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.

James Anderson

B2B Marketing eBook: Inspiration From 14 Marketing Influencers

James Anderson on Feb 3rd, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

B2B-Marketing-2015

The digital marketing industry is shaped by great minds that, while keeping one eye on the work at hand, are focusing the other on the future. These great minds help us see “what’s next” and inspire us to create the next level of content for marketing.

For inspiration on B2B Marketing in 2015, look no further than the experts in “B2B Marketing 2015: 14 Visions of the Future You Can Use Today“. These B2B savants see a future in which content is co-created with brands, employees, customers and influencers. They see a future in which company data is used to shape conversations in real-time. Their future borrows from B2C marketing by humanizing the B2B journey and creating user experiences for buyers, not just companies.

Brooke Furry

From Journey to Destination: How Marketing Automation Can Fill Your B2B Funnel

Brooke Furry     B2B Marketing, Email Marketing

marketing-automation-b2b-funnel

You’re a busy B2B digital marketer trying to drive leads in an ever-changing world. You’re writing awesome emails. You use a marketing automation platform. Maybe you’ve even created a series of email drip campaigns, monitored their performance and began to nurture your leads. But you wonder, “Am I doing all that I can?”

Marketing automation gives many of today’s B2B marketing professionals lead nurturing capabilities and structured conversion journeys that not only save time, but build valuable relationships with prospects and ultimately help create revenue.

According to a study by DemandGen, 67% of B2B marketers who use lead nurturing see a 10% or greater increase in sales opportunities throughout the funnel; 15% see opportunities increase by 30% or more.

Lee Odden

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

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

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     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     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.