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    Econsultancy b2b-content-marketing-trends-briefing-digital-cream-2014 54303 Econsultancy b2b-content-marketing-trends-briefing-digital-cream-2014 54303 Document Transcript

    • Market Data / Supplier Selection / Event Presentations / User Experience Benchmarking / Best Practice / Template Files / Trends & Innovation  B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 in association with BrightTALK Econsultancy London 4th Floor, Wells Point 79 Wells Street London W1T 3QN United Kingdom Telephone: +44 207 269 1450 http://econsultancy.com help@econsultancy.com Econsultancy New York 350 7th Avenue, Suite 307 New York, NY 10001 United States Telephone: +1 212 971 0630 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Published May 2014
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 3 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Contents 1. Introduction.....................................................................4 1.1. About Econsultancy .................................................................... 5 1.2. About BrightTALK ...................................................................... 5 2. Foreword by BrightTALK ................................................6 3. What is Content Marketing for B2B? .............................. 7 4. Market Trends .................................................................8 4.1. Contact strategies, international content and paywall strategies dominate the conversation......................................... 8 4.2. Centralisation of content production, a publishing mentality and good writers needed............................................................. 8 4.3. Outsourced content is difficult to get right but overcomes a lack of web producers and ‘visualisers’....................................... 9 4.4. Content formats adapted for mobile and video production skills are highly valued................................................................ 9 4.5. LinkedIn drives traffic but some senior figures still not engaging with social media ....................................................... 10 4.6. Matching content to stages of the buying cycle with CRM, automation and paywalls is resource heavy............................. 10 4.7. Sales can’t always be attributed to content, but analytics and testing are still important ................................................... 11 5. Key Challenges and Goals for B2B Content Marketers. 12 6. Case Studies ................................................................... 14 6.1. IBM creates content hub to engage with mid-size businesses..14 6.2. Maersk’s distribution of content with social media ..................16 6.3. Sage uses content to enhance search ranking ...........................17 7. Market Data and Statistics ............................................20 7.1. Econsultancy reports.................................................................20 7.2. Third-party statistics................................................................. 22 8. Resources .......................................................................25
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 4 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 1. Introduction This briefing is based on the issues discussed by digital marketers at Digital Cream London 2014. Digital Cream is a regular Econsultancy event, held across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia and Asia, bringing marketers to a selection of exclusive invitation-only roundtables, each with a different theme. Digital Cream provides an opportunity for senior client- side digital marketers to discuss best practice and the reality of digital marketing with the industry’s ‘cream of the crop’. With the discussion moderated by a subject matter expert, the elite of the digital world share their thoughts under the ‘Chatham House Rule’ which ensures that they can speak freely without their comments being attributable either to their company or themselves. In addition to the insights shared, this document provides background information on this topic, and points to resources from Econsultancy and other companies that provide analysis and discussion on the subject area. The Digital Cream roundtable on B2B content marketing was sponsored by BrightTALK and moderated by Ben Davis, Content and Community Producer at Econsultancy.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 5 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 1.1. About Econsultancy Econsultancy’s mission is to help its customers achieve excellence in digital business, marketing and ecommerce through research, training and events. Founded in 1999, Econsultancy has offices in New York, London and Singapore. Econsultancy is used by over 600,000 professionals every month. Subscribers get access to research, market data, best practice guides, case studies and elearning – all focused on helping individuals and enterprises get better at digital. The subscription is supported by digital transformation services including digital capability programmes, training courses, skills assessments and audits. We train and develop thousands of professionals each year as well as running events and networking that bring the Econsultancy community together around the world. Subscribe to Econsultancy today to accelerate your journey to digital excellence. Call us to find out more:  New York: +1 212 971 0630  London: +44 207 269 1450  Singapore: +65 6809 2088 1.2. About BrightTALK BrightTALK provides videos and webinars for professionals and their communities. Every day thousands of thought leaders are actively sharing their insights, their ideas and their most up-to- date knowledge with professionals all over the globe through the technologies that BrightTALK has created. At BrightTALK, we believe that people learn the most when they hear directly from those who know the subject best. We also believe that this experience is enhanced through a dialogue between speakers and the audience. Our online event tools offer a dynamic environment for everyone involved. It is the interactions we witness and the advancement of knowledge in our online communities that excites us the most. For more information about BrightTALK, visit www.brighttalk.com.