Developing an editorial mindset in a non-editorial business

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They say everyone’s a publisher now, but what does that mean when you’re a b2b marketer with limited resources and no in-house editorial skills? How do you keep on producing marketable content, month in month out? Where do good ideas come from? Here are 5 things that b2b marketers can learn from publishers and editors…

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  • Good morning London. My name’s Dan Fielder. I’m the managing editor of Sticky Content.
  • As a digital copywriting agency, we’ve been helping our clients market themselves through their content, ever since we began, over 15 years ago.
  • Days like today show how far we’ve all come to the idea that content is the power behind all our digital marketing. ‘Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left,’ as Seth Godin puts it. Everyone’s a publisher now.
  • In b2c they’ve taken this very far. The budgets and the production values often exceed those of pureplay media outlets and editorial publishers. Look at Red Bull, for instance.
  • But in b2b, the reality is rather different. Survey after survey shows that many b2b companies face a real challenge in fitting their marketing culture to the new content-led reality.
  • B2b marketers say they don’t have the time or the skills or the resources to plan and create content effectively. They struggle to come up with original ideas for content. Many even struggle to keep their blog up to date – even though we know the difference just a regularly updated business blog can make to the bottom line. 44% of b2b marketers consider content marketing the most important element of their online marketing strategy28% of companies say ‘lack of time’ and ‘creating original content’ are their biggest social media challenge 65% of companies haven’t updated their blog in a yearb2b companies that blog only 1-2x/month generate 70% more leads than those that don't blog at all9/10  b2b organisations say they make use of content marketing 0% bounce Google’s Panda update is designed to give quality content a higher search profile. Google uses quantifiable metrics to determine the quality of a page, especially bounce rates and the length of time a user spends on a page. The better the content, the longer someone stays – and the more likely they are to share it socially. 70% Number of b2b buyers who begin the process by using a search engine, with 75% clicking on organic search results. Better give them something good to read when they get there...28% of marketers say “creating original content“ is their biggest social media challenge. Devising efficient content formats and editorial forward-planning might give you that competitive advantage. 10% Growth in content marketing predicted in 2012, for a UK market already worth £880million
  • So what do publishers and editors do that b2b marketers can learn from? I’m just going to outline a few suggestions for ways to help develop a more editorial approach to your marketing. Hopefully these ideas will help you plan and create content in a way that is realistic and sustainable for your business and your team. A bit of short-term pain for hopefully lots of long-term gain.
  • I’m not sure that when it comes to choosing a school for my child, that my nappy provider is my first port of call.
  • Your niche is the sweet spot where your domain of expertise overlaps with you users’ information needs. What do you know about than anyone else, that your prospects and uses really need to know more about?
  • 70% of b2b buyers begin the buying process by using a search engine, with 75% clicking on organic search results There’s been a huge spike in search queries/youtube queries beginning ‘How to’… Search term “how to” growing since 2007 - worldwide
  • People in b2b often say to me, but what I do is boring. But you’re not boring to me if you can answer the one question I really need to know, that no one else seems to be able to.
  • There are loads of great b2b case studies where a business has simply taken a very editorial approach to anticipating and answering users’ questions.
  • ‘What you want to think about is who your customers are and what are the issues that are important to them. What are they thinking about? Usually it's about their problems, rather than the name of your product. ‘So what you really want to do is blog about topics that are going to be interesting to your customers before they know who you are.’ Mike Volpe, HubSpotRead the original post here: 3 Case Studies of a Successful B2B Blog | Social Media Marketinghttp://windmillnetworking.com/2011/04/12/social-media-b2b-blog-case-studies/#ixzz2TwcqNlWuThis content is copyrighted and illegal copy of it without explicit permission is not permitted. Follow us: @msocialbusiness on Twitter | maximizesocialbusiness on Facebookouis E. PageThis is the example that I always talk about when I speak on social media.  If an old-school 19th century distributor of mesh and fencing can find something to blog about and generate business, so can your niche B2B business!What is exciting about mesh and fencing?  Nothing.  But businesses need it for a variety of reasons and look for tips and advice on the subject just like any given person looks for information on topics that are important to them.  What better way to give relevant information out to target customers than through a blog which then lands them on your website?Louis E. Page was able to deliver content that their target user was looking for and slowly built up a loyal following of potential customers who they were able to build a relationship of trust with.  They started seeing amazing statistics: A whitepaper on how to use woven-wire fencing to build a horse paddock received more than 1,500 downloads!The Bottom Line: Louis E. Page saw a 850% increase in sales leads since launching their blogLast night, a segment about HubSpot and HubSpot customer, Louis E. Page Inc. was featured on Business Day to show how small businesses (old and new) are finding great success with inbound marketing.  Louis E. Page Inc. is a 116-year old fencing supplier in Littleton, MA that is proving to be a "raging success story for how to use social networking and other online tools to increase sales and sales leads."Ever since Louis E. Page Inc. began using the HubSpotinbound marketing software and added "The Fence Post" blog to its website, the company has experienced a whopping 850 percent increase in sales leads. A little surprised that there is an audience for such a niche product and that a blog about fencing could do so well?  Mike explains:"What you want to think about is who your customers are and what are the issues that are important to them. What are they thinking about? Usually it's about their problems, rather than the name of your product and things like that. So what you really want to do is blog about topics that are going to be interesting to your customers before they know who you are,'' Volpe said
  • Now you know what your niche is, think who your subject matter experts are. Because c/m is about what your users need, you need to talk to anyone in your organisation with an insight into where your users are at or why your product or service can help them where others can’t.
