Lee Odden

Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome – 12 eBooks for Better Content Performance in 2015

Lee Odden on Mar 9th, 2015     Content Marketing

Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome

The missing piece of the content marketing puzzle for most marketers is a documented strategy according to CMI/MarketingProfs research.

But the problem with most content marketing efforts isn’t just a documented strategy, it’s the lack of thinking strategically about content. The challenge of creating more, engaging content often blurs the importance of answering “why”, “for who” and “to what end”?

Solving the strategic thinking issue is essential for creating a strategy and one way to do that is to tap into industry thought leadership to identify trends, best practices and examples of what content marketing success looks like. Reconciling those observations and insights with your own marketing goals, target audience and expectations for content are the key to making your content marketing investments pay off.

James Anderson

Video Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

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

Video for Content Marketing (1)

For many B2B marketers video content is the biggest step in a content marketing plan, the one thing that is tackled last because it takes more resources to produce. That mode of thinking is changing, however, as more marketers lean on video content as an effective way to cut through the crowded content marketing landscape. In a recent CMI / Marketing Profs study, 76% of B2B marketers said that they plan to use video as a content marketing tactic in 2015.

Creating video and hosting it on your company site or sending it out on social media is a way to show that your brand is video and technologically savvy but don’t just produce video for the sake of saying you’ve done it. Video has to be done right to be effective. This post will explore the pros and cons of video as a content marketing tactic and will offer examples and best practices that digital marketers can look to for support in their own video content marketing.

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

Content and SEO Beyond Marketing – Optimized Digital Communications

Lee Odden on Mar 2nd, 2015     Content Marketing, SEO

optimized digital communications

Content is the reason search began in the first place.

In the days before Google, directories, lists and forums were the way to discover new content on the fast-growing world wide web.

During those early days, the web was as much about the experience of discovery, aka “surfing”, as it was about finding specific answers.

Answers to what? Many marketers would have you believe the only content that exists is the information created in support of buyers to discover, consume and transact.

But there’s far more to the web than demand generation and advertising. Content is created by companies to serve a variety of business functions from customer service to corporate social responsibility to talent acquisition.

James Anderson

Build Your Own Brand Marketing Social Newsroom: Tips From SAP at #C2C15

James Anderson on Feb 18th, 2015     Brand Journalism, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media
Brand-Marketing-Social-Newsroom

SAP’s Celia Brown and Amy Hatch pose for a photo after their session at Content2Conversion

Celia Brown and Amy Hatch came to brand journalism from different directions: One marketing and the other journalism. It’s the perfect mix for setting up a social newsroom, as the two have demonstrated at SAP. 

At the Content2Conversion Conference, the duo offered three T’s of winning the marketing moment by establishing a social newsroom:

Talent

The two skill sets that each woman brought to SAP’s Social Newsroom dovetail perfectly. Amy, who sees the reporter side, said reporters love to get the big scoop. With a reporter on staff in the marketing department, content began to offer a transparency that wasn’t always evident, Amy said, in marketing content.

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.

Lee Odden

Beyond Content for Marketing – Channels of Distribution and Being the Best Answer

Lee Odden on Feb 9th, 2015     Content Marketing

content channels distribution

For businesses that want to differentiate and create a meaningful connection with buyers across the customer lifecycle, content is the answer.

This is especially true with business buyers. According to research from IDC, 56% of the buying cycle is searching for and engaging with content. And according to Forrester, 66% to 90% of the buying cycle is complete before a B2B buyer ever speaks with a sales rep.

How? Through information and media buyers find in their search to become educated about solutions.

By no means is the creation of useful and info-taining content a silver bullet on its own. Competition for time and attention is tough and marketers still need to attract that attention through advertising, social media, email, SEO and other amplification tactics. But all those promotion tactics are of little value without meaningful content to send interested buyers to.

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.

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

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning

James Anderson on Jan 22nd, 2015     Blogging, Brand Journalism, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

media-journalist-content-marketing

“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

As marketers have moved to content to help tell their stories that draw in customers, they have brought journalists in to help with the storytelling.  Now that many marketers and journalists are working side by side, they have developed similar processes and have begun to merge cultures. They are finding common ground, overlapping and crossing career paths.

Here are a few areas in which I think that content marketers can learn from journalists:

Lee Odden

Content Marketing is a Team Effort

Lee Odden on Jan 21st, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing team

Over the past 14 years we’ve run a very lean marketing department at TopRank Online Marketing.

An example of this is out of the 3,674 blog posts we’ve published, 2,793 were written by one person. TopRank’s blog received around 1.5 million visitors last year and tens of thousands of social shares, mentions in publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Adage as well as numerous business inquiries.

Less is not always more. One could easily argue we have one of the most efficient content marketing and blogging efforts of any digital marketing agency. But the reality is that content marketing is a team effort. It has to be.

James Anderson

Traditional Media for Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Traditional-Media-content-marketing

How many times has traditional media been pronounced dead in the past decade? We’ve lost count, right? While there is no denying that TV, newspapers and radio have lost a ton of ground to digital, the fact of the matter is traditional media still matters. Even to digital marketers.

In fact, some marketers are finding that traditional media is a becoming a great platform for engaging buyers. Consider brands like Doritos, Coca-Cola and others that are asking for consumers to submit short video clips via their company websites and social media channels. Those clips are curated into commercials that are airing during major events like the SuperBowl and the Academy Awards. In fact, 20% of ads in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 included some form of crowdsourcing from major brands like Coca-Cola, Audi, Doritos, Pizza Hut and others. The incentive to participate in these contests is big for consumers willing to give up names and multiple forms of contact information just to take part.