Top 12 Upcoming B2B Marketing Events of 2016

July 14, 2016

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I always do my best thinking on the road.

Over the miles of training for a marathon, or the insights gathered speaking with peers and practitioners at industry events – I love to think on the road.

While I’d love to inspire you towards a marathon (and would love to chat with you if you’re interested), it may be more likely that you’ll consider attending one of the GREAT events upcoming this year. Here are my top 12 recommendations (many of which I’ve attended in the past – and several of which I’ll be presenting).

 

BrightTalk B2B Content Marketing Summit, (August 17-18)

JOIN BNJ HERE: BNJ’s, Julie Wisdom, will be presenting on Content Marketing Strategy August 17th at 9 am (PT). During this web-based summit, marketers can find a wide range of topics all focusing on B2B Content Marketing and the tools and strategies you can launch to stand out within B2B Marketing.

 

B2B LeadsCon, New York (August 22-24)

JOIN ME HERE: Yes, I will be here – and speaking on my favorite topic and B2B marketing approach at the session: “Account Based Marketing—Is It For You?” along with Jeannine Rossignol, the Vice President of Marketing for Xerox HR Services. Hope to see you there!

As the conference title suggests – this event is all about B2B Lead Generation!

 

 Uberflip Experience, Toronto, Canada, (August 24-25)

JOIN ME HERE: Uberflip is one of the premier B2B marketing technologies and I’m thrilled to be speaking at their conference on content marketing strategy during the session: “Is Your Marketing Strategy Ready for the Wild, Wild, West?” The event is deeply focused on guiding marketers toward building a positive experience throughout the entire buyer’s journey. And, Toronto is a fabulous city! 

 

Content Marketing World, Cleveland, Ohio (September 6-9)

The #1 event for content marketers – globally! In over 80 sessions and workshops, Content Marketing World will give marketers the materials in order to grow and inspire within their business and your audience.

 

Sirius Decisions Summit Europe, London, England (September 26-27)

A few months back I attended this summit in Nashville, Tennessee. I enjoyed their focus on the customer experience in addition to its many inspiring and informative presentations. Sirius always delivers fresh and relevant B2B research and insights – and is a top event to attend. 

 

Dreamforce, San Francisco, California (October 4-7)

JOIN ME HERE: I’ve always loved Dreamforce events, and now they are saying this one will be “the most epic ever.” No matter the industry you are in, this event will be beneficial because of the thousands of sessions and people!

 

 &Then, Los Angeles, California (October 16-18)

&Then, the DMA Global Event, is looking into creating the next-generation marketers. They have created a fun lively event with a wide range of sessions and events, in addition to speakers ranging from NBA player and CEO of Kobe, Inc., Kobe Bryant and Vice Chair of GE, Beth Comstock. It should a fun and interesting event!

 

 Forrester B2B Marketing 2016, Miami, Florida (October 18-19)

I’ve attended this event several times in the past – and both the analysts and the content are top notch. Forrester will explore the challenges that marketers are facing today – including the explosion of channels, new technologies and the new skills and practices B2B marketers are taking from B2C marketers to achieve success.

 

 CEB Sales & Marketing Summit, Las Vegas, Nevada (October 18-20)

Things are always changing, especially within the marketing world; however, B2B marketers don’t always know how to adapt to this change. This event looks into commercial leaders and teams identifying how to adapt to the constant competitive changes that we, as marketers, live in.

 

 Marketing Prof’s B2B Marketing Forum, Boston, Massachusetts (October 18-21)

JOIN ME HERE: Back again this year, I’ll be presenting a session on marketing strategy: “Is Your Marketing Strategy Ready to Do It All?”, I hope to see you there!

In its 10th year, Marketing Prof’s is notorious for showcasing B2B marketing best practices from the practitioner’s point of view.

