Fresh Marketing: B2B Marketing Tips, Trends and Best Practices http://copywritertoronto.com Copywriter Toronto - B2B Technology and Software Copywriter Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:58:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Get More Value From Your Articles http://copywritertoronto.com/how-to-get-more-value-from-your-articles/ http://copywritertoronto.com/how-to-get-more-value-from-your-articles/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2015 12:00:25 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5530 Articles and blog posts are a B2B marketing power tool. Here’s how to get more value from all of your articles, so you can reach a wider audience, attract more leads and turn them into customers …

picture of a typewriter and a megaphone talking to different media

Articles and blog posts are a B2B marketing power tool. Make sure you get the most from them.

 

Articles – including blog posts – are one of the top B2B marketing tactics.

And with good reason …

They can enhance your thought leadership, improve your SEO and bring more targeted leads to your content. Articles are also useful for educating and nurturing leads throughout your sales cycle.

According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, 81% of B2B marketers are using articles on their websites. Meanwhile, 80% are blogging.

B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage Research Chart

Image source: 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

 

However, many B2B marketers bury articles on their websites and hope customers will find them. Or, they promote a new blog post the day it comes out and then move on to the next thing.

Here are seven ways to get more value from your articles:

1. Interlink your articles and blog posts.

Coloured circles that are linked by lines.

Linking your articles lowers bounce rates and keep visitors on your site longer.

 

Many marketers focus on bringing visitors to their website. While this is important, it’s even more important to keep them there once they arrive.

One way you can do this is by linking all of your articles to related content. When someone scans one of your articles, they will see where you have related content and can click for more information. This will lower your bounce rates and keep visitors on your site longer.

Interlinking your posts also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your content. This can improve your SEO.

Take Action: Read your last five blog posts or articles and see if you have the opportunity to link to any of your existing articles, premium content or product pages.

2. Make it easy for readers to tweet your content.

Map of the world in chalk with twitter birds and hashtags

Make it easy for your busy readers to share your content by providing them with pre-written tweets.

 

Have you ever pressed a “tweet now” button on a blog post only to have a blank box appear? If so, how often do you decide not to tweet something, because you don’t want to type the name of the blog post or copy and paste a link?

You’re not lazy, you’re just busy.

Make it easy for your busy readers to share your content by providing them with pre-written tweets. This also gives you more control over what people are saying about you on social media. You can hand select your juiciest quotes and insert your top hashtags.

Take Action: Check out www.clicktotweet.com. It’s a free service that lets you add tweetable quotes to your WordPress site.

3. Always include a call to action.

Picture of man's hand on a keyboard and a computer screen that says add your text here

Always include a call to action in your articles that asks readers to take the next step.

 

Many B2B marketers create amazing content that educates buyers and leaves them wanting more. But then they leave readers hanging.

Always include a call to action in your articles that asks readers to take the next step. FYI – contacting a sales rep is usually too big of a step for someone who just stumbled upon your article online.

However, you can ask them to check out another piece of content, register for a webinar or download a white paper.

Take Action: Read “How to Turbocharge Your List Building With Content Upgrades” to learn about a new call to action that is making waves in the marketing community.

4. Use images.

computer screen full of images

Articles with images receive 94% more views than those without.

 

Articles with images receive 94% more views than those without. In addition to capturing a reader’s attention, images can also improve your SEO. The better you optimize your images, the more your articles will get found.

A new study has also found that consumers are moving to image-focused social networks, such as Pinterest and Instagram. Since what people do at home carries into how they behave at work, it may be worthwhile to include “Pinterest-worthy” images in your articles.

You can also turn some of your existing articles into infographics to make use of images, repurpose your content and reach a wider audience.

Take Action: Review the images in your last five articles or blog posts. Are they something you would want to share on Pinterest? If not, how can you make your images more interesting?

5. Use your own data in your articles.

A rocket flying over a data chart

Using your own data gives you something unique and highly sharable.

 

According to a B2B Content Preferences Survey, 59.9% of B2B buyers strongly believe that vendors need more data and research to support their content.

