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As an innovative B2B startup with a unique product, you face the challenge of entering into a market where people do not know that you exist. With many B2B startups, 80-90% of their target market do not know that such a product exists and they are not looking for it. Since they didn’t know about the existence of cloud telephony products, they were not searching for it. Guest post on blogs and news websites that your potential customers are most likely to read.
Post videos and blog posts on your own content channels on topics that your audience is already searching for (even if the posts are not directly related to your product).
You will learn more about your target audience by speaking to them and understanding where they come from. When your target audience comes in touch with you for the first time, you have to get their contact details. So you are finding out where your potential customers are and are making yourself present where they hang out. Once they become your subscriber you can use that permission to communicate the benefits of your product and help them remove the objections which is preventing them from buying your product immediately. A lead can be an email subscriber, a free trial user of your product or a person who has requested you to call them back to consider doing business with you.
Since you will be getting both kinds of leads into your sales funnel, you need to give them options to buy your product immediately as well as give enough information to cold leads over time so that they can make a buying decision. If your product is a high ticket item, only a small percentage of your leads will convert into customers automatically. Inside sales is the process by which you call them back and talk with them to remove their objections in buying your products. I hope by now you are convinced that you cannot ignore content marketing if you run a B2B startup. Seasoned content marketers understand that social media is an effective channel for delivering curated content to a highly targeted audience.
Thata€™s because today, it takes from 7 to as many as 25 touches to convert a cold lead into a sale and 5 to 20 people will likely be involved in the buying decision. As discussed in a previous post, there is a method to the madness of multi-channel marketing. Ita€™s important to have a mix of tactics all working together to support your strategy and your goals. We always thought that having a documented content strategy would improve content marketing effectiveness, but we now know what a difference it makes. This year’s B2B content report compares findings with years past, looking at differences between marketers who rate themselves as most and least effective.
A documented strategy makes a difference, as 84 percent of marketers who say they are ineffective at content marketing said they have no documented strategy.
Not only is the adoption of content marketing on the rise (93 percent of marketers use content marketing this year compared to 91 percent last year), but 42 percent of B2B marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing, up from 36 percent last year. B2B marketers are using all social media platforms to distribute content more frequently than they did last year. The social media platforms that have experienced the biggest surges in use, year over year, are SlideShare (40 percent vs.
Each year we ask marketers to rate the effectiveness of traditional tactics, but this year we also asked them to rate the effectiveness of social media platforms. Fifty-eight percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, up from 54 percent last year.
What are the primary goals for content marketing — and what are marketers doing to measure success?
Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE! It kills me that so many companies seem so disinclined to draw out the people who make their companies succeed.
Some orgs fear that these rising stars will be recruited away, but I think that’s silly.
I was struck that there was even a question regarding whether a company had a strategy to guide content marketing efforts. The other keys, of course, are conducting original research and providing original content.
It’s interesting to see that 62% of B2B marketers believe that Linkedin is effective. Hi Zach…the survey is specific to how non-paid content performs on LinkedIn, and sharing related to that!
I think the problem is that businesses know they need social media and then just jump straight into Facebook because it has the most users, forgetting that the audience may not be receptive to their offering. As the post mentions, the samples of our surveys are different, which is a key reason we are seeing variances.
Even within our own data, we see variances based on segment we are analyzing, including geographies, company size and industry. In short, I never think any stat should be taken at face value, but I prefer to look at trends across multiple surveys, with a consideration to the demographics of respondents and sample size. Hi Joe, very interesting article, especially the chart on how confidence in social media for B2B compares to actual results.
Regarding tactics, Online Presentations showed up on the 2014 report but not the 2013 report (and quite high on the 2014 report). This was not a tactic we had not asked about in the past, so it’s the first time we were able to see how many people are using these.
Companies must see their clients and create user segments that target their most highly esteemed clients and chances.
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Small businesses say good-ol' word-of-mouth remains the most effective marketing strategy, according to a recent report from Infusionsoft. Other strategies considered effective include email (34% rank it as a top 3 tactic), networking (25%), social media (23%), search engine marketing (14%), and content marketing (13%).
Regarding business-related tasks, respondents say they most enjoy serving customers and developing products. Join over 600,000 marketing professionals, and gain access to thousands of marketing resources! Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses.

