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Building a Brand Newsroom: How the Rules of Content Marketing Are Changing for Technology Companies

This presentation, delivered and created by Steve Smith of The Starr Conspiracy for InfluenceHR, will show you the importance of brand in B2B marketing, how brand and demand are joined at the hip, and how to focus your time, effort, and budget to create content that builds brand and generates demand.

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BUILDING A BRAND NEWSROOM
HOW THE RULES OF CONTENT MARKETING
ARE CHANGING FOR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES

#INFLUENCEHR
WHO IS STEVE SMITH?
PARTNER AT
THE STARR CONSPIRACY
EXECUTIVE EDITOR
TSC INTELLIGENCE UNIT
FORMER
NEWSPAPER JOURNALIST
FORMER HR CONSULTANT
AND COMMUNICATOR

#INFLUENCEHR
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
1

HOW BRAND AND
DEMAND ARE JOINED
AT THE HIP

2

HOW TO FOCUS YOUR
TIME, EFFORT, AND
BUDGET TO CREATE
CONTENT THAT BUILDS
BRAND AND GENERATES
DEMAND

3

THE PLACE OF BRAND
IN B2B MARKETING

#INFLUENCEHR
WHAT IS
BRAND JOURNALISM,
ANYWAY?
#INFLUENCEHR
FIRST, SOME GOOD NEWS
HR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES
HAVE BEEN LEADERS
IN CONTENT MARKETING
FOR YEARS.

#INFLUENCEHR
NOW, THE NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS
HR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES
HAVE A LOT OF ROOM
FOR IMPROVEMENT
IN THEIR USE OF BRAND.

#INFLUENCEHR

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Building a Brand Newsroom: How the Rules of Content Marketing Are Changing for Technology Companies

