Epic fails … epic cat videos … epic grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches …
Today, everything is ‘epic’.
However, Joe Pulizzi’s new book, “Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less”, is deserving of its title. First, the book’s scope actually is epic, as it covers every aspect of content marketing – from creating a content mission statement to measuring your results. Second, it will help you find your own epic stories and stand apart from your competition.
“Epic Content Marketing” also drives home a point that I learned in business school and feel is critical to marketing to today’s savvy buyers …
Stop selling. Start helping.
According to the book, 90% of businesses are now using content marketing. However Pulizzi states, “We need to do it better. We need to focus more on our customers and less on our products. Yes, you heard that right: to sell more, we need to be marketing our products and services less.”
If you’re wondering how to market your technology products or services less while increasing your sales, the book offers plenty of examples and inspiration. Here are five B2B technology companies that are doing content marketing right:
IBM has succeeded where many B2B technology companies fail by creating white papers that are informative and engaging. This is quite the feat when most white papers are boring sales pitches! According to “Epic Content Marketing”, IBM has produced some of the best thought leadership on sustainability through its “Driving Performance Through Sustainability” white paper and resources.
One of the keys to successful content marketing is giving your audience resources that help them understand their problems and how to solve them. Pulizzi states, “Data software company Monetate developed a resource section that is the best in the industry.” Monetate’s resource section, which is built into the company’s website, includes case studies, videos, infographics, white papers, research, e-books, webinars and two blogs.
If you want an example of a B2B technology company that is making the most out of LinkedIn, check out Salesforce.com’s company page. “Epic Content Marketing” states that nearly 10,000 Salesforce.com employees have connected via its company page. However, when I looked, the number was closer to 13,000. Salesforce.com also takes advantage of LinkedIn to get recommendations for its products and services. As of this week, Salesforce.com had over 1,000 recommendations from happy customers.
4. Help Scout
This support desk software developer uses SlideShare to showcase its e-books on improving customer service and customer loyalty. “Epic Content Marketing” commends Help Scout for its well-designed slides and use of data to appeal to its analytical audience. Help Scout also takes advantage of SlideShare’s PRO features and lead generation forms to encourage viewers to sign up for its newsletter.
The Oracle Technology Network provides a community where developers, admins and architects can get answers to their biggest questions. The network includes wikis, downloads, support services, articles, webinars, reports and other resources.
In addition to content marketing inspiration from a variety of organizations, “Epic Content Marketing” also offers A-Z advice on creating a content marketing strategy. Some of its highlights include tips on developing audience personas, aligning content with each stage in the sales cycle and creating an editorial calendar. To learn more, be sure to check out “Epic Content Marketing”.