Caitlin Burgess

Caitlin Burgess

Our Top B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 2nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

2020 B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions

Well, B2B marketers, it’s that time of year again. The holiday season is in full swing. The countdown to a new year and a new decade has begun. And of course, we’re all channeling our psychic powers, hoping to uncover what 2020 has in store so we can seize opportunities, prepare for challenges, and ultimately improve the effectiveness of our content marketing efforts. 

2019 was a bonding year for elevating experiences, with many B2B marketers making significant investments in interactive content, influencer content collaborations, and multi-faceted campaigns. 2020 will be the year where many brands will cement experience as a strategy.

So, what does this look like in 2020? Below we dive into our top 10 trends and predictions for 2020—each of which have overt or underlying ties to experience.

Caitlin Burgess

Grateful and Glad: What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful For

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 28th, 2019     Digital Marketing, TopRank Agency News

What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful For in 2019

For centuries, American families and friends have come together on Thanksgiving Day to feast and give thanks for all of life’s beautiful gifts.

But I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again—Thanksgiving isn’t limited to one day in the TopRank Marketing realm. Every day, I see attitudes of gratitude.

To date in 2019, our team has typed the words “thank you” in Slack communications a whopping 7,737 times, and “thanks” 4,113 times.

via GIPHY

As is TopRank Marketing tradition, I’ve asked team members to share what they’re most thankful for in work and in life. Here’s what many had to say.

What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful for in 2019

Lee Odden

CEO

Caitlin Burgess

Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 31st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Admit it. On Halloween night, the fierce competitor within you sprinted from home to home to claim as much sugary bounty as your pillowcase could carry. But the loyalist and purist in you was on the hunt for a specific candy treat. A treat that put all the rest to shame; a treat that always hit the sweet spot.

via GIPHY

For me, that coveted treat was: the Almond Joy. Sweetened coconut. Crunchy almonds. Smooth milk chocolate. Devilishly delicious, but ghoulishly elusive amongst a sea of KitKat- and Snickers-purchasing households. (Here’s to you, organic reach on Facebook.)

As marketers, we all have our favorites. From tactical techniques that sweeten our marketing mix to the integration of marketing elements to tantalize our audience’s taste buds, the TopRank Marketing team weighs in on both fun- and king-size marketing treats they can’t resist.

Caitlin Burgess

Creating B2B Content With Impact: Pearls of Wisdom from Marketing Leaders

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 29th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Back in 2017, Dr. Rick Rigsby delivered an impassioned commencement speech at California State University Maritime Academy, sending the internet into a motivational frenzy. The minister, speaker, and former college professor regaled the audience with key learnings from the “wisest person” he’d ever met—a third-grade dropout, who also happened to be his father.

Despite his lack of formal education, Dr. Rigsby’s father rigorously pursued learning and growth, instilling a drive for excellence within his children and providing a light in the darkest of times. But perhaps the biggest takeaway from Dr. Rigsby’s speech would eventually become his motivational catchphrase:

“Make an impact, not just an impression.”

via GIPHY

Caitlin Burgess

How B2B Brands Can Break Into Interactive Content

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Interactive Marketing

Pop quiz, B2B marketers: When it comes to creating content that effectively reaches, informs, engages, and inspires buyers and buying committees, you should…

  1. Embrace the “boring-to-boring” status quo. (Buyers and committees want the facts, not a spectacle!)
  2. Push tradition aside and dip your marketing toes into interactive content waters. (Who says B2B content has to be boring?)

(Psst. Here’s a hint from TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden: “The sheer volume of information and media that confronts people in the business world is overwhelming and often pretty boring. Creating compelling experiences with interactive content is one way to stand out, differentiate, and optimize for effectiveness.”)

Caitlin Burgess

Ally or Adversary? How Our Marketing Fears Can Be Wielded for Good

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing

Now Fear This: Kicking Fear to the Marketing Curb

B2B marketers are a special breed: We’re relentlessly self-improving.

We look to our industry peers and thought leaders for wisdom. We scour data for opportunities and insight. We keep tabs on rising trends and emerging tools. We tirelessly strive to adapt our strategies to the evolving needs of our customers and prospects.