 

 ITSMA Marketing Vision 2016, Cambridge, MA (November 1-2)

JOIN ME HERE: The ITSMA is a stellar resource for best practices on ABM (Account Based Marketing), and dozens of other strategic B2B marketing practices. Of the few events I attend regularly, this is one of them.

 

SiriusDecision Technology Exchange 2016, Austin, Texas (November 15-17)

Now on it’s second year, the SiriusDecisions Tech Exchange is the only event of its kind –  focusing on using technology to its fullest and advance business outcomes for B2B marketers.

 


Three Steps to Accelerate your B2B Account Based Marketing Campaigns

June 21, 2016

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“If we did realize the difference between the vital few and the trivial many in all aspects of our lives, and if we did something about it, we could multiply anything that we valued.”

~ Richard Koch (acclaimed author on how to apply the 80/20 rule)

I’ve always favored the pursuit of targeted account hunting for my own B2B Demand Generation priorities. As Koch states, it’s satisfying on many levels. And, there’s good reason why this methodology to B2B marketing has gotten so much recognition:

  • 84% percent of B2B marketers believe ABM delivers higher ROI than any other marketing approach. (Demandbase, 2015)
  • 96% of B2B marketers leveraging ABM report a positive impact on marketing success. (Demandbase, 2015)

Here are three first steps to accelerate the effectiveness of your marketing. The best part is, you can use these whether you’re new to ABM or have been at it for years.

But first – let’s get aligned on terminology.

What Is ABM?

Do you want your organization to be seen as a leader, not just a supplier? Maybe you want to move from “vendor” to “strategic partner” status. Take the ABM approach. Basically it’s a method for creating a marketing conversation that’s highly targeted and that demonstrates your deep knowledge of your prospect’s business and technology concerns. As ITSMA has pointed out, “It’s a way to increase your customer’s awareness of the total value you offer that heightens their interest in you.”

What Are Best Uses Cases for ABM?

Breaking Through to Strategic Prospect Accounts/Audiences

If your organization has selected an “A-list” of accounts to go after, ABM can serve as a powerful bridge to address business/buyer needs while leveraging relevant (and often personalized) insights and data points.

Retaining and Growing Customer Relationships

Customer retention and growth can be one of the most fruitful returns for your marketing dollars, yet many marketers walk right by these opportunities! If you’ve got a beachhead in one division of a large organization, why not leverage the insight and success you already have to capture more business? Again, it will be important to show value to the customer, and specifically address a known business challenge or expose a new area of growth.

Accelerating Pipeline and Nurturing Key Prospects

Proving that your organization understands the specific needs of your buyer will help you establish credibility and build customer confidence. From my experience, this is a perfect time to accelerate the sales cycle and ensure you’re on the short list.

3 Steps For Getting Started

  1. Identify and Understand the Target. Stay focused on your targets. Here’s what that means in the ABM approach:
  • Start with the low-hanging fruit.Identify segments with proven success. You can then augment (potentially 1/3 of the list) with a segment or two that you’d like to penetrate.
  • Start small, then build over time.There’s no magic number, so start with 50-500 accounts, not thousands. You’ll also want to be sure to identify specific contacts within those organizations (ideally, 2-5 contacts across the buying/influencing roles).
  • Collaborate across your organization.If a list build is necessary, marketing and sales should work together to identify companies and contacts. For a more detailed set of recommendations around ABM list building, check out this post.

Technology Accelerator: This is an ideal use case to leverage Predictive Marketing/Analytics Platforms. Solutions like Mintigo, Radius and Everstring will allow you to identify companies and contacts that have the highest propensity to buy.

  1. Build a Meaningful Conversation Based on Buyer and/or Account Insights

Understand the characteristics and insights that make your target audience tick—and address those needs FIRST. There are dozens of approaches for doing this well, including those shared in a great post by my colleague at Babcock Jenkins. Bottom line: Do your homework. Understand what the key use cases and business needs are for your buyer at an account level and be as personalized as possible. And don’t forget the basics: be interesting and engaging!

