Content Overload: Why More Means Less for B2B Marketing

Written by Jack Trew

In today's digital ecosystem, customer buying journeys have become increasingly complex, and this is most true for B2B. Large buying units, multiple stakeholders, and uncertain commercial circumstances have left the ‘messy middle’ – the tangled web that sits between purchase trigger and purchase decision – messier than ever.

In the B2B realm, content marketing plays a pivotal role in nurturing prospects throughout their journey. Whether it's capturing their attention as they scroll through social, educating them about your product, showcasing thought leadership, or providing actionable insights via webinars and podcasts, content serves as the guiding beacon that fosters trust and credibility.

Historically, marketers have attempted to grapple with the complexity of catering to different buyer personas, across different channels and with different requirements through their purchase journey, by trying to produce enough content to cover all eventualities.

We’re now living in a time where content is easier to create than ever - vertical video can be repurposed across every major social platform, lower fidelity video and co-creation with influencers is viewed as a more authentic approach for brands, and assistive tools like ChatGPT can churn out copy at the touch of a button.

Logically, these developments should only be a good thing for marketing budgets, however, this abundance of content is not solving the real challenge faced by B2B marketers. Instead, it’s creating its own problem - content overload - where more content is not equating to better outcomes.

Recent studies by eMarketer and the Content Marketing Institute indicate that the top challenge now is creating the right content(1). So, while it’s beneficial that costs are decreasing and content budgets are expected to grow (2), a successful content strategy hinges on the quality of the content, not just the quantity.

The goal is to ensure that the content that is produced generates meaningful effects such as increased awareness, improved brand perception, and higher lead generation, thereby providing a return on investment.

So, what constitutes the ‘right’ content?

The sheer variety of content formats and the intense competition in the market can be overwhelming - eBooks, podcasts, short-form videos, product demos, influencer partnerships – the possibilities are endless. And finding something different to say in this content is a challenge - there are only so many unique things that can be said within a particular sector or industry.

According to marketers, the key to successful content is a deep understanding of the audience. (3)This means knowing what your audience cares about and tailoring your content to meet those needs.

To consistently create high-quality content, marketers need to address the following five questions:

  1. What stage of the purchase journey are we creating content for? Understanding the objective of the content at each stage is crucial to ensure that the message, format, and execution are fit for purpose.

  2. What are the motivations and interests of our target audience at this point in the journey? By identifying who you are speaking to and why they would care about your content you can ensure that the information you’re delivering is framed in a way that feels relevant and aligned with what the audience are looking for.

  3. What information needs to be conveyed in the content, and how will we make it unique? There will be specific messages that you as a business want to land with the audience. You need to identify what those are but, also, critically, how you will make those messages feel different from what the rest of the market is saying. Companies are often hesitant to take a strong stance or have a distinct point of view, but this is necessary to stand out from the noise of the category.

  4. What are the best formats for communicating this message at this stage? Depending on the stage of the journey and who you’re speaking to you will want to consider whether your message could be best delivered as a short mobile video, a detail-laden eBook or an attention-grabbing YouTube advert. In addition, once you’ve landed on the right message, you can then atomize your content - breaking it down into smaller, more digestible pieces that can be adapted to different formats but still do the job for the audience.

  5. How can we optimise its effectiveness? Having a clear business-based objective gives you something by which you can measure success. In addition to this, test-and-learn processes can be used to evaluate and optimise performance, allowing you to make necessary adjustments on-the-fly and build up learnings to make your future content even better.

By answering the questions above, marketers can ensure that their resources are focused on creating fewer but higher-quality pieces of content. This approach not only maximizes efficiency but also ensures that relevant messages are delivered in the most effective formats for the audience’s current stage in the journey.

To complement the checklist above, a clear, compelling brand proposition will help ensure that all the content you create feels part of the same argument and is coming from a single source.

In 2024, the focus is shifting from quantity to quality, from creating noise to fostering meaningful engagement, and from a scattergun approach to objective-driven content creation.

Every piece of content should be seen as an opportunity to connect, inspire, and influence - driving tangible business outcomes, not just vanity metrics. Understanding and adapting to these changes will ensure that your marketing department is set up for success.

Want to understand how the Croc can help you make sure you’re focusing on the right content? Get in touch.






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