  • 1. BUILDING A BRAND NEWSROOM HOW THE RULES OF CONTENT MARKETING ARE CHANGING FOR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES #INFLUENCEHR
  • 2. WHO IS STEVE SMITH? PARTNER AT THE STARR CONSPIRACY EXECUTIVE EDITOR TSC INTELLIGENCE UNIT FORMER NEWSPAPER JOURNALIST FORMER HR CONSULTANT AND COMMUNICATOR #INFLUENCEHR
  • 3. WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU? 1 HOW BRAND AND DEMAND ARE JOINED AT THE HIP 2 HOW TO FOCUS YOUR TIME, EFFORT, AND BUDGET TO CREATE CONTENT THAT BUILDS BRAND AND GENERATES DEMAND 3 THE PLACE OF BRAND IN B2B MARKETING #INFLUENCEHR
  • 5. FIRST, SOME GOOD NEWS HR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES HAVE BEEN LEADERS IN CONTENT MARKETING FOR YEARS. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 6. NOW, THE NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS HR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES HAVE A LOT OF ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THEIR USE OF BRAND. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 7. WHAT IS BRAND JOURNALISM? “Brand journalism is when any organization creates valuable information and shares it with the world. Brand journalism is not a product pitch. It is not an advertorial. It is not an egotistical spewing of gobbledygook-laden corporate drivel. Instead, brand journalism is the creation of Web content — videos, blog posts, photos, charts, graphs, essays, e-books, white papers — that deliver value to your marketplace and serve to position your organization as one worthy of doing business with.” DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT, 2010 #INFLUENCEHR
  • 8. WHAT IS BRAND JOURNALISM? “Brands will resemble publishers and assemble newsrooms and hire or train journalists who can tell stories and contribute to major publications.” MICHAEL BRENNER, SAP #INFLUENCEHR
  • 9. EXAMPLE: CISCO’S “MY NETWORKED LIFE” http://newsroom.cisco.com/mynetworkedlife #INFLUENCEHR
  • 10. EXAMPLE: SAP GOES BIG ON NATIVE ADS http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/ #INFLUENCEHR
  • 11. DOES BRAND JOURNALISM EQUAL CONTENT MARKETING? No … but they both can be used in similar ways. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 12. CONTENT MARKETING BRAND JOURNALISM BRAND JOURNALISM IS TELLING STORIES FOR BRAND AWARENESS. CONTENT MARKETING IS DEVELOPING AND DISTRIBUTING VALUABLE CONTENT FOR DEMAND GENERATION. BOTH ARE ABOUT BUILDING TRUST AND CREDIBILITY. BOTH SHOULD COMMUNICATE PERSONAL VALUE/BENEFIT. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 13. No matter what you call it, you have to do it. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 14. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF BRAND IN B2B MARKETING? #INFLUENCEHR
  • 15. WHAT IS BRAND? It’s what differentiates you from your competitors. It’s also the first step in building a relationship with the buyer. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 16. FACT OR MYTH? B2C BRANDS > B2B BRANDS #INFLUENCEHR
  • 17. MYTH Some B2B brands can connect better than B2C ones. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 18. THE ROLE OF BRAND IN B2B RECALL AND RECOGNITION CATEGORY IDENTIFICATION FUNCTIONAL ASSOCIATION (UNASSISTED AND ASSISTED) (WHICH TOOLBOX) (WHICH TOOL IN THE BOX) DIFFERENTIATION FEATURES AND BENEFITS COMMUNICATION OF VALUES (WHY YOU ARE THE BEST TOOL) (HOW YOU DO IT AND WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER GETS) (MAKING AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION) #1 #INFLUENCEHR
  • 19. 3 TRUTHS ABOUT B2B BRAND 1 THE PRACTICE OF BRAND IN B2B TECHNOLOGY CATEGORIES IS TOO OFTEN ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY IS ALWAYS A TEMPORARY ADVANTAGE 2 THE PRACTICE OF BRAND IN B2B LAGS AND NEEDS GREATER SOPHISTICATION 3 #INFLUENCEHR
  • 20. THE GREAT B2B BRAND DILEMMA COMMUNICATION OF YOUR BUSINESS VALUE COMMUNICATION OF PERSONAL VALUE ALL ABOUT YOU: AWARDS, EXPERIENCE, NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM? STRATEGIC INSIGHT, BUSINESS AGILITY, EFFICIENCY, COST SAVINGS #INFLUENCEHR
