March 20, 2024

7 B2B Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Write content your audience will love. It sounds simple on the surface, doesn’t it? But in reality, creating amazing content is a balancing act. What do we mean by this? Well... 

  • It needs to be engaging, but not overly complex 
  • It needs to motivate your audience to take action, but shouldn’t overtly sell
  • It needs to bring your audience on a journey, but not so long that you completely lose your audience (people are busy!) 
  • It should prioritize their needs, but also align with your overall company goals and objectives
  • It should include organic keywords to keep search engines fed for your audience to find, but not keyword-stuffed

Like I said, it’s all about balance. Over the last 14 years, I’ve worked with clients to transform their content strategy and put in place a living, agile approach to evolve and drive success. This ‘agile’ piece is super important, and here’s why: 

When a content strategy is static and not built to evolve, I don’t call this a strategy. It’s a road map to a dead-end.

I’ve seen businesses that have a team in place that they need to supplement, I’ve worked with businesses that have a team of one person wearing way too many hats, or companies that need to start from scratch and rethink what content they’re delivering to their audience to gain organic traffic or increase conversions. 

Along the way, I’ve also seen several mistakes, particularly when it comes to B2B content marketing, which means you’re marketing to a business, not a consumer. Here are my (un)lucky seven content marketing slip-ups to avoid: 

7 B2B Content Marketing Mistakes

1. Over-Optimization

A big part of my team’s responsibility in creating your content strategy is ensuring it delivers results, particularly through organic traffic. But in reality, content should be optimized for the needs of your customers, and not just for search engines. 

That’s why when we create content, we have to be careful of a few common mistakes, like keyword-stuffing, and ensuring what has been created appeals to the needs of your buyer.

Yes, we need to optimize organic content to feed search engines, but it’s not the search engines that are signing your contracts, living and breathing people are, and that is why content needs to be people-first.

Without this critical eye, you risk losing your audience, decreasing engagement, and ultimately, losing any ability to rank well in search engines. A great way to ensure you’re not over-optimizing your content is to read it out loud (or listen to it, if it’s a video or webinar). If the language and sentence structure flow naturally, then you should be good to go. 

Take note of where you may be stumbling, and look at editing that sentence structure, or varying the words you’re using. This is one of the dangers of using AI without a good, sharp editor, as you can wind up with regurgitated content that doesn’t sound like a real human came anywhere near it! While AI can be a good base (we’ll get to that later), an overreliance on it can be detrimental to a long-term strategy. 

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2. A 'Salesy' Presentation

Customers don't want content that's only, or overly promotional — they want content that educates them and helps them make an informed decision. 

High-quality content focuses on being helpful, rather than being pushy (and bonus: Google also loves quality content, and rewards it handsomely). 

While great content helps your audience understand what you as a business can deliver, it also doesn’t lead with that agenda in mind. This is an easy way to turn your buyers off, quickly. 

3. Not Leveraging Multimedia Assets

Content isn't just about text anymore. Videos, infographics, podcasts, and webinars are essential content pieces in any successful B2B content strategy for 2024. It's important to consider what content mediums your audience likes best and create content around these preferences. Creating a variety of content ensures all your bases are covered. 

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A good way to look at this is the two-step blog and webinar pair. For this, you can create a long-form webinar for a more technical audience, or an audience that simply prefers video as a medium. Then, create a blog that summarizes the biggest takeaways from your webinar, both using the potential transcript (or re-summarizing it) and even a shorter video snippet. 

Now, you’ve captured your audience that may be open to more in-depth content (the webinar) and an audience who may be time-poor or want something to casually scroll over lunch. 

4. Content for Content’s Sake

Content should not be rushed out the door. Creating quality content takes time and patience. We work with our clients to make sure that every piece of content your brand releases is an opportunity to extend your organization’s goals, purpose, and brand perception. 

To do this, we like to consider content to be thoughtful, helpful, and (perhaps most importantly!) accurate. Content like this requires it to be information-rich, which is often accomplished through statistics or industry perspectives/quotes.

Not only does this help your audience learn more, but Google looks at this type of content as more authoritative, because it’s more likely sites are to point back to it, giving your content a high ability to rank.  

One other tip I have is to sharpen your own design chops or work with an agency or in-house designers to craft inline design assets and data visualization within your blogs when it makes sense to do so. Not only does this help break up content and appeal to visual learners (and you can also reuse these on social!), but it also has SEO value when titled and tagged correctly.

5. Outdated Content

While focusing on upcoming strategy is essential, marketers shouldn't forget to update their existing content too! Not only will you be able to integrate the latest and greatest insight, statistics, and more, but you can ensure that your content adheres to the latest search engine policies and guidelines, increasing the visibility of all your content.

A great way to do this is to look at the last year or so of posts, especially any that may include a date (for example, annual trends pieces) and simply update that date to reflect the current year you’re in.

Take it a step further by adding any additional resources that may have come up since the post was originally published, for example, new data points or new viewpoints. (Spoiler alert: That is exactly what we’re doing with this post, which was first published over a year ago.) 

6. Content With Zero Planning

As we mentioned before, getting content out the door for content’s sake is a common pitfall of less experienced B2B content marketers.

But the really in-touch content strategists understand that content is not a “one-and-done” published piece, once it’s published, now it’s time to put the content to work for your organization; and incorporate it into your overall demand generation plans.

How will this blog post be distributed on social media? Are you adding this blog post (or something like it) to your sales team’s nurture streams? Should CTA tracking be attached to the blog in case this becomes a top conversion page? Content creation shouldn’t be happening in a silo, but rather it should be fuel for your other marketing tactics to truly take shape. 

7. Content Without a Voice

Did you just find a cool blog and change a few words, hoping no one would notice, and republish it on your site? Please, I beg of you, don’t do that. Not only is this a legal issue, but you will also run into the issue of duplicate content (something my team and I can talk about at length!), and dilute your own brand voice in the process.

What’s more, this is also considered plagiarism, which in our circles, is a curse word, one that we take very seriously.

So take a step back and ask yourself, what is your brand trying to say? What are you trying to show your own expertise in? This is where AI can be a dangerous tool to rely on. We like to think of AI as another “brain” on our team, along with the 46% surveyed in a recent Content Marketing Institute report that uses it to research headlines and keywords. AI can be a great tool to jumpstart your thinking and maybe even your writing, but at the end of the day, the people who know your brand best are the ones in the room with you.


Gut-Check Questions on Content Strategy 

There are plenty of reasons content can be created — a sales team request, a stale website, or a sudden dip in organic traffic are just some of the reasons we've seen. Before bowing to any of these factors and putting more content into the world, there are 3 important questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. Who will find this useful?
  2. Is this content well-informed?
  3. What is the end goal of this content?

If you can answer all three of these questions with satisfactory answers, you should be all set to go ahead and produce your blog, webinar, or infographic. As you do, please keep in mind these seven mistakes we outlined, and let’s get great content out there!

Need Help Creating Amazing Content for Your Audience?  

If you’ve made any of these mistakes, we promise you it’s not the end of the world. My team is here to support you and figure out how to address these errors proactively to get the content rankings and authority you deserve. 

Get in touch with a member of our team to learn more about our content strategy services:

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This post was originally published in December 2022

Kate Quinn

Kate is the Senior Manager, Content, Search & Design at New Breed, and has a passion for all things paid advertising and content-related. She and her team support clients to boost keyword rankings, put in place paid ad tactics and content strategies, and create compelling content that resonates with core audiences....


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