As much as we want to talk about how great our company is, most people are too concerned with their own problems to care. Especially in the B2B world, if you aren’t helping someone figure out a solution to a business problem, they will move on. Stop all the self-promotional content and start focusing on how you can educate your target prospects on things that matter to them.

Mistake: You’re asking a marketing aficionado to write technical content or content that requires very specific domain expertise.
Solution: Let a writer handle the writing work and a marketer handle the marketing work.

Mistake: You’re asking a writer with domain expertise to handle marketing tasks like SEO, keyword research, and copyediting.
Solution: Let a writer handle the writing work and a marketer handle the marketing work.

Takeaways

B2B content is one of the most tried-and-true growth strategies for B2B companies across industries. If you just post a couple posts per week consistently, backed by good keyword research and SEO, you’ll see start to strong results over time.

But if you’re not getting the results you want, in the form of leads or revenue, then you need to ask yourself, which of these mistakes are you making? (Or worse, which of these mistakes are you pressuring your marketing team to make?)

  • Procrastination — Why aren’t you investing in one of the most proven growth strategies available?
  • Inconsistency — Produce at least 1-2 posts per week. If you can’t (be honest with yourself), hire a team to do it for you. In fact, you should probably find a team to do it for you anyway.
  • Shortsighted — Are you thinking about results in months, quarters, or years? Think in terms of quarters and years. Keep an eye on metrics, traffic, and search rankings, but don’t pull the plug on the strategy just because it hasn’t started working yet.