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 6 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 2. Foreword by BrightTALK Having worked in B2B digital content marketing for the last five years, I’m beginning to wonder where the industry is going next. With technology enabling a more digitally connected and socially savvy B2B world, I feel organisations are constantly seeking out new ways to innovate and connect with buyers. But connecting with them once isn’t enough. Officially, B2B buyers spend about 60% of their time researching a solution before starting a conversation with a sales person. As a result, marketers need to create content so that they are present during these early stages and can nurture buyers through the sales cycle. Of course, for all your investment in a content marketing machine, you can also expect leads to bypass stages of the sales cycle and pick up the phone directly without doing any content research. Just accept it. At Digital Cream 2014, I engaged with many great marketers at different stages of their content journey. They have also experienced the same challenges I’ve had in creating compelling content, driving the best audiences and connecting it to revenues. The most important takeaway is to make content easy for prospects to consume by making it searchable, discoverable, and shareable. Giving the prospects great content and a great experience will get them to reengage. Quoc Dang Senior Manager, Demand Generation, BrightTALK
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 7 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 3. What is Content Marketing for B2B? What is content? Videos, webinars, tools, blog posts, how-to-guides, news, Q&As, images, photography, infographics, podcasts... anything produced via any media that isn’t a simple press release or mission statement. Good content should be one or all of three things: entertaining, interesting or useful. If the content isn’t any of the above, then it has no value and we won’t stake our online reputation on its quality. What is content marketing? Content marketing is the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. What is content marketing for B2B? This depends on the company in question, but the main difference between using content for B2B (as opposed to B2C) is the use of different content at various levels of the sales funnel and the customer lifecycle. Content is used for brand awareness, but also to attract, quantify, engage and nurture leads, as well as for customer retention. Other differences to B2C can include how niche or myriad the content is, often aligned to fairly complex products and compiled by thought leaders in a particular industry. B2B companies may also have clients in a range of verticals, making it harder to tailor content. Additionally, access can be a thorny part of content strategy as many B2B companies have content as part of product. Determining what is notionally free and can be distributed is perhaps a challenge.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 8 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 4. Market Trends 4.1. Contact strategies, international content and paywall strategies dominate the conversation At Digital Cream 2014, professionals working in all areas of B2B marketing fleshed out their thoughts on the challenges, goals and strategies they have in content marketing. Notably, this year’s discussions did not focus too heavily on content format. Although it’s acknowledged that different content works well in different scenarios (more on this later), most companies admitted to creating content and being able to judge its efficacy. Formats that may have caused confusion in previous years, such as video and interactive elements, are now within the experience of many B2B companies. More than content format, contact strategies were a theme for discussion. This is an area that blends content with CRM and automation, showing how joined-up a content marketing strategy has to be. Whereas debates in previous years may have been about the need for content, board buy-in is now being sought for improved database and marketing technologies to properly exploit content. Creating content for international markets emerged as a bigger trend than in previous years. This is particularly true for non-English speaking regions in Asia Pacific, where the challenge of creating local content within a centralised strategy was one not many had got to grips with. Other general trends included the challenge of setting paywall strategies for publishers (how much to give away?) and how best to work with senior thought leaders to ensure effective dissemination. Involving senior stakeholders included challenges as disparate as ‘how do we get senior staff on LinkedIn?’ to ‘how do we sensitively edit senior staff’s opinion pieces to make sure they are relevant?’ 4.2. Centralisation of content production, a publishing mentality and good writers needed According to some professionals, content creation fails when it isn’t centralised. If content creation is devolved or even created outside of the business itself, consistency can be lost. However, when keeping the creation of content in-house, staff need to be appropriately skilled, whether it’s thought leaders being focused and edited well, as well as taught how to use social platforms, or marketing staff taught how to create new forms of web content. There is a huge desire for authorship. The people behind the content also need to be or reflect the people personally driving the product. Thought leaders need to put their name and face to the content, as this engenders a feeling of trust and credibility. Unfortunately these thought leaders tend to also be the busiest people in the company and therefore can’t necessarily be relied on for timely commitment. Product knowledge also doesn’t always translate to market knowledge, so correctly pitching a piece of content can be tricky when relying on a topic expert. Marketing teams need to adopt a ‘publishing’ mentality. They need to be able to moderate, appraise and proof content as it’s being produced. Some would argue that marketers need to be writers. As our reading habits have changed, the ability to write for the web is a must for all new employees. Training courses on writing for the
