Why Laser-Targeted B2B Content Doesn’t Always Drive Sales (and What You Can Do About It)

You might think sharp, targeted content strategies are the secret to skyrocketing B2B sales.

However, the reality often tells a different story. Despite the widespread adoption of content marketing in the B2B industry, only a few marketers report significant effectiveness. This gap between effort and success is a critical signal.

The main challenge is making a genuine connection with the audience. Many strategies miss the mark because they need to resonate with their intended targets. So, what can B2B marketers do to bridge this gap?

In this article, we'll explore why even the laser-targeted B2B content might not lead to increased sales. We'll identify common pitfalls and offer practical insights to refine your approach. The goal is to help you transform your content strategy into a more effective tool for driving sales.


How Does B2B Content Drive Sales?

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

We all know the drill. You spend months meticulously crafting laser-focused B2B content. You pour your heart and soul into blog posts, white papers, and social media campaigns, targeting your ideal buyer persona with the precision of a laser. You're playing the long game, building brand awareness, nurturing leads, and inching them closer to the bottom of the sales funnel.

And then... crickets.

Where are the conversions? Where are the sales? You start questioning your strategy, your content, and even your sanity. The thing is, B2B content traditionally served as a bridge between brand and customer, a way to educate, engage, and ultimately convert. But let's be honest, folks, today's world is shifting faster than a California wildfire.

B2B buyers today are more informed, empowered, and, dare I say, impatient. They're bombarded with content from every angle, and they've become adept at filtering out the noise. They want solutions, not sales pitches. They crave personalization, not generic messaging.

So, the question becomes, how do we adapt our content strategy to meet this new reality? How do we ensure that our content is seen and acted upon?


5 HUGE Reasons Why Laser-Targeted B2B Content Doesn't Always Drive Sales

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

You've got your buyer personas down to a science. You know their deepest desires, fears, and that weird thing they do with their pinky finger while reading case studies. You tailor your content with surgical precision, each sentence a laser beam aimed directly at their pain points. 

However, you ask where the engagement and the ROI are. The harsh truth is that laser-sharp targeting isn't always the silver bullet for B2B sales. Here are five reasons why even the most well-aimed content can fall flat:

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

#1: Too Much Focus on Products, Not Enough on Value

Have you ever noticed how some content is all "me, me, me" about the product? It's a constant barrage of features, specs, and benefits without considering the audience's needs and pain points. That's not the most compelling way to drive sales.

B2B buyers are smart and can see through self-promotion a mile away. Only 47% of B2B buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson. They want content that speaks to them, addresses their challenges, and offers real solutions. They want value.

If you want your B2B content to drive sales, you must shift your focus. Instead of talking about your product constantly, start talking about your audience. What are their problems? What are their goals? How can your product help them achieve those goals?

Focus on creating informative, educational, and valuable content for your audience. Share your expertise, offer insights, and provide solutions. Doing that will build trust and credibility with potential customers, who likely see you as a valuable resource.

It's not about selling your product but helping your audience. By providing them with valuable content, you'll naturally position yourself as the go-to solution for their needs.


#2: Not Really Getting the Buyer's Journey

Even laser-targeted content can miss the mark. It might not be engaging, resonate with your audience, or drive sales. Why? Often, it's because we're not truly understanding the buyer's journey.

Think about your own experience. How many times have you encountered irrelevant, generic, or out-of-touch content? It's frustrating, right? That's the feeling we inflict on potential buyers when we miss the mark on their journey.

Creating content that resonates is about providing what the buyer truly needs, exactly when they need it. It understands their pain points, aspirations, and, most importantly, their stage in the buying cycle. Are they just starting to research their options? Are they ready to compare vendors? Do they need that final nudge to make a decision?

You're not just throwing information at the wall and hoping something sticks. You're building trust, providing value, and ultimately, guiding buyers toward that coveted "buy" button. 

