The old adage that if you try to be all things to all people you can end up being nothing to nobody certainly rings true in the context of B2B content marketing. It’s a truism that many companies are discovering first-hand with respect to some of their gated content assets – namely, those with topics that are too broad in scope to be of any real interest to people researching specific solutions.

The thinking behind the broader-is-better approach to content creation and distribution is completely understandable. In casting a wider net, marketers naturally assume that they will catch more fish, filling their sales pipeline with a greater number of qualified leads.

For that reason, a company may publish a content asset that encompasses a larger breadth of information than may be pertinent to its own offering. The landing page description may not even reflect the specific benefits the company actually delivers to the marketplace.

metal stamping

Consider a company whose bread and butter is metal stamping. Concerned that the topic would be too narrowly-focused to attract a sufficiently large audience, the company published a whitepaper that touches on not only metal stamping but also metal cutting, metal bending, metal assembling and other types of metal fabrication.

It didn’t seem to matter to the company that these other topics fall outside it core capabilities. They figured it was better to go with a topic that covers more ground, is associated with more frequently-used search terms, and would undoubtedly drive more downloads.

But such thinking is fundamentally flawed. That’s because decision makers in the market to purchase a specific solution are searching for whitepapers, eBooks and research reports that speak to their needs at a granular level. They may view a content asset about the broader category as less relevant and therefore not worthwhile to download.

That’s precisely what happened with the metal stamping company. The whitepaper didn’t resonate with the target audience simply because the content focus was too high-level.

The more-the-merrier approach to demand generation can also create an unnecessary strain on marketing and sales resources charged with weeding through an excessively large number of leads, most of which are bound to miss the bullseye. Capturing good leads on the front end is always preferable to capturing as many leads as possible, regardless of quality, and then having to identify “the real prospects” during the sales outreach process. In this context, less is definitely more.

The power of specificity in content marketing is something every company should keep in mind. This is especially important of those companies operating in niche markets, where the target audiences may be looking for information and insights at a very granular level.

Unfortunately, not all marketers recognize the importance of using “precision content,” as we refer to it at Starfleet Media, to zero in on the best targets. Posting whitepapers, eBooks and research reports that are much broader in scope than their specific offerings is bound to be a mistake, resulting in a lot of missed opportunities. In some cases, it may defeat the whole point of investing in content marking in the first place.