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The following practical approach to B2B content marketing strategy provides a framework to plan content development and marketing prioritized against your objectives and audiences.
For many B2B leaders, content marketing is a key initiative when marketing a complex product or solution. The first step in building a B2B content marketing strategy is committing to measurable marketing objectives and prioritizing their importance against your business objectives.  B2B marketing plans often include both qualitative and quantitative objectives. Because content marketing is resource-intensive, you must prioritize your resource allocation to achieve better results. If you have the opposite priority of attracting more leads, then your investment priorities will be reversed. The next step should focus on using a customer-focused articulation of the business you are in. The classic example is Theodore Levitt’s question: “What business are you in?” He illustrates this point with drill bits.
The third step in building your content marketing strategy is profiling your target customer segments.
First, model your pipeline by understanding the different stages a customer goes through when deciding to do business with you. The information-seeking has a broad focus, using more generic and high-level search terms and keywords. They are seeking assistance with definition, scope, and internal buy-in to solving a problem. Keywords and search terms will be more specific and will start to reflect solution alternatives or categories. They have a solid understanding of how each alternative measures up and the decision maker is trying to get comfortable with committing to one of the decision alternatives. Keywords and search terms will be much more specific and will be focused on specific solutions. They have a solid understanding of how each alternative measures up and the decision maker is trying to get comfortable with committing to one of the alternatives. The chart below is the tool we recommend to map decision stages and content opportunities for your content plan.
Part of the answer to achieving better content marketing results is faster content planning and better execution.
Though social media marketing has advanced leaps and bounds, it’s still no match for email marketing.
A study by the Corporate Executive Board found that at least 57 percent of B2B buyers have researched the product they intend to purchase before they contact the seller.
With that in mind, companies are using content marketing to position themselves into that first 57 percent of buyers’ research.
After compiling answers, performing content mapping, or a content audit, is the best way to ensure that the information on your website is giving customers the answers they’re looking for.
Not surprisingly, engaging and personalizing each email communication makes for the most successful email marketing.
Webintel Marketing and web design tips - This entry was posted in Knowledge Base and tagged B2B, digital marketing, lead generation, online marketing. Marketing, advertising, communications & public relations trends, statistics, charts, graphs, infographics, presentations, and video that are not published to the e-Strategy Internet Marketing Blog or to eStrategy TV. David Erickson, VP of Online Marketing at Minneapolis Public Relations firm, Karwoski & Courage.
When defining a B2B email marketing strategy, the more planned and targeted your strategy, the greater results you will see. To kick start your B2B email marketing strategy you initially need to know why you are doing it.
With your goal in mind, it will be easier to identify your target audience, whether it’s a retention campaign or a prospect nurturing piece, the content and tone of the email will vary considerably. Make decisions easy for your audience by adding a clear call to action to all of your emails. Email marketing has been adapting progressively with mobile and marketing automation – the question is, have you? We’re strolling through the final quarter of 2014 and we’ve spotted several thought leaders share insights on trends and strategies that are going to be big in 2015.
There’s a lot of content flying around on these trends, but we’re finding that they’re positioned slightly arbitrarily.
If you’ve read our latest eBook then you’ll know we like to tear a subject apart and lay its insides on the table for all to see.
You’re going to learn all about these 5 insights along with some actions so you can implement them into your B2B marketing strategy. What you’ll notice is that while the channels aren’t necessarily new, the way in which they’re being used are evolving steadily. We’re starting to see publishers and social media networks alike shifting from earned to paid media. Remarketing is an effective way of getting your message back in front of people who have already visited your website. I was recently checking out Appian’s website, a client of ours, to check in on what they were up to. What was great about this is the message matched my activity on the site and was clearly top-of-funnel, as the call-to-action was to download a research paper. These sorts of targeted display ads are the kind that can encourage users to revisit your site and take an action that they missed the last time. This is one of those overlaps that I mentioned above, as there are several Facebook advertising tactics that you can experiment with.
They really must have a purpose, and that’s why it’s best to promote top-of-funnel content at first.
Back in August, John Oliver did a highly amusing piece on how Native Advertising is ruining journalism. It’s a delicate subject, as allowing already-powerful corporations to place biased content amongst genuine journalism is morally questionable already, but for B2B marketing it can actually work in a way that grabs the trust of our audiences. This is one of those tactics that could easily sit within the content marketing umbrella, but essentially you could call it a light form of native advertising. The important thing to bear in mind is that publishers’ priority is getting content that serves the audience first.
