TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

B2B Marketing


Lee Odden

What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing. BONUS: Case Study

Lee Odden on Jan 27th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer co-created content

Influencer Marketing was a hot topic in 2014 and will continue to gain momentum in 2015 for both B2C and B2B marketers, especially when it comes to content co-creation.

Why the warm and fuzzy for influencer content you ask? According to CMI and MarketingProfs, over 90% of B2B marketers are investing in content marketing. Yet, in an age of information overload where 74GB of data are delivered per person, per day (USC), standing out to business buyers can require unreasonable budgets and resources.

Inspired by the need to scale content marketing performance, a growing number of B2B marketers are creating better quality content that gets shared more often, reaches more prospects and grows their influencer network – all at the same time. How so? Through influencer content programs.

James Anderson

White Papers: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

James Anderson on Jan 13th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry, Online Marketing

White  Papers.jpg

Not every piece of content we produce resides at the top of the sales funnel spinning up awareness. If that were the case, our jobs as marketers would be much easier.

When digital marketers roll up their sleeves and generate leads, many have found that white papers provide a utility for which potential customers are willing to give up a name and email address. White papers are more substantial pieces of content that allow customers to solve an information problem that represents the solutions your company can offer.

Do marketers still use white papers?

Lee Odden

Roundup: 11 B2B Marketing Reports and One Killer Infographic

Lee Odden on Nov 3rd, 2014     B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Reports

While they would be nice to have, the Future of B2B Marketing involves more than science fiction inspired predictions about cranial implants and neural marketing dashboards. Business Marketers are simultaneously investing in a more human approach to business content while also further tapping in to the power of data. Which innovations make sense for your B2B company?

From predictive analytics to more scientifically understanding buyer content consumption preferences, there’s a world of opportunity when it comes to optimizing B2B marketing performance.

In this post I’ve curated a collection of reports and one very clever infographic on topics that should be front and center for B2B marketers in Q4 and on into 2015. Click on each report image to download (some require registration).

Lee Odden

When do B2B Tech Companies Need Content Marketing? Inspiration for 2015 Marketing Planning

Lee Odden on Oct 14th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B technology content marketing

Speaking at both a B2B Marketing and a Public Relations conference in the space of a week has yielded some insightful discussions. Many of those conversations have focused on the transition from where the B2B companies are today – a mix of tactics directed squarely at the C-level customer – and where a content marketing strategy might take them.

With my involvement in the B2B marketing space, I get to talk to a lot of marketing and PR professionals about marketing and communications programs. The desire to “do more” and innovate marketing isn’t unique – it’s pretty common across the board, especially with 2015 planning under way.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing on Facebook? Yes! So Say IBM, Volvo, Salesforce & Lattice Engines

Lee Odden on Oct 13th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences

b2b marketing

It goes without saying that Facebook is most commonly associated with consumer marketing since it’s hardly a place for industrial engineers to talk about the latest manufacturing process or for enterprise software companies to promote side by side feature comparisons.

But behind those companies are people – both on the brand and the buyer side of the B’s in B2B. B’s are people too and those people use Facebook to connect with peers socially. They may not look for product spec sheets for manufacturing hardware on Facebook, but they can get an idea of the people behind the companies they buy from as well as a more personal look at companies outside of nuts and bolts, hardware and software.

Lee Odden

What is the Future of Content for B2B Marketing? Find out at #MPB2B

Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B Content Marketing

Content makes the B2B marketing world go round in so many ways. But will content of the future be as important as it is today?

According to the “hot of the press” report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 86% of B2B companies are using content marketing. That’s actually down from 93% last year. The definition of content marketing has evolved as well and I suspect, so will the nature of content in the coming years.

But what do those changes mean for you, business marketers trying to create a variety of engaging content on a regular basis without blowing your budget into space? Luckily we have thoughtful insights from 3 people who know from companies that are growing and selling to business customers. These B2B content marketing insights come from none other than Moz, SnapApp and our very own agency, TopRank Online Marketing.

Lee Odden

The Role of Big Data in the Future of B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on Oct 7th, 2014     B2B Marketing

Big Data B2B Marketing

There’s now more data collected about our every interaction in the digital world than ever before. According to a Washington Post story, “brokers use ‘billions’ of data points to profile Americans”. Marketers with access and an understanding of how to use that data can create a distinct, competitive advantage in their ability to provide relevant offers to the right buyers at the right time.