 Technology Accelerator: This is the ideal use case to leverage LinkedIn Groups and Social Listening Tools.

  1. Surround the Audience — Inform, Surprise & Delight!

Once you’ve built conversations to engage your audience, determine the best channels to engage your buyer. Orchestrate your conversation and channels thoughtfully and frequently across the length of your buying cycle. Channels that factor into my consideration set include:

  • Events (this could include VIP experiences and peer-to-peer engagement)
  • Direct Mail is still alive and an incredibly successful tactic. Dimensional mail – which is customized at the Account level is particularly effective.
  • Phone calls (which serve as a great “boost” to the other channels)
  • Email marketing (Marketo offers great insights into the role their platform can play with ABM in this Podcast)
  • …And a multitude of targeted/digital channels (including LinkedIn, Retargeted Ads via AdRoll and others, and dozens of other targeted/owned and earned online channels)

 Technology Accelerator: There is a growing set of digital channels that allow you to directly reach your ABM targets at a company and/or contact level. This includes Demandbase, Terminus and LinkedIn.

And of course, measure and optimize! There are chapters to be spoken here—but like any other marketing initiative, track what’s working and optimize. Be sure to consider metrics specific to the Contact and the Account. Ultimately, you should have a clear view into how well are you engaging your key accounts.

Want Proof?

If you haven’t adopted an account-based approach to your B2B marketing yet, I’ll leave you with links to two brief examples that show why it is a fast growing area of focus for many B2B marketers:

  • Nuance:They engaged 46% of their targets and delivered a 19-1 ROI.
  • CenturyLink:26% of targets won and an 8-to-1 ROI. (I was fortunate to have had a hand in this program)

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of other success stories about Account-Based Marketing. I’d love to hear yours—especially those with a Technology Accelerator!


Ten Images Tell All: A Visual Recap of Marketo’s 2016 Marketing Nation

June 20, 2016

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A picture is worth a thousand words. And a perfect way to capture the energy, passion and intelligence of our B2B marketing community. After…..

  • four days in Vegas,
  • with 6,000+ fellow marketers,
  • hearing hundreds of statistics about the future of the CMO,
  • and speaking with dozens of B2B marketing’s brightest…

….I’d like to distill it down to 10 images that captured the highlights from this year’s Marketo Marketing Nation Summit.

Top On Marketer’s Priority List: Account Based Marketing (ABM)

ABM is not new to the B2B marketing landscape – it’s been a successful sales and marketing practice for over a decade. And, as Charm Bianchini, Marketo’s Senior Director, Enterprise Marketing, shared in her presentation – ABM is paying dividends for marketeers, including Marketo (Image #1)!

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Bianchini also shared a few key industry statistics indicating that ABM has universal appeal and success for B2B Marketers!

  • “84 percent [of B2B marketers] said ABM provided significant benefits to retaining and expanding existing client relationships.”
  • “97 percent said ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.”

What’s most exciting and new is the role of marketing technology in helping to accelerate and operationalize our ABM efforts. When done well, sales, marketing AND the customer win! (yes, a shameless plug for my recent blog post).

Also advocating for more personalized communications was Facebook CMO, Gary Briggs (Image #2), who reminded us that we’re living in a people-based era. What does this mean? We need to reach out to the people who matter most, then use our communications to be helpful and relevant.

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Content Marketing: As Important As Ever

While ABM was the belle of the ball this year, Content Marketing was not forgotten. There were several great sessions on the importance of Content Marketing, but my top picks included:

  • Michael Brenner’s ROI-packed session on defining content marketing ROI(Image #3). We know the importance of connecting with our audience through channels of highest regard and with content that educates, entertains and answers their questions. But Michael has developed a formulaic approach of how to quantify the investment.