Guest blogging can work wonders as you’re putting incredibly valuable content in front of an already established audience, piggybacking on established trust.
When approaching publications, try and establish a relationship before going in cold with your content. When creating content, think about who their audience is, what challenges have not yet been covered on their blog and make a note of other content forms that do well (this is easy, just see what’s been shared the most).
I just touched on Facebook ads, but sponsored posts are different as they appear inside a users’ feed along with ordinary, organic content.
Facebook were the first to provide this service to advertisers, but since then other networks such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have caught up.
By promoting your new and already existing content you can drive more traffic and conversions than you would by driving traffic via your current subscribers and audience alone. We used to live in very fragmented times where several pieces of our B2B marketing strategies lived in silos. To provide you with baby steps, here’s how we suggest you test marketing automation on a small scale first, measure the ROI and make the decision to invest in more powerful platforms later. There’s a lot of noise out there in the B2B marketing world, and marketing automation is no different.
Finally, Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, has created an incredibly comprehensive guide on marketing automation that you can dig in to here. There are several ways for you to test the various aspects of marketing automation piece by piece, but before you go ahead and integrate them you should figure out how it’ll all piece together with your current sales and marketing systems and processes. First of all, it’s likely you use a sales CRM such as Salesforce or NetSuite in order to manage deal flow and pipeline. Many of the most common CRM’s that B2B organisations use have their own App Stores and add-ons available. Before you begin, make sure you have a brainstorm session, especially with sales, to see how marketing automation and the software that comes with it can help assist these processes. We already mentioned all-in-one tools such as HubSpot and Marketo, but some marketers prefer to start small and work their way up. There are several tools out there that can help you get set up with email automation quickly.


One of the most popular email marketing services around, MailChimp comes with incredibly affordable email marketing automation tools right out of the box.
You can create campaigns that nurture subscribers and leads over time, and it comes with a powerful WYSIWYG editor right out of the box.
It also has a powerful API, meaning it will likely integrate with any systems you’re using already. If you find yourself creating lots of landing pages then Unbounce could help save you and your organisation a lot of time. Much like MailChimp, there’s a powerful WYSIWYG editor that allows you to quickly put landing pages together for your marketing campaigns.
Most of the tools we mention in this list integrate together out of the box, but depending on what solution you go for you might find getting certain packages to talk to each other is slightly tricky.
Whatever stage your business is at, getting started with marketing automation is easy and affordable. The amount of data available to us is now at a point where we can tailor our marketing messages to an individual level.
The above is just one example of how precision marketing can help you target your audience effectively. Whether you’re focusing on consumers or trying to market to the C-Suite, precision marketing has its place in all organisations.
We here at Seraph Science are constantly referring to and expanding upon our buyer personas.
It’s good to include how your product, service or solution helps them to overcome their challenges.
Getting in front of these ideal clients is unlike most marketing efforts, especially when selling to the C-Suite. The image above shows how most salespeople start with what they’re selling is about, followed by the benefits and then on to the business case, which is where they would hope to gain trust. Another mistake that many marketers make when attempting to sell to the C-Suite is doing so with a fragmented funnel.
Going into the new year, you need to come up with methods of target these senior decision makers and plan on generating large deals that go into the 6 to 7 figure arena. Content marketing is already a strategy that many brands are taking part in, but as more get involved the amount of noise only increases. It’s about creating higher quality content that truly solves deep rooted pains and challenges that your buyer personas are suffering from.
Unbounce have created a great course on landing page conversions that are delivered by email over time. Companies such as HubSpot and KISSmetrics have a tremendous library of eBooks and other resources dedicated to the needs of their audience. Long form content can really help to increase the perceived value and authority of your brand. Crew, a service that connects contractors with high quality freelancers, were looking at a bleak future. Around this time they were re-building their website and had some photographs left over that they didn’t use. This includes long form content such as courses, as we discussed above, but you can also create apps and software that truly serves your audience.
This links quite nicely with the first strategy on our list, but needs to be re-iterated here for the purpose of mobile. Bear in mind that long-form visual content such as infographics may not be as effective on mobile as they are when viewed on a desktop. If you’re creating visual content then make sure you adapt it to platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest individually.
We’ve talked about how tools and side projects can act as great marketing, and this is especially true of mobile.
