Yes: Content marketing and PR can (and SHOULD) coexist. Here's how to create PR and marketing plans that work together.
B2B Marketing Myths to Avoid at All Costs
Like any industry, B2B marketing has its set of sacred cows. There’s stuff you do just because it’s a “best practice.” Problem is, a lot of those best practices are actually B2B marketing myths.
There are tons of marketing misconceptions out there on the internet.
Think about it.
Anyone can write a blog filled with tips and how-to’s.
Anyone can write a guide or eBook.
Anyone can produce a webinar or podcast.
It doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.
That’s how B2B marketing myths propagate and stay alive.
Every day, we hear things that basic testing or even logic disproves. And it’s time to make like Kylo Ren and let the past die.
Myth #1: Buying Google Ads Helps SEO
We’ve heard marketers refer to search advertising as a “tax” for better Google rankings. It’s something they heard somewhere, so they repeat it.
And they keep spending big bucks on Google Ads with no care for ROAS or ROI.
This B2B marketing myth doesn’t pass the sniff test. Here’s why.
A direct link between Google Ads and organic SEO would destroy Google’s core business.
Google made $116 billion from advertising in 2018. They did that because they have a lot of users. And they have a lot of users because their algorithm delivers good experiences.
If you could buy your way up organic listings, search experiences would get worse, not better. Users would go elsewhere. The ad revenue would dry up.
Do you really think Google would risk $116 billion for a few more dollars from the few advertisers “in the know”?
And think about this.
Search engine optimization is an $80 billion industry. That’s a lot of brains, any one of whom would give anything to “crack the code.”
An $80 billion industry, and nobody has figured this out yet?
There is no link between Google Ads spending and SEO. Only content and authority move the needle.
Myth #2: “My Buyers Aren’t Googling for This”
We hear this one a lot.
People tend to assume that their buyers are too old, too rich or too sophisticated to look for vendors on Google.
There was a time when that might have been true, but it’s false in 2020.
Sure, there might be additional ways to reach prospects. But we have never seen a situation where heavily improved Google rankings didn’t drive qualified leads.
There are 1.2 trillion Google searches per year. It is simply how the world finds its information.
As B2B marketers, we sell to humans. Humans use Google. Sure, some might use it a little less, but the search-free industry does not exist.
Even if it did, SEO would still help!
Imagine someone saw your ad in a print publication. (They still exist, you know.) If they want to look you up later, they’re going to … use Google.
What if they can’t quite remember your name?
Or aren’t sure how to spell it?
You’d need to be visible. Otherwise, they’re going to find someone else, and spend with them.
Myth #3: B2B Buyers Are Unicorns
Too many marketers assume that B2B buyers are fundamentally different than every other human alive.
Prospects will be OK with a massive form “because it’s B2B.” They’ll want staid creative “because it’s B2B.” They’ll only read boring content “because it’s B2B.” They’ll wait two days for a call back “because it’s B2B.” They’ll give their email address for a brochure “because it’s B2B.”
B2B buyers are people. Just like you, just like me.
If you give them a crap experience, they’re not going to respond well. Sure, some might convert on your mega-form … but a lot won’t. And you might get some conversions from that boring ad … but you’ll lose a bunch, too.
If you frustrate prospects, they’re going to find another vendor that’s doing it better.
Remember, B2B marketing is not synonymous with bad marketing. It just means you’re adapting strategy and creative to a different buying journey.
Deliver a great experience, and the revenue will follow.
Myth #4: Mobile Doesn’t Matter for B2B
We spend countless hours optimizing our site’s mobile user experience and speed.
Here’s the thing: Only 15% of our traffic is on smartphones.
So why do we do this?
Because Google is the most important visitor to your site. And Google basically only sees you on mobile.
Mobile-first indexing has been a thing since July 1, 2019. That means the search engine sees your site as it appears on a mobile device (usually a Nexus).
If your site is slow on mobile but blazing fast on a desktop, Google will think it’s slow. If you have color contrast issues on mobile but not desktop, you have them everywhere.
And if you’re hiding content on mobile, it literally doesn’t exist.
Even if a human being never hits your website on a smartphone, it still needs to be awesome on mobile.
Myth #5: People Want to Hear About You
“It’s not self-serving content. It’s humanizing us!”
We’re not saying you should never announce your big new hires or post photos of your holiday party. Go ahead.
Just be mindful of the time and effort you’re putting in.
You’re not reaching anyone new with that content.
Think about what a prospect who’s never heard of you is searching for.
Is it “new hires at Company X”? Of course not! They’ve never heard of you!
Instead, they’re looking for ways to solve their problems.
That’s the content you need to focus on creating.
So go ahead. Post your (tasteful) party photos and let us know your thoughts, feelings and opinions. But don’t forget about what’s going to drive eyeballs and leads.
Myth #6: If You Build It, They’ll Convert
Our second-last B2B marketing myth centers around the target of your messaging.
Prospects need a reason to engage with you.
(Spoiler alert: It’s not your “personalized customer service.”)
This is your value proposition.
Where do you provide value? How? What makes you different and better than the competition? And how are you getting that across?
Don’t assume you’ll have a second conversation with your users and readers. Put your most valuable, most targeted message up front. Because if they don’t “get it” immediately, you’ll never have a second bite at the apple.
You can’t be generic or broad with this. What works great for one prospect might not work at all for another. Let them quickly and easily find the content that’s relevant to them, then make sure you deliver.
Just having a website or a campaign isn’t enough. They won’t convert because you want them to.
You have to earn the business.
Myth #7: Content Needs to Be Perfect
B2B marketers love to bleed over their content. Hours and hours for each blog post. Round upon round of revisions and edits.
You know what?
Nobody’s reading this as closely as you.
It’s not uncommon to see bounce rates in the 60s and 70s on high-performing sites. Of the folks who don’t bounce, most are seeing two or fewer pages.
And those are high-performing sites!
If your choice is between producing an extra piece of content or spending an extra three hours obsessing over edits, produce the extra one.
This isn’t literature.
Don’t write complete crap, of course. Just don’t assume your stuff is being consumed like Hemingway.
Years ago, we worked with a company that produced enterprise-level tech for higher ed.
Their name was one letter off a national gas station chain.
Once a month, someone filled out their contact form asking about their gas station rewards card.
- They found an obvious tech site for a completely different company.
- They navigated through it
- They filled out a form.
- To ask about a gas station rewards account.
People don’t read. They’re going to skim your content nine times out of 10. It sucks, but it’s true.
So don’t obsess over it. Make it good; it doesn’t always need to be perfect.
These B2B marketing myths aren’t going to go away because of this post.
But at least you know now that you can stop paying attention to them.
(That is, if you read all the way to the end. Which you probably didn’t.)
Did we give you a reason to convert? Hope so! Get in touch or call 610-421-8601 x122, and we’ll help you out.