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  • Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, repeatedly conveyed her message that marketers need to go bigger, bolder and braver with their content – or go home (Image #4). And, thanks to the talented @quietmarketer, there was a great sketchnote shared on Twitter with key take-aways from her session:

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  • Actor, Will Smith, showed up with incredible passion and a great message – if you want to be successful (in life or as marketers), focus on helping people – adding value to their lives. Sounds like the wise words of a content marketing king! And yes, he can still get jiggy with it(Image #5)!

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  • UberFlip demonstrated that CONTEXT matters just as much as content. Loved this use of contextual advertising (Image #6).

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Predictive Analytics Success Stories Are Heating Up

Predictive is just getting hotter, and moving from talk to action and ROI. According to a report from Forbes Insight, only 15 percent of marketers indicated using predictive technologies for two or more years, but 83 percent indicated that they planned to increase their investment in 2016.

Many of the top predictive analytics players were present at the Summit. Several of them also announced new integrations with Marketo (including a personal favorite, Radius), using predictive to score inbound leads, help acquire more “right” contacts and to make the content experience more individualized.

As Image #7 shows, (snapped during a B2B predictive analytics case study at the conference) the ROI is showing up! Marketers are able to attribute increases in pipeline volume and velocity!

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The B2B Marketing Community ROCKS!

And, last, but surely not least, our B2B marketing community is incredible. Passionate, creative, intelligent and a TON OF FUN! Marketo did an incredible job of harnessing a mix of speakers and insights to fuel an incredible conference. My final few photos (Images #8-10) are those taken with old and new friends – B2B legends I’m thrilled to have seen!

With Ann Handley, Chief Content Office at Marketing Profs

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 With Michael Brenner, CEO of  Marketing Insider Group

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With Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing and Scott Brinker of ChiefMarTec.com.

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I would love to see your favorite images from Marketo 2016! Comment away!


WILL 2015 MARK THE DEATH OF EMAIL IN B2B MARKETING? THREE ACTIONS TO BOOST YOUR NURTURE CAMPAIGN PERFORMANCE

July 9, 2015

Vantage Points

“Email is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. But it might just be the biggest killer of time and productivity in the office today.”Ryan Holmes, Internet entrepreneur

Way back in January, my colleague Eric Wittlake asked me and our fellow BNJ coworkers what our predictions for the year 2015 would be. My immediate response was that we would see B2B nurture communications expand beyond the realm of email and into social, display, mobile or traditional channels – like phone, mail and events. This was my prediction, but more accurately it was my HOPE for 2015. Many B2B marketers are relying too heavily on email as the only channel for nurturing their precious prospects and customers.

Without doubt, there is “email fatigue” – and it’s having an impact on our ability to connect with and engage buyers. And, recent conversations with top B2B marketers only validate what we’re all experiencing – our ability to engage with our audiences through emails is declining.

So, why aren’t we rapidly making a shift?

Is it lack of technology? Not likely.

Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) are purpose built to disseminate communications through dozens of channels (beyond emails).

It’s time to make our nurture communications work harder.

Three Actions to Boost Your Nurture Campaign Efficiency:

With a plethora of channels at our fingerprints, and the ability to up-level the relevancy of email, there are many options for communicating with prospects and customers in your database.

Consider this short list a great starting point for you to consider:

  1. Make Email Work Harder.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to implement better subject lines. An email is relevant only if it gives our prospects a reason to care about what the email will say. According to Salesforce.com, 33 percent of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.

There are dozens of other best practices for email marketing – the ones we know and trust (strong call to action, succinct and relevant communications, limited file size and graphics). There are also dozens of resources (although you’re welcome to ping me) to help you optimize your email success – including this fun Infographic from MarketingProfs website.

  1. Leverage Your Email Lists to Extend Into New Channels!

An email database can serve us well to connect with our buyers in channels beyond email. Not only does this mitigate the risk of being single threaded (by only using email), but it can give us a considerable lift in metrics around engagement and conversion.