  • Often that means talking to people who aren’t client-facing or marketing-led. As well as your sales team and your seo people, talk to your call centre teams, your researchers, your product geeks. People who may not realise they are sitting on insights and ideas that you can turn into valuable content.
  • These people may not be writers. Creating content is probably not top of their job description. But you need to be able to call on these people as an ongoing resource. Sell in the benefits to them – perhaps raising their profile or helping them to correct common misconceptions about a product or service. Be prepared to interview material out of them. Ask them to cc you on new developments and documents they’re creating, even if they are very internally focused.
  • Ideas are the hard currency of content marketing. You need lots of them, all the time, in a constant flow, so you can pick and choose and curate the best. One of the key things that editors do is they leave stuff out. A good editorial person develops an eye for what could make user-friendly content – and every contribution is grist to your ideas mill.
  • Email round asking for ideas. Get senior buy-in. Hold regular brainstorm meetings. Ask for input via the intranet. Subscribe to every possible internal information channel.
  • Sometimes the idea needs a bit of work – before it’s a real idea.
  • Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated. The 'average blog' thus has the lifespan of a fruitfly. One cruel reader of this page commented that the average blog also has the intelligence of a fly.Caslon Analytics
  • In the same in business.It’s relatively easy to have great content on one day of one week. To create one great troubleshooting guide or white paper or presentation. With content marketing, of course, the challenge is to keep up a flow of good stuff. That means looking for ideas with legs.
  • Be realistic. Without momentum, none of this will work. To avoid that sinking, one-post-wonder feeling, start by massively under-estimating what you can achieve. Focus on the simpler content outputs that require the least sign-off or stakeholder involvement. Get some results, some quick wins, then argue for greater investment of budget/resource.
  • Don’t look to keep coming up with brand new ideas -- look for content that can be broken down into series and episodes. So each week or month you’re not creating ideas from scratch, you’re looking for new topics to populate a format you already know is of use to your prospects. Create strong, repeatable content formats, supported by executional guidelines, which multiple authors can create and which can be sliced and diced and used across different platforms. Benefits in terms of seo, usability too.
  • Create strong, repeatable content formats, supported by executional guidelines, which multiple authors can create and which can be sliced and diced and used across different platforms. Virgin. So just create on individual ideas. Look for content that can be broken down into series and episodes, or that will generate comments – which themselves generate more content ideas. So each week or month you’re not creating ideas from scratch, you’re looking for new topics to populate a format you already know is of use to your prospects. Benefits in trms of seo, usability too. CWT. Sage.
  • When you plan a piece of content, think of all the different ways you might be able to use it. Look for ways to spin one idea into several pieces of content. The technical director’s keynote speech at a client day on the state of the market might become raw material for someone else to turn into a blog post, press release, an e-newsletter item, a short slideshare presentation, several tweets, and so on. Store cupboardThe original content creator may not be the one to do the repurposing, but you need to know ..
  • FireRock's Powerful Pinterest Content FireRock, a HubSpot customer that manufactures pre-engineered masonry products for contractors and home builders, has one of the best Pinterest accounts I've seen from a B2B company. It helps that they create really beautiful stone fireplaces, so the imagery is captivating, but they also know how to optimize Pinterest for their business.  What They Do Well:Clear Understanding of the Channel: Instead of taking pictures of the raw materials, FireRock recognized how many people actually use Pinterest: to get inspiration for their own designs and projects. Thus, FireRock pins pictures of their work in context of the home so people can envision the finished installation. Good Use of Geographic Labeling: Many of the pictures are tagged by geography, so viewers searching by region can find them more easily.
  • Also about being thoughtful, reader-centred, writing for the medium, etc all these points build your brand
  • Put it out there. Often come across this attitude: ‘We won’t do to give too much away.’ Most people’s problem is something more fundamental, like: ‘Why aren’t more people coming to us?’ If you’ve got some great content, or an idea that you think will appeal to users – even if there’s not a clear path to ROi – put it out there.If it appeals to you, trust your instincts and put it out there.