  • 21. WE HAVE A WINNER! Percentage Lift Commercial Impact of Perceived Brand Benefits a 50% 25% 0% 42.6% 21.4% BUSINESS VALUE PERSONAL VALUE Functional benefits Business outcomes Professional benefits (e.g., promotion) Social benefits (e.g., popularity) Emotional benefits (e.g., confidence) n=3,000. Source: CEB/Motista Survey; CEB analysis. a Familiarity, consideration, preference, purchase, repeat purchase, premium payment, internal advocacy, external advocacy. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 22. WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU? Percentage Lift Likely Purchase Outcomes Buyers Who Do vs. Don’t See Personal Value 100% 71% See personal value Don’t see personal value 68.8% 50% 22.6% 8.5% 0% WILL PURCHASE WILL PAY A HIGHER PRICE n=3,000. Source: CEB/Motista Survey; CEB analysis. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 23. VALUE VALUES HOW THE BUYER PERSONALLY BENEFITS ALIGNMENT BASED ON ATTITUDES, BEHAVIORS, AND BELIEFS #INFLUENCEHR
  • 24. VALUE — AN EXAMPLE Performance tools based on social technologies are more familiar and intuitive to employees. Employees adopt these tools easily and give more frequent feedback to peers and managers — leading to a more productive, engaged workforce. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 25. VALUES — AN EXAMPLE Traditional performance management takes a top-down approach that is incompatible with today’s workplace. Social performance is better aligned with the grassroots collaboration style of today’s knowledge workers. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 26. BRAND VALUES = PROSPECT’S VALUES #INFLUENCEHR
  • 27. VALUE + VALUES = EMOTION HR technology brands must make an emotional connection with the buyer. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 28. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE 1 BUYERS ARE BOMBARDED WITH MESSAGES. MORE CHANNELS, MORE DISTRACTIONS. IT’S HARDER TO RISE ABOVE THE NOISE. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 29. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE 1 BUYERS ARE BOMBARDED WITH MESSAGES. MORE CHANNELS, MORE DISTRACTIONS. IT’S HARDER TO RISE ABOVE THE NOISE. How many more emails do you get today than you did five years ago? #INFLUENCEHR
  • 30. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE 2 BUYERS ARE TAKING ON MORE OF THE RESEARCH BEFORE THEY ENGAGE WITH YOU. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 31. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE 2 BUYERS ARE TAKING ON MORE OF THE RESEARCH BEFORE THEY ENGAGE WITH YOU. Forrester: “Today’s buyers might be anywhere from 2/3 to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor.” “Use Behavioral Marketing to Up the Ante in the Age of the Customer.” 2013. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 32. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE CONVERSION RATES ARE GOING DOWN, COST OF CUSTOMER ACQUISITION IS GOING UP. #INFLUENCEHR 3
  • 33. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE Email: .5% was the new 1%. Now, .3% is the new .5%. CONVERSION RATES ARE GOING DOWN, COST OF CUSTOMER ACQUISITION IS GOING UP. #INFLUENCEHR 3
  • 34. IT’S TOUGH OUT THERE 1 BUYERS ARE BOMBARDED WITH MESSAGES. MORE CHANNELS, MORE DISTRACTIONS. IT’S HARDER TO RISE ABOVE THE NOISE. BUYERS ARE TAKING ON MORE OF THE RESEARCH BEFORE THEY ENGAGE WITH YOU. 2 CONVERSION RATES ARE GOING DOWN, COST OF CUSTOMER ACQUISITION IS GOING UP. 3 #INFLUENCEHR
  • 35. THIS IS THE MAIN POINT Emotional connections to your brand increase demand. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 36. WHAT’S GETTING IN THE WAY? Too many B2B marketers are still risk-averse and don’t differentiate enough. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 37. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR USING CONTENT TO BUILD YOUR BRAND #INFLUENCEHR
  • 39. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST KNOW YOUR DIFFERENTIATION. FIND BUYERS WHO ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES. #INFLUENCEHR 1
  • 40. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. EMPATHY IS THE GOAL. #INFLUENCEHR 2
  • 41. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE HEATHER: VP OF HR This buyer is primarily within HR — either a CHRO, EVP/SVP/VP, or Director. The buyer is 95% white, 60%+ female, mid- to late 40s, college-educated, usually with some kind of advanced degree. The buyer is fairly tech-savvy and believes she can evaluate solutions on her own. 49 YEARS OLD WHITE FEMALE MARRIED WITH 2 CHILDREN HOMEOWNER 17 YRS. OF HR EXPERIENCE 5 YRS. WITH CURRENT EMPLOYER COLLEGE-EDUCATED HOLDS ADVANCED DEGREE “I arrived an hour and a half early this morning to get ready for the board meeting, where I’ll be presenting on the workforce management reports. It’s round three of tweaking the budget to meet my CFO’s ‘cut 6%’ order, so I’m meeting with my team to prioritize our activities. Because benefits enrollment is only a few weeks away, I’ve got to finish the employee dependent audit sooner rather than later. Preferably before the OFCP charge deposition next week. To top it off, I’ve just been pinged to support the cross-functional planning committee in charge of the company holiday party, and the twelfth person today just knocked on my door asking if I ‘had a minute.’ Hopefully, it doesn’t run too long because my youngest has a basketball game tonight.” #INFLUENCEHR