If it makes sense to do so, you should think about extending your offering into the mobile realm. There’s a lot to take in here, and with the rise in new technology such as wearables, 2015 is looking to be a year full of innovation. There’s a lot of opportunity on the table for us B2B marketers if we can step up our game and experiment with new and emerging channels. The key to successful B2B marketing is in creating valuable content, targeting the right people and spending time focusing on opportunities that yield a high ROI. Onsite CRM has launched its groundbreaking B2B CRM that unites sales and marketing workflow into one easy to use interface.
Sure, your B2B marketing strategies list is great, but, I personally, think that there a lot more to talk about. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. While the right B2B marketing strategy will vary by type of product and industry, we do see distinct trends. Planning against these measurable strategic objectives allow you to report on marketing results instead of just tactical activities. This will help to identify which content categories, topics, and approaches are most relevant to your customer. Drill bit manufacturers care about everything involved in the production of their drill bits, but drill bit customers don’t really want drill bits. Sales profiles, personas, and best customer models are tools you should use to profile your customer segments in order to improve the relevance and effectiveness of your content marketing. Make sure to focus on your customer’s needs and pains, rather than simply providing expert knowledge. Brainrider recommends using these 4 strategic elements as a practical framework to plan content development and marketing prioritized against client objectives and audiences. The same can be said for B2B email marketing – when used properly, it can be a valuable marketing strategy. However, the study also commented that buyers contact possible vendors after 70 percent of their own research. It’s a no-brainer, then, that a company’s email marketing campaign should also focus on this 57 percent margin. By using the behaviors they demonstrate on a business’s website, email marketers can personalize each stage of the sales cycle, showing the way to a more effective business strategy. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. The three most common email marketing goals are sales conversions, sharing content and website traffic but the execution of these vary considerably. The same goes for position in the organisation – they all have different persona, which require a different message and possibly, a different approach. The expertise you have in house is a great place to start – if you’re selling products, then focus on how it solves customer’s pains; if you’re selling expertise, then share your best insights and offer a little bit of value (and intrigue).
Whether you’re driving traffic to a blog or your website, a juicy click through to an engaging piece needs to be clear and be available at multiple points within your email, especially for those reading on a mobile.
A large number of email clients still block images, so using multiple images in emails means many recipients won’t see them. As part of your B2B email marketing strategy, make sure you take the time to plan accordingly.
The subject has dipped its toe into the water but hasn’t showed us how you can actually implement the strategies that are being talked about.
You’ll also see how some other incredibly successful companies have succeeded in implementing them and the results that they gained. Things have shifted rapidly over the last year and these are some of the ways you can keep on top as they continue to do so. Back in the day these came in the form of irrelevant banner ads and have slowly moved towards more relevant and targeted campaigns. If you’re on top of your digital marketing trends you’ve likely heard of Remarketing, but if not then it might be time to invest. An hour later I was browsing YouTube (not for cat videos, I promise) and spotted an ad from Appian themselves. These are the mistakenly creepy ads that are highly targeted to our online activity and interests. The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can use them in the same manner as Google retargeting campaigns. If you watched it to the end you may have seen the humorous Diet Coke advert that shoehorned facts about Ebola to illustrate what things would look like the other way around, which beautifully underlined his point.


This allows you to promote your organic social media content and amplify it to a wider audience. Your blog post might be incredibly valuable but if a large number of people aren’t seeing it then you may be falling short of your objectives. Like all marketing campaigns, test on a small scale first and see if you’re getting relevant traffic, leads and conversions at all stages of the funnel before scaling up. Thanks to marketing automation software such as HubSpot and Marketo, these silos have been united inside of extremely powerful platforms. Your CRM, email marketing, SEO, lead scoring, content management and analytics can now sit in one place. Tools like the ones mentioned above can be extremely expensive and overwhelming for first timers in the world of marketing automation. If you’re new to the concepts of marketing automation, and inbound marketing in general, then you should bring yourself up to speed with what’s going on. Their academy has a lot of information on inbound marketing and automation for beginners, and they have a huge library of eBooks, kits, webinars and other content forms that you can indulge in to educate yourself further. The 6 chapters cover everything from email marketing to conversion funnels and database management.
Before using the tools we suggest below it might be worth researching whether they integrate into your current processes first.
Luckily, many of the tools we’ll be recommending integrate seamlessly with most CRM’s already out of the box. Unbounce is a simple landing page builder that allows marketers to build conversion driven landing pages quickly. If you have a complex funnel or create lots of content then Unbounce can easily assist in driving conversions. This solution connects any service with an API (which is most) to connect with one another.
