Monthly Archives: June 2019
Do you struggle to properly attribute your sales to your marketing efforts? Do you want to learn more about attribution with Facebook and Google? To explore the concept of attribution on Google and Facebook, I interview Chris Mercer. Chris is the world’s leading authority on Google Analytics, founder of Measurement Marketing IO, and the exclusive […]Read More »
B2B demand gen used to be easier than B2C. Because, let’s face it, so much B2B marketing was deadly boring. A cool concept, a little creative design, or a dash of humor were like water in the desert.
Now, though, it’s the norm for B2B marketing to be every bit as visually and emotionally compelling as B2C. Suddenly we’re selling water by a lake, not a desert. There’s no shortage of cool content. Audiences expect more, and marketers (including your competitors) are keeping up with demand. So it’s time to take B2B demand gen to the next level.
B2B Demand Gen Tactics: The Next Evolution
What follows are some logical upgrades for some of your favorite time-tested tactics. That’s not to say, of course, that you should stop doing things that are already working. But it’s worth testing these evolutions out to see what works for your target audience.
#1: Influencer Marketing to Influence 2.0
B2B influencer marketing has matured a great deal in the past few years. Marketers are looking at topically-aligned influencers with smaller but more relevant networks, and looking to create partnerships rather than paying for endorsements. But we still have room for improvement.
Influence 2.0 seeks to build an always-on, continual process of influencer nurturing, community building, and content co-creation. Instead of individual campaigns, it’s about sustaining relationships, introducing influencers to each other, and continually producing content together.
[bctt tweet="For any kind of content a business creates and publishes to the world, there is an opportunity for collaboration with credible voices that have active networks interested in what those voices have to say. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]
When you have a sustainable community of influencers, you can integrate influencer content into virtually every part of your marketing efforts. That’s why I put it first on this list — you can add influencers to all of the following tactics for better amplification and engagement.
#2: eBooks to Interactive Content
The classic PDF-format, static eBook is a B2B content marketing staple. Over the last decade, we’ve seen eBooks becoming more dynamic, more visually compelling, more creative and fun. Like, say, this one from our client Pantheon.
So I’m not here to put down eBooks. But as an agency, we’re starting to lean into more interactive content, and seeing some stellar results. Interaction can be as simple as adding animation or multimedia content to a slideshow or eBook. Or you can go more complex, ditching that page-based form factor completely. Some of our best-performing agency work recently is vertically-scrolling, animated, and interactive. The core content is much the same as a conventional eBook, but it’s much more likely to earn attention.
Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode
#3: Gated Big Assets to Gated Bonus Content
The time-honored tradition in B2B marketing is that you gate your most valuable stuff. Then you give away smaller bits of content to entice people to fill out your lead gen form. Which means a small percentage of people actually see the asset you spent the most time and effort on.
It’s a tactic that can still work, but it’s worth trying the other way around, too. Note that none of the assets I linked in the last section are gated. We put a ton of research, creativity and effort into making each one. And then we and our clients used them for demand gen. We found that influencers were more likely to amplify an ungated asset, and that meant more people got to see the thing than if it were gated.
When you put an ungated big asset out there, make sure to include an opportunity for people to convert, of course. We have found that a simple but useful downloadable, like a checklist or worksheet, works well to convert traffic from our big ungated assets.
#4: Everyday Blogging to Everyday Multimedia
The blog post has been the “atomic unit” of content marketing for a long time now, and it’s easy to see why. All you need to make a blog post is a computer and a WordPress site (though hopefully you also have a strategy, research time, and an editorial calendar). The barrier to entry is low and the potential for engagement is good.
We’re finally seeing the democratization of video and audio content, however. It’s now potentially easier to create simple video or record a podcast than to write a substantial blog post. Video content can be embedded on social sites (more on that in the next section), and podcasts can be syndicated in dozens of directories. There’s a ton of demand gen potential in trading some of your blogging time for multimedia time.
[bctt tweet="There’s a ton of #demandgen potential in trading some of your blogging time for multimedia time. @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]
#5: Social Links to Social First
Social media has been a demand gen staple for marketers since the early days of Facebook and Twitter. The time-honored tactic for social media is to post links to blog content or gated assets, encouraging people off of the platform and onto your own real estate.
The problem is that social media sites don’t want people clicking away from their feeds. They want posts that generate engagement while keeping people firmly inside the walled garden. The sites’ algorithms will reward posts that don’t link out, while actively limiting the reach for posts with external links.
