April 10, 2014: Content is king, and the king is everywhere we turn on the web. Today’s internet has become a competitive gauntlet for content marketers that have high hopes of having their content appear on the screen (or desk) of a decision-maker, hoping to increase brand awareness or even lead to a future sale. However, gone are the days of “batch N’ blast” success stories. B2B content marketing strategies in 2014 must involve careful planning and execution to cut through the clutter on their way to visibility.
While there may not be a clearly defined blueprint for success, there are several resources on today’s web that can assist B2B content marketers in crafting a successful strategy. We’ve scoured YouTube to identify five videos that we thought stood above the rest in terms of unique value and usefulness. So, give these videos a watch, or if you’re tight on time, we’ve also included a “too long; didn’t watch” (tl;dw) summary for each. Enjoy!
TL;DW Summary: Sharmila C. Chatterjee, Senior Lecturer in Marketing and the Academic Head for the Enterprise Management Track at the MIT Sloan School of Management, explains how to create a smart content marketing strategy. She makes reference to one of the earliest examples of content marketing, John Deere’s “Furrow Magazine,” which uses content as a means to discuss industry trends and reach their agriculture-enthused audience base.
Chatterjee offers viewers insight to what she calls the “3 Rs of content marketing,” which include:
- Relevance: Content marketers must build a portfolio of expertise and always keep the reader (very likely a decision-maker) in mind. The information being presented should be trustworthy, cutting-edge, and forward-thinking.
- Resources: Determine what human and economic resource needs (digital and physical) will be needed to disseminate the information being provided.
- Relationships: Content should always be created keeping customer relationships in mind. It’s very important to establish and gain your customers trust. The information being presented to customers should never feel like a sales-pitch, and if it does, the relationship with the reader will likely suffer.
Other “3 Rs of content” formulas:
B2B Marketing Evolution (Content Marketing)
TL;DW Summary: While this video (shared on the “Marketing Strategy” YouTube channel) focuses on the bigger picture of marketing’s recent evolution, it features some valuable content statistics as well. The video claims “Content is the fuel that drives demand” and “Publishing compelling content builds credibility,” before sharing a few eye-popping statistics, including:
- Today, there are more than 200 million blogs on the web
- 72% of companies who blog weekly have acquired customers through their blog
We highlighted this video because it ties channels like social media to content marketing as pieces that make up the entire marketing landscape. For more valuable content marketing-related statistics, take a look at the following:
- 8 More Compelling Infographics About Content Marketing
- 50 Awesome Content Marketing Stats
- 33 Stats on Content Marketing
Joe Pulizzi on Epic Content Marketing, Strategy & Planning
TL;DW Summary: During Content Marketing World 2013, Joe Pulizzi launched his new book, Epic Content Marketing. Pulizzi claims the majority of brands practice content marketing, however, very few have effective content marketing strategies in place. In this interview, Joe Pulizzi argues brands need better strategies and must plan their content efforts carefully. To stand out of the clutter, B2B content marketers must stop being boring and think more like publishers.
In the interview, Pulizzi focuses on a few specific thoughts content marketers should always keep in mind, including:
- Be different and think like a publisher: The internet is filled with content “noise,” to truly stand out, content marketers must produce unique, engaging, revolutionary content that readers can’t afford to miss.
- Create content plans instead of “one offs”: Larger pieces of content, such as research reports, should have a strategy formed around them, rather than being stand-alone. For example, we recently launched our “B2B Web Usability Report” that was accompanied by a blog and press release, which allowed us to not only promote our content, but present it in various formats for our site visitors.
- B2B has to stop being boring: Pulizzi highlights the importance of writing to the audience like they are consumers because in essence, the readers are just humans, regardless of whether they’re buying for a B2B or B2C company. Creativity and reader engagement needs to be kept in mind from the start.
Other helpful content marketing strategy resources:
- B2B Content Marketing Strategy Template
- The 3 Step Strategy for B2B Content Marketing
- The Content Marketing Strategy Checklist
How to Write Buyer Personas for B2B Content Marketing
TL;DW Summary: Marcom Productions defines and describes the role of buyer personas in B2B content marketing, while noting several helpful tips in creating personas to better content strategies. They focus on five basic elements to successfully craft buyer personas:
- Personal biography: Age, gender, economics, education, race, ethnicity, etc.
- Responsibility: Job description, roles, challenges, influence, reports to, etc.
- Aspirations: Ambitions, career track, personal goals, etc.
- Fears: Loss of respect, loss of influence, loss of income, loss of responsibilities, loss of love, etc.
- Information: Types, sources, industry, authors, events, professional networks, social networks, etc.
When buyer personas are created using these five basic elements, it provides content marketers with a valuable road map to focus their attention on when drafting content, ensuring each piece of content is born with a specific reader in mind.
Other helpful buyer persona resources for B2B content marketers:
- Map Content to the 5 Phases of the B2B Buyer Persona Buying Cycle
- Stop Using B2C Personas To Guide Your B2B Marketing Strategy
- Storytelling, Positioning & Personas for More Effective B2B Content Marketing
CMI B2B Content Roundtable Series
TL;DW Summary: This panel series features several content marketing experts including Carla Jackson (Type A Communications), Michael Weiss (figure18), Ardath Albee, and Jay Bear (Convince and Convert), as they share findings and offer expert analysis from the Content Marketing Institute’s “2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends” report. The five part series not only provides viewers with research findings, but reasoning behind these findings as seen by experts in the industry.
Other notable B2B content marketing research reports:
- Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise
- B2B Content Marketing Trends 2013