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 9 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 web should be offered to any employee who has anything to do with content creation, marketing or distribution. If specific training cannot be given due to limited resources or resistance, then skilled interviewers are needed to find and hire the right level of creative employee. The major takeaway for writing for the web is that it’s vital that you write for people, not for search engines, using as little jargon and acronyms as possible. 4.3. Outsourced content is difficult to get right but overcomes a lack of web producers and ‘visualisers’ Should a company use third parties to create its content for clients? It seems that there are masses of content creators out there, but there is no consistency of quality. One option for a successful third-party approach would be to create a standardised template or strategy to help get the best results from outsourced creators. It’s been experienced that there can be lots of ‘storytellers’ in an organisation, but nobody who can visualise ideas effectively. Often employees ‘have a go’ at content and the company feels obliged to put it live. Web producers are often needed to help produce content, but this resource is hard to find, especially when many tech teams proper are under-resourced. This leads to the question of whether it is better not to publish content that is poor even though time, money and other resources have been spent on it, or if it should just be published for the sake of it – to be seen to be ‘doing something’. This can be damaging for the brand and it’s felt that a hard line must be taken with content that isn’t up to scratch. There is also the challenge that visual creators are very much in demand. Especially the good ones; those with creative skills, subject knowledge and marketing expertise. Some companies have partnered with other brands to co-create content. Thereby sharing markets and doubling both brands’ audience. Buying in data in order to market to a new audience is a challenge, as making the right connection can be a time-consuming and costly exercise. However, if you partner with a brand with a similar demographic as yours this will give good chance of a relevant audience. 4.4. Content formats adapted for mobile and video production skills are highly valued Video and webinars were considered to be one of the stronger formats for marketing to customers closer to sale of a considered purchase. The video format is expected more and more by customers and can be used to circumvent reams of written content having to be used to explain complicated subjects. It’s immediately engaging, concise and can deliver a vast amount of information quickly. The challenge is that it’s difficult to make ‘good’ video, as there are many component parts to video production that require multiple skills or multiple individuals with unique skills. To this end, tools to make videos quicker and easier to make are valued. More video is being watched on mobile as smartphone capability and speed of networks improve. Written content has to be snackable and reading on mobile is affecting content formatting online and in print.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 10 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Infographics and data visualisation are relevant when done well. Pictures are very important for engagement on social media, whether when creating or curating content. Being aware of topical subject matter and tying content to it can help engagement. One company gave the example of Britain’s flooding this winter as an event they had lots of relevant content around, but failed to take advantage of. 4.5. LinkedIn drives traffic but some senior figures still not engaging with social media Social media is an effective way of pushing out older but evergreen content on a regular basis. These efforts need strategising in order not to seem like mere company broadcasting. There has been a huge change in perception when it comes to social media as a distribution channel. The effectiveness of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter has been proved time and time again. However there is still some resistance from older generations holding senior positions in companies. There are some blue chip companies that still restrict social media access. It’s difficult to build a business case for using social media as a means of distribution if you can’t access it within your own office. Of the social networks used, LinkedIn is driving most traffic and leads to B2B websites, but companies must be subtle when engaging. Answering questions in full and not merely selling products is needed. The right content must be married to the right channel. Therefore research needs to be undertaken as to the users of a specific channel and their expectations. 