We have been exploring a “social first” model for demand gen on social media, and the early results are promising. With a handful of clients, we're testing long-form content on LinkedIn, with the goal of boosting engagement right in the news feed. These posts are outperforming their average for comments and reactions, and are driving new followers for the Showcase Page, too.
In other words, instead of using social media to drive traffic to your content, bring your content to social media.
Practice Next Gen Demand Gen
Which demand gen tactics work best? The answer will vary depending on your industry and audience, of course. But in general, our time-tested tactics could stand to be augmented and upgraded. Marketers who can get ahead of changing audience preferences will stand a far better shot at earning and keeping attention.
Looking for opportunities to evolve your content promotional strategies? Take a peek at these underutilized content promotion channels.
The post B2B Demand Gen: The Next Evolution of 5 Tried-And-True Tactics appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.Read More »
Here’s the deal: If you’re new to the WordPress block editor, or if you’re looking for an easy-to-read resource you can reference as needed, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to walk you through the ins and outs of the block editor (aka “Gutenberg”) — what it is, how it(...)
The post WordPress Block Editor: The Ultimate Gutenberg Guide (2019) appeared first on Smart Blogger.Read More »
The post 5 Examples of Remarkable Content Marketing in Action appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.Read More »
Want more people to see your videos in YouTube search? Wonder how YouTube advertising can show your videos alongside related content? In this article, you’ll learn how to promote your videos with YouTube TrueView discovery ads. Why Run a YouTube TrueView Discovery Ad Campaign? YouTube TrueView discovery ads appear in the places where users discover content […]
The post How to Set Up YouTube TrueView Video Discovery Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.Read More »
Subscriptions products are growing in popularity. But before you can win the subscription, your marketing team must win the customer’s trust.
The post Subscription Marketing Discoveries: 26 marketing experiments to help you boost recurring revenue appeared first on MarketingExperiments.Read More »
1996: The year content was named “king” in a burgeoning digital world.
2001: The year "content marketing" was officially coined and the modern content revolution began.
130 trillion and counting: The number of webpages currently indexed by Google.
One zillion infinities: The number of pieces of content you stand to create during your B2B content marketing career.
Zero: Perhaps the number of times you've asked yourself, “Do I really need to create a new piece of content?”
If the last one strikes a little too close to home, we're not passing judgement — rather we're reminding you that you don’t always have to start from scratch.
Consistent quality content creation comes with the territory; it’s an integral part of your B2B content marketing strategy. Content is how we reach, help, and educate our buyer audience. Furthermore, as buyers and buyer committees evolve, there’s always going to be a place for net-new creation.
But many times, refreshing, repurposing, and optimizing can play a major role in the creation process, and sometimes you may just need to stand down.
Do You Really Need a New Piece of Content? Yes. No. Maybe So.
If you need to fill your editorial calendar…
Stop, collaborate, and listen.
While no content marketer wants to admit they’ve created content for the sake of filling a spot on the editorial calendar, it happens all the time. Again, no judgement here. But we had to call it out.
So, before you feel tempted to fill a calendar opening, consider channeling that time and effort into more research or an audit. For example, performing an SEO and content audit, a task that aims to assess the current state of your internal content ecosystem as well as external variables, can unearth unique opportunities that can fill your editorial calendar with net-new and refresh ideas.
If a relevant and previously uncovered topic, trend, or paint point presents itself…
Go for it.
Your goal is to be the best answer for your audience. In order for your content ecosystem to thrive, you have to have your basics covered (i.e. product explainers or resource guides) and within reach for your audience. If you see gaps in those core areas, you need to fill them.
But as buyers become more empowered and voice search and assistants gain increasing popularity, they’re regularly uncovering new problems they need solved and more pointed questions they need answered. This means regular review of who your audience is and the questions they’re asking is more important than ever.
You should be regularly leveraging website analytics, Google Search Console, question analyzer tools, and the list goes on to unearth and inform content creation opportunities.
If no one’s talking about those relevant topics, trends, or pain points ...
Then you should absolutely go for it.
Remember the legendary wisdom of Ricky Bobby’s pop: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
It’s rare that you’re given the opportunity to create thought leadership and demand around something that’s new to your internal and external content ecosystem. Of course, that window of opportunity won’t be open for long. HubSpot’s Brian Halligan famously did this with the term “inbound marketing” — a term that every marketing department now accepts, understands, and uses.
