B2B Marketing

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

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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.

B2B Marketing eBook: Inspiration From 14 Marketing Influencers

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

Roundup: 11 B2B Marketing Reports and One Killer Infographic

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).

When do B2B Tech Companies Need Content Marketing? Inspiration for 2015 Marketing Planning

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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.

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 Role of Big Data in the Future of B2B Marketing

Big Data B2B Marketing

There’s now more data collected about our every interaction in the digital world than ever before. According to a Washington Post story, “brokers use ‘billions’ of data points to profile Americans”. Marketers with access and an understanding of how to use that data can create a distinct, competitive advantage in their ability to provide relevant offers to the right buyers at the right time.

Dealing with data beyond spreadsheets and reporting to actionable insight about customers that enables everything from predictive analytics to truly automated marketing automation are some of the promises of what’s next in content marketing for B2B companies. What used to seem like science fiction is now becoming a reality (as shown by the Future of B2B Marketing eBook we created for MarketingProfs).

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?

The B’s in B2B Are People Too – A More Human Approach to Business Marketing

People focused B2B marketing

Answering any question about what’s next in B2B marketing must involve the increasing attention on buyers as people vs. simply “business to business”. The human element of business marketing has attracted a lot of play in the B2B marketing conversation and rightly so.

While there are many changes and trends to consider to stay ahead in the B2B marketing game (paid, earned, owned and shared media for example) the thing that unites departments, tactics and technologies is common ground and common goals. By viewing B2B marketing from the buyer’s perspective, whether it’s an individual or committee, business marketers can start to break free of the mechanical and start creating more meaningful marketing experiences for buyers.

B2B Marketing Convergence: Disappearing Silos, B2C to B2B Mind-Meld, Inbound Outbound Mastery

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My first experience with B2B Marketing in the digital marketing industry started as the worlds of Public Relations and SEO started to collide early in 2001.

Our tiny agency won a media relations account for a $1 billion company in the high tech industry. What set us apart from all the other big PR shops was how we used SEO with PR content to attract incoming media opportunities on top of outbound media pitching and brand content creation. As time went on and content as the key player, other disciplines converged in our B2B marketing practice.

Since then, the coming together of marketing/communications disciplines in the B2B world has accelerated. Why? Changes in technology and buyer behaviors for sure (like prospects pulling themselves through 60-90% of the sales cycle before contacting sales). Other driving forces range from the need to achieve greater impact to delivering a more congruent experience for buyers through the sales cycle.

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