  • Developing an editorial mindset in a non-editorial business

    1. 1. Developing an editorialmindset in a non-editorial businessDan Fielder
    2. 2. ‘Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left’Seth Godin“Everyone‟s a publisher now”
    3. 3. © Sticky Content Limited
    4. 4. B2b marketing: not many space jumps● complex offering – sales cycle can run into years● prospects range from junior researchers to C-level● multiple stakeholders, heavy compliance● limited budget and resources, editorial skills● …but no lack of appetite (from marketers AND prospects)
    5. 5. Meeting the b2b content marketingchallenge…1. Find your editorial niche2. Work your contacts book3. Have ideas. Lots of them4. Get some momentum5. Slice, dice, curate
    6. 6. © Sticky Content LimitedFind yourniche…
    7. 7. © Sticky Content Limited“Hello. We do nappies.Can we help youchoose the rightschool for your child?”
    8. 8. Yourdomain ofexpertiseYour users‟informationneeds
    9. 9. © Sticky Content Limited
    10. 10. Answer a question, grow your content„One of our clients that develops an enterprise softwaresolution has been developing “technology tips” based oncustomer service queries for the past two years.When reviewing analytics last quarter, we realized thesecontent marketing assets contributed to 5% of the overallcontent viewed and 20% of the search queries received.‟Derek Edmond, KoMarketing Associates
    11. 11. © Sticky Content LimitedThe fence post blog• 850% increase in salesleads since launch.
    12. 12. © Sticky Content LimitedWork your contacts book
    13. 13. © Sticky Content Limited
    14. 14. © Sticky Content Limited
    15. 15. © Sticky Content LimitedHave ideas. Lots of them.
    16. 16. © Sticky Content LimitedWhere do ideas come from?● Formal brainstorms● Call centre queries● Keyword traffic● Competitor content analysis● Online forums● Social media buzz● Audience research● The news● Key business dates● Comments on blogs● Bathtub● Surveys● Watercooler conversation● New angles on old content● Overheard in the lift…● Walking round trade shows
    17. 17. © Sticky Content Limited
    18. 18. You are not the ideaRedefin[ing] customer relationships based on serving,educating, and entertaining customers with contentnecessitates a shift away from the “I” of a brand or producttoward the “you” of the customer.Content that is too product- or brand-focused does nottravel well digitally, whereas content that stands on itsown merits as entertainment, storytelling, education will beshared and passed along.From Content: The New Marketing EquationRebecca Lieb, Altimeter
    19. 19. © Sticky Content LimitedGet somemomentum
    20. 20. © Sticky Content Limited
    21. 21. © Sticky Content Limited
    22. 22. © Sticky Content Limited
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    26. 26. What financial information do investorswant from websites?Individual investors are intimidated by overly complex IR sitesand need simple summaries of financial data.Although users like the idea of webcasts, they rarely find thetime. But users like shorter videos to get a sense of who theexecutives are through tone of voice, body language etc.And users often prefer the much derided PowerPointslides.Jakob Nielsen, useit.com
    27. 27. © Sticky Content LimitedTried-and-trusted digital genres● FAQ● Step-by-step● Q&A● Timeline / chronology● Product page● Case study● What is… ?● How to… ?● Facts at a glance● Menu● News story● Testimonial● Top 10 tips● Factfile● Buyer‟s guide● Checklist● Biography● Product page
    28. 28. © Sticky Content Limited
    29. 29. © Sticky Content Limited
    30. 30. © Sticky Content Limited
    31. 31. © Sticky Content Limited
    32. 32. © Sticky Content Limited
    33. 33. © Sticky Content LimitedSlice, dice, curate
    34. 34. TalkBlogpostArticleComments3rd party siterepublishUser generatedcontentRetweetsBookmarksFurther thoughtpiecesBookmarksTrending ontwitterNew ideas fortalks, blog posts
    35. 35. © Sticky Content Limited
    36. 36. © Sticky Content Limited
    37. 37. © Sticky Content Limited
    38. 38. © Sticky Content LimitedInformation is what sells onlineIn our low-trust world, effective marketing is about developingrelationships built on trust and confidence.And there is no better way of developing such relationshipsthan by becoming a „generous brand‟ and showering yourprospects with news and information of value.Jim Stengal, Chief Marketing Officer, Proctor & Gamble
    39. 39. © Sticky Content LimitedPractise random acts of contentkindness
    40. 40. Thanks for listeningdan@stickycontent.co.ukwww.stickycontent.com+44 20 7704 3232emailus@stickycontent.co.uk@StickyContent@danfielder

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