B2B Marketing

Lee Odden

2015 Enterprise B2B Content Marketing Report: More Isn’t Better

Lee Odden on Apr 27th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

enterprise b2b content marketing overload

Companies in the B2B space from IBM to HubSpot have been actively and effectively engaging prospects with longer sales cycle content for years. Like many competitive environments, a lot of emphasis for marketers has been about creating “more” content. More blog posts, videos, infographics, social messages, emails, and so on.

But here’s the thing about “more content” when it comes to enterprise-sized organizations. There’s a nearly unmanageable degree of added complexity when you start involving a matrix of customer segments and buying journeys across different product offerings, company divisions and geographies.  How are large, enterprise B2B marketers responding to this challenge? There’s a new report that sheds (some) light on that.

James Anderson

20 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2015

James Anderson on Mar 4th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

KillerContentAwardsCover

We know that 93% of B2B marketers were using content marketing in 2014. That number is up just a tick from 2013 and will likely climb again in 2015. But what does this slow trend mean for content marketers in the B2B world?

It means that it’s time to step up their content game. It’s no longer enough to simply produce “more” content. Now is the time to produce killer content that knocks the competition out of the water.

If you’re looking for great B2B content marketing case studies, we’ve published 11 killer content examples here and 12 more here. We’ve also collected 20 more B2B content marketing examples from the 2015 B2B Content2Conversion conference. Below you will find a brief example from each winning entry including one for TopRank Online Marketing. I think you’ll find some great ideas and inspiration, just like I did.

Lee Odden

B2B Content Marketing and Optimizing the Full Cycle of Buyer Experience

Lee Odden on Feb 26th, 2015     B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Q and A

What is the biggest mistake B2B marketers make with content?

It’s all about us (the brand). One of the most common and significant mistakes B2B marketers make with content is to create information and media that doesn’t solve a customer information problem. Additionally, content that is presented out of context and unoptimized for customer experience can result in very poor performance.

The reason for this mistake? A brand or marketer’s ego-centric view of the world. Whether it’s writing branded content to editorialize self-promotion or sticking only to topics meant to inspire end of funnel conversions, simply creating more content isn’t the answer. And yet over 90% of B2B marketers are doing exactly that.

Lee Odden

All New Sophisticated B2B Marketing Guide for LinkedIn

Lee Odden on Feb 25th, 2015     B2B Marketing, LinkedIn

B2B Marketing Guide LinkedIn

It wasn’t that long ago that most business marketers thought of LinkedIn purely as a place for online resumes and prospecting future hires. Today, with nearly 350 million members world-wide, LinkedIn has become a formidable marketing and sales resource for B2B marketers across the web.

In fact, LinkedIn is evolving as a full marketing funnel solution through it’s mix of content and advertising solutions. In particular, through the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator that serves as a lead generation and nurturing service.

full funnel marketingWhile new product and service offerings are fine and good, there’s a saying I live by when it comes to tools. “A tool is only as useful as the expertise of the person using it.”

That’s why this updated version of The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn is so timely.

A T

Using Emerging Social Networks to Increase B2B Productivity

A T on Feb 23rd, 2015     B2B Marketing, Social Media

B2B-Productivity-Apps

From James: Today’s post is the third in a series of four articles on social media marketing – all part of a contest within TopRank Marketing for a chance to attend Social Media Marketing World. Watch for the next post in the series on how to create impact with Instagram.

While many businesses ban social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube at work, there are some unconventional social networks that may actually increase productivity, especially for those in B2B. A couple networks really pop out in this regard.
Cyber Dust and Yo App are fringe startup social apps that, while gaining dubious fame for their apparent uselessness, have grown to have very practical utility.

James Anderson

Wrap Up: Stories and Influencer Marketing Lead the B2B Content Marketing Bonanza at #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 19th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing

C2C15-B2B-Content-Conference

More than 7,000 Twitter posts by 1,600+ different users generated almost 28 million impressions during this week’s Content2Conversion Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. For three days, the resort at Gainey Ranch became a genuine B2B content marketing bonanza.

From opening night festivities on the Lawn Court, to the closing panel session, B2B content wishes, wisdom and wit was shared among the more than 400 conference attendees and their social media audiences.

Excellent opening night festivities for #C2C15 – Well done @content2convert !

A photo posted by Lee Odden (@leeodden) on

How About That Weather?

For those of us who traveled from the Midwest or the East Coast, weather was a common-ground topic, and probably 90% of the conversation starters. Coming from zero-degree Minnesota, the weather was a good way to break the ice (pun intended.)