A few (but not at all exhaustive) ideas include:

  • Banner display (matched to our email list). Leverage banners to promote content or other calls-to-action. There are many ad networks that enable this targeted marketing – including AdRoll. LinkedIn is also a very smart option for retargeting your audience, but operates a little differently in terms of exact “match” to your list.
  • Social (also matched to our email list) with networks like Facebook and twitter.
  • And, not to be forgotten, are traditional channels: think direct mail (a postcard, a letter or any physical format).
  1. Go Beyond Your Email!

Once we’ve taken steps to make email work harder and to leverage your email list to extend into new channels, there are many ways to increase engagement with our prospects and customers (through channels other than email). For instance, we can start building your audience through opt-ins to an RSS feed or through applications.

And, in the spirit of sharing – I’d love to hear how your expanding your reach BEYOND email (specifically to nurture your known prospects and customers).

No. Email as a primary channel for nurturing you’re prospects and customers is not dying anytime soon. However, we have a fantastic opportunity to improve its performance and reach our audience through a more diverse and effective set of channels.


5 Hot Topics for Top B2B Enterprise Marketers

June 23, 2015

Chutes & Ladders (1)

Remember this wonderful Milton Bradley Chutes and Ladders game board from your childhood? The illustrations on the board show good deeds and their rewards as well as bad deeds and their consequences. By spinning a wheel, you either advance up a ladder or descend down a chute. I used to love Chutes and Ladders but have always considered it simply a beloved childhood game, nothing more.

However, the game took on a whole new meaning for me when I participated in a round-table exercise with key B2B marketing executives from companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Tata Consultancy and Cisco (thanks to facilitator Julie Schwartz, SVP of Research & Thought Leadership at the ITSMA).

The game framework was a perfect analogy for discussing key organizational “ladders” that must be in place for B2B marketers to soar and “chutes” to demonstrate the pitfalls that must be avoided.

There are five “chutes” and “ladders” that I consider “big ones” – because of the reaction I witnessed during this round table from many of the best and brightest B2B marketers and from the prevalence I see of these topics through my client work with leading B2B organizations. Each of these topics can be either “ladders” or “chutes” depending on how well your organization has mastered them. Strengthening each of these aspects will help organizations climb the “ladder” of success, but neglecting any of them could result in falling down a “chute.”

  1. Organizational Change Management: This complex challenge is worthy of a post of it’s own. Two repeating themes here include:
    • Who Owns the Customer? Is it Sales? Marketing? Product Marketing? Someone else…? The reality is that EVERYONE owns the customer. However, in order for this to work, there needs to be a perfect alignment across the organization. Many of the points below are actually further proof that this is the #1 challenge for organizations looking to “win” and succeed with their customers! It’s not just alignment with Sales and Marketing – its organization-wide (although Sales and Marketing Alignment is a good starting point).
    • Changing Internal Perceptions: Historically, marketing has been viewed as a support function – but the tides are changing as data-driven CMO’s are using fact-based storytelling to show their value as strategic marketers.
  2. Defined and Aligned Success Metrics: One way to support the first point from above (organizational alignment) is to ensure that the entire organization is focused around success metrics. These metrics should include a 360-degree view ranging from revenue to customer satisfaction.
  3. Creating a Symphony of Systems: While cultural and structural change is critical to success, so are the systems that enable a true customer-centric experience. We’ve all had a glimpse of Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape (if you haven’t, it’s a MUST). Successful organizations need a roadmap to weave these critical pieces together to create the experience and to understand the data/insights needed in order to optimize the experience.
  4. Culture of Thirst and Experimentation: On the contrary, those organizations that loath failure will fail. Modern marketing is about taking risks, measuring outcomes and optimizing opportunities. It’s about using data to give insights about a next move.
  5. Data is KING! Having an eye for data is incredibly important, but also having the scientists who can capture, analyze and optimize it completes the recipe for success.

