Content Marketing has long been a staple for the B2B Marketing world with an increased boost in popularity due to changes in consumer information discovery and consumption. Over 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing according to CMI and MarketingProfs. Far more research is conducted before sales contacts are made providing B2B companies an opportunity to satisfy buyer information hunger with some killer content.
But what works and what doesn’t? What are B2B brands, big and small, doing to achieve results with content marketing? Those are great questions we’re answering every day through our own work with B2B companies and through industry examples.
For some inspiration for your B2B content marketing programs, check out these mini-case studies from the 2014 C2C Killer Content Awards, which include a mix of brand content marketing program examples and the results they produced. From print to video to coordinated multi-channel content programs, there’s a nice variety here.
ADP: Multi-Touch and Integrated
ADP is a Fortune 500 company that offers various business processing services like payroll and human resource management. ADP’s Value Added Services division created a quarterly, multi-touch campaign using unique themes that included a mix of digital assets such as infographics, “cookbooks” and other collateral.
Results: $3.7M in closed-won business plus another $23M in the pipeline. The ROI for Q1-Q3: 905%
SunGard Availability Services: Video Humor and Business CTA
Sungard provides IT operations support and serves more than 70% of Fortune 100 companies. SunGard Availability Services created a video series based around the holidays, injecting humor into educational content on pain points and industry trends. The company analyzed its audience’s content consumption patterns, and used the data to map out a campaign that would promote the content across multiple touch points via email, social, PR and paid media at a time when the audience would be expecting it.
Results: Over 3,000 leads generated in 3 days. Email click and click to open rates were 2-3X average. CTAs to download a white paper at the end of the videos had a 87.4% click-through rate.
Cox Media Group: Customer Success Focused Content
Cox Media includes 14 broadcast TV stations, a local cable channel, 57 radio stations, 8 daily newspapers and more than 100 digital services in 20 media markets reaching 52 million Americans weekly. Cox developed a 2014 Success Kit campaign for their advertisers including 5 assets in multiple formats to appeal to their SMB customers.
Results: 500+ downloads and interest from more than 2,000 potential leads improved lead and demand performance 9% over last year.
Toshiba: Integrated Campaign
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions offer integrated in-store solutions which are implemented in 60% of the top 25 global retailers. Toshiba created a series of content assets baed on omnichannel retailing including an infographic, checklist, executive brief and an eBook.
Results: Over 19,000 opens, 1,100+ clicks and 309 leads generated.
OpenText: Multi-Touch Engagement
OpenText provides Enterprise Information Management solutions (information exchange, business process management, enterprise content management) for a variety of industries including financial services, energy and insurance. OpenText launched a “Make a Statement” campaign to promote their StreamServe solution which helps companies personalize customer communications. The campaign included a mix of assets and advertising media implemented in 6 languages.
Results: Over $3 million in pipeline revenue to date.
Live Person: Influencer Content
LivePerson provides online engagement and service solutions such as chat, voice and targeted content for B2C and B2B companies. To reinforce it’s position as a thought leader in the digital engagement space, LivePerson connected with 10 industry influencers in B2B and B2C marketing. Interview topics ranged from social to mobile to omnichannel to search marketing and were published as an eBook about the future of digital engagement. Disclosure: I was one of the influencers interviewed for this eBook.
Results: 11% open rate, 17% CTR, 800 downloads, 270 marketing qualified leads and cited as “the most successful e-book of 2013”.
IBM: Integrated Demand Generation Campaign
IBM is a $100 billion company with 431,212 employees. The IBM “Smarter Commerce” program challenged industry executives to recognize and rethink about the value of empowered customers. A microsite provided content for each of the IBM 12 lines of business buyers and included a mix of digital assets: video, eBooks, case studies, white papers, and reports – each tailored for distinct Lines of Business audiences.
Results: The program overall has had over 38,000 impressions, 100,000 page views and over 13,000 responses. The leads generated from this program have been high quality and have rapidly progressed through the pipeline, generating significant wins for IBM.
Bonitasoft: Utility Through Simplification
Bonitasoft is a growing provider of business process management solutions. The Bonitasoft program addressed the complex and technical standardization of software using the BPMN 2.0 standard from a 508 page industry guideline to a 25 page “Ultimate Guide to BPMN2”. The shorter guide provides examples and graphics for non-technical users.
Results: 890 downloads and registrations, cost to pipeline ratio of $1 to $27. 54 sales opportunities were created and 15 sales have been won to date.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions: Influencers and Repurposing
LinkedIn is known as a social network for recruiting and finding talent, but with over 300 million professionals in the network, LinkedIn offers many solutions as a marketing resource. To reinforce the marketing solutions possible with LinkedIn, the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions group created the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn featuring digital marketing industry thought leaders, case studies, tips and a list of 25 social media experts. The Guide was published as an eBook, posted to Slideshare, created as an infographic, delivered as a webinar and published in print.
Results: 10,000 downloads in less than 30 days and more than 1/3 of those were marketing qualified leads. The webinar attracted 3,000 registrations and the repurposing of the eBook has driven thousands of views and shares.
Optum: eBook Hub
Optum facilitates fast, easy access to information that supports decision-marking across the healthcare system with clients in 140 countries. Optum launched a lead nurturing campaign with an eBook as the hub. Moneyball was used as a metaphor to illustrate the power of analytics in health care and targeted hospitals, health systems and large physician groups.
Results: Over 500 eBook downloads the first month and now there are 18,000+ contacts are new in various stages of the lead nurture track.
Autotask Corporation: Modular Content
Autotask is a leading SaaS provider to the IT industry serving 5,000 accounts world-wide and offering a platform for CRM, service desk, projects, time sheets and invoicing. Autotask created a “Metrics That Matter” campaign that leveraged modular content assets: eBook, infographic, Brainshark videos, Flipbooks, Webinar, 10 blog posts and social media posts.
Results: Program influenced 35% of revenue in the first month and drove 20% of all inquiries for 2 months. Influenced 10% of total revenue for the year with payback in under 6 months.
LinkedIn Talent Solutions: Buyer Focused Content
LinkedIn Talent Solutions developed a playbook with an established a 5-step framework to enable companies to develop, promote and measure a winning employer brand. Promotion of the playbook occurred through multiple blog posts, bylines in trade publications, webinars in 8 countries, social promotions through Twitter, LinkedIn and SlideShare, sessions at industry events and distribution of hundreds of hard copies to clients.
Results: 14,000 downloads and $1.1 million in bookings plus a further $500,000 driven by related webinars and activity.
What’s interesting about these examples is that not every program is multi-channel and integrated. Some situations are simply opportunities to provide useful information in an interesting way. But for the longer term programs, multi-touch programs that coordinate themes, messages and creative across channels appear to have increased – both in implementations and for some, in the lead gen and revenue results achieved.
Where’s the SEO?
While I did not have access to the full case study data for these (what you see is what I have), I do find it amazing that not one of these programs mentions organic search as a consideration for content discovery.
This is a HUGE opportunity for content marketing ROI, especially in the long run as program assets attract links, social shares and engagement. If it has become the norm not to leverage SEO best practices with content marketing programs, then there’s a lot of money being left on the table for those of us who do integrate social and search optimization with content marketing. I’ll be talking about this at the MnSearch Summit later in the week.
What are some of your favorite B2B content marketing programs currently running? What B2Bb brands have you seen create killer content on a consistent basis? Is SEO part of your process for all content development and marketing?