While using others’ data can lend credibility to your articles, using your own data gives you something unique and highly sharable.

According to Derek Singleton, Analyst at  Software Advice, “When you publish primary research, you’re not repurposing what everyone else has said. This makes your content more powerful, as it’s supported by original, qualitative data.”

Take Action: Read “How Original Research Can Help Your B2B Technology Company Stand Out” to learn what types of data best engages technology buyers.

6. Turn your articles into SlideShare presentations.

SlideShare is an overlooked B2B social network. According to SlideShare, most of its 60 million monthly users are business professionals. They use the site to find information that will help them do their jobs better.

One great thing about using SlideShare is that you can insert lead capture forms directly into your presentations. SlideShare notifies you when you have a new lead and provides analytics on how your presentations and forms are performing.

SlideShare also integrates directly with LinkedIn. This means that every presentation you upload to SlideShare can boost your presence on LinkedIn.

Take Action: Read your last five blog posts or articles and determine if any of them would make good presentations that you can upload to SlideShare.

7. Turn a group of articles into a white paper or ebook.

Laptop with a collection eBooks

Pulling your best articles into an ebook or a white paper is a great way to make your content live longer, reach a wider audience and influence more buying decisions.

 

Creating a large piece of content – such as a white paper or ebook –can be a daunting project. One way to make this task easier is by collecting your existing articles and turning them into something larger.

This is also a great way to “save” your best articles. Blog posts and articles often get buried in websites. Pulling your best articles into an ebook or a white paper is a great way to make your content live longer, reach a wider audience and influence more buying decisions.  

Take Action: Review your marketing goals and select a topic for a white paper or ebook. Do you have any articles that can form the basis for this content?

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Download the B2B Blog Post Pre-Flight Checklist, so you can ensure that all of your articles hit the mark with your readers.
  2. Read “How to Turbocharge Your List Building With Content Upgrades” to learn about a new call to action that is making waves in the marketing community.
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.

 

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7 Keys to Successful Content Marketing http://copywritertoronto.com/7-keys-to-successful-content-marketing-camp/ http://copywritertoronto.com/7-keys-to-successful-content-marketing-camp/#respond Wed, 27 May 2015 12:00:44 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5526 The Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP) held a panel on how to get better results from your content marketing efforts. Here are seven things that every B2B content marketer must know …

camp

One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is getting traction.

You may publish an amazing, thought-provoking article on your blog but then nothing happens.

No shares … no comments … no rush of new leads calling …

How can you get more of your ideal customers to read and share your content?

The Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP) held a panel on how to get more mileage from your content. Here are the top seven things that I learned from the panelists:

1. Stop thinking like a publisher and start thinking like a reporter.

Mark Evans, author of Storytelling for Startups, believes that many marketers produce content for the sake of producing content. When they do this, they often sacrifice quality for quantity.  However, Mark has seen marketers get better results when they focus on telling compelling stories with interesting angles.

2. Ask your customers for help.

According to Cassandra Jowett, Content Marketing Manager at Influitive, marketers don’t need to go it alone. You likely have an army of customers, fans and evangelists – or advocates  – who are willing to help. Invite them into a formal advocate marketing program where they can take an active role in your sales, marketing and product development. For example, they may share your content, participate in beta tests or send you referrals.   

Jowett said, “People naturally refer others to companies all the time. But you can scale this way up if you put a formal process in place.”

3. Lead customers on a journey.

Randy Frisch, COO/Co-Founder of Uberflip, loves getting content on LinkedIn. Once he goes on the site, he gets drawn into the web of interesting content. Frisch says marketers should mirror this experience by leading customers on a content journey.

Include a call to action at the end of all of your content that invites customers to take the next step. For example, you can ask them to check out more in-depth content or attend a webinar.

“Your call to action shouldn’t be generic,” said Frisch. “You need to make the right ask at the right time.”