Which of these topics are “chutes” for your organization and which ones are the “ladders” to your success?  Are there other key “chutes” and “ladders” that you’re experiencing?

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Ready to ROCK the Wave of Modern B2B Marketing

June 11, 2015

Surfing

When I first saw this quote, immediately it made me think about how modern B2B marketing is no different. We use data analytics to closely evaluate and give lift to what we’ve created in order to move forward. You never know what’s around the corner, so B2B marketers have to do our best to look back on what we’ve done in the past in order to get insights for the future.

Now I’m not a surfer – but I can feel the fear and exhilaration in this BIG WAVE.

But what’s the connection between B2B marketing and big waves?

To answer that question, I am reminded of a key theme from last week’s ITSMA Marketing Leadership Forum in Napa, CA. That is: as marketers, we are all experiencing a BIG WAVE of change.

Out of the gate, we were welcomed by ITSMA CEO, David Munn, and put to the challenge, “Are you ready to ride the Big Wave?” (No fear, there were no real waves involved). B2B marketing is one of the fields that constantly changes, and our current way of thinking is not immune to this. Modern B2B marketing is undergoing a shift that caters every aspect to the customer. Increasingly, we can see that the customer is becoming more self-directed and that there are a greater number of channels to engage them in. There are far more systems to enable engagement, measurement, and personalization than ever before, as well as a wide variety of ways to measure and analyze our data.

This may seem overwhelming and a HUGE challenge – but exhilarating if you can ride the wave!

To successfully ROCK this wave, marketing organizations need to bring their A+ game to the table and above all else: not be afraid of this wave of change.

Immediately I thought to myself, “I’m IN!”

So what does this model surfer look like?

Key characteristics – as shared by Munn – include:

  1. Change MORE than just marketing.For marketing to thrive (and ride), there’s a wide influence of change required within an organization. Understanding the roles and alignment between sales, marketing, products, operations and other key groups is essential.
  2. Drive to growth.While I see this visible in many of the organizations we work this – I presume it’s not ubiquitous. Marketing must have accountability for revenue across the whole buyer lifecycle.
  3. Move from tracking activities to predicting behavior.As social media scientist and writer for Hubspot, Dan Zarella so wisely says: “Marketing without data and technology is like driving with your eyes closed.” With the holy grail of data and technology, we can truly predict outcomes by smartly leveraging today’s best-in-breed technology solutions with data scientists who translate that data into stories.
  4. Expand the sphere of engagement, not just discrete touch points.Instead of limited moments of engagement; focus on the total customer experience. This could not be more true as campaigns are all about moments in time. But the customer experience is about a lifetime of engagement. We need to consider breaking the habit of investing our most valuable time and resources on acquisition, and instead focus as heartily on nurturing relationships with prospects and customers.
  5. Nurture relationships – NOT JUST LEADS.We must not forget that we are marketing to human beings. They are looking for trusted advisors to help move their business (and their own careers) forward. We need to engage and develop the entire relationship with that point in mind.

Of course, these items are all easier said then done.

So what are some actionable steps you can take to rock the wave?

ITSMA’s SVP of Research and Thought Leadership, Julie Schwartz, shared her recommendations to meet the challenge:

  1. Foster a culture of accountability!This isn’t a three or six month transformation – this is a long-term investment. Don’t look for a quick hit since this can take up to three years or more for large enterprises.
  2. Build trust in marketing and data.Then build even further trust by showcasing a compelling story to inform the data. CEOs want to know about their customers, and they want data to back up this point of view.
  3. Create business value – BEYOND campaigns and leads. Marketers who think in increments of campaigns and leads will quickly “wipe out” when the wave hits. Rather, FIRST focus on building relationships with customers. This will foster brand value and ultimately support revenue.

What other recommendations do you have from your organization to ready us for this BIG WAVE?

