Anne Leuman

Standing Out From the Crowd: Insights From 12 Marketing Industry Leaders

Anne Leuman on Jul 15th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Standing Out in the Crowd

It’s time for B2B content marketers to stand out. You know it. I know it. We all know it. 

But capturing attention in a crowded content room is hard to do, especially when content creation has seen the biggest uptick in spending among your fellow B2B content marketers. You can’t be subtle. You can’t be boring. But you also can’t be obnoxious; relevance and resonance are paramount. You have to accept and adapt to what your audience needs and wants at any given moment. It takes speed, flexibility, bold ideas, fearlessness, and more.

Where do you start? How about starting with a little inspiration and insight from industry leaders?

Below we have insights and advice from 12 marketing and customer experience leaders on how to stand out from the crowd and create content your audience can’t ignore. 

Anne Leuman

Making the Case for Video at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Anne Leuman on Jul 8th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video

Video Marketing Statistics for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Video across the digital landscape is what buyers and consumers alike crave.

The average U.S. adult spends 5 hours and 57 minutes a day watching video. Compare that number to the average amount of time someone reads each day (16.8 minutes), and you’ll find that people watch videos over 21-times longer than reading text. Video informs, engages, and entices audiences, which means video can and should have a place within your B2B content marketing strategy.

But when and how should you leverage video? It’s not just a top-of-funnel tactic reserved for B2C brands. And here are the *stats that showcase it’s potential.

15 Video Marketing Statistics for Every Stage of the Buyer Journey

Attract

  1. 84% of marketers credit video with increasing traffic to their website. (3)
Nick Nelson

How to Educate, Engage, & Persuade Buyers Over Lengthy Sales Cycles

Nick Nelson on Jul 3rd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Content Planning Strategy for Long Sales Cycles

In the world of consumer goods, purchase decisions are often made instantaneously and on a whim. 

“This blouse is exactly my style! I’ve gotta have it!”

“I’ve been wanting a PlayStation 4 forever. Finally it’s mine!”

“This tent is just what we were looking for. I don’t even need to ask the wife, I’m buying it now.”

Even large, life-changing purchases can sometimes be triggered in a snap.

“This car is perfect for me. I was going to check out a few other dealerships but no need; I’ll take it!”

Of course, in B2B, this is rarely the case. Recently, we discussed the expanding nature of today’s buying committee, which is part of the reason business purchase journeys are only growing longer

Lane Ellis

Q2 Wrap-Up: Top Changes & What’s Ahead For Marketers

Lane Ellis on Jul 1st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

Q2 Digital Marketing Recap Technical Image

We’ve made it through the second quarter of 2019, one filled with many important B2B marketing changes and several unexpected twists and turns that will all combine to affect how the industry moves forward as we enter Q3 and push ahead to 2020.

Q2 saw several exciting shifts in entirely new directions, and a few seemingly slight directional maneuvers and adjustments that are nonetheless set to make big impacts in the coming year.

We’re always working to bring you the most relevant B2B marketing news, including weekly industry news videos from Tiffani Allen and Joshua Nite here on our blog and on our TopRank Marketing YouTube channel, and each quarter we reflect on what’s happened and look ahead with key trends.

Nick Nelson

Buyers vs. Buying Committees: Not Knowing the Difference Could Cost You

Nick Nelson on Jun 27th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Buyers vs. Buying Committees

Working as a marketing or sales professional in B2B presents a unique set of challenges and hurdles. One that probably doesn’t get discussed enough is the nuance of trying to reach and engage buying committees, as opposed to single customers. It’s a hugely important distinction that too many strategies fail to fully account for.

If you’re not speaking to everyone, you might be speaking to no one. And we all know where that leads.

The Expanding Buyer Committee

A buyer (singular) is a sole decision maker responsible for researching solutions, vetting vendors, and authorizing purchases. It is exceedingly rare to see this type of setup in place anymore, unless at a startup or a very small company. Given the typical weight of these decisions, several people tend to now be involved with the process, and sign-off is often required from at least one high-ranking executive.

Joshua Nite

12 Must-Have Skills for B2B Content Marketers

Joshua Nite on Jun 25th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B Content Marketing Skills

Scene from a dinner party:

“So, Josh, what do you do?”