4. Focus on your customers.

Today’s customers can smell a sales pitch a mile away. If you’re constantly pitching your products or services, you’ll bore customers and cause them to tune out. The panelists stressed the importance of creating customer-focused, not product-focused, content. According to Jowett, “Your content should be useful without being salesy. Then, customers can draw their own conclusions about what they should and shouldn’t buy.”

5. Content should come from your entire team.

The panelists believe that content marketing shouldn’t be one person’s job. It should be a company-wide mindset, where everyone produces content. This takes some of the pressure off the marketing team, so they don’t feel obligated to spend all of their time producing content. It also leads to more diverse stories, different insights and better content.

However, you also need a content marketing evangelist to oversee your content strategy. This person can empower others to produce content by providing them with the right training and tools.

6. Compare your content against your goals.

According to Frisch, many marketers think content is successful if it gets tons of shares or views. However, you must step back and look at your goals for a piece of content to determine if it was successful. Was your top goal to get a lot of views? Or was it to generate B2B leads? If you don’t know how many leads you’re getting, it may not matter if you get a lot of views.   

7. Be honest.

The panelists’ most successful content included blog posts and videos about their mistakes. Customers will view your company as more human when you admit your mistakes. Being honest and talking about your failures can help you build stronger relationships with customers.  

As you can see, the panelists at CAMP’s event shared a lot of wonderful content marketing insights. Follow their advice to get more traction from all of your content.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Read “5 Ways Small B2B Marketing Teams Can Win at Content Marketing” to learn how to get better results from your content when you don’t have a lot of time or resources.
  2. Read “10 Steps to an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy” to learn how to create a content strategy that brings you results.
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.

 

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How to Attract B2B Customers With Personalized Content http://copywritertoronto.com/content-personalization/ http://copywritertoronto.com/content-personalization/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:12 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5509 Personalizing your content can help you attract more customers and stand out from the competition. And it may not take as much time or effort as you think …

How To Attract B2B Customers

Today’s marketers are producing more content than ever.

According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. 

With this flood of new content, it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd. But, unfortunately, most of this content is generic and doesn’t help customers make informed buying decisions.

B2B buyers want to read content that speaks directly to their needs, challenges and goals. Your content must be relevant if you want to engage buyers and stand apart from your competition.

jakeI had the opportunity to speak with Jake Coventry, owner of Matizmo, on the topic of content personalization. According to Jake, B2B marketers have a lot to lose if they don’t personalize their content.

“If you use generic content – or if your content only speaks to a small subset of your audience, you’ll miss out,” said Jake. “You’ll lose leads, customers and sales.”  

Are You Creating Too Much Content?

Content personalization allows you to speak to each of your audiences – without creating completely new content for each audience.

For example, you may spend a lot of time creating completely unique white papers for a range of audiences. With content personalization, you can start with one basic white paper and then change parts of it – such as the case studies and introduction – to speak to a specific audience.

Then, all of your leads can go to the same landing page. From there, they simply select their role or industry to automatically receive a custom white paper.

How Personalized Content Engages B2B Customers

B2B marketers can learn a thing or two from the consumer space.

Today, consumers can customize just about everything – from organic produce boxes to shoes. For example, when someone designs a pair of NIKEiD sneakers, they’ll be more likely to build an emotional connection with the brand. They’ll be proud of their design and want to show it off to their friends.

Jake believes that if you allow leads to have a say in their content, they’ll engage more with you.

“B2B buyers don’t like to complete opt-in forms. However, they’ll be more likely to complete a form if they know that they’ll receive customized content at the end,” said Jake.

If they don’t answer your questions correctly, the content won’t reflect their needs. The more information they provide, the more relevant their content will be. Plus, you’ll receive higher quality sales leads. It’s a win-win.

The Key to Attracting Customers With Personalized Content

There are endless ways you can customize your content. For example, you can personalize it based on a customer’s role, industry, company size or stage in the sales cycle.

But for your personalization efforts to work, you must find out what makes your customers tick.

“Companies get caught up in creating tons of buyer personas and forget what customers want from their content,” said Jake. “Think of the key people who use your service and what they want to know. Make sure your content is speaks to their needs and is useful.” 