Dealing with data beyond spreadsheets and reporting to actionable insight about customers that enables everything from predictive analytics to truly automated marketing automation are some of the promises of what’s next in content marketing for B2B companies. What used to seem like science fiction is now becoming a reality (as shown by the Future of B2B Marketing eBook we created for MarketingProfs).

Lee Odden

The Number One Secret to B2B Content Marketing Success Plus 150 B2B Marketing Statistics

Lee Odden on Oct 6th, 2014     B2B Marketing

B2B Content Marketing Secret

Who doesn’t like a secret? Especially the single, most important content marketing secret to success for B2B companies.

This year’s Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs offers us that one, most important piece of advice and more. So what’s the secret? Simple:

Document your content marketing strategy and follow it closely. 

If you’re feeling a bit underwhelmed, here’s the thing:

  • 35% of B2B marketers in this year’s survey said they have a documented content marketing strategy
  • 48% said they have a content marketing strategy, but it is not documented.

OK fine, most companies have some idea of how their content marketing efforts fit into the marketing plan.  What’s the big deal?

Lee Odden

The B’s in B2B Are People Too – A More Human Approach to Business Marketing

Lee Odden on Oct 1st, 2014     B2B Marketing

People focused B2B marketing

Answering any question about what’s next in B2B marketing must involve the increasing attention on buyers as people vs. simply “business to business”. The human element of business marketing has attracted a lot of play in the B2B marketing conversation and rightly so.

While there are many changes and trends to consider to stay ahead in the B2B marketing game (paid, earned, owned and shared media for example) the thing that unites departments, tactics and technologies is common ground and common goals. By viewing B2B marketing from the buyer’s perspective, whether it’s an individual or committee, business marketers can start to break free of the mechanical and start creating more meaningful marketing experiences for buyers.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Convergence: Disappearing Silos, B2C to B2B Mind-Meld, Inbound Outbound Mastery

Lee Odden on Sep 29th, 2014     B2B Marketing

convergence b2b marketing boston

My first experience with B2B Marketing in the digital marketing industry started as the worlds of Public Relations and SEO started to collide early in 2001.

Our tiny agency won a media relations account for a $1 billion company in the high tech industry. What set us apart from all the other big PR shops was how we used SEO with PR content to attract incoming media opportunities on top of outbound media pitching and brand content creation. As time went on and content as the key player, other disciplines converged in our B2B marketing practice.

Since then, the coming together of marketing/communications disciplines in the B2B world has accelerated. Why? Changes in technology and buyer behaviors for sure (like prospects pulling themselves through 60-90% of the sales cycle before contacting sales). Other driving forces range from the need to achieve greater impact to delivering a more congruent experience for buyers through the sales cycle.

Lee Odden

31 Predictions on the Future of B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on Sep 23rd, 2014     B2B Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry

B2B Marketing Forum eBook

Precognitive Marketing, neural interfaces to marketing dashboards, Google cranial implants – is this science fiction or is it the future of B2B marketing? Maybe a bit of both!

These and many more insights (of the predictive and practical kind) can be found in our latest eBook, The Future of B2B Marketing as part of our promotions for MarketingProfs B2B Forum. With a conference theme of “Marketing for What Comes Next” we’ve connected with 31 of the top B2B marketers from Xerox to LinkedIn to Marketo to get their predictions about the future of marketing to businesses.

The future of B2B marketing is far from boring and now, more than ever, B2B marketers are thinking creatively and dreaming big about new ways to attract, engage and inspire business buyers.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

Nick Ehrenberg on Sep 17th, 2014     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

storytelling in b2b marketing

Storytelling is a fundamentally human experience. We love to tell stories, ranging from whimsical fantasy to tense political thrillers. Some psychologists believe storytelling is actually necessary for human survival — we are hard-wired to respond to compelling narratives.

Storytelling is frequently cited as a best practice for content marketers, but what happens when your publishing space is limited? B2B social media marketers only have enough space for 1-2 sentences per post, so how can they tell a story with such little space?

When it comes to effective B2B social storytelling, it’s not about shrinking the story to fit within character limits. Rather, it’s about using social tools to make the story bigger. Here’s how you can make your story bigger on social networks:

Visualize the message

social media marketing, star wars, cisco

To optimize your online marketing performance, contact us at TopRank | ©2014 TopRank® Online Marketing | Top