Content Marketing,

After years of experts imploring them to become ‘independent content publishers,’ businesses seem to have done exactly that.

Website Magazine reports that some 90 percent of B2B marketers in North America now use some form of content marketing, most frequently for customer engagement. What’s more, 60 percent of that group produces materials, such as blog posts, video, infographics, case studies and others at least once per week.

The problem in many companies, says marketing and digital conversions expert, Tim Ash, is that the corporate content machine is out of control, diluting messaging and causing the permanent loss of priceless conversion opportunities.

Avoiding the Dreaded #ContentFail

To their credit, many integrated marketers are getting content marketing right and seeing their well-crafted materials result in more conversions, such as leads, downloads, sales and subscriptions.

Others have lapsed into what Ash calls ‘self-serving broadcast noisemaking,’ focusing more on repurposing, repackaging and recycling content than on ensuring genuine utility and value. Conversion-focused content, Ash says, should be of real service to real people, clearly exhibiting, among other traits:

  • Quality–as this content-marketing infographic shows, quality is the number one factor in how web content is ranked, followed closely by usefulness; fail at either and Google could relegate your content to obscurity.
  • Usefulness–don’t ignore early-stage prospects because they’re at the top of the funnel, rather support them–and everyone else–throughout every step of their path to purchase.
  • Focus–make sure to craft tone and verbiage that resonates with your audience; content that’s too general and not targeted will send conversion rates plummeting.

Conduct a Content-for Conversion Audit

To determine whether content effectively supports conversions, Ash recommends auditing it using the steps below:

  • Define prospects’ professional roles and tasks, including possible scenarios that reflect a need for your content.
  • Identify potential gaps in current content and in your website visitors’ experience.
  • Develop a prioritized list of content that needs to be created or reworked to better meet prospects’ informational needs.

Pay extra attention to what Ash calls your site’s ‘connective tissue,’ such as navigation, page flow, calls-to-action and gating. Correcting deficiencies and refocusing on readers may not be fast, easy or cheap, Ash concedes. But over time it will definitely improve lead quality and conversion rates.

Not sure how to start? Visit or Content Marketing Archive or begin with our popular post Creative Services Outsourcing Helps You Get Content Marketing Right.

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MarketingTango is the leading online resource for integrated marketing. The blog covers a wide range of marketing tactics and their place in an integrated marketing strategy. Regular postings will include articles, ideas, tips, and real-world solutions to help companies of all sizes achieve their business objectives.