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Back to Basics for Great B2B Content Marketing

August 23, 2013
Content marketing “euphoria” is when your content is relevant, engaging and shared widely across the social sphere. Today, B2B modern marketing is progressing at a gallop – and it is easy to overcomplicate content marketing practices. Often it’s important to get back to basics – and take a moment to reflect on the essence of stellar content marketing (then, let the dream state appear).

Image credit: Content Marketing Institute

Here are six core tips for ensuring that your content marketing is great:
1.) Know your target
Having a grasp on a prospective audience enables messages to be tailored for greater relevancy. Analytics are a keystone of all marketing; giving special effort toward finding what is most impactful can be an important place to start in content marketing. Personas are an absolute staple! Check out my previous post on a persona developed for CIOs. By using trending topics, content optimization, and other tools, content marketers can make an educated guess on which topics will have the most relevance to a base of customers. Ultimately, if you want to know what to share with prospects, quit playing games and ask them directly! This can be done through comments, feedback, or surveys.
2.)  Tell a Story
Without a story, content marketing would be fragments without cohesion. When crafting great content, take a cue from English class and create a momentous beginning, middle, and end. A compelling story is one of the most effective tools marketers could use since it excites an audience while simultaneously making important points for a brand. Corning Glass did a great job of using this principal in a recent B2B campaign. In their video a day is shown in entirety- from wake to rest — and showcases a variety of products in high tech and innovative ways. This video has pulled in over 22 million views on YouTube by crafting a beginning, middle, and end which all demonstrate the product’s functionality.
3.) Make it a conversation starter
While social media is the dominant force of sharing, good old-fashioned word of mouth can also play a large role in the dispersal of content. Compelling content marketing should be engrossing enough to end up in conversation. Remember that your business buyer is human. Connect with him or her in an emotionally relevant way. A Serena Software Ad from a few years ago was provocative, interesting, and made people talk– I received it in an office email. As a general rule, the more engaging and conversational a topic is, the more it will be shared.
4.) Make it look good
Simply adding images to a long write up can boost appeal in a tedious article. Infographics are visual, straightforward, and easy to consume. As a result, infographics have great potential in going viral. A great example of a nice-looking piece of content marketing is Marketo’s B2B coloring book. This download took the notion that B2B marketing is boring and created an entertaining coloring book experience to demonstrate expertise.
5.) Make it consumable
A 40-page download in size 12 Times New Roman can cause a set of sore eyes and a dulled mind. If you can’t read it, you won’t share it. To make material readable create bullet points, numbered lists, and bold/color important take-aways. According to a study by the Nielsen Norman group, the average web user consumes only 20% of content on a web page. This means that it is crucial to make 100% of content downright fascinating so that whichever nugget of information is consumed leaves a great and lasting impression on the viewer. Vertical Response made a rap video spoof to promote their services, making their material consumable AND entertaining.
6.) Urge a Call to Action
Without this step the whole point of content marketing is lost. Once you’ve established an audience’s attention (and have them engaged) make sure to leave a viewer with a step for future engagement. To prevent a prospective relationship from losing steam, it is essential to encourage a call to action while an idea is still fresh in the viewer’s mind. Examples could include linking video to a website, inviting people to subscribe to your newsletter, or encouraging sharing. For Jive software Babcock & Jenkins created an email campaign featuring a firefly with words that read “The Spark Starts Here.” This invitation lead to a personalized Jive Intranet site, a fresh twist on a standard campaign email. Once on the site, a viewer could follow several invitations to engage.

Bottom Line:   There needs to be a reason to click a link or make a call. Content can do that. If prospects are going to want to share content, it needs spice, entertainment, and genuine human interest. With all forms of content marketing, brevity is key! If you are sharing something, you are putting your name and reputation on the line. If a friend clicks on a shared link it needs to be worthwhile and prompt a laugh, smile, or emotional response. If the content isn’t to the point, appealing, or enriched with images, it is not going to be shared.

I’d love to hear your feedback! Am I missing any basics?


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