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Overcome B2B 'Content Marketing Crash' in Four Moves

by Lisa Calhoun  |  
April 6, 2015

Content marketing crash—it's that inevitable decline in engagement and conversion after you've gained huge ground. Even the best B2B content marketers can get mired in these muddy fields and question their effectiveness and leadership.

The hustle to suppress our competitors' content volleys with overbearing amounts of our own has been exciting. We have earned trophies in the form of engaged followers, increased conversion, and general awesomeness. Content has been good to us.

But the easy victories are over.

Most top content marketers are now facing an uphill march to earn new victories for their companies—and that's tough on us because we're a bit spoiled by having won so big in the last couple years.

Fortunately, there are some stratagems that the most elite content marketers are executing today; we can apply our best R&D (rip off and duplicate) to incorporate those moves in our own content strategies.

Before we dive into the how-to waters, let's take a look at how our battleground is being redrawn:

  • Thanks to five straight years of media layoffs, publishers are now operating with barebones staff, and the number of talented freelance content creators has skyrocketed. Their numbers will continue to go up this year and next.
  • Publications like Forbes and Bloomberg no longer need to create most of their content in-house; they can curate what's already out there... and they have infinite (Web) pages with which to do so, as well as the top-ranked content sites to do it with. To see which publications get the most actual eyes, check out my tech PR firm Write2Market's Top 50 US News Sites. Those are where most people are doing their reading online.
  • Meanwhile, all readers have battle fatigue from the content onslaught. As a coping mechanism, readers filter out any voice they don't find trustworthy or interesting. In response, content platforms, advertisers, and data companies are developing more sophisticated methods of segmenting audiences and pitching harder.

Four Things You'll Need to Do to Produce Content That Creates Marketing Victories

1. Think like a Navy SEAL

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Lisa Calhoun is founder of tech public relations firm Write2Market, recently recognized among the Top 100 Agencies in the US. She blogs at How You Rule the World.

LinkedIn: Lisa Calhoun

Twitter: @lisa_calhoun

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  • by Hillary Mon Apr 6, 2015 via web

    Fab article. All good points; well made. Haven't read it better anywhere else in a long time. Bookmarked.

  • by Neil Mahoney Mon Apr 6, 2015 via web

    Excellent advice Lisa. As I say in "15 Commandments for a truly Integrated Marketing-Sales Process," which is not yet published:
    1. Identify those FEW, KEY segments & prospects that will generate the greatest revenue and profits.
    2. Clearly determine their TOP FEW Wants & Needs
    3. Based on a thorough analysis of competition, verify your strengths & weaknesses in those areas.
    4. Develop a SHORT, highly persuasive Value Proposition and emphasize that consistently in all messages.
    5. Ensure that your sales force is well versed in that critical V.P.
    6. Don't clutter your messages with unpersuasive detail. Consistently convey your strongest sales points.

  • by Lisa Calhoun Mon Apr 6, 2015 via web

    Hillary, thanks for the feedback! So glad you liked it.

  • by Lisa Calhoun Mon Apr 6, 2015 via web

    Appreciate the great add, Neil! Thank you.

  • by Michael Semer Mon Apr 6, 2015 via web

    Great article with a huge slew of insights. One thing I might hook on is to always remember you, as a brand, are playing the role of publisher – and good publishers are always taking risks, exploring new voices and approaches, and not becoming too hidebound in terms of their programming. Some of them can get away with playing in the same genre for many years, but even then, they need new content to keep readers interested.

    That doesn't have to mean broadening your content focus arbitrarily just for the sake of eyeballs, but doubling-down on the inventiveness, insightfulness or resonance of content, which you've touched on in #3 particularly.

    Also, don't be afraid to go afield and get perspectives from outside the norm, your company or your category that help expand those horizons and shake up audience expectations.

    Or you could just hire a roomful of monkeys.

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