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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.

Brian Larson

How to Build a B2B Community in Facebook

Brian Larson on Oct 10th, 2013     B2B, Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media

Mike Lewis at MPB2B

Yes, B2B marketers lean towards LinkedIn as the social network of choice…and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that a very real opportunity doesn’t exist to create a community in the world’s largest social network – Facebook.

Consider this, according to Hubspot’s “Intro to Facebook for Business”, 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.

Mike Lewis,VP of Digital Strategy TATA Consultancy Services, kick starts the panel discussion with a challenge to marketers to consider the opportunities they may be missing in Facebook. With his challenge heard, Lewis shares his methodical approach to determining how to best create & nurture a B2B community in Facebook by launching into his ‘3 Initial Keys to Standing out on Facebook’.

1) Pay Attention

Before you ‘listen’ for your opportunities, begin with an understanding of:

Nicolette Beard

How Does B2B Marketing Work on Google Plus? 4 Top B2B Tech Company Examples

Nicolette Beard on Sep 24th, 2013     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media

B2B Technology Google PlusWhile sports teams, news outlets, car companies, universities, non-profits and the entertainment industry dominate the top 200 business pages on Google+, a growing number of B2B technology companies have embraced Google+ as well.

As with any top consumer brand, consistent engagement is crucial to success. B2B technology brands are developing relationships with prospects just like on any other social platform.  In the world of optimizing customer experience across the B2B sales cycle, Google+ for businesses offers B2B marketers  an opportunity to connect with buyers in a meaningful way and provide relevant information.

Thought leaders and subject matter experts increasingly serve as trusted sources to help business buyers determine the best solution to solve a business need. Knowledge and expertise combined with social media have trumped the peer influencers of the traditional buyer, giving rise to the “B2B Social Buyer”. [Source: ITSMA pdf]

Lee Odden

Why SEO is Relevant When It Comes to B2B Thought Leadership

Lee Odden on Jun 10th, 2013     B2B, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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.

Lee Odden

11 Examples of Killer B2B Content Marketing Campaigns Including ROI

Lee Odden on May 16th, 2013     B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

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?

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