4.6. Matching content to stages of the buying cycle with CRM, automation and paywalls is resource heavy Email has been proven for many companies as the best driver of engagement. Remarketing to people who are already familiar with your brand is seen as a highly successful practice. Using CRM and a level of automation, relevant content can be targeted to customers at the appropriate stage of the buying funnel. Any visitor who engages with content can be remarketed to, led down the funnel towards purchase. This however means that the more you categorise, the more unique content is needed to be created for marketing. It’s important to be realistic. Not all problems can be solved at once. Instead find the common solution. Paid media is important, especially PPC, when promoting content. However, strategies for paid media need to be supported by website architecture. Being able to create and optimise landing pages is a must. Content is still the best way to cement a company’s standing in search engine results pages (SERPs). Content creation can be relatively cheap compared with paid media campaigns. Paywalls and the freemium model are a hot topic for many B2B companies. How much should be given away? Setting a big enough gate, to allow potential customers to sample enough content to want to buy, is important, without giving away the crown jewels.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 11 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 4.7. Sales can’t always be attributed to content, but analytics and testing are still important Content creation needs to be supported by data and research. It also needs to be measured once it’s been released in order to gauge its effectiveness and forecast for future strategy. It’s sometimes difficult to get feedback after content has been published and the value of that feedback can also be ambiguous, therefore analytics are a necessity for every company. Most professionals who were asked what systems they used generally said free tools, such as Google Analytics. The consensus was that although analytics can point out where a problem is, it’s hard to prove how content contributed to a lead. It was also felt that data could easily be manipulated to ‘look good’. Training in analytics is seen as an area that needs much improvement. Multivariate testing was mentioned as being a key way to measure the effectiveness of content marketing. There was also a divide between whether the best metric for success was traffic or revenue. Sales is ultimately the only metric a marketer should be interested in, albeit not just in the short term. Marketing teams and content creators must have an awareness of both content traffic stats, relevant for brand awareness and engagement such as shares, as well as how content is encouraging sales. Attribution can be a difficult beast when considering mobile, paid media and particularly social. Because attributing revenue to content can be tricky (outside of CRM and email), the organisation must have an almost ideological commitment to content and report on its success in ways that senior managers can relate to.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 12 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 5. Key Challenges and Goals for B2B Content Marketers Organisational challenges How do you customise content for a client, efficiently and without sacrificing time and resources in other areas of your business? How do you articulate ambition to senior departments or heads?  Turning off the fire hose – how to utilise or effectively curate the vast amounts of content that has already been created by a company and make the most out of it. Especially if that company already has a large subscriber base.  Working outside of silos, bringing together different teams within an organisation that wouldn’t normally collaborate in order to create, distribute and measure content. A good example is taking to experts in product teams, the marketing department and the social media or communications team.  Many companies have the technology and tools to create content, but limited resources. Others have the opposite problem. Both of these challenges demand investment.  Encouraging staff, especially potential influencers and experts as well as management, to develop their own social footprints to allow further amplification and dissemination of content.  Expanding internationally – creating local content with tailored guidelines fitting local regulation and culture, while fitting within a central strategy.  Increasing the awareness of B2B products in a company better known for B2C products.  Curation – knowing your own content inside out in order to use it to find new customers or steer existing customers towards older but still relevant content. Format challenges Producing content to effectively target different verticals.  The key areas that B2B professionals are using content marketing for are: – Brand awareness – Lead nurturing – Retention It has been experienced that people writing for retention don’t necessarily have a marketing mind and are unable to add that ‘saleable’ edge. Similarly, marketers don’t necessarily have the skills to create good quality content.  Some companies are using clients’ existing content to help create brand new content. Although this can be a tricky area, as clients of course tend to be reluctant to use their own content in this manner. The ability to share best practice guides with clients would be a beneficial practice according to some professionals.  Some companies have a small base of high-ticket clients, where sales are less frequent but content needs to be of very high value. Professionals in these companies felt that it would be useful to be able to repurpose a document made for a previous client in a way that made it not seem like ‘recycling’ but in fact was providing a much deeper level of service.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 13 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Distribution challenges Deciding how much content to give away when a paywall is in place. How big is the gate in the wall?  