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Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Oct 14th, 2014     B2B, 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.

Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

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.

Lee Odden

The Role of Big Data in the Future of B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on Oct 7th, 2014     B2B

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).

Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Oct 6th, 2014     B2B

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?

Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Oct 1st, 2014     B2B

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.

Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Sep 29th, 2014     B2B

convergence b2b marketing boston

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.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

Nick Ehrenberg on Sep 17th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

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

Lee Odden

Is Your B2B Company Getting Ahead or Dead on these 21 B2B Marketing Basics?

Lee Odden on Jul 7th, 2014     B2B, Online Marketing

B2B Marketing Tactics

Staying competitive in the B2B marketing space seems overwhelming for a lot of marketers right now with all the hype about everything from content marketing to programmatic ad buying.

While I am a firm believer companies do need to stay on top of what’s new, continuously experiment, adapt and evolve, there’s still quite a bit of low hanging fruit when it comes to B2B marketing tactics.

What are those easy pickings you ask? It’s marketing fundamentals! But you say, “Nah, we’ve been to the basics mountain, summited and back. Been there, done that.”

Here’s the thing about online marketing basics: the nature of the tactics persist, but the data that supports them along with execution have undoubtedly changed.

Lee Odden

How SEO and Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Marketing Performance

Lee Odden on Jun 26th, 2014     B2B, Online Marketing, SEO

B2B SEO Inbound Marketing

Call it organic marketing, call it inbound marketing or even content marketing – the practice of creating useful information to generate demand and attract an audience of buyers vs. buying ads to push messages out to them is one of the highest impact, low cost approaches to digital marketing a business can take.

The practice of optimizing content for better search visibility goes hand in hand with the broader approach of inbound marketing. SEO best practices can be applied to content across the entire sales cycle to surface brand content during awareness, consideration and purchase behaviors as well as after the transaction to reinforce retention and advocacy goals.

Lee Odden

Facts Tell, Stories Sell – How Infotainment Inspires Action in B2B Marketing

Lee Odden on May 20th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

10 B2B Marketing Masters

In the B2B marketing world, there’s a perception that “B” means “boring”.  Of course that’s just not the case with modern B2B marketing.

According to a recent CMI & MarketingProfs study, 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing across an average of 15 different tactics. But it’s not just quantity that wins with B2B buyers.

Individual buyers and buying committees have to sort through a lot of information to make decisions and the marketers that can make the experience of information discovery, consumption and next steps a easy and positive one, will win the day.

One of my favorite expressions that illustrates this evolution in B2B content is:

Lee Odden

The Hidden Value of Influencers in B2B Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 17th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

B2B influencer marketing

In the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the top challenges that B2B content marketers face include: lack of time, not being able to produce enough content, not being able to create the kind of content that engages, lack of budget, and lack of content variety.

Sound familiar?

Stats like “Buyers are two-thirds to 90% through the sales funnel before they contact sales” (Forrester) and “72% of B2B buyers use social media to research solutions to purchase.” (DGR 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey) have a lot of B2B marketers focusing on content and social media programs that require far more resources and time to deliver leads than most business managers have patience for.

Lee Odden

B2B Social Media Marketing Trends & Tips for 2014

Lee Odden on Nov 18th, 2013     B2B, Social Media

B2B social media marketingAre you a B2B Marketer that’s not fully on board with being social with your marketing? Have you started and you’re looking for a little inspiration?

Here’s a short presentation I’ll be giving this week in Moscow (in addition to a 3 1/2 hour social media marketing workshop).

While there are flavorings towards a Russian audience, (Yandex, Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki) there’s also plenty of good advice for any B2B company that hasn’t fully embraced opportunities on the social web.

In particular, I think newer B2B marketers will appreciate the Social Media Marketing Maturity Model that outlines various stages that companies will experience as they gain more experience and confidence with social media.

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