So, ditch the generic fluff and start telling stories that resonate. Walk in their shoes, feel their pain, and then deliver content that makes a difference. That's the magic formula for driving sales with laser-targeted B2B content.


#3: Lack of Personalization

It's the buzzword du jour, but are we doing it right? Personalization isn't just about slapping a name on a subject line. It's about crafting content that feels like it was written just for the individual reading it. You're drowning in information, bombarded with generic messages. What cuts through the noise? Content that speaks directly to your needs, challenges, and aspirations.

This is where B2B content often falls short. It can feel mass-produced, designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. But that's a recipe for mediocrity, not engagement. 52% of consumers say they're likely to switch brands if a company doesn't make an effort to personalize communications to them.

By taking the time to understand your audience, you can create content that resonates on a personal level. This doesn't mean becoming a mind reader but paying attention to your data and using it to your advantage. Look at website analytics, social media engagement, and survey results. Talk to your sales team. Get to know your audience beyond their job titles and demographics.

Once you know who you're talking to, you can create content that speaks directly to them. This might mean using targeted keywords, addressing specific pain points, or offering solutions tailored to their needs. It's about making them feel seen, heard, and understood.


#4: Ignoring the Human Element

B2B doesn't have to mean boring-to-boring. It's time we talk about making content relatable, people-focused, and human.

But how do we make our content sound like it's coming from real humans, not robots in the machine room? It's not about adding emojis and exclamation marks to every other sentence (although well-placed humor never hurts). It's about understanding that your audience comprises people with real lives, emotions, and challenges.

Modern customers crave human connection. Even with technology increasingly integrated into our lives, we still want to feel heard, understood, and respected. A whopping two-thirds of consumers will likely ditch a brand that treats them like a number.

How do we inject that human touch into our B2B content? 

  • Talk about real people, their stories, and their successes: Don't just focus on features and benefits; show how your product or service impacts real lives.
  • Use language that resonates with your audience: Avoid jargon and technical terms that go over their heads. Instead, speak their language and connect with them on a personal level.
  • Respond to comments and questions: Show your audience that you care about their feedback. Building relationships takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent.

Your content should be a conversation, not a lecture. Start talking to your audience, not at them, and watch your sales soar.


#5: Inadequate Distribution and Promotion

You've crafted the perfect content, laser-focused on your target audience's pain points and desires. High fives all around! But guess what? If no one ever touches it, your masterpiece becomes a lonely island in the vast sea of the internet. That's where distribution and promotion come in.

Content creation is only half the battle. A staggering 69% of content goes unseen, with websites in the banking sector having the most unseen content (75%), closely followed by beauty websites and blogs, where visitors rarely access 74% of content. That's a sobering statistic, highlighting the importance of getting your work out there in front of the right eyes.

We're talking about building relationships with industry influencers and collaborating on content. Think guest blog posts, joint webinars, or even co-creating e-books. This leverages their established audience and expands your reach to a relevant pool of potential customers.

Another avenue is tapping into online communities relevant to your niche. Participating in forums, discussions, and Q&A sessions allows you to engage directly with your target audience, build trust, and subtly showcase your content expertise.

The key is to be strategic and intentional about your distribution channels. Don't just mindlessly scatter your content across every platform imaginable. Focus on the channels where your ideal audience spends their time and tailor your approach to each one.


When Does B2B Content Drive Sales?

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

Laser-targeted B2B content can feel like a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's the holy grail of content marketing, promising to attract and engage your ideal customers. On the other hand, it can feel like you're shouting into the void, generating a loyal following of readers who don't translate into actual sales.