Brian Solis shares why great products, creative marketing, and delightful customer service are no longer enough to win customers. Presented by: Paul ChaneyIn just 10 minutes, we'll share six practical tips that will help you tap into your online community to grow your business and benefit your customers. In this 22-page guide, you'll learn how to identify the key hires to get your team started, what traits and skills to look for in your key hires, how to manage freelancers, and much more! Through eight simple to follow, well-defined steps, SmartTools: Email Campaign Planner will help you establish an effective email marketing program to gather and convert leads. Presented by: Mark Lerner In just 10 minutes, you'll learn three simple steps to source quality influencer video and use it to impact your bottom line in a meaningful and measurable way. MarketingProfs uses singlesign-on with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to make subscribing and signing in easier for you. Among B2B companies, search engine optimization (SEO) is the most popular of 7 identified online marketing strategies, though social media is close behind, find Demandbase and Ziff Davis in a new study. 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. Content marketing continues to be an integral strategy for B2B companies; however, objectives for content strategies are shifting toward thought leadership and educating the market, according to a survey from Curata.
Nearly 9 in 10 surveyed B2B marketing professionals (87%) say they use content marketing to achieve business goals, up from the 82% who said so in 2011, the survey found.Other top channels in marketing strategies in 2012 are SEO (67%) and event marketing (60%), according to the study. 56% of B2B marketers cite thought leadership as a key objective of their content strategy, up from 43% in 2011. 47% cite educating the market as a content marketing objective, up from 44% a year earlier. Not surprisingly, 82% of B2B marketers rank driving sales and leads as their top marketing goal, followed by establishing thought leadership (42%), boosting brand awareness (40%), and increasing Web traffic (32%).
Content curation is gaining traction as a popular form of content marketing: 57% of B2B marketers use the tactic and only 31% do not.
Even so, content curation is still in its early stages: 34% of those now curating content have been doing so for six months or less. B2B marketers' top challenges related to content marketing are limited budget (27%) and limited staff (25%).
About the data: Findings from Curata's second annual B2B Marketing Survey are based on a poll of 465 B2B marketing professionals in October 2012. Though there are many businesses who will benefit from your product or service, they are not actively looking for you because you are entering a new product category. Slowly, as your product is accepted into the market over time and competitors start appearing, people will know that you exist and will search for a product like yours.
Someone who comes to know about our cloud telephony product is usually excited about it and could become our customer.
When your potential customers come in contact with you, you try your best to bring them into your loop by getting their contact details. With high ticket items, it is possible to do inside sales because the profit from each transaction is higher and it is worth while for a person to spend time talking to a potential customer.
Once you start applying this method to your marketing strategy, your cost per customer acquisition will come down and content marketing and inside sales could become your primary marketing strategy.
Google Ad words as you mentioned are very expensive and when you are starting out new your -mail list is also not that strong.
In fact, the report also found that 54% of the most effective content marketers tailor content to a specific target profile.
That means that you need to engage 5 to 20 people a€“ and remember everyone consumes content differently. Keep in mind that, according to Forrester, todaya€™s buyer might be from 66% to 90% through their journey before they reach outa€¦buyers now put off talking to a sales person until they are ready for a quote.
B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are far more likely to consider themselves effective (66 percent vs. The use of all tactics has remained fairly consistent, with one standout: Infographics have seen a considerable increase, from 38 percent last year to 51 percent this year. Similar to what we’ve seen with traditional tactics, there is uncertainty in terms of effectiveness. Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers said they are producing more content now compared to one year ago. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Balancing quantity with quality is doable, and organizations will need to 1) look at ways to integrate their subject matter experts into their content, 2) provide new perspectives and advance thought leadership on subjects instead of restating or regurgitating, and 3) aggregate all of these content assets in a way that aids discovery, as well as visibility.
Thankfully we are a supportive community of professionals committed to helping each other learn and grow. Their experts have been tapped for opportunities only when someone from the outside happens to know them. First, by allowing experts to help create content and speak at events, you are providing them professional development which will make them happier.
I can’t imagine anyone executing a marketing plan or set of tactics, ANY tactics, without a strategy to guide and focus the effort.
As our team has worked with businesses in the US and Europe, we’ve also seen that the lack of a content plan is a huge issue.
Yes, I had a hand in the original work, but the Content Marketing Blueprint is much more than my work. Those cost much more time and energy but it’s pretty much universal that the blogs which produce a reliable stream of original, helpful, insightful and engaging content do the most good.
It is time to get really specific as possible and identify the network you want to focus.Great job! I’m not surprised to see that Facebook is ineffective in a large percentage of B2B business. I think LinkedIn will continue to grow as businesses prove the return they are getting from the platform. As is fully disclosed, the key respondents from our surveys come from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, as well as other distribution partners. As the groups we have surveyed have remained consistent, it is interesting how our key audience’s usage of content marketing has been changing (this is the 4th year for the B2B survey). I’m going to share both surveys with some experienced journalists I know and see what they think.
