Just 30% of B2B marketers rated themselves as "effective" at content marketing in 2015. That's down from 38% the previous year, according to Content Marketing Institute's and MarketingProfs' joint Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report.

And the content output for brands increased 35% from its highest to lowest points in 2015, but engagement with that content fell, on average, 17%, TrackMaven found.

So what gives? Why do you hear everyone trumpeting content as "king," but just a few companies experience great results?

It doesn't happen for the reasons you think. For example, you hear arguments about inconsistent publishing, inability to measure, overproduction, hyping features and benefits, or following "build it and they will come" as a strategy.

Those reasons do contribute to B2B content marketing ineffectiveness. But there are other reasons that harm your B2B marketing's lead generation power.

Check out the following tactics to try—or to avoid.

1. Do buyers act to avoid pain—or to get a benefit?

Buyers act in both situations. But does one approach work better than the other? According to Dan Kennedy, perhaps the most legendary copywriter of all time, prospects act more often to avoid pain.

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image of Dan Stelter

Dan Stelter, "The B2B Lead Gen Guy," crafts lead-generating content for B2B and software companies. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter to get "20 Proven Essentials to Follow for B2B Content Marketing Success."

Twitter: @dansteltercopy

LinkedIn: Dan Stelter