Is your B2B content marketing plan working? Or do you ever feel that your plan may use a refresh? Content marketing leaders receive 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Is your B2B content marketing plan working? Or do you ever feel that your plan may use a refresh? Content marketing leaders receive 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders, according to the Content Marketing Institute. So, what distinguishes these two groups, and how can you improve your content strategy to achieve similar results?
The answer could be found in the content of your B2B blog. According to statistics, 80 percent of B2B marketers use blogging as part of their marketing plan. However, there is still a lot of space for progress and growth in the world of B2B blogging. Another 52 percent of B2B marketers said they expect blogging to be their most important approach for success in the coming year when questioned about the future of their marketing activities.
So, what can you do to support this burgeoning trend? Here are eight surefire strategies to ratchet up your content strategy and get tangible results.
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B2B content marketing that isn't very good is centered on a company's product or service, whereas strong, inspiring B2B content marketing is based on storytelling. Our motives as people are linked to captivating and relevant stories. A well-told narrative can inspire us to take constructive action regardless of our age.
Consider this example from New Relic, a company that assists organizations in sifting through and deciphering their data's meaning. This company's product would normally sound as interesting as watching paint dry. New Relic, on the other hand, makes a boring subject matter attractive by telling a tale about a company's journey and its quest to comprehend it. Customers think, "I'd love to be able to understand my business more clearly," rather than "I'd want to be able to understand my business more clearly." That is the allure of narrative.
The quality of B2B blogs and other material can quickly deteriorate when there is such a strong desire to fill that content schedule. While it's critical to keep the content coming, you should never overlook the quality of your content. Don't offer them a cause to go to your competitors for content; instead, attempt to provide them with consistently high-quality content that keeps them coming back for more.
What is the goal of your business? Before you develop any content, you must first and foremost ask yourself this question. Your content will appear random if you don't have a clear aim or objective, and your readers will have no motivation to return.
Nobody enjoys being addressed in broad strokes, as if they are simply another face in the crowd. We want to be treated as unique individuals. That's why you've probably programmed your phone with your personal information, so it can identify your fingerprint and greet you by name.
If we want to succeed in B2B content marketing, we need to personalize our strategy. Many successful marketers have already started doing so. According to a recent survey by Forrester Consulting and Persado, 69 percent of marketers evaluated data from loyalty and customer value programs to decide which offers would appeal to certain people. Behavioral data was also used by 67 percent of marketers to develop the relevant content based on insights and emotions. Could you use this type of information in your marketing strategy?
Creating data that others cite is one method to establish authority. Conduct your own research, distribute your own surveys, and then make use of the data you've gathered. Consider distributing it within, for employee recruiting or customer service, in addition to publishing it externally.
Meanwhile, it will be useful to those in your field. Cite your data in reports, publications, presentations, and white papers. Promote it on social media and point visitors to a digest where they can download the entire report in exchange for an email address.
According to 67 percent of B2B marketers, live events are one of the most effective techniques. It creates buzz around your business, allows you to connect with potential and existing customers, and gives your organization a more human feel.
Another significant advantage of a live event is that it can continue to exist long after the event has ended. To use in your marketing, create video samples of your live event. To make it more interesting, conduct video interviews with guests and encourage them to stay connected. Request that attendees of the event follow you on social media. Create a unique, event-specific hashtag that you can use to track comments and advertise the event before, during, and after it takes place.
For its Healthymagination event, GE mastered these promotional strategies as part of a mission to deliver inexpensive healthcare to underdeveloped countries while also promoting its health-care technology. At the event, GE constructed movie-set zones where industry leaders could discuss their experiences. GE used the content created at this occasion to promote its message even further.
While B2B blogs have a limited lifespan, it can be prolonged in a variety of ways. Some blog themes are perennial in nature, resulting in increased traffic. There's also a lot you can do to keep a truly amazing blog post alive after the initial flurry of visitors has passed.
Turning your material into paid media is one approach to extend its shelf life. Because it expands outside your present audience, this boosts your owned or shared media. You put your best foot forward for first-time clickers while extending the life of your well-written and meticulously produced content by deliberately choosing high-quality content. You can also take an excellent blog post and add new material to it. It appears new to your viewers while requiring little further effort on your part.
