Lane Ellis

5 Examples of Remarkable Content Marketing in Action

Lane Ellis on Jun 12th, 2019     Content Marketing

Mountains and wildflowers image.

Remarkable content marketing is able to inspire us to reach out and try for newfound levels of success, through powerful storytelling and the kind of compelling and relevant information that provides best-answer results.

Here are five recent examples of how this kind of remarkable content marketing wins minds, hearts, and wallets — utilizing tactics that are memorable, well-targeted, and helpful.

#1 — Sigstr’s Customer-Fueled E-book

Sigstr Example Image

Email marketing platform Sigstr prominently incorporated some of its brand customers into a fashion-styled e-book for a recent campaign, a unique twist on a tried-and-true format that garnered the campaign the first-ever B2B Choice Award at B2B Marketing Exchange’s eighth-annual Killer Content Awards — The Finnys — in addition to the event’s customer lifecycle marketing award.

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.

Caitlin Burgess

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

Caitlin Burgess on Jun 10th, 2019     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.

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Consumption Habits, Video Captions Boost Brands, Google’s How-To Structured Data & More

Lane Ellis on Jun 7th, 2019     Online Marketing News

Social Insider Facebook Video Chart Image

Social Media Moves Down the Funnel as Commerce Opportunity Arises
Social media is used to research products (42 percent) and discover brands (24 percent), and new eMarketer survey data takes a look at social’s power to influence purchase decisions among U.S. companies. eMarketer

LinkedIn Acquires Data Personalization Platform Drawbridge to Improve Ad Targeting
LinkedIn (client) has announced that it is acquiring data analytics firm Drawbridge, and will incorporate its advanced machine learning features to better refine the platform’s ad targeting options. Social Media Today

Behavioral Ad Targeting Not Paying Off for Publishers, Study Suggests
A new study on how behaviorally-targeted advertising affects online publishers’ revenue shows only modest gains around 4 percent over traditional tactics, and the Wall Street Journal takes a close look at the recently-released data. Wall Street Journal

Caitlin Burgess

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

Caitlin Burgess on Jun 6th, 2019     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.”

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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.

Nick Nelson

The Relationship Between SEO and Social: It’s Complicated … and Complementary

Nick Nelson on Jun 5th, 2019     Content Marketing

Social media marketing and search engine optimization are often viewed as two disparate components of a holistic digital strategy. In some ways, they are distinct, but there is far more convergence and crossover than we’re often led to believe.

I find that looking at one side through the lens of the other invariably helps me better understand the more ambiguous aspects of each. So today I thought I’d share this perspective, with a focus on how these tactical areas can work cohesively to strengthen your brand’s visibility and impact on the web.

Similarities Between Social and Search

Let’s begin by exploring some commonalities between social media networks and social engines.

Lane Ellis

10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers

Lane Ellis on Jun 4th, 2019     Search Marketing

10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers, who, what, when, where colorful image.

Getting to the heart of the questions most important to your potential audience is an unbeatable path to providing best-answer solutions.

Let’s look also at why question research is such an important facet in marketing, and some of the primary ways to uncover precisely what people are using search engines and other search technology to ask and learn more about.

In 2017 our Senior Content Marketing Manager Caitlin Burgess looked at this topic, in “Beyond Google Keyword Planner: 7 Easy-to-Use SEO Research Tools for Generating Content Ideas,” and in the interim new tools have become available, and new features have been added to several.

Let’s look at 10 smart tools and tactics to help uncover the questions your audience is asking.

Alexis Hall

Pump it Up: How to Maximize Your B2B Content Marketing Campaign Investments

Alexis Hall on Jun 3rd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Let’s talk shoes for a moment. Years ago, I purchased a stunning pair Jimmy Choo stiletto pumps; they were all the rage at that time. I’d been eyeing them for months and I convinced myself that this rather spendy investment would pay dividends in style and wearability.

When my Choos made their public debut, I was showered with compliments on how gorgeous they were. I was feeling great.

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Of course, a few hours later a shooting pain in my Achilles tendon meant it was time to give them a rest, so I changed into tennis shoes.

Today, those shoes are collecting dust in my closet. And every time I see them, I feel a mixture of regret (perhaps not my wisest investment after all) and longing to take them out for another spin (with the right insoles at a sitting event).

Lane Ellis

New B2B Marketing Research, LinkedIn Sales Navigator & Ad Transparency Updates, Using AI Wisely, & US Digital Ads Top $100B

Lane Ellis on May 31st, 2019     Online Marketing News

2019 May 31 IPA The Drum Chart

Digital Ads Are Raking In More Cash Than Ever
A new Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report shows that 2018 was the first year U.S. digital advertising earnings topped the $100 billion mark, hitting $107.5 billion, up from 2017’s $88.3 billion, led primarily by the strength of mobile and video. Users also spent 22 percent more time on social media properties in 2018 than during 2017, the report details. Adweek

eMarketer Reduces US Time Spent Estimates for Facebook and Snapchat
U.S. adults are using Instagram more than ever, at an average of 27 minutes daily and expected to increase through 2020, while Facebook and Snapchat have both seen a drop in the average number of minutes of use per day, according to new forecast data from consultancy eMarketer. eMarketer

Caitlin Burgess

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

Caitlin Burgess on May 30th, 2019     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.

Nick Nelson

B2B Content Not Making an Impact? Try These 7 Underutilized Promotion Channels

Nick Nelson on May 29th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Creating great content requires considerable investment, in terms of time, effort, and money. Knowing this, it’s crazy how often I see marketers and brands fail to follow through by promoting their content to the fullest and maximizing its targeted exposure.

It literally makes me sad. I’m tearing up as I write this. One moment… Talk amongst yourselves.

via GIPHY

Ahem. So the scourge of unseen quality content is one we must conquer. The path to doing so, I’m afraid, isn’t as simple as scheduling a bunch of links across the same old social feeds. This isn’t to say social media isn’t important, but this formulaic, reflexive approach is fast losing its luster.

Caitlin Burgess

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

Caitlin Burgess on May 28th, 2019     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.