One note of caution, however: Creating demand around an original idea or rising topic requires vigilance, creativity, and integration with a range of content marketing tactics (i.e. influencers, paid and organic social media, email marketing, etc.) SEO is a long-term factor, but in the short-term, don’t let low search volumes deter you.
And if everyone’s talking about those relevant topics, trends, or pain points ...
Proceed with cautious ambition.
Tackling a highly-publicized or popular topic is worth it when you’re confident in your ability to provide new and/or better insight and expertise than your direct and indirect competition. Becoming the best answer for a topic, trend, or niche is both art and science: You need the right expertise and the topic needs to be relevant to your audience. You need credibility and authenticity. And it all needs to be backed by relevant data insights.
If you think that your existing content is too old to be relevant ...
Table net-new content creation … for now.
Instead of throwing out or forgetting about the old, consider giving it a revamp. Refreshing content has numerous benefits — from sending positive SEO “freshness” signals to search engines to boosting your efficiency and productivity.
Analyze the performance of that blog post, downloadable asset, or web page to understand traffic, rankings, engagement, and so on. Then couple those findings with first-hand research on other similar content in the external ecosystem. If you determine your existing content has potential for a second life, add new content, insight, resources, and so on. You can then republish and repromote, and continue to optimize.
If you determine it’s a lost cause, recreate and redirect the old content to pass any remaining authority onto your new content.
If you’re trying to reach a new audience…
Net-new or net-old, this one’s a personal call.
Talk of content personalization has reached a fever pitch. That means B2B marketers have more reason and opportunity than ever to create tailored content for new or specific audience.
Identifying a new audience segment fills your content pipeline with additional repurposing opportunities — or it can be the repurposing opportunity. Have you seen the rise of a new purchasing stakeholder group? Develop specialized content just for them. Do you have targeted content on financial management for healthcare companies? Repurpose and personalize your content for your legal or technology verticals.
If your content will target a keyword you already own search real estate for ...
Target keywords that are already mapped to other pages — especially your service pages — could hurt your search footprint and cannibalize traffic from other content.
The good news is that your concept can be saved and utilized in a different way in the future.
However, that’s not to say your content concept shouldn’t be saved and utilized for the future. For example, you could evolve your concept to target a longer-tail query that’s related to your original idea. And using the hub and spoke content model, you can build out your authority around the overarching topic and implement strategic cross-linking to turn it into a smart SEO play. Long-tail keyword phrases also allow you to more closely match your audience’s search intent, creating the potential for rising in the (search) ranks.
If new content runs the risk of being duplicative…
Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
Duplicative content is a no-no, and has been and will be forever.
If you want to launch a new content type ...
You have the green light.
Introducing new content types diversifies how your audience can discover, interact with, and digest your content. New content types also cater to changing audience preferences for content consumption. Maybe you want to evolve several statistical roundups into a single infographic. Or perhaps you want to enable your audience to solve problems and find answers to their questions through an interactive quiz.
But a quick note here: This may also be an opportunity for refreshing, repurposing, or optimizing existing content. So, be intentional.
Key Word: New
Net-new content creation should always be top of mind for content marketers. You should always be thinking about how you can inform, engage, and inspire your audience to action. But new content needs to provide new value — not fill an editorial gap. And not all new content needs to be built from scratch, rather there are several opportunities to refresh, repurpose, republish, and optimize for performance.
If you’re ever in doubt on what to do, we hope this piece lends some perspective. But if doubt persists, remember this tidbit from the incomparable Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs:
“We don’t need more content. We need better content!”
[bctt tweet="We don’t need more content. We need better content! @annhandley of @MarketingProfs" username="toprank"]
Want to identify areas where your content can be better? Use these Best Answer Content Examples to see how your internal and external content ecosystem measures up.
The post When & Why Net-New Content Creation Makes Sense—And When It Doesn’t appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.Read More »
Are you curious about WeChat? Wondering how to get your business in front of over a billion people on WeChat? In this article, you’ll discover how WeChat’s features can help you market your business. Why Marketers Should Consider WeChat Is your business looking to raise brand awareness or drive direct customer engagement with Chinese-speaking audiences? […]Read More »
Mike Kaput, Director of the Marketing AI Institute, discusses how artificial intelligence is about to change lead generation and conversion as you know it. In the process, AI will have a transformative impact on companies and careers.Read More »