Why does it appear that certain websites are a resounding success, while others have a string of content failures? Luck isn't a factor; a lot of it boils down to trial and error. Keep what works after you've tried it. To evaluate what works best for your audience, experiment with different forms of content (visuals, infographics, CTAs, and even blog post titles). Use tools like Google Analytics to get precise information about your site's performance, and then experiment to find your own unique formula for success.
Some Points to Consider:
According to Adobe's State of Create 2016 poll, 73 percent of employees today are under increased pressure to be productive rather than creative at work. Of course, deadlines must be met, but if your team members don't have time to think, are exposed to a variety of viewpoints, or are able to engage in novel experiences, their creativity will suffer.
Unusual experiences, according to a recent study, can lead to a 50 percent rise in creativity. Even modest modifications in one's environment can help, such as dimming the lights, adding some ambient noise, or simply going for a stroll. As the leader, you want your team to feel free to do whatever it takes to summon their inspiration. Remember that your team will follow your lead, so show them how you can adjust your surroundings to encourage your own creative expression.
It's easy to put off trying new things when you're focused on bringing the next piece of content to market by the deadline. Untested ideas increase the likelihood of your team failing to meet its goals, so it's safer to stick with the tried and true. However, producing the same-old, same-old will not inspire your creative team.
Adobe's Kickbox initiative is an excellent example of how to encourage creativity. A bright red box contains curriculum for a six-step process, from conception to small-scale test, as well as Post-It note pads, pens, a Starbucks gift card, and a $1,000 prepaid credit card for Adobe employees with an idea. Adobe acquired Fotolia, an online photo and graphics marketplace, for $800 million as a result of one of the trial initiatives.
Most of us can't go that big due to financial constraints, but remember that using terms that urge your team to think outside the box costs nothing. When brainstorming, for example, say "Yes, and..." instead of "Yes, but..." and observe what a difference that makes.
Taking an interest in how your contractors and vendors work can lead to productivity breakthroughs, as small businesses are more likely to be early adopters of novel procedures and technology simply because they don't have the resources to do so.
When a freelance photographer introduced the agency's social media team to a new collaborative platform, Drake Cooper learned this lesson. The agency was able to launch fresh social material for a project in a fraction of the time because it improved the process of viewing, commenting on, and approving hundreds of photographs sent by the photographer. Because the tool was so useful, the agency rapidly began using it on other projects and clients.
It's easy to become mired down by the claimed standards and best practices of a single format or media type while creating content. There are undeniable advantages to knowing that 30 seconds is the ideal length for a social video. However, your primary attention should be on presenting a compelling story, as this is what ultimately draws people in.
Dollar Shave Club received 12,000 additional purchases in only two days after launching a 93-second YouTube commercial.
And, debunking the myth that we all have short attention spans, TED Talk videos can last up to 18 minutes and have a 6.5 million subscriber audience.
Encourage your team to not just learn and understand best practices, but also to feel free to break them in the pursuit of producing an incredible story. Because who knows, maybe their ingenuity for your brand will change the game.
It's usually a good idea to debate and discuss the direction and details when giving criticism on creative work. In many circumstances, you may have an opinion, but be prepared to defer to the skilled designer, video producer, or writer you've entrusted with the project's creation (discussion).
However, make it obvious when something isn't up for debate (direction). Tim Rose of Polycom recommends using wording like “This has to be...” to indicate that your comment is a mandate rather than a discussion starter. Transparency and clear communication save time and stress for both parties.
When you're creating new material, you're probably in the ideal setting. You watch movies on high-definition monitors and listen to music through high-fidelity speakers. However, the majority of your audience will not have this impression of your work. Audio engineer Chad Wahlbrink, for example, listens to his mixes on an iPhone because that's how most people will hear it.
Don't just look at the copy in a Google Doc or a Word document. On your website, read the text and look at the visuals that go with it. The arrangement can have a significant impact on how and what you say.
You can relieve your creative teams of the strain of too much process by following these suggestions. Encourage them to try new things. Make it easier for people to collaborate. It's preferable to playing it safe, and you and your team will benefit your company by constantly generating compelling material that generates revenue.
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