Many agree that an effective skill in using and reusing existing content is the ability to take larger pieces of content, break them up into smaller chunks and market these smaller pieces through different channels. Companies with a large amount of existing content are using it as an acquisition tool.  A further challenge in this area is tailoring that existing content effectively for the new client, or even just simplifying it for a more general readership. The less content has to be made from scratch the more time can be devoted to other areas of the business. Measurement challenges Scalability – how much content is needed to be created in order to generate revenue?  Making content work for ROI, whether that means revenue, conversion, social shares or client satisfaction.  Lack of systems for measuring the success of content marketing and the subsequent inability to amplify that success and communicate it to senior executives.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 14 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 6. Case Studies 6.1. IBM creates content hub to engage with mid-size businesses IBM created an educational content hub to reach and engage with IT professionals at mid-size businesses, driving traffic to IBM.com and achieving a clickthrough rate more than 10 times the industry average. Summary IBM wanted to demonstrate the value of its mid-size business solutions to IT professionals at mid-size businesses, ensuring the brand was front of mind when purchasing decisions were made. With more companies investing in content as a way to reach and engage customers, strengthen credibility and build a community of brand advocates, IBM identified this as an effective means of reaching and engaging with its target audience. IBM launched MidsizeInsider.com, an online editorial hub and educational platform, producing content based on IBM’s objectives, prospective customer interests and pain points. During 2012 there were over 7,200 direct visits to IBM.com (without paid media support) and a 1.7% clickthrough rate (CTR). Objectives and aims IBM wanted to reach and engage IT professionals at mid-size businesses in order to demonstrate its business solutions, which offer businesses information technology and services designed to help them realise their full potential.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 15 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 The company sought to be top of mind as a problem solver and solution provider with “affordable, easy-to-implement” solutions. Leslie Reiser, Program Director of WW Marketing for IBM General Business, chose a content marketing approach to spread brand awareness and increase IBM’s standing within this customer consideration set. To be successful, the team needed to implement and sustain a newsroom-oriented production process for creating quality content at scale. Implementation, execution and tactics More companies are turning to content as a way to reach and engage customers, strengthen credibility and build a community of brand advocates. With this in mind, IBM created MidsizeInsider.com, an online information repository and educational platform designed to address key trends and breaking news pertinent to mid-size business owners. The company worked with the Digital Influence Group to provide planning, development and implementation of MidsizeInsider.com, as well as overall strategic guidance for cultivating awareness among mid-market technology professionals. IBM also partnered with Skyword’s Content Production Platform and advisory services to help manage the content marketing process. The company’s content marketing hub features strategic topic selection based on IBM’s objectives, prospective customer interests and pain points, using a pool of 20,000+ freelancers to produce editorial. A SaaS platform was deployed for content strategy, content development, content production and optimisation for search and social promotion, as well as measurement and analytics, while detailed content intelligence was gathered for identifying the information IBM’s target audience valued, in order to continually improve content offerings. Results  In 2012, IBM’s Midsize Insider program created over 2,900 articles and saw more than 204 million social impressions generated.  More than 595,000 page views were recorded, and content was shared over 16,000 times.  There were over 7,200 direct visits to IBM.com (without paid media support) and a 1.7% CTR (more than 10 times industry CTR averages for banner ads). [Source: Econsultancy]
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 16 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 6.2. Maersk’s distribution of content with social media Danish shipping company Maersk began using social media in 2011 as an experiment to see whether its customers would interact with them in the same way as in B2C industries. The plan was to raise brand awareness, gain insight into the market and get closer to its customers. However, Maersk’s activity distributing content through social media has also helped to generate leads. Maersk focuses on the stories that emerge from within the business, such as how it is helping fuel a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados. Similarly, using Facebook, Maersk garnered 150 unique leads from a Facebook campaign telling the story of how its shipping containers navigate the frozen Baltic Sea during winter. The Facebook page linked to a landing page where users could fill in their information to download a brochure about the company’s anti-freeze services. Those who downloaded the form became a lead in Maersk’s sales pipeline. Maersk now has more than 1.5 million Facebook fans (of which around 15% are customers) and 12,000 Twitter followers, as well as active accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. [Source: Econsultancy]