When does the magic happen? When does B2B content transcend mere engagement and become a sales powerhouse? Here are a few essential conditions:

  • You're Solving a Burning Pain Point: Generic content is like a bland supermarket salad. It might look good on the surface but doesn't address any specific need or desire. Successful B2B content identifies your target audience's specific challenge and offers a clear, actionable solution.
  • You're Building Trust and Credibility: B2B buyers will not throw money at the first flashy content piece they see. Instead, they're looking for a trusted advisor, a knowledgeable source to guide them through their complex buying journey. B2B content that drives sales does just that. It establishes your company as a thought leader in the industry, showcasing your expertise and offering valuable insights.
  • You're Integrating Content with Your Sales Funnel: Your content shouldn't exist in a vacuum. It should seamlessly integrate with your overall sales funnel, guiding potential customers from awareness to conversion. This means creating content that addresses each stage of the buyer's journey, offering the right information at the right time.

Talk is cheap, right? We need concrete examples to understand the power of laser-targeted B2B content truly. Here are a few examples of B2B content driving concrete sales results:

  • GE Reports: This online publication by General Electric was filled with more than just technical jargon. Instead, it offered insightful articles and stories that resonated deeply with its target audience of engineers and other industry professionals. The result? A 200% increase in qualified leads and a 30% boost in conversion rates.
  • Cisco's "SuperSmart Security" Graphic Novel: Forget dry whitepapers and boring product brochures. Cisco took a bold step by creating a graphic novel to explain its complex cybersecurity solutions. This innovative approach grabbed attention and led to a 25% increase in website traffic and a 15% rise in sales leads.
  • Teamistry - Podcasts by Atlassian: This series of podcasts offered valuable insights and practical tips for teams using Atlassian's collaboration tools. By providing valuable content that directly addressed listener challenges, Teamistry generated a 30% increase in brand awareness and a 20% boost in product adoption.


3 Strategic Shifts to Make Your B2B Content Drive Sales

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

You've poured your heart and soul into creating laser-targeted B2B content, but the sales numbers aren't budging. You know your content is valuable, and you've hit the right audience, so what should you do? 

While laser-targeting is an important aspect of B2B content marketing, sometimes it needs a little extra oomph to convert leads into paying customers. Here are three strategic shifts to make your B2B content drive sales:


#1: Focusing on Value Creation Over Product Promotion

Forget the dated approach of spewing features and benefits at B2B buyers. Today's discerning audience craves genuine value, not an endless spec sheet. They want to know how your product can solve their problems and help them achieve their goals.

Take Gong, a revenue intelligence platform. They realized that simply describing their product wouldn't resonate with their audience. Instead, they built a content empire around insights and best practices related to sales performance. Their blogs feature actionable tips, guides, and case studies, showcasing the tangible benefits and transformations other companies have experienced through Gong. This content-first approach has positioned Gong as a thought leader, attracting customers who actively seek solutions to their sales challenges.

Ditch the product-centric approach and embrace the role of a problem solver. By intimately understanding your audience's pain points and crafting content that addresses them head-on, you build trust and establish yourself as a valuable partner, not just another vendor.


#2: Enhancing Buyer Journey Alignment

Are you hitting your target audience at the right moment? Even the most on-point content can fall flat if not aligned with your buyer's journey. Think of it as serving a Michelin-star meal to someone who just ate a five-course lunch – they might appreciate the artistry, but their stomach isn't ready.

  • Awareness Stage: Offer educational resources like blog posts, infographics, and white papers that tackle common pain points and establish your brand as a trusted advisor.
  • Consideration Stage: Go deeper with case studies, webinars, and product demos that showcase your solutions and address specific challenges.
  • Decision Stage: Provide personalized consultations, free trials, and comparative analyses to help buyers make informed choices and move toward conversion.

A stellar example of this approach in action is IBM's content strategy. They've mastered the art of journey alignment, particularly in their cloud solutions sector. They effectively guide prospects through each stage by offering a mix of educational articles, detailed product guides, and client success stories.


#3: Leveraging Analytics for Continuous Improvement

You're serving the right content at the right time. But how do you know it's hitting the mark? Analytics are your secret weapon for continuous improvement. It reveals whether your content is a sales magnet or a conversational black hole.

