Content Marketing is a Top Piority for B2B Marketers

I’ve spent the last few months talking with many B2B marketers and the number one priority I hear is content marketing.  Marketers want to use content to educate and better engage with prospective customers.

The Content Marketing Institute offers an excellent definition:

“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Through engaging content, B2B marketers have better brand control and can more fully express their key messaging.  Interestingly, the marketing role has evolved into content publishing—online and print publishers no longer have exclusivity.  This is the appeal of what is termed “owned media” (besides content, owned media includes websites, newsletters, and whitepapers) which is the new mantra for B2B marketers.

Good content marketing techniques address a customer’s business and operational issues, as well as align with the entire buyer journey. Brand advocates are created who can increase audience reach dramatically via their social channels.  It’s a wonderful amplification of a brand’s story touching many additional potential customers—the end result includes more conversions, leads, and sales.


10 Reasons Why Email Marketing Still Delivers

I’m a social media enthusiast, yet recognize, the number one communications tool today is email.  The Pew Research Center says that 9 out of 10 Internet users send or read email every day.  A number of sources report that social media usage ranks fairly well in the 60% range for the general online adult population, and even higher (of course) in the under 40 demographic. Only search, according to Pew Research, has around the same adoption rate as email in the 90% range. We love to “Google” don’t we?

Business marketers are also embracing email—from newsletters and  transactional emails to direct emails and sponsorship emails. In fact, the CMO Council recently reported that a majority of marketers worldwide (67%) rated email as the most successful digital marketing tactic.

Email is indeed one of the most important tools in the marketer’s toolkit, but it still needs to be complemented with search, social media, and content marketing.  An integrated multichannel campaign generates superior results and is a foundation for creating thought leadership status—essential for building brand and differentiation.

What are email marketers focused on this year?  According to a survey by services provider StrongMail, the top marketing initiative is subscriber engagement at 48% followed by improving segmentation and targeting (44%) and growing opt-in email lists (32%).

Read my list of 10 reasons why email marketing still delivers: Continue reading

Book Review: Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard

Social Media ROI

As a former marketing operations manager, I naturally gravitated towards reviewing a book on Social Media ROI.  After all, business practices are driven by ROI and marketers are facing increased pressure to show accountability.  Olivier Blanchard’s book is helpful in integrating social media with business objectives and he brings social media to life with many interesting situational narratives.  Blanchard blends these worlds into a cohesive strategy and journey consisting of investment, action, and reaction—leading to nonfinancial and financial impacts. It’s a nicely constructed methodology that remains focused on ROI.

Organizations that embrace social media properly, Blanchard explains, will benefit from enhanced collaboration, increased departmental efficiency, cost reductions and business growth.  He instructs the reader on how to present a business case across the C-level executive suite in a context that matters to each stakeholder. Without securing buy-in, a social media initiative is dead in the water.

The book’s Table of Contents is well organized and broken out into 4 sections on how to become a social company: social media program development, program integration, program management, and program measurement.

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