But is there such a thing as “too much” when it comes to content marketing? Can B2B companies produce so much great, valuable content that they actually end up devaluing their own services? If you train your target audience to expect insightful information from you that they don’t have to pay for, will they ever be willing to buy?
By giving information away for free, do B2B companies actually get in their own way?
B2B content can be anything that is public and shareable. For instance, let’s say your company hosts a free webinar. Let’s assume that 500 people signed up for your free webinar in the preceding weeks, but only 345 actually signed in. Since there was no cost to attend, some of your attendees might not feel bad about missing out. Of the 345 attendees, you got 32 leads (say they filled out a contact form) but in the end (and after much pushing on your part) only one actually ended up becoming a customer. Clearly most people showed up for the free information, not because they wanted to become your customer.
Think about all the time and effort it takes to put on a successful webinar. How long did it take you to actually develop the content? How much did you spend on promotion and advertising? Depending on your industry earning one client from the webinar might be worth it, but then again maybe not.
Let’s say it was a paid webinar ($50) as opposed to a free one and only 150 people signed up. Even that small upfront cost was enough to cut your attendance by 70 percent! Those 150 attendees might have thought that since it was a paid webinar, they would be privy to more insights and better information than a free webinar on the same topic, but are any of them seriously considering doing business with your company?
A B2B company with the resources might be churning out more content then they know what to do with: a company blog that has three or four posts going live a day, infographics, reports, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts and so forth. At what point do the scales tip against them? An educated prospect is going to take their time to research your company and might realize, “Hey, these guys are great. Look at all this information they are just giving away. I know! I can just use their guides and figure it out on my own and save myself some money.”
Content marketing is often a long-term process that is used to build your authority as an expert, cultivate relationships with potential clients, create brand loyalists among existing customers and much more. In today’s online world, there is no doubt that content is king and a necessary component of any successful SEO campaign. However, is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Can B2B content marketing be so great, that is ends up affecting your business cycle?
There really is no right, one-size-fits-all answer for B2B companies. No one can say how little or how much content you should be producing in order to maximize your SEO and marketing success because no two businesses are alike and each industry faces unique challenges. The dangers of too little content are a little easier to foresee (limited online presence, minimal online brand awareness, no site traffic increases and so forth) but the possible consequences of too much B2B content are harder to define.
About the Author
Nick Stamoulis is president and founder of Boston-based SEO and social media marketing firm Brick Marketing. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO articles to his blog the Search Engine Optimization Journal and publishes the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, which is read by over 140,000 subscribers. Read Nick Stamoulis’ full PubCon speaker biography here.
Nick Stamoulis video interview with PubCon’s Vanessa Zamora