Facebook is a big bone of contention with myself and customers and it is interesting to see the survey reflects my experience.

We added online presentations as a tactic this year we this was something suggested by several people.
A leading 63% of respondents said that SEO is part of their online marketing mix, while 60% said the same about social media. But as a startup your marketing budget is limited and paid acquisition channels like Adwords can prove to be very costly. At such a matured stage, it makes sense to advertise through adwords for specific keywords that people would be searching for. You need to get their attention by offering something that they are already looking for and then present them your new product which they are likely to take interest in. This will give rise to more insights about your market and will give you a better idea of where your target market is hanging out. They have to first believe that your product will solve their problems and they have to trust you.
So, contents in that scenario are best alternatives to build trust among perspective clients. Add the fact that consumers are interacting across five or more channels every day, ita€™s clear that multi-channel marketing tactics are a must. Now, companies are starting to get it that they will actually benefit from showcasing these people. Second, if you have star employees who leave and go on to be stars, they will still likely promote your brand if you remain on good terms and provided them opportunities for growth. To see that roughly half those surveyed did NOT have a documented strategy in place made me wonder, and worry, about the state of our profession. I’ve always found this makes for the most effective and efficient marketing plans and programs. There’s a growing community of 25 really bright marketers from different organizations all over the world who have contributed to the content, training material and templates that are in the CMB. Is it ok if I use some of your findings on my new website link friends as I think it will be really useful for my members to see some of it.
Need one help can you be bit more specific that what kind of platforms can work well for a big brand in banking industry.
While you are talking about present and future of digital marketing, German companies are still struggeling in the past.
We do relationship marketing to a very narrow slice of the technology contracting industry. The growth of content marketing makes inbound marketing the third-most used online marketing strategy, by 53% of the respondents. Content Marketers that described their strategies as ineffective only used an average of three social networks. It builds brand awareness while also providing depth to the organization and makes content more interesting.
Third, the company can’t control what that employee might do, but they sure can control the benefit they will receive by engaging their employees as experts and sharing this expertise with customers and prospects. In essence, it’s a jumping out point so we can further our mission of advancing the practice of content marketing. Our goal is helping contractors to build and sell their number one brand; Their Own!eMail to the contractor's existing contact list is our system's foundation. Therefore, it is no surprise that there were 14 different social networks commonly used among the survey respondents.The effective content marketers have discovered a cohesive strategy by combining targeting a specific marketing persona with utilizing many social networks. It's not only highly effective, but delivers a stratospheric ROI, due to the very low cost. Here are the top findings related to social media in CMI’s latest benchmarking report.Social Media Leads All Content Marketing TacticsThere is no magic bullet content marketing tactic!
However, it should be noted that although there are 14 different social networks the most effective content marketers still only used an average of six. The middle of your funnel is your brand qualifying content (a company brochure, branded webinar etc). As the survey shows, there are a variety of content marketing tactics that organizations use to reach target audiences. It’s designed to introduce your brand and when a prospect takes your branded offer, they are giving permission to start selling. They failed to realize, or were selling, the huge commitment effective social media marketing requires. According to the survey, the most effective B2B content marketers use an average of 14 tactics, with the least effective B2B content marketers deploying only 3 tactics.Social media leads the pack with the vast majority (87%) of respondents claiming this tactic as a part of the strategic arsenal.
Effective content marketers find the top social networks that contain the best opportunities to connect with target audiences. Website content registered as a close second (83%) to social media within the range of content marketing tactics.
These marketers provide valuable content specific to not only the target audience, but the social network as well. Content in the bottom of your funnel should be designed to promote your value and overcome objections. Deploying this strategy could not be possible by targeting every social network on the Internet.
The key takeaway here is to find the cream of the crop and specialize within those social networks.Effective Content Marketing StrategiesHere is the table from the benchmarking report that compares strategic differences between effective and ineffective content marketers.
How does your content marketing strategy measure up?Clearly social media is an important component of any effective content marketing strategy. Use social networks as a delivery channel to connect with, and provide value for, your target audience. However, it is important to remember that no matter how many social networks you choose, they are simply channels for communication. Social networks are not meant to create content, curate content, or provide value in a standalone fashion. So use social networks properly and they will pour gasoline on the fire that is your content marketing strategy. Download the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America and find out how your content marketing strategy measures up to the best in the business!

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