How Bad Content Writing can Damage your Business

Don’t settle for bad content writing. Avoid these practices, or your business’s reputation could suffer.

Picture of George Linley George Linley

Published: 25 Nov 2015

5 minutes read

How Bad Content Writing can Damage your Business

They say that content is king in the world of B2B marketing. If so, are the words that make up your content worthy of such a title – or could they be damaging your hard-earned reputation?

While ten years ago, prospects would use directories and peer feedback to form opinions on businesses, today they go right to the source. And while content marketing is one of the best tools for boosting your SEO and page ranking, if a potential customer can’t understand or take away anything useful from your written content it can be catastrophic for your business. 

In this blog post, we analyse the worst offending content writing practices and the consequences for your business. 

Content writing that fails to showcase knowledge 

Nothing will ring alarm bells more than a business that clearly doesn’t know what it is talking about. Typically, your B2B prospects will hold a degree of knowledge relating to your business and your industry. So they require content that further develops their knowledge, rather than regurgitating old information – or even worse, the wrong information. Without intelligent insight, it is impossible to educate prospects, which blows your entire content marketing strategy out of the water and brings the lead generation process to a halt. 

A content marketing strategy that is scarce of knowledge and industry insight stems from a lack of communication. Typically, content writers and/or marketers will take on the duty of content creation and while these team members may be excellent writers, their knowledge will be lacking in comparison to senior team members and customer-facing employees such as sales consultants. In order to remedy the knowledge shortage, it is important to use your team resource effectively, harnessing essential insight from more knowledgeable staff and have content writers and marketers transform this into easily digestible and educational content.  

Free guide: How to use content marketing to become a thought leader

Content that is sales heavy 

If you haven’t heard already – your prospects hate being sold to. In other words, they don’t like being lied to, pressured or manipulated. Today, your prospects are spoilt for choice when choosing a potential service or product provider, while access to information has never been easier. Because of this, prospects have become even pickier and have come to expect more than a standard sales pitch. 

Sales-y content that reads like a spec document, highlights the fact that you have neglected to address your prospects’ pains and problems. This is why sales-heavy B2B content marketing just doesn’t work. Your prospects begin their buyer’s journey looking for educational information that helps them qualify the problems they have been experiencing and a potential solution. In fact, 96% of visitors that come to your site are not ready to buy.

Promotional content will either fail to enact a response from buyers, or will put prospects off your business and into the arms of a competitor. Exactly the opposite of what you want your content to achieve.  

Therefore, with every piece of content you write, try and think about how it benefits prospects and helps solve their pains. If you struggle to identify this, consider reworking the piece.

Egotistical content turns prospects off

Want to write successful content? It’s time to put your business’s ego to bed, and focus your efforts on stroking the ego of your prospects. If your content reads like a biography, i.e. “me, me, me,” take a step back and think. Do my prospects actually care about your business’s personal successes, awards and accolades? Probably not – at least not right away. 

Shoving it in their face as soon as you can only shows how great you think you are, and how you don’t really give two hoots about your audience. Rather than talking about yourself, your product and/or service, focus on your prospects’ fears and common problems that resonates with them on a personal level. Make it known that you understand and sympathise with their stressful and busy situations and are here to offer them some friendly, unbiased advice – because you are just that lovely.  

Content littered with typos, punctuation and grammar errors 

First of all, get a writer to write your content! If you haven’t engaged the best writer in your team (or ideally a professional freelance copywriter or content writing agency) why not?

A good content writer will ensure that you get a solid first draft to review, with clarity and flow and everything else you need to engage and educate prospects.

However, even the most talented and thorough writers can miss things (they’re only human after all)! So be sure to proof everything before it gets published online, ideally with a second pair of eyes – just make sure it’s the eyes of an additional content writer, not your prospects reading the published piece! 

Poorly proofed content can look sloppy and unprofessional (however good the actual writing). A lack of attention to detail suggests to prospects that you may have the same regard to their service, ultimately presenting you as a poor choice for a service provider.

Okay, so that’s how it’s NOT done. But what about learning how to create engaging, useful content that's driven toward lead generation? It's time to stop boring your readers! Download our free guide below for useful advice and best practice tips to create content that will wow your site visitors! 



Find out how in our guide: How to use Content Marketing to become a Thought Leader.