b2b content marketing

B2B Content Marketing Playbook: Tips to Prepare You for the Big Content Game


The 2015 B2B Marketing Report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs sheds a pretty bright light on the true state of B2B content marketing. While 86% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, only 8% rate their content marketing efforts as “very effective”. It’s not so different than teams participating in sports like football. Sure, everyone is playing, but who is actually really good at it?

Fundamental blocking and tackling are key for a winning football game. The same can be said for implementing a successful B2B content marketing program: mastery of the fundamentals is essential. With B2B content creation in particular, marketers must be prepared for everything from understanding the voice of the customer to developing the right mix of content assets.

20 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2015


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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

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.

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

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?

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

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

12 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2014

Killer B2B Content Marketing

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.

Content Marketing Trifecta: How to Repurpose, Reuse & Refresh Content – Intel’s @PamDidner at #C2C14

repurpose content

We all know the importance of creating original content, but the reality is, it’s hard.

Out of necessity many content marketers have developed their skills at “re-imagining” (h/t Ann Handley) their content to extend the life and value it can deliver.

Beyond the value extension of content through repurposing is the function of personalizing content for different markets and using a modular approach to segmenting useful information for specific audience targeting. Reusing content is efficient and it’s also effective when architected through a smart strategy that sees beyond simply publishing the same thing 3 ways.

At the B2B Content2Conversion conference in New York this week, my friend Pam Didner (Global Integrated Marketing Strategist at Intel) gave an excellent presentation on repurposing content.

8 Questions About B2B Content Marketing You Really Need the Answers To

B2B Content MarketingIf you work in the B2B marketing world, content is one of the most important tools you have to create awareness, nurture and convert prospects to customers. For proof, look no further than the recent CMI & MarketingProfs industry survey for 2014 that reports 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing.

Part of gaining confidence in the right direction for your B2B content marketing efforts means asking and answering the right questions. Not just for your potential customers, but internal questions to open doors of consideration for your content marketing strategy.

Here are 5 essential questions many marketers are facing now and my answers to consider. I invite you to think of your own answers and share them in the comments.

Why SEO is Relevant When It Comes to B2B Thought Leadership

b2b thought leadershipI’ll start this post off with my point: Dismissing search is ignoring demand from buyers & the media.

A digital marketing exec I follow on Twitter shared a CMI article that posted this weekend: “Why SEO May Be Irrelevant When It Comes to B2B Thought Leadership”. As a long time realist about the role of search in online marketing, I wasn’t sure if this was simply linkbait or a well reasoned, data-informed argument.

It’s a cliche to respond to “SEO is dead” articles because those writers are almost always uninformed or have an agenda unrelated to optimization. However, this post was on CMI, a highly respected site.

The article does offer some great tips on building thought leadership including advice on academic and professional journal publishing, publishing on client-facing media outlets and public speaking opportunities.

11 Examples of Killer B2B Content Marketing Campaigns Including ROI

b2b content marketingAccording to a CMI and MarketingProfs study, 91% of B2B Marketers are using content marketing and that means a few things:

First, it means content marketing has gained critical mass within the popular marketing mix and any company in a competitive industry would be hard pressed to attract business without it.

Second, it means competition to stand out with your brand’s content is only going to get harder as more companies adopt content marketing best practices and mature in their skills.

As companies evolve from simply recognizing the important role of content and experimenting with it, to achieving content creation competency and quality, the need to optimize content marketing skills becomes increasingly important. But where can B2B marketers find new ideas and expand their opportunities to grow content marketing capabilities?