The Case for Content Marketing


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The Case for Content Marketing

  1. 1. The Case for Content Marketing. Ideas and tips for delivering consistent, ongoing and valuable information to buyers and have them reward you with their business and loyalty.
  2. 2. Attract more B2B prospects and convert more leads with compelling, contagious content. Content marketing is communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. The strategy is to deliver consistent, ongoing and valuable information to buyers and have them reward you with their business and loyalty. The best part of developing relevant content is that it has no shelf life. It works forever, generating organic search results that lead prospects to your content and conversion to becoming customers of your business. We hope you enjoy this collection of ideas and tips from our team and some of the best content marketing minds in the business.
  3. 3. Mark Schaefer from {grow} Blog What’s the difference between a social media strategy and a content marketing strategy? At the core, there isn’t much difference . Both are about connecting to relevant online customers, serving them with helpful content, and encouraging engagement in a way that ultimately leads to some interaction and business benefit (like a sale). But there is one big difference. You might be able to fake a social media strategy by checking a box. You can’t fake a content marketing strategy because there has to be some thought and effort behind the content for anybody to pay attention. You have to consistently create something meaningful for any initiative to work.
  4. 4. Tell your story, naturally. When you’re able to brush off the instinct to sell, and just engage on a topic, it becomes much more natural to tell your story in terms that resonate with ideal customers. Soon, industry expertise will become the fabric of your story. Dave Morris from MLT Ideas@Work Blog
  5. 5. Doug Kessler from Guest Post on Marketing profs Blog Co-founder and Creative Director for London-based Velocity It's time for content marketers to cut the ink-stained umbilical cord. The Internet as we know it has been with us since the mid-nineties— more than twenty years. Broadband has been with us for more than a decade. The first iPhone is five years old, and the first iPad is three. And yet... Well, for content marketers, the new medium is the Internet, and though we don't yet know what that really means... we can be pretty sure that it's more than one big, distributed pile of text. Gutenberg has left the building. We're still producing dense white papers that people are supposed to download, print out, and read. The blog is the core of every content marketing strategy and the e-book eats up most of our budgets. Most infographics are really just magazine-style editorial graphics that are best consumed on paper. SlideShare is still full of documents instead of stories designed for the screen.
  6. 6. Create content your prospects need, want and use. Contagious content is designed to gain the attention of prospects you know about as well as helping to spread your ideas to others who have yet to raise their hands to identify themselves. It's contagious because it's clearly focused on your prospect's priorities and perspectives to quickly promote recognition of value. Marketers will capture prospect interest—and keep it—because their content is discussing solutions to prospect problems and offering insights and knowledge they need. Ardath Albee from Marketing Interactions Blog
  7. 7. Billy Mitchell from MLT Ideas@Work Blog Customize the most helpful information you can provide each buyer segment for better B2B marketing content. Forget all the things you want to say about your company. What do the people you sell to need to know? Are you listening? The more specific you can be with this information, the better. You sell to a tough audience: business decision makers. So stop selling them and start telling them. Tell them the truth — that’s all they want to hear. And never stop improving your customer relationship management — the more you know about your customers, the more you can help them.
  8. 8. The formula for content marketing success. The very best way to get started with content marketing is to build the ultimate FAQ, using customer questions. But which questions, and how many? Use this three-component formula: Jay Baer from Convince & Convert Blog 1. What are your personas? How many distinct buyers do you have for your products and services? Remember, to be a persona, they need to be distinctly different from one another, with unique needs and use cases. 2. What are your buying stages? How many stages of the awareness, consideration, interest, nurturing, sales funnel/buyers’ journey do you have in your company? Again, this is often more complex in B2B. 3. What questions need to be answered to move to the next stage? To progress along the buyers’ journey, prospective customers must have distinct questions answered, either overtly or tangentially. The number and type of questions that need to be answered will vary at each step of the journey, but as a general rule the questions are much more broad at the beginning, and much more specific near the end. Essentially, your initial list of questions can be generated using this formula: Number of Personas X Number of Buying Stages X Number of Questions in Each Stage = Number of Questions You Need to Answer
  9. 9. Ellen Sheftel from MLT Ideas@Work Blog Defining engagement in B2B content marketing. In terms of B2B marketing, engagement should be viewed as a marathon instead of sprint. For instance, engagement in B2B marketing is not becoming an overnight social media sensation. Instead, it is becoming an established thought-leader in the industry by commenting on current conversations in order to slowly grow a following of quality. We should also understand engagement to be a two-way street. We want prospects to be viewing our website, downloading our content and following us on social media. In order to keep prospects connected, we must be actively providing them with a dynamic website, compelling content and a fresh social media presence. By ultimately doing these things, in time, our prospects have the potential to turn into customers.