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 17 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 6.3. Sage uses content to enhance search ranking Sage integrated paid search and SEO to raise awareness of the company’s offering among micro- businesses and to boost sales, developing original content around seven themes to identify user intent. Summary Enterprise software company Sage wanted to engage with an audience which is expensive and difficult to reach, namely micro-businesses (fewer than 10 employees) through traditional channels. Its data-focused approach not only identified how to reach these audiences online, but also how to engage with them effectively by providing them with the content they were looking for. The project used search and content as a brand awareness channel through a measurement framework which allowed it to actively optimise for engagement and made the connection between awareness and conversion further down the line. The campaign achieved a reach of over 85% in the UK micro-business sector. Objectives and aims Sage is a multinational enterprise software company headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of enterprise resource planning software and of the largest suppliers to small businesses. The company wanted to:  Reach micro-businesses where awareness was low, the brand was not perceived as relevant and sales were lost to competitors.  Demonstrate efficiency in reaching this market and driving awareness.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 18 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014  Impact sales. Implementation, execution and tactics Research showed micro-businesses were reliant on search to find help with business problems. With this insight, Sage focused purely on this channel to meet objectives. The company categorised this search behaviour into seven themes to identify user intent (i.e. Start a Business, Grow Your Business, Manage Cash Flow, Control Costs, Work Life Balance, Beat Business Fears and Employing People), developed original content in multiple formats around each theme, and used an integrated SEO and PPC campaign to connect this content with its target audience.  The measurement framework ensured that Sage could actively optimise budgets to deliver objectives efficiently and track engagements through to sale.  Categorising 100,000 business searches by theme and volume helped develop the right strategy and deliver it efficiently.  The measurement framework scored every valuable action relatively, from a visit to a video view to a PDF download, and set a permanent cookie to track how these engagements turned into sales up to 180 days later.  In PPC the campaign was actively bid managed, so these content engagement metrics and cookie pools were built around each theme to extend reach across the Google Display Network.  SEO focused on the top 30 keywords in terms of volume and engagement using PPC data, categorising the SEO keywords using the PPC campaign structure to deliver integrated data, report on SEO CTR (using impression data from PPC) and understand incrementality between the channels.  A 12-week off-site campaign also ran to ethically build links and social media ‘signals’ around the seven themes.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 19 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Results  The campaign achieved a reach of over 85% in the UK micro-business sector, according to Google, generating 130m impressions.  On softer metrics, the campaign generated 578,600 ‘engagements’ (clicks, video views, shares, likes).  On harder metrics, the campaign generated 13,000 PDF downloads and 600 leads (contact forms completed).  In PPC, CTRs were up to 33% on generic keywords due to the themed nature of the campaign involving over 11,000 ad groups.  In SEO, half of the target 30 keywords moved from outside the top 100 to first page on Google within three months.  Like-for-like sales up 20% year-on-year, including 19,000 new software demos generated during the campaign. [Source: Econsultancy]
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 20 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 7. Market Data and Statistics 7.1. Econsultancy reports Content marketing is one of the three most important business opportunities in 2014, alongside customer experience and mobile, according to the Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing on 2014 digital trends. The report is based on a global survey of more than 2,500 marketers and internet professionals carried out at the end of 2013. Figure 1: Which one area is the single most exciting opportunity for your organisation (or for your clients) in 2014? Source: https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2014-digital-trends The Econsultancy / Responsys Marketing Budgets 2014 report revealed a continuing trend of content marketing as the most buoyant area for investment.  Around three-quarters of responding companies (74%) said they will be increasing their content marketing budgets in 2014, up from 70% a year ago.  Looking at the supply side, a resounding 80% of agencies say their clients will be increasing their budgets in content marketing.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 21 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Agency respondents Figure 2: What best describes your clients’ budget plans for the following digital marketing channels or disciplines in 2014? Source: https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-budgets According to Econsultancy’s State of Search Marketing Report 2013 (in association with SEMPO), 45% of companies say content marketing is ‘highly integrated’ with their SEO strategy. Organisations are more likely to integrate content marketing with their SEO strategy than they are with any other digital marketing discipline (just 24% for paid search marketing and 16% for mobile marketing).