James Anderson

The Most Important Thing Missing From Your B2B Content: Forrester’s @LauraRamos Tells All #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 19th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Laura-Ramos-Forrester-Research

A lot of presentations at this week’s Content2Conversion Conference touched on theories and tactics related to creating customer focused narratives in B2B content. While some marketers might think of incorporating storytelling in their B2B content marketing as a gamble, Laura Ramos of Forrester Research says it’s time to make that gamble. According to Laura, it’s time to double down on the one key element missing in most B2B content: Storytelling.

B2B Marketing lacks enthusiasm and capability to use storytelling to connect with buyers, Laura said. It’s time to tell stories and it’s time to understand the power that storytelling has on your audience.

James Anderson

How Optum Transformed Their B2B Marketing to a Content-Led Strategy – #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 18th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry

Karen-Thomas-Smith-Optum

It’s a big task to move an 80,000 employee organization on to a completely different mode of marketing thought. But that’s what Karen Thomas-Smith and her team at Optum has done, and they did it in the sometimes slow-to-adapt industry of healthcare.

Karen moved Optum — a B2B healthcare software and services organization — from traditional marketing to content-led marketing and thought leadership. Though she was met with resistance at first, she has since transformed Optum’s marketing for the better, as she presented at the B2B C2C conference this week.

Optum’s Journey To Content Marketing Success

Optum’s marketing efforts were once what Karen called “one and done” marketing, meaning trade shows, brochures and other traditional efforts. The focus was on the big sale. If a brochure were a first date, it closed with a call to action that asked for marriage.

James Anderson

Lee Odden on How to Co-Create B2B Marketing Content With Influencers at #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 17th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Lee-Odden-C2C15

At the Content2Conversion conference in Scottsdale, there were a lot of hands up when Lee Odden asked how many in the audience had been tasked with developing substantially more content for 2015.

The hands in the air were far, far fewer when Lee asked how many in the audience had been allocated an equal amount of resources for the development of that additional content.

82% of senior executives are say more content is a significant driver in their buying decisions according to a report from Deman Gen Report. As more buyers are consuming more content, Odden says “you gotta fish where the fish are.”

James Anderson

Our Liveblogging Schedule for B2B C2C Content2Conversion Conference 2015 #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 17th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

C2C15

Today through Thursday of this week, you’ll see posts on TopRank Blog from the B2B Content to Conversion Conference in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona.

I’ll be live-blogging a few sessions from the conference, including our CEO Lee Odden’s talk “How to Create a Competitive Advantage by Crowdsourcing Marketing Content with Influencers.” Lee is speaking at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday. If you have any questions on his presentation, be sure to let us know.

For many of us in the Midwest, as well as our friends out on the East Coast, it’s a darn good time to be heading to Scottsdale. Areas like Boston have seen some of the worst snow on record and back home in Minnesota it has been consistently below freezing for days on end.

A T

5 Ways to Build Digital Marketing Expertise

A T on Feb 10th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

Build-Marketing-Expertise

You know all those articles about secrets of successful people? About how entrepreneurs sleep 4 hours a night and don’t eat solid food? They feed into all of our desires to be successful overnight. But success in life or your career is less dependent on luck or tricks as it is a product of practice and hard work.

Whether you’re a client-side marketing coordinator, an advertising agency VP, or a freelance SEO contractor, you need to constantly work on your skills to maintain value as an employee. In marketing especially, there are new technologies, tools, and industries popping up each year, so it’s extra important to be vigilant about your abilities.

James Anderson

B2B Channel Marketing Strategies: 12 Data and Content Takeaways from #BMAMN

James Anderson on Feb 4th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences
BMAMN-Channel-Marketing-Data

Panelists, from left, Heather Anfang, John Peters, Barbara Merwin and Chris Hawver discuss channel marketing strategies at Tuesday’s BMAMN event.

What do marketing professionals from industries as diverse as food service, laboratory supply manufacturing, data storage and financial services all have in common? Each of them see consumer data and content management as keys to the future of channel marketing in their respective industry.

Panelists at Business Marketing Association Minnesota‘s February event, “Strategies to Win: The Evolution of Channel Marketing” all agreed that the level at which their company leverages data in its marketing channels has increased significantly in recent years. Marketers are leveraging consumer data to identify trends and better craft B2B buyer personas. Increasingly, these personas are targeted with inbound content marketing tactics to bring them along to a purchase decision.