11 Content Marketing Tips to Build Your B2B Business

As the father of an 8-year-old boy, most of my disposable income is tied up in little plastic bricks. In my house, you’ll find thousands of them in bins, several elaborate sets on display, and a distressing number of the (razor-sharp) things underfoot.

I’m not complaining, really. I have as much fun building with them as he does. And as a marketer, having Lego around is a good reminder of the value of content marketing. Great content can drive marketing goals while providing something of real value to its target audience: The Lego Movie was a 90-minute commercial for Lego, but it was also entertaining and heartfelt. I laughed, I cried, I bought $100 worth of tie-in toys… everybody won.

Hot Content Marketing Topics From Top B2B Brands at #B2BMX

B2B Content 2 Conversion 2017

What makes B2B content marketing hotter than having a conference at a Scottsdale, Arizona resort in February?

How about tips from 10 top B2B brands and industry experts including senior executives from Forrester, Microsoft, Aptos, Lenovo, BrightFunnel, Oracle and Marketo.

In advance of the upcoming B2B Marketing Exchange conference coming up later this month, I reached out to other speakers for practical tips as a preview to their presentations. For fun, I also asked them what their favorite thing is about a February event in Arizona. I know, that’s kind of obvious but this willing group shared some interesting answers.

The One Thing You Must Have for B2B Marketing Success: Be the Best Answer

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While B2B companies are investing in content for marketing, making more content is not creating the windfall of leads that many senior business marketing executives had hoped for. The problem? A lack of insight about what makes better content.

I believe that finding a solution to the “more” vs. “better” challenge starts with customer empathy.

Steve RaysonAs an example, Steve Rayson, director at BuzzSumo and Anders Pink, explained: “The primary motivation of B2B customers is to do their jobs better. Thus, at BuzzSumo we spend a lot of time trying to understand the questions our customers are asking and the issues they are struggling with. We then try to produce helpful content which addresses these concerns.”

Content Marketing: 10 Daily Habits to Create More Powerful Content

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Marketing is a game of inches. We tweak a headline to get fifty more clicks. Add visual interest for ten more subscriptions. Change the button on the landing page to get five more conversions. All the little gains add up over time to generate real results.

Writing more effective copy is a game of inches, too. You don’t write Twilight one week and Moby Dick the next. Instead, every day you can work to be a little bit better than the day before.

The tricky part is if you’re not steadily improving your writing, you’re actively moving backward. There’s no such thing as maintaining the status quo—it’s self-improvement or bust.

The following ten daily habits can help you make steady incremental improvement. Try as many as you can for 28 days, and be amazed at how those daily inches add up.

Ignite Your B2B Content Marketing Effectiveness at #C2C16

B2B Content Marketing Tips from Content2Conversion

The opportunity to surround yourself with top content thought leaders and practitioners is one that you should always take. That’s just what we will be doing February 15 -17 at the 2016 B2B Content2Conversion conference in Scottsdale Arizona.

We’ll be packing our bags and leaving the cold Minnesota climate for warmer weather and three days filled with top-notch B2B content marketing education. But before we dig into that, lets review the current state of content marketing for B2B marketers and why conferences like this are so essential.

A recent Content Marketing Institute study revealed that a full 88% of B2B marketers have adopted some form of content marketing. Go a layer deeper in this same study and you’ll discover that 55% of these same folks are unsure what B2B content marketing effectiveness really looks like. Is it time to pump the brakes on content marketing? Or, are half of B2B marketers simply missing the mark?

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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