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 22 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Company respondents Figure 3: To what degree are your search engine optimisation efforts integrated with the following digital marketing disciplines? Source: https://econsultancy.com/reports/sempo-state-of-search 7.2. Third-party statistics  86% of B2B manufacturing marketers in North America use content marketing. [Source: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, March 2014] – 30% of B2B manufacturing marketers in North America say they are effective at content marketing. – 21% of B2B manufacturing marketers in North America have a documented content strategy. – 60% of B2B manufacturing marketers in North America have someone in place to oversee content strategy. – 26% of B2B manufacturing marketers in North America say they produce significantly more content now compared to a year ago. – 55% of B2B manufacturing marketers in North America outsource content creation.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 23 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 – In-person events and videos are considered the most effective content tactics among North American B2B manufacturers.  More than 73% of US B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their go-to-market strategy. [Source: AdAge, January 2014]  In North America, 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing. [Source: Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, October 2013] – 42% of B2B marketers in North America say they are effective at content marketing. – 44% of North American B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. – 73% of North American B2B marketers have someone who oversees the content marketing strategy. – 73% of North American B2B content marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 24 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 – 57% of North American B2B enterprise companies tailor content by profiling individual decision makers.
    • B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing Key Takeaways from Digital Cream, London 2014 Page 25 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 8. Resources Reports B2B Content Marketing Best Practice Guide https://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-content-marketing-best-practice-guide Digital Content Strategy Best Practice Guide https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-content-strategy-best-practice-guide Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: From Content Management to Customer Experience Management https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-from-content- management-to-customer-experience-management Content Statistics https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics Content Marketing – Digital Marketing Template Files https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-marketing-digital-marketing-template-files SEO Best Practice Guide https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide Blog posts 13 content marketing tips from the experts: how to write a great blog https://econsultancy.com/blog/61887-13-content-marketing-tips-from-the-experts-how-to- write-a-great-blog Six examples of B2B companies that shine on Twitter https://econsultancy.com/blog/62692-six-examples-of-b2b-companies-that-shine-on-twitter 70 epic content marketing best practice tips, stats, blog posts and more https://econsultancy.com/blog/63014-70-epic-content-marketing-best-practice-tips-stats-blog- posts-and-more The challenge of blending content with data: discussion and infographic https://econsultancy.com/blog/64601-the-challenge-of-blending-content-with-data-discussion- and-infographic Which content marketing formats work best? https://econsultancy.com/blog/64007-which-content-marketing-formats-work-best The freemium model and paywall strategies: how much such you give away? https://econsultancy.com/blog/64633-the-freemium-model-and-paywall-strategies-how-much- should-you-give-away Leads and opportunities are the primary B2B marketing measure, not attention https://econsultancy.com/blog/64348-leads-and-opportunities-are-the-primary-b2b-marketing- measure-not-attention B2B SEO demystified: a content marketing case study https://econsultancy.com/blog/63550-b2b-seo-demystified-a-content-marketing-case-study