They’re constantly adding new services to their list of connections so it’s likely yours will be there soon. There was recently a piece on Adweek that told the story of how one Brian Swichkow pranked his roommate using Custom Audiences for Facebook ads. Creating buyer personas allows you to aim your marketing messaging with a higher degree of accuracy. Right now we’re typically focusing on Marketing Directors, Marketing Managers and Managing Directors.
You need to establish trust first and then offer a different perspective to what they’re doing already. They have separate contacts for telemarketing, email, appointment setting and face-to-face meetings. Many marketers are wising up to delivering long form content as a means to deliver tremendous amounts of value and create a connection with their audiences.
It’s an incredibly in-depth, deep dive into creating landing pages that convert well and has been a tremendous success for Unbounce. These generate hundreds of leads a week directly into the top of their funnels, allowing them to nurture and build relationships.
Dive deep into your buyer personas, talk to your customers and find out what challenges can be solved with content. So they built a quick Tumblr page called Unsplash and posted them for all to download, totally free.
Neil Patel created an SEO tool that people could use to assess their websites, totally free, on his site Quick Sprout. Again, talk to your personas and current customers, see what they’re struggling with and begin serving those needs in a truly useful way.
Although you’re a B2B organisation, your messaging is still geared towards people, and these people spend time on their mobile devices. More and more people are using mobile to consume content, communicate and even buy stuff while on the move. This is old news now, and as more and more people browse the web on their mobiles, your website needs to be flexible enough to mould to this experience.
People are still using social mediato discover new content and this is especially true on mobile appa. This is easier for many software and tech companies but might be more challenging for more traditional B2B organisations. Being in the analytics space, KISSmetrics created the first app that allows you to sign in to Google Analytics on mobile.
Plan your B2B marketing strategy around these three philosophies and you’re sure to be set up for a great year. Suited for any sized business, its helps increase efficiency with segmenting, personalizing campaigns and nurturing leads.
The marketer’s challenge is to combine the right mix of programs to build market awareness and fill the sales funnel each month at a low blended cost per lead.
Otherwise, your campaign will be trying to accomplish too many things at once without focusing on your objectives. The key in building the right segments is to identify customer needs and pains, filter them through the business you are in, group their needs and pains by roles or audiences, and then use that data to profile your top customer segments. Click here to download a working copy of the B2B Content Marketing Strategy Template or contact us for more information about how we help clients get better content marketing.
To make matters worse, businesses often think of marketing as a tool to sell to customers a certain way, instead of using marketing to let customers buy their own way.
Behavior segmented email coupled with a lead scoring system can improve conversion rates from marketing to sales. With compelling statistics to back up successes it’s hard not to be drawn to the lure of email marketing.
With this in mind it’s important to keep your messages in text form with images in line and formatted naturally.
With glasses, watches and wearables all coming to the high street everything will soon become a notification tool.
It’s safe to say that paid digital campaigns aren’t going anywhere, in fact this channel is just getting warmed up. You can strategically create display ads that appear on sites within Google’s display network. You can serve ads to your subscribers, offering whitepapers or even products and services that might interest them.
Capturing, nurturing and closing leads can all be done from a single platform in a more automated fashion.
Sidekick, an email marketing service from HubSpot, provides users with email tracking on the go. This is a total business solution for the financing and lending industry that is designed to serve the high demand that these companies require.
With that in mind, we examined the recorded effectiveness of the many online lead generation options.
While these areas of expertise are important to managing and operating a business, not all of them are relevant to what your customer wants to know.
Understanding the business you are in through the lens of your customer ensures that you are marketing holes, not just bits. It is important to profile these segments by developing a long list of customer needs and pains using your customer’s own “How do I” questions. So businesses send out unwanted sales messages or company news just so their name and product are “heard.” While you may get a modicum of notice, it’s a waste of energy. Email can be a powerful way for B2B organizations to drive action with contacts, as well as nurture leads throughout the sales process. Instead of becoming intimidated by this mobile revolution we need to embrace it and cater for a multitude of devices.
The best technique to reach engaged prospects who open emails, participate in all of your campaigns is to pick up the phone and have a conversation with them – this requires better alignment between marketing and sales.
Make your email look beautiful on every device, browser and email client for complete consistency – no matter how much pain!



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