B2B Marketing

Why It’s Time for More Participation in B2B Content Marketing

participation b2b marketing

B2B brands are answering the call to become publishers with a significant increase in content hubs exemplified by pioneers like American Express OPEN and Adobe’s CMO.com and others including:

  • Intel IQ
  • Think with Google
  • Dell’s Power More
  • GE’s World in Motion
  • SAP’s Digitalist Magazine

Content Hubs

While those are all great examples, there’s an important question: Can your business really afford to hire the kind of editorial team to create this quantity of quality content at the cadence of a business publication?

Many practical marketers will say no.

The trend towards brand publishing in combination with self directed buyers guiding their way through the sales process with content creates an interesting conflict between the need for an up level on quality content production with a corresponding increase in content creation resources.

Study: Content Marketing Inefficiencies Cost BtoB Companies Nearly $1 Billion

Content Marketing InefficiencyHow Efficient is Your Content Marketing? That’s the question Sharon Goldman asks in the August issue of BMA Buzz that Robert Rose and I did our best to answer. The article was inspired by a new study that finds content marketing waste and redundancy cost business to business companies nearly a billion dollars a year.

Not only are companies challenged to create a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis with clear ROI, but the making of the content is wasteful as well.

Whether you’ve made progress towards increasing the effectiveness of your content for marketing or not, I think there are some important choices to be made when it comes to marketing organization, leadership and strategy. Here’s the full article:

Content Marketing: 4 Tips for Creating B2B Content When You’re at a Loss for Words


Content marketing has rapidly become an essential piece of the B2B marketing puzzle. Buyers are more connected and more self-directed than ever before, and informative, engaging content is key to making sure your organization becomes part of the buyer journey.

Creating a steady stream of quality content can be challenging for any marketer, but especially for those in B2B marketing, where buyers expect to be informed and entertained at the same time. So it’s no surprise that Content Marketing Institute’s latest report found that 54% of B2B Marketers rated producing engaging content as a top challenge, and 50% said producing content consistently is a challenge.

5 Ways to Woo Your B2B Social Media Audience & 3 Brands That Are Doing it Well



Have you ever been in a relationship where one partner wanted more, and the other was hesitant to take the next step?

Many B2B marketers are facing a similar roadblock. They’re ready to ask social media followers to “marry” them, but some of those followers are beginning to question why they liked the brand in the first place.

A recent study found that only 20% of CMOs are using social media for engagement. Two thirds of CMOs also report that they’re not ready to cope with social media.

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.

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

influencer co-created content

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.

2013 SES Chicago – Wind, Shoulders, and Search

#seschi @bslarsonmn @elizalynnsteely @toprankWind. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Chicago. Well, that and food because let’s face it—Chicago has some pretty incredible food. But to be completely honest, big shoulders never would’ve popped into my head when thinking of the city. Yes you read that right—apparently Chicago is also known as “the City of Big Shoulders”.

The city also happens to be known as “The City that Works”. Suffice it to say, SES Chicago will fit right in. Full of search and social marketers filling their heads (and potentially big shoulders) with information about paid, earned and owned search, the conference has several promising speakers that I can’t wait to learn from.

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?

B2B Marketing Innovation: The Truth About Influence in B2B Marketing from Master Strategist Paul Gillin

Paul GillinThe final interview in our series on B2B Marketing Innovation comes from Paul Gillin, a veteran journalist, author and strategist. He’s the author of several books on new media including, Social Marketing to the Business Customer, with Eric Schwartzman.  Paul is giving a sold out workshop and an interactive presentation on influence.

In this interview, Paul shares the truth about the role influence plays in B2B Marketing, the importance of community building, common mistakes with marketing planning, deciding on the right tactical mix and his favorite B2B Marketing tools.

Please tell us a little about you and the kind of b2b marketing work you’re most excited about. Solve any tough ones lately?

SAS on Results-Driven Blogging for B2B Brands #cmworld

Alison Bolen SAS CMWorld

The B2B Track during day one of Content Marketing World in the “Gold Room” was jam packed for each session. That includes this session about Corporate Blogging and Globalizing your Editorial with two speakers from SAS and Intel. Since the topics were so different, I decided to split the liveblog post into two. This is part one.

Speaker: Alison Bolen @alisonbolen Content Editor SAS
Presentation: Results-Driven Blogging for B2B Brands

Alison’s presentation focused on corporate blogging and the blog program at SAS (a $2 billion business analytics company).

The history of SAS and social media started in 1976 with the first SAS Global Forum, 2004 internal blog program, 2006 SAS communities launched, 2007 the first external blog launched and in 2011 the transition to the WordPress platform. You can find SAS blogs here: blogs.sas.com

How Can B2B Marketing Become More Social?

b2b social media B2B marketers have joined the social media marketing movement in droves. In fact, Forrester Research predicts that B2B firms will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014, up from just $11 million in 2009 (eMarketer B2B Social Media Marketing Heats Up).

Unfortunately, many of those efforts are entirely tactical, methodical and without a true understanding of the “social” aspect of social media marketing.  B2B marketers that are early in their social media marketing maturity level tend to focus on message distribution such as Tweeting or posting Facebook links mostly to their own content vs. engaging with customers on a human level. That one-way communication profile doesn’t engender discussions and sharing, so social traffic level increases tend to plateau pretty early.

Facebook Pages for B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b facebookYesterday in Auckland, NZ I gave an all day workshop to 150 marketing and communications professionals on Social Media Content Marketing & Strategy at Social Media Junction.  I’m used to giving workshops to 20-30 people so it was an interesting and enjoyable experience with such a large group. (Thanks to Bullet PR staff who are amazing).

One of the questions that came up was whether B2B companies are successfully using Facebook Fan pages.  I shared a few of our client Fan pages like Marketo & McKesson Medical Imaging (forgetting to mention our own completely) but wanted to share a few more examples here.

While it’s true that the most popular Facebook Fan Pages are for consumer products and brands like Coca Cola (18.2m Fans), Starbucks (17.5m Fans) and Oreo (14.1m Fans), there are many B2B companies successfully using Facebook to engage with prospects, customers and employees. Here are a few good examples: