According to a study released by the Content Marketing Institute a few weeks ago, B2B marketers are spending more on their content than ever before. In fact, the average company spends 33 percent of its marketing budget on content marketing – so, all of those blog posts or sales copy you’re having done by a pro really add up.
If you’re planning on spending even more on your content marketing efforts in 2013, you’re not alone. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s study, more than half of B2B marketers plan to increase their content spending next year.
The only problem?
Lots of those people don’t know if their strategies are actually working.
Whether it’s creating enough content, compelling content, or finding the right people to create their content, there is a lot of uncertainty out there.
Call it the “Content Conundrum”
If you’re not quite sure how to approach your content marketing strategy – or you’re not even sure if your content marketing budget is money well spent – you’re not alone.
Even worse, you may not even know you’re on the wrong track.
The truth is, I see people making huge content marketing mistakes every single day. And, the sad part is, they think they’re doing everything right. In today’s world, though, you can’t afford to make mistakes with your web content. Not only will Google’s spiders make you pay for them, but you’ll literally pay for them – in dollars and cents.
Here are the most common examples:
• The Double Spenders
In most cases, these people think they can get a great deal on their content, usually by spending a couple bucks on an article from a writer who promises to be different from all of the other “churner-outers” who are offering the same low prices. But, when they get the final product, they realize they’ve got nothing but gobbledygook.
Now they’re left with two options – try to rewrite the content themselves (wasting valuable time), or pay someone to do it properly (and, thus, pay for the same thing twice). After all, ever since the Panda update, they don’t dare publish it as-is. That’s SEO suicide!
• The Micro-Managers
These are the people who know they need a quality content writer and are willing to pay for top-notch expertise. The only problem? They micro-manage to the point of damaging their final product.
For example, I had a client place an order for an article a few months back. In that article, she wanted five paragraphs (no more, no less), and each of those paragraphs had to have a minimum of seven sentences. I tried (very politely) to tell her that her topic actually lent itself much better to a bullet-point list format and that paragraphs that long weren’t really ideal for the Web (since Web readers like to scan). But, no, she insisted on having long paragraphs… well… just because.
In the end, she got what she wanted, but I felt like her final product could have been so much better if she had taken my advice. I couldn’t help but wonder if she went into an Italian restaurant for dinner that night and told the chef how many garlic cloves to put in his marinara sauce. It’s really no different.
• The Stop-Shorters
Some people hire great writers and take full advantage of their expertise, but stop just short of doing everything right – by not taking full advantage of their content. After all, there is no rule that says your Web content can only be posted in one place. If you want to make the most out of your content marketing budget, you have to leverage every single piece.
How do you do that?
Don’t just publish a blog post and call it a day. Instead, put that post on your RSS feed, share it on your social media profiles, tell your e-mail list about it, and share it on niche-specific bookmarking sites (for example, I share all of the articles I post here on SiteProNews on BizSugar.com, a Digg-type website geared specifically to business owners. You can do everything I just listed in less than 10 minutes, but the exposure it generates can be endless.
After all, that’s what content marketing is really about – leveraging your own expertise (and the expertise of the writer you hire) to present you and your business in the very best light. At the end of the day, if you’re left with “could’ves,” “should’ves” and “would’ves,” you’re not making the most out of your content marketing budget.