B2B Marketing

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.

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:

B2B Online Marketing Trifecta: Content, Social Media & SEO

social seo content marketingB2B Marketing offers a variety of choices for reaching customers wherever they are in the buying cycle.  Make no mistake, buyer behaviors towards information discovery, consumption and sharing online have been significantly affected by changes in social technology.

At a conference I recently spoke at, an attendee made a statement that social media only works for consumer marketing. The reality many marketers forget, is that B2B buyers are people too.  They have the same social needs and influences as anyone else. Social media, in my opinion and experience, is a great fit for business to business marketing.

B2B Search Engine Optimization: Focus on Content SEO

MarketingProfs B2B Forum is coming up quickly next week and I will be presenting about an hour of essential search engine optimization tips and insight specifically for B2B web sites along with Vocus Product Manager of PRWeb, Jiyan Wei.

There’s a tremendous opportunity for B2B marketers to leverage SEO to increase prospect acquisition and to facilitate after the sale support and upgrades.  Most B2B marketers create a substantial amount of content to guide prospects through sales cycles that are much longer than companies selling consumer products/services.

Common B2B SEO Mistakes and How to Solve Them

Working with a variety of companies large and small, local and international, B2B and B2C, on SEO projects over the past 12 years has revealed a variety of common obstacles to success.  For many reasons, B2B marketers often lag behind B2C in terms of tactics and adoption of new marketing technologies.  The customer acquisition and buying cycle are very different for business to business than consumer oriented products and services.

Since SEO presents the biggest opportunity to generate a high quantity and quality of B2B leads, more B2B marketers are speeding up their ability to test innovative search engine optimization programs. Unfortunately, there are a mix of common mistakes that persist.  Here are 5 common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Using Keywords More Important to You Than Your Customers

Ten Tips for Lead Generation Landing Pages

Editor’s Note: The next in our series of guest posts from SEM professionals comes from Jon Miller, VP of Marketing at Marketo. Marketo is a client of TopRank Online Marketing and provides B2B marketing automation software in the form of pay per click management, landing page optimization and integration with salesforce.com.

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With Jon’s B2B software marketing expertise, excellent work both on his blog Modern B2B Marketing and as a contributor on Search Engine Land, I asked if he could write up a guide for search marketers that would provide actionable advice for readers on the topic of landing pages.

Perhaps the largest difference between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) pay-per-click is that the post-click goal for most B2B marketers is to capture a lead, not make a sale. This means that B2B companies must focus on converting clicks into leads as much as they focus on getting clicks in the first place.