  10. 10. Miniskirt philosophy for content. I get asked all the time what is the right length for content? Is there a magical length that a video should be to go viral? Can a blog post be too long or too short? My answer is always the same and that is the Miniskirt Philosophy as I like to call it. Long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it interesting. Yes, it is that simple. You are welcome. CC Chapman from CC-Chapman Blog
  11. 11. Vann Morris from MLT Ideas@Work Blog The buying cycle and buyer personas in B2B content marketing. In developing buyer personas, remember their connection to the buying cycle, as different stages lead to different content. Demographic information is helpful in tailoring your message (e.g. a millennial vs. a baby boomer), but a buyer persona doesn’t do its job if it isn’t helping develop content related to buying. With someone early in the buying cycle, their issues are going to be more top level than someone who is more knowledgeable. Develop content that can educate them on the topic – and have it in multiple areas on your website so they can find it. A chief factor in conversion optimization is not making your prospect look for information – it has to be obvious. Later in the buying cycle, they will need information that would come from an initial sales meeting. How does your business work? What is your process? What data (e.g. testimonials, case studies, award recognition, etc.) speaks to your capabilities? What is your pricing? All of these things are important, and the informed consumer can learn about it through your content. And if you don’t have this information, they will find someone who does. So when you build out your B2B buyer personas, be sure and remember the point of them – delivering relevant content.
  12. 12. Break through the barriers to enterprise content creation. If it’s becoming a challenge to get your C-level executive to write the thought leadership content you need for your corporate storytelling efforts, remember that, while some CEOs may love to write, nearly all of them like to talk. Try capturing their insight and ideas using a more conversational format; for example, interview them using Skype and record the conversation. Your content editors can then turn the resulting audio (or video) and transcripts into multiple content marketing pieces (e.g., blog posts, white papers, etc.). Or, if the recorded content is high quality, you can even use it in its original format as the basis of a podcast. Even if your CEO isn’t available to be interviewed and is unwilling/unable to write an article, ask if he or she would be willing to answer a few questions via an email. In other words, don’t block the content marketing process by trying to force your executives and staff members into doing something they aren’t comfortable with — there are plenty of other ways to generate effective content marketing. Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute Blog
  13. 13. Glenn Taylor from MLT Ideas@Work Blog Knowing your clients creates compelling B2B content marketing. When was the last time you did a deep dive on your clients’ needs, wants and expectations? Are they receiving your content and coming away with the correct impression? Are you making assumptions in your content based on out-of-date research? If any of these questions strike a chord, here are some simple steps you can take to “true up” your knowledge base: Get a dialogue started – get the opinion that matters most: your client’s. Do some quick in-person or phone interviews with a handful of customers. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn. Jump the wall – don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing and, even better, what your customers think about what they’re doing. You are being compared to them every day. Investigate your sales cycle – do some research with your best sales people and hear what they hear every day from potential and existing customers. Define the hot spots within these interviews, and develop content to address them. Your sales team is the final link in the sales cycle; make them an ally and you’ll see your content marketing strategies soar.
  14. 14. Make your customer the hero of your story. The best content has a human element to it. Why? Because your readers are people, which means they will relate better to your story if you relate it to them on their level. Even if you sell something inherently boring like technology or toasters, focus on how your products or services touch people's lives. By the way, when you are talking about people, a good rule of thumb is this: Be specific enough to be believable and universal enough to be relevant. Which is a good rule for content, and for life. Ann Handley from MarketingProfs Blog
  15. 15. Need an inbound lift? If you’re looking for an agency that can get your B2B content marketing ideas off the ground, look no further. Give Billy Mitchell a call at 800-265-1244, ext. 227, or reach him online at Hurry up, though. We can’t wait to get started. MLT Creative brings decades of B2B marketing experience to building your brand and business. We craft winning programs with results that matter. MLT Creative is a B2B marketing agency, based in Atlanta. Founded by partners Billy Mitchell and Glenn Taylor, we are known as the Idea Launch Pad for B2B marketers. 4020 East Ponce de Leon Avenue Clarkston, GA 30021 Phone: (404) 292-4502 Fax: (404) 292-4480