Without a doubt, we’re ambitious. But despite that ambition, we’re only human. Fear can easily creep in—which can become a helpful tool or a crippling bad habit.

Fear Itself

Fear is the most natural human emotion in my opinion. The presence of fear in our marketing minds not only signals self- and spatial-awareness, but also benevolence. We deeply care about what we do and who (i.e. our brands, co-workers, and buyers) we serve, and we want to do our absolute best to drive results and offer solutions.

Caitlin Burgess

The Experience Factor: It’s Time for Content Marketers to ‘Flip the Switch’

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Flipping the Content Experience Switch

I’d love to tell you everything. But in the spirit of brevity and relevance, I’ll cut to the moment it all clicked.

While enjoying a lovely dinner with an old family friend last week, he relayed his version of a classic Maya Angelou quote to me:

“You know, you meet so many people throughout your life. And you never really remember what they said or what they did, but you always remember the way they made you feel.”

via GIPHY

For decades, content marketers have been tasked with meeting buyers along their journey, striving to create best-answer content that satisfies curiosity, encourages brand engagements, and paints their product or service as the solution buyers are looking for.

Caitlin Burgess

Maintaining Your Focus: What B2B Marketers Can Learn From My Home Improvement Snafu

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing

B2B marketing lessons from home improvement (1)

The sweet smell of fresh cedar is wafting in the breeze around my homestead this week—along with hint of marketing inspiration. Let me explain …

Best-Laid Plans

To take advantage of a long holiday weekend and a string of dry-weather days, my darling husband and I embarked on a “small” home improvement project: Sanding and staining our recently built 16-by-16 deck—plus an intricate one-story staircase.

She was such a beauty following her construction last fall.

But as is tradition, a delightfully heinous Minnesota winter set in. When spring arrived, she looked weary and weathered.

For months, we prepared to offer ourselves up to the cause once warmer weather came. And with the help of how-to YouTube videos and a lot of strategic Googling, our confidence and can-do attitudes were on the rise.

Caitlin Burgess

Sowing the Seeds of Success: 3 Elements of Strong B2B Influencer Relationships

Caitlin Burgess     Online Marketing

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Effective B2B influencer marketing is rooted in building lasting relationships.

The premise is simple: When brands invest time, effort, care, and money (when it makes sense) to cultivate partnerships rather than one-time or “on-my-terms” engagements, industry influencers and experts are far more apt to do the same. Oh, and the outcomes of influencer/brand engagements (i.e. reach, engagement, thought leadership, increased share of voice, etc.) are more fruitful for all parties, too.

But as we’ve also said before, building the right relationships is critical—and time consuming.

The right relationships aren’t sowed solely based on social network size nor are they grown without proving mutual value. In fact, there are several must-have characteristics of influencer/brand relationships. What are they? Let’s discuss three of them and hear what a few seasoned experts have to say on the subject.

Caitlin Burgess

How to Intertwine Online & Offline Tactics to Cultivate B2B Influencer Relationships

Effective B2B influencer marketing is rooted in brands developing and nurturing relationships—relationships with individuals who have the relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance to align with the goals of the brand.

Of course, those relationships are often cultivated in the digital realm via social media, email, and audio or video conferencing. And that’s OK. We’ve all gone digital.

But there’s simply no replacement for face-to-face communication—and B2B marketers may have more chances than they know to proactively facilitate interactions or take advantage of in-person opportunities as they arise.

It’s time to bridge the digital divide. How? When? Where? Let’s dive in.

Caitlin Burgess

Content Curation Inspiration: Types, Examples, & Use Cases for B2B Marketers

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Content Curation Inspiration for B2B Marketers

If you create and share content, curation is part of your B2B marketing strategy. From seasoning a blog post with key third-party statistics to sharing an interesting article from an industry publication or influencer across your social channels, you’re curating.

But content curation has a place beyond adding an insight or two to your content.

With large volumes of information available today and short attention spans, curation allows content marketers to create more convenient, valuable content experiences for their target audience, while growing thought leadership, bolstering their content calendar, and increasing production efficiency.

What types of curation exist? How are B2B brands doing curation? When does it make sense to do curation? Let’s dive in.