Blog Archives: Content Marketing

May 24, 2016: A few weeks ago I headed down to Austin for Pubcon’s regional, one-day show. The event featured some of my favorite speakers and gave me the opportunity to present on one of my all-time favorite topics: creating killer content (aka creating content your audience actually wants to read!).

Why do I love this topic? Because, at the end of the day, there’s sooooo much out there around creating content but much of it misses the mark on why.

So, this week, I’m breaking down my presentation and giving you the goods on how to use data to create content for your buyers.

May 19, 2016: I was more of a Tetris than a Dungeons & Dragons type of kid.  I never really got into Lord of the Rings and found that goblin man more than a little creepy.

But I’ll be the first to admit I’m fully entrenched in Game of Thrones.  Why?  Because it’s badass.  And also because it always — always — surprises me.  Red Wedding, much?

Red Wedding

Now, I have a long history of comparing content marketing to seemingly unrelated popular culture: TV shows (and more and more TV shows), movies, holidays, you name it.  The point is this: Content marketing is such a fun and creative field that you can draw inspiration from almost anywhere to rock killer content — even if it may seem completely oddball or off the wall.

So, since we’re all rehashing each week’s GoT episode with our colleagues anyway, I figured it made sense to dig up a few content marketing gems from the Seven Kingdoms.

Here’s a look at a few best practices from the show that you can apply to your content efforts (*spoiler alert*):

May 17, 2016: Guest Blogging

Earlier this year, a Backlinko study analyzed one million Google search results and uncovered that “the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.”

However, as we know, Google is now better than ever at detecting “spammy” links, putting a halt to link-building strategies that simply take an “I’ll take whatever I can get” type of approach.

With these two factors carrying so much weight in today’s world of SEO, our content marketing team has been working closely with many of our clients to develop in-depth guest blogging strategies.

May 12, 2016: One of the most common problems I’ve heard from clients is their worry that they have such a technical or uninteresting product or service that it’s hard to come up with creative campaigns. They feel like the campaigns Disney or Taco Bell put together are hard because they lack the creativity that comes naturally with companies that have it woven into their culture.

However, I’d argue that content marketing can work for any business; you just have to go through a process to figure out what angle you can use to leverage your most interesting characteristics. Here some areas where content marketing can be used in a very detailed or technical business.

How to Leverage Content Marketing in “Boring” B2B Industries

May 5, 2016: Recently, the “2016 Content Report” from Rundown uncovered that just 28 percent of content ideas developed by marketers are actually backed by data and research. Additionally, none of the marketers surveyed said they were “thrilled” with the tech tools available to help them with content marketing.

For more insight into this report, we spoke to Taulbee Jackson, President and CMO of Rundown:

April 21, 2016: “Pivot” is a word typically used in the literal sense, “The dancers pivoted on their toes and changedballerina direction” or “The quarterback pivoted and threw the ball to the running back.”

So what does it have to do with B2B marketing strategy?

Nothing at all – and basically everything.

If you’re in the business of content marketing, you are, by necessity, comfortable with change. With Google changing its ranking algorithm a whopping 500 – 600 times a year, it’s critical to stay nimble to keep up with your customers – and the competition.

That’s where pivoting comes into play.

Let’s say you’ve got a content marketing strategy in place you’re absolutely sure will result in links, conversions, third-party exposure, etc.

How do you know this? Because you and your brilliant team of colleagues came up with it (duh)!

But then you take a deep dive into Analytics and realize your content assets aren’t performing as expected. Your organic traffic numbers are down month-over-month and year-over-year, your conversion numbers are low, your keywords are slipping in their ranking – and you wonder: Is anyone actually reading the stuff you’re putting out there?

In other words, your content strategy has crashed and burned.

Even the most lifeless content strategy can be resuscitated if you know how to pivot and get it back on track. Here’s a look at how to regroup, refocus, and refine strategy for the future:

April 19, 2016: Since my early days of writing in grade school, one rule has remained constant: developing content with the audience in mind. Whether you’re writing about your imaginary friend in first grade or about a B2B product or service, it is critical to define the audience and then deliver the right content to that audience. Always ask yourself:

Why am I writing? For whom? - Writer or author questions on a napkin with a cup of coffee

To take a soundbite from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

The B2B content consumption stats are out there. Nearly 64 percent of B2B technology buyers say that they read between 2 to 5 pieces of content before making a purchase.

April 14, 2016: Beginnings are hard. We procrastinate the projects and tasks we perceive tough, complicated, or otherwise messy. Starting a content marketing program from scratch is right up there on the list. Neck-tightening tension separates things we intend to do from the things we actually do. Left unresolved, tension quickly escalates to anxiety, stress, and self-doubt.

Remember the comfort of blanket forts when you were a kid? Yeah. Sometimes it’s more appealing to hide or avert our attention rather than figure out something sticky.

March 17, 2016: I wrote a post six months ago highlighting ten marketing trends that should influence your content strategy. While it feels like that was published yesterday, we all know today’s digital marketing trends change with the blink of an eye, whether it’s due to a new channel, updates to search algorithms, or any other factors.

An image of a road to the horizon with 3d text 2016

Today, I want to look back at the past six months (with help from our industry news section and GIFs) and showcase some of the latest trends I’ve come across that should have a direct impact on 2016 content marketing strategies.

1. Data Management

giphy1

February 23, 2016: As marketing strategies continue to progress, it’s becoming more important that B2B marketers connect their offline and online marketing programs. A recent KoMarketing news article really got me thinking about this.

online and offline marketing

This statistic caught my attention – nearly 98 percent of CMOs claim that offline and online efforts are merging (Gartner). If the distinction between traditional and digital marketing efforts is fading, what does this mean for B2B marketers?

Driving offline audiences to online campaigns will be an essential tactic to create a truly competitive advantage. Successfully doing this can take an online marketing program to a completely new level of sophistication.

Finding customers online using your existing database is one way to connect your offline and online marketing efforts. The objective is to help customers discover your online presence, and build relationships with them so that you are foremost in their thoughts when they are ready to buy. Additionally, connecting with customers online presents an opportunity to reach a new audience of people who could also be interested in your business because of the similarities with your existing customers. All you really need to get started are some basic fields from your customer database: name, website, email, etc.

In this post, I wanted to throw around a few ideas for how B2B marketers can find their customers online to better align offline and online marketing efforts. Here are 5 tactics for you to consider:

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Scott Stone

"We have a successful online business, and wanted to take the next step. We approached KoMarketing with the notion of leveraging its expertise in building better search rankings. Both in our defined critical areas and across the board, KoMarketing has helped us grow our presence. They were hired to expand our visibility, but took extra steps to provide many useful recommendations for other areas of our online presence that have had positive impacts. Derek and his staff work hard and take extra steps to ensure you succeed. They are an outstanding partner." - Scott Stone, Advertising & E-Business Manager, Cisco Eagle

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