The 7 Deadly Sins of Content Marketing

Published on
January 27, 2015

by: Karthik Sundaram

The 7 Deadly Sins of Content Marketing

Please, feel welcome to add to this list.

  1. Expecting your content to sell: IT companies are great at this. They will throw the kitchen sink at prospects, in the hope something in their laundry list will stick, and sell an engagement.
  2. Lacking authenticity: Again, this is rampant in the B2B services business. If companies see a trend rising, they want to be a part of it, and will go to any length to fake their capabilities. And they expect content marketing to be convincing (and worse) create sales opportunities.
  3. More is less: Sometimes, I think the poor business of content development is weighted in volume than in quality. When one page of meaningful content cannot get results, how will 3 pages? I have had clients look at their new websites, and comment, “But this is just 2 paragraphs, what about the rest?” What is “the rest?” Sigh.
  4. Ignoring content design: In this era of micro-seconds attention levels, no one wants to read unless there is compelling reason to do so. This is where design is a great asset. A single piece of content can be turned into multiple assets by being creative about it. Quick, when did you honestly read that last white paper you downloaded? Visual content is a 1000 times better than wordy stuff.
  5. Show me, don’t tell me: IT buyers have a lot of sifting through to do, and they have probably done 90% of their research before they reach out to a prospective vendor or react to vendor messages. At that point, they care less about what the vendor says, and more about what the vendor can do for them specifically. Good content marketing is about celebrating your clients’ successes. Show prospects what you can do for them.
  6. Lacking style: I find it hard to understand why B2B service providers hesitate to build a style for their company. In the end, IT service business is all about people–real, authentic, well-meaning people who can create magic for their clients. But, marketing heads don’t think embracing and including their company values into content messaging is important. I have heard this frequently, “Who will buy us for our style? Look at IBM.” Exactly. Your company is not IBM (that, with all due respect, has a great style!) and it is important to build a style into everything you do. Start with content (an easy win).
  7. Control, not collaborate: As outside agency to many companies, we frequently come across marketing heads and coordinators who fear letting go of the content creation process. This is just setting up for failure. We have also worked with marketing heads who constantly bring their sales counterparts for feedback, their SMEs for review and knowledge, and bravely present half-germinated ideas to their CEOs for inputs. Their results, I must say, are just totally spell-binding.

I would love to add to this list from your experiences.

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