  • 42. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST THINK LIKE AN EVANGELIST. YOU’VE GOT TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING PASSIONATELY AND TELL EVERYBODY. #INFLUENCEHR 3
  • 43. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS Know your brand's goals, message, products, and audiences Tell stories Get the right tools and partners to produce and distribute content effectively YOU NEED ONE CHAMPION WHO GETS IT. YOU CAN’T OUTSOURCE IT. #INFLUENCEHR 4
  • 44. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST COMMIT TO PRODUCING GREAT, HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT. #INFLUENCEHR 5
  • 45. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST COMMIT TO CONSISTENCY. THAT’S CODE FOR EDITORIAL CALENDAR. #INFLUENCEHR 6
  • 46. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST BE AGILE. YOU MUST NOT BE A SLAVE TO YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR. #INFLUENCEHR 7
  • 47. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST COMMIT TO CONTEXT. DELIVER THE RIGHT MESSAGE TO THE RIGHT PERSON AT THE RIGHT TIME. #INFLUENCEHR 8
  • 48. DELIVER MESSAGES WITH CONTEXT EXPLORER SUSPECT PROSPECT OPPORTUNITY CUSTOMER Any potential customer sometime in the future Anyone in market for your solution Any suspect who has become a qualified lead (MQL) Any prospect who is a marketing-generated opportunity (MGO) A potential renewal or upsell opportunity WHAT THEY ARE ASKING YOU “Interest me.” “Show me.” “Tell me.” “Convince me.” “Support me.” STAGE OF THE BUYING CYCLE PRE-SALE: NOT IN THE FUNNEL Individual is one of the following: Unaware of need Unsure of need, uncommitted to change Sure of need, uncommitted to change EARLY STAGE: TOP OF THE FUNNEL Individual is: MIDDLE STAGE: MID-FUNNEL Individual is: Determining criteria Exploring possible solutions Scoping at a detailed level Evaluating options Making the business case Committed to change and exploring possible solutions Initial inquiry, first level of engagement Determining level of urgency Scoping at a high level Committing to a solution Committing to a vendor LATE STAGE: LOW IN THE FUNNEL Individual is: Justifying decision Resolving issues Finalizing selection Closing the deal POST-SALE: SUPPORT/UPSELL Individual is: Implementing solution Engaging employees to adopt solution Considering additional purchases Deciding whether to renew or look for a new vendor #INFLUENCEHR
  • 49. 9 ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESS YOU MUST COMMIT TO REAL, MEASURABLE REVENUE AND QUALITY GOALS, NOT FALSE ONES. #INFLUENCEHR 9
  • 50. GUT-CHECK TIME IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU 2 YOU’VE GOTTA GIVE STUFF AWAY (THAT MEANS NON-GATED CONTENT) YOU’VE GOTTA GIVE AWAY MORE OF THE SECRET SAUCE THAN YOU’D LIKE 1 3 #INFLUENCEHR
  • 51. PARTING WORDS: STUFF TO REMEMBER #INFLUENCEHR
  • 52. IF YOU ONLY REMEMBER ONE THING THINK LIKE A JOURNALIST How will your work benefit the reader? Tell people something they didn’t think to ask. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 53. HIRING JOURNALISTS HIRE THE ONES WHO GET IT. THERE ARE LOTS OF DINOSAURS OUT THERE. LOTS OF PEOPLE GOT INTO JOURNALISM BECAUSE THEY CAN’T DO MATH. JOURNALISTS CAN BE CHALLENGING TO MANAGE. #INFLUENCEHR
  • 54. LAST WORDS Make it clear who owns what Define your strategy, design content to fit Remember that you can’t separate media from message #INFLUENCEHR
  • 55. FINALLY, SOMETHING FOR YOU EMAIL: STEVE�THESTARRCONSPIRACY.COM “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” “Newsjacking” David Meerman Scott “The Thank You Economy” Gary Vaynerchuk “Ignore Everybody,” “How to Be Creative” Hugh MacLeod (Gaping Void) Anything on Copyblogger.com Brian Clark TSC e-book: “11 Tips for Building a Brand Newsroom” http://ar.gy/TSCbrandnewsroom TSC white paper: “Brand Journalism” http://ar.gy/TSCbrandjournalism #INFLUENCEHR