“I’m in marketing.”

“Oh, like Mad Men? Ad campaigns and stuff?”

“No, it’s content marketing.”

“Oh, like the Wendy’s Twitter account?”

“…Sure… like that.”

I’ve had variations on the above conversation more times than I can count. I’ll usually leave it at “Wendy’s Twitter account” in the interest of changing the subject. No one has the patience for, “I write business-to-business content designed to help people do their jobs better, which also builds affinity for a client brand, with the end goal of influencing purchase decisions.”

So most people think I just write fun stuff all day, that it’s a purely creative job. But my fellow B2B marketers know better. Content marketing requires an incredibly diverse set of skills, and “innate writing ability” isn’t even the most important one.

Nick Nelson

Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Nick Nelson on Jun 24th, 2019     B2B Marketing, LinkedIn, Social Media

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It’s plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

Nick Nelson

Trust Fractures: How to Avoid Accidentally Eroding Your Brand’s Credibility

Nick Nelson on Jun 20th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Avoiding Unintended Brand Trust Fractures

Recently, we’ve been running a series of posts here on the TopRank Marketing Blog called “Trust Factors,” where we explore techniques that modern brands can use to build trust and credibility with digital audiences. There are numerous examples of companies building trust with best-answer content and boosting credibility with influencer marketing for this purpose.

Marketers are always seeking creative ways to forge genuine connections while standing out from the pack. New research from Edelman shows that consumers now have higher expectations than ever when it comes to brand responsibility. However, it’s worth pointing out that these efforts (even with the best of intentions) can backfire.

When steps taken to strengthen trust instead have the opposite effect, we call these “Trust Fractures.” A recent example got me thinking about the subject, and why marketers everywhere should be cognizant of its lurking danger.

Lane Ellis

Key B2B Takeaways From the 2019 Internet Trends Report

Lane Ellis on Jun 19th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Colorful swirling tunnel image.

Mary Meeker, founder of venture capital firm Bond Capital and former Kleiner Perkins general partner, recently released her highly-anticipated 2019 Internet trends report, a slide deck she has produced since 1995 covering the state of global technology in the business world.

The report provides more data than ever — weighing in at 333 slides, topping last year’s count of 280 — and presents plenty for B2B marketers to think about when strategizing and planning budgets as we push towards 2020.

Let’s dig in and take a look at some of the insights relevant to B2B marketers contained in the new Meeker report.

General Challenges & Opportunities Ahead

The report paints a picture of a world where it’s more challenging than ever to find new growth in certain areas, but one that also shows very real opportunities in others, as we’ll explore.

Joshua Nite

B2B Demand Gen: The Next Evolution of 5 Tried-And-True Tactics

Joshua Nite on Jun 13th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

New Demand Gen Tactics

B2B demand gen used to be easier than B2C. Because, let’s face it, so much B2B marketing was deadly boring. A cool concept, a little creative design, or a dash of humor were like water in the desert.

Now, though, it’s the norm for B2B marketing to be every bit as visually and emotionally compelling as B2C. Suddenly we’re selling water by a lake, not a desert. There’s no shortage of cool content. Audiences expect more, and marketers (including your competitors) are keeping up with demand. So it’s time to take B2B demand gen to the next level.

B2B Demand Gen Tactics: The Next Evolution

What follows are some logical upgrades for some of your favorite time-tested tactics. That’s not to say, of course, that you should stop doing things that are already working. But it’s worth testing these evolutions out to see what works for your target audience.

Anne Leuman

When & Why Net-New Content Creation Makes Sense—And When It Doesn’t

Anne Leuman on Jun 11th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

When New Content Creation Makes Sense

1996: The year content was named “king” in a burgeoning digital world.

2001: The year “content marketing” was officially coined and the modern content revolution began.

130 trillion and counting: The number of webpages currently indexed by Google.

One zillion infinities: The number of pieces of content you stand to create during your B2B content marketing career.

Zero: Perhaps the number of times you’ve asked yourself, “Do I really need to create a new piece of content?”

If the last one strikes a little too close to home, we’re not passing judgement — rather we’re reminding you that you don’t always have to start from scratch.