Analytics can quickly diagnose the problem. Maybe the topic needed to be more niche, the writing style missed the mark, or the distribution channels needed to improve. This data empowers you to refine your approach, ensuring your future content hits the mark every time.

But analytics also unlock personalized experiences. By understanding your audience's preferences and behaviors, you can tailor your content to their needs and interests. This could mean recommending relevant articles, offering personalized offers, or creating dynamic landing pages that speak directly to their pain points.


The Rise of AI in B2B Content Creation: Hype or Opportunity?

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

It's hard to ignore the buzz surrounding AI in B2B content creation. Platforms and tools promising automated workflows, personalized content, and measurable results are everywhere. 

It begs the question. Are we witnessing genuine progress or just hype?

The market seems pretty convinced. The global AI content marketing market will grow from USD 1.9 billion in 2022 to USD 17.6 billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 25.68% during the forecast period. This explosive growth suggests a genuine belief in AI's potential to revolutionize B2B content creation.

But hold on a minute. While AI tools offer some benefits such as:

  • Faster workflows: AI can automate repetitive tasks like data analysis and content generation, freeing valuable time for copywriters to focus on high-impact content.
  • Better content quality: AI can personalize content based on data and insights, leading to more relevant and engaging messaging for specific audiences.
  • Wider reach: AI can generate content in various formats and languages, allowing you to expand your reach and resonate with global audiences.

However, while AI is undeniably powerful, it has limitations. We're talking:

  • Limited emotional intelligence: AI struggles to understand and convey the nuances of human emotions, which are crucial for building trust and connection with B2B buyers.
  • Lack of creativity: Sure, AI can generate content based on existing patterns and data, but human creativity remains unmatched when it comes to truly innovative and groundbreaking ideas.
  • Difficulty with complex topics: AI can handle straightforward topics well, but when it comes to explaining complex industry concepts or tackling nuanced arguments, human expertise is essential to provide clarity and depth.

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

Will AI Replace Human Writers?

The idea of robots stealing our creative jobs isn't exactly comforting. But before we start polishing our resumes for barista positions, it's important to remember that AI isn't here to replace us. Instead, it presents an exciting opportunity to elevate our existing skills and capabilities.

Think of AI as a powerful new instrument in your creative arsenal. It can handle the heavy lifting of research and data analysis and generate drafts and initial outlines. This frees you, the expert writer, to focus on what machines can't replicate:

  • Get to Know Your Audience: Really getting the gist of what your audience wants and needs.
  • Storytelling with a Twist: Spinning tales that grab attention and keep it.
  • Adding the Human Spark: Making sure your content feels like it's coming from a real person, not a robot.

The future of B2B content creation isn't about humans vs. machines. It's about collaboration – a powerful partnership that leverages both strengths. By harnessing the power of AI while retaining our unique human talents, we can create content that's not just laser-focused but also genuinely engaging and impactful.

Rather than fearing AI, let's embrace it as a chance to push the boundaries of B2B storytelling and unlock new levels of creative expression. The future of content is bright, and it belongs to those willing to adapt and evolve alongside technology.


Next Steps: Implementing Insights for Tangible Results

Why laser-targeted b2b content doesn’t always drive sales (and what you can do about it)

We've debunked the myth that laser-focused content automatically translates to sales. Now what? It's time to take action and experiment! Don't be afraid to push the boundaries of your content strategy, even if it means venturing outside your usual comfort zone.

Consistency is key. You are building trust and establishing yourself as a reliable resource takes time and effort. Don't expect overnight results. Instead, focus on creating a steady stream of valuable content that keeps your target audience engaged and returning for more.

Most importantly, be patient and track your progress. Analyze your results, refine your strategy, and adapt to your audience's evolving needs. Content marketing is a journey, not a destination. By embracing experimentation and continuous improvement, you can create content that resonates with your audience and drives tangible business outcomes.


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About Daniel Doan

Daniel is a proven Neuro-Response copywriter with over a decade of expertise bridging the gap between what your company wants to say and what your customers actually want to read.

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