How We Systematically Overvalue Content Consumption

serial-content-consumersLet’s get right to the point. B2B marketers today are not optimizing programs to reach and engage their best prospects.

Sure, we talk about a buyer journey or about carefully mapping content. But at the end of the day, what are we doing? We are scoring leads high if they consume a lot of content and we are optimizing our program to increase lead scores and content consumption.

Who does that mean we are really optimizing our marketing for? Serial content consumers. [Read more…]

6 Best Tactics for B2B Lead Generation

Fireworks and Ferris WheelYou need to generate leads, right? If you are a B2B marketer, particularly one focused on making a complex sale in a large enterprise, the answer is almost certainly a resounding yes.

The B2B lead generation landscape has changed tremendously in the last decade. Today, B2B lead generation relies heavily on digital marketing and this list reflects that switch.

To make this list, tactics must be cost effective, measurable and scalable. In addition, they need to offer sufficient targeting for the broader marketing efforts of many mid-sized or large enterprise marketers. [Read more…]

No, Content Will Not Kill Advertising

Stop SignsAdvertising is dead (again). The latest killers are the social media and content marketing stars.

Not so fast.

Marketing is a spectrum. At one end might be the experience someone has using your product or service as you intended. At the other might be a tiny mobile banner or a transit bench on a side street.

Advertising isn’t dead. Comparing different parts of the marketing spectrum is like comparing visible light to X-rays; “better” is entirely dependent on your purpose. [Read more…]

The Real Challenge for B2B Content Marketers

B2B Content Marketing Challenges Chart from CMIB2B content marketers are hiding behind false excuses for their content marketing challenges.

According to Curata’s survey, now nearly a year old, B2B content marketers’ biggest challenges are limited budget (27%), limited staff (25%) and creating enough new content (21%). (source)

In the Content Marketing Institute’s 2013 benchmarks (released in October 2012, in addition to content they mastered time travel), the top challenges are producing enough content (64%), producing the kind of content that engages the audience (52%) and producing a variety of content (45%).

Only 39% report a lack of budget. At the very bottom of the list are lack of buy-in/vision (22%) and finding trained content marketers (14%). (source) Similarly, the Curata survey shows only 7% say senior level buy-in is their biggest challenge.

The content marketing community is misleading itself. The real root problems aren’t producing enough content, limited budgets or staff, particularly as only 14% have problems hiring! [Read more…]

Do You Trust Your Content?

TrustLooking at most B2B marketing, the answer is clearly “no, you don’t.” You do not trust your content to tell your story, grow your audience or sell your solutions. Instead, you put your trust in your outbound marketing and sales process.

Don’t trumpet your content as your communication king, as the key way you connect with your audience, if the real way you connect with your audience comes after they fill out a registration form.

Your content is like the teen that still needs a chaperone, you aren’t willing to send it out on its own yet. And that is ok! [Read more…]

Does B2B Content Marketing Really Help Buyers Buy?

In B2B marketing organizations, content marketing aims to help buyers buy. Right?

Content marketing provides the information buyers need to determine the type of solution they need, develop internal support for a change, create a short list of providers and address objections, all while positioning your company as a trusted resource.

Wow, that sounds amazing. But is your content really what stood between a prospect and a purchase?

I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Drew Morgen a couple times recently. Each time I came away thinking we can do so much more. [Read more…]

9 Tips for Content Marketing in an ADD World

Distraction is constant in our technology and communication-fueled lives. Email alerts, Facebook replies, tweets, Google’s red box, …

Everything around us is competing for our attention. We may not have ADD, but we definitely act like it.

How can B2B content marketers, who are often marketing complex products and need to share a meaningful level of detail, be effective in this environment? [Read more…]

Your Content Marketing Must Become Convenient

Look around you. There is a coffee shop on nearly every corner. Supermarkets offer one-stop shopping for all your needs. Your favorite TV shows are recorded or are available on demand, conveniently available anytime you want. Google and Wikipedia have put information on nearly any subject just a keystroke or click away.

In our personal lives, convenience is all around us and we expect it at every turn.

The question is, are you delivering convenience for your audience at every stage of the the buying process?
[Read more…]

Become An Inbound Marketer Without Creating Content

Inbound MarketingInbound marketing is all about your content, right? If you use the components of inbound marketing I have shared or the common definition centered on content, social and search, content is at the core.

Content is definitely one path, and the path most companies traditionally take. However, it isn’t the only viable approach. During Marketo’s Social Rockstar Tour presentation, they presented two alternatives to content in inbound marketing.

With more content competing for attention every day, is it time to add these alternatives to your inbound marketing plan? [Read more…]

Three B2B Marketing Fundamentals to Master

Do You See the Forest or the Trees?B2B marketing is complex. Sales cycles are long, measurement can be convoluted, and segmentation, lead scoring and sales and marketing alignment take traditional marketers into uncomfortable spaces.

Amid the details and uncomfortable spaces, the bigger marketing picture is often lost.

Take a step back and consider the three bigger picture items below. How can you improve each of these things? [Read more…]