[Posted by Ed Hadley
Senior Marketing Manager, Neolane, Inc.]
In my introduction to yesterday’s post recapping the takeaways from day one of the MarketingProfs B2b Forum, I made the point that no matter what course marketers set as a result of what they learned, their destination should remain the same: revenues. In other words, every new marketing program, channel, initiative, etc. must be undertaken with the intent of driving revenues. This sentiment was echoed by Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of The Annuitas Group, in the Forum’s closing general session. To paraphrase, he said that marketing and sales are all after the same thing: revenue. Ain’t that the truth?!
Below are key takeaways from day two of the MarketingProfs B2b Forum sessions that I attended. Under the session “10 Ideas for Charting a New B2B Marketing Course,” I bolded each of the ideas, or imperatives, that were presented. Those who attended the session can simply refer to the handy bookmark they received.
Beyond Blogs and White Papers: 7 Approaches for Compelling Content That You Haven’t Thought Of
- Because prospects are reaching out to sales later and later in the buying process, content is now acting as the role of sales staff.
- Content is an opportunity to connect with customers and prospects in a deep and meaningful way.
- Content helps you reach your network’s network. 23% of social media messages include links to content.
- 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing. Their biggest challenges are producing engaging content, and producing enough content.
- Market the knowledge/ideas of an expert (vs. your own capabilities) to show you’re at the forefront of prospects’ challenges and needs.
- Internal assets can be a great source of content that can be repurposed for external audiences.
- In addition to sharing content, don’t forget about branding your social media outposts (e.g. Twitter, SlideShare, Facebook, blog, etc.)
- We share content that reflects us in the light in which we wish to be seen. That’s why visually-appealing e-books are often shared more socially than whitepapers.
- Content curation is a borrowed concept from museum curation: finding, organizing, and presenting the best items to a specific audience.
- Content is not just text. Look for other ways to deliver compelling content, and remember to make it consumable and shareable!
- For marketers used to a campaign mentality, content marketing requires patience and long-term commitment.
10 Ideas for Charting a New B2B Marketing Course
- Lead generation: Develop a process, people, and content plan to get the most from your marketing automation technology. Don’t repeat the same mistakes sales made 15 years ago when implementing CRM technology. Don’t automate chaos!
- Lead generation: Shift focus from lead generation to lead management to enable buyer engagement. Buyers want one-to-one relationships with companies. Marketers have to know what to say and when to say it, and they must manage the buyer’s journey on their terms.
- Content marketing: re-imagine, don’t recycle, your content. Not just any content will do. Create meaningful stuff that shows who you are and why you’re different. Stop random acts of content, and differentiate on thought leadership.
- Content marketing: Don’t rely on tried and true; do something unexpected (experiment!) with your B2B content. Show the lighter side or human side of your company. Try audio and video content, which work well across mobile and social channels.
- Social media: Say “No!” to silos by making social media an integral part of your marketing campaigns and programs. Social media is not a platform; it’s a set of tools to amplify everything else you’re doing and it needs to be incorporated into these programs.
- Social media: Provide goals, strategy, and structure to your social media marketing efforts. Unless you have a goal you’re moving toward, you don’t have a program. And you won’t know whether your efforts are a success or failure.
- Mobile Marketing: Make your content mobile friendly. 82% of execs have smartphones. Keep your emails short, and include links to mobile-friendly versions. The same applies to your website.
- Mobile Marketing: Integrate new mobile tools into existing programs to increase ROI. Ideas include incorporating a mobile app into tradeshows, using QR codes (which help reduce print expenses) or re-imagining content for video, which is very mobile-friendly.
- Metrics & Measurement: Tie social media measurement to bottom-line business objectives. Social media doesn’t change the fundamentals. Who is your target audience and what’s keeping them up at night? If you can understand these profiles, then you can better understand how to share information through social media. Make all activities track-able.
- Metrics & Measurement: Learn the difference between monitoring, measurement, analytics, and ROI. These terms often used interchangeably. Monitoring involves understanding what people are saying about you; it’s a 24/7 job. Measurement is tracking progress toward benchmarks or goals. Analytics is the impact your activities are having. And ROI means one thing: how much we spent vs. how much we made.
I hope you enjoyed this re-cap, I look forward to hearing your feedback. Please leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter, @EdHadley.