Win the brand selling game by elevating your brand’s trust barometer

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Marketing is much more complicated today. The number of channels and customer touch points is growing. The mobile Internet, social media, and the ease of online shopping are changing how consumers decide to buy. Your next customer is on a decision journey that is unprecedented in terms of buyer intelligence and transparency of brand offerings.

Consumers are doing their homework before purchasing. A report by the E-Commerce Foundation shows 88 percent of consumers, pre-research products of interest on the Internet before making a purchase.

It is no surprise the majority of online experiences with a brand begin with a search engine. In fact, a quarter of American adults say they are “almost constantly” online, according to Pew Research.

Making things more complicated for marketers is the recent proclamation: “the traditional sales funnel is dead.” Buyers can easily jump in and out of channels, do comparison shopping on their mobile apps, read product reviews, and even be influenced in the store aisle by a sales associate, product packaging, or an in-store promotion. Continue reading

Why B2B content marketing needs a human face

man-1483479_640Chances are your marketing budget is being stretched. Many dollars are often wasted by casting a wide fish net across a number of market segments in the hopes of reaching potential buyers. If your messaging is not resonating with the right people, no one will notice.

One of the best ways to build a brand and deepen customer relationships is via content marketing – the creation, publication, and distribution of relevant, high-value content that is customized to the needs of targeted groups. The goal is moving the prospect deeper into the sales funnel towards conversion.

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers are embracing content marketing for their sales pipeline using various digital formats, including websites, articles, case studies, blogs, whitepapers, and videos. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) 2016 Benchmark study indicates 88 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing for top goals of lead generation (85%) and sales (84%).

According to the CMI research, one in five B2B marketers are making content personalization a top priority. It’s important to tailor messaging by industry sector, organization size and buyer role – essentially segmenting your database.

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5 Steps for Building a Content Marketing Strategy

According to a 2011 study by the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of B2B marketers are participating in content marketing and plan to allocate 26% of their total 2012 marketing budgets on this practice.

One of the best ways to build a brand and deepen customer relationships is via content marketing.  It’s fundamentally the creation, publication, and distribution of relevant, high-value content, tailored to the needs of targeted groups.  The Content Marketing Institute’s definition also includes the desire by vendors to attract, acquire, and engage with audiences.

Marketers are communicators of value and have been transformed into educators. Buyers are seeking information from vendors on how to solve business issues. Companies that embrace good content marketing practices are destined for more leads, conversions, and sales.

With the explosion of easy online sharing and distribution of information, marketers now have a way to scale and reach many more people.  Good content is an integral part of search and social media networking, and can take many forms, including articles, case studies, blogs, whitepapers, and videos.  Many people are responding well to visual content over plain text.  It won’t be long before we see more of the social network Pinterest in the B2B marketing world.

Let’s look at 5 content marketing strategy steps aligned with a buyer’s journey:

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