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Read “5 Keys to Creating Content That Engages Different Verticals to learn how to maintain a consistent voice when personalizing content for with different audiences. 
  2. Read about the missing link to B2B content marketing success to learn how to fill the gaps in your content and better engage customers.  
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.
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The B2B Blog Post Checklist: 9 Keys to Boosting Engagement, Shares and Conversions http://copywritertoronto.com/blog-post-checklist/ http://copywritertoronto.com/blog-post-checklist/#respond Wed, 13 May 2015 12:39:15 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5496 A blog can be one of your most valuable marketing assets, as it can bring targeted leads to your content and engage them throughout every stage of your sales cycle. Here’s what to include in all of your blog posts to boost your readership, shares and conversions …

Info sign at international airport representing the theme of launching results for your blog post with the blog post checklist

Woo-hoo!

You’re ready to publish your latest blog post and bring more targeted leads to your content. But before you queue it up, take a moment to review this checklist to make sure your post contains everything you need to engage leads, increase your social shares and drive conversions.

Here are nine things to check before you publish your next blog post:

1. Your topic

Is your topic something that will appeal to your target audience? Does it help them solve one of their key challenges? Avoid publishing blog posts that just talk about your products or your company. These usually aren’t helpful and won’t bring you many readers.   

Related Reading: Mind the Gap: The Missing Link to B2B Content Marketing Success

2. Your title

Your title is what motivates readers to check out your blog posts. This is why many top bloggers recommend that you spend as much time developing your title as you spend writing the rest of your blog post. Here are a few tips on titles:

  • Titles that include “How to” or numerals tend to perform well.
  • Keep your title under 65 characters and put your most important message at the beginning. This ensures that readers can get your message if they are viewing the title on a mobile device.
  • Include your main keyword or key phrase in your title.

3. Your summary

It’s a good idea to include a short summary (less than three sentences) directly beneath your blog post’s title. The summary should clearly state why people must read your blog post. A well-crafted summary can increase your readership and shares.

4. Your images and/or videos

Did you include an interesting feature image at the top of your blog post? Use your own images whenever possible, as they reflect your brand better than boring clip art. Break up long blog posts with additional images, videos and charts. Also be sure to optimize your images for SEO, as your images can have an impact on your Google rankings. 

5. Your keywords

Google is placing less importance on keywords and more importance on high-quality content. However, using keywords can still help you get found. Here are a few places to include your keywords:

  • Your page title and meta tags
  • Your blog post title
  • Your subheads
  • A few times in your body copy – don’t go crazy
  • Anchor text that links to other pages on your website
  • Your images
  • Your blog post tags and categories

6. Your blog post’s readability

Most people skim blog posts, rather than read them word for word. That’s why you must break up your text using subheads, bullet points, numbered lists and short paragraphs. You can also draw attention to key points with bold text and call-outs.

In addition, read through your post and ask if it sounds like a human wrote it or a robot wrote it. Cut the marketing fluff and corporate jargon.

7. Your links

Do all of your links work? Did you include links to other areas of your website to encourage readers to check out more of your content? Did you link back to anyone whom you quoted or any research that you cited?

8. Your call to action

Did you include a compelling call to action that relates directly to your blog post’s topic? For example, if you publish a blog post on cloud security, you can promote a webinar on the same topic. The more your opt-in offer relates to your blog post, the more you can build your list.

Related reading: How to Turbocharge Your List Building With Content Upgrades

9. Your author bio

People like to interact with people – not with companies. Including the author’s bio and contact information will make your company more human.

And finally, be sure to proofread your post to make sure it doesn’t go out with any glaring typos.

Here’s to your blogging success!

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Download the B2B Blog Post Pre-Flight Checklist, so you can ensure each of your blog posts hits the mark with your readers.
  2. Watch my video on “How to Build a Blog that Attracts Leads and Increases Your Conversions”.
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.

 

content Get the B2B Blog Post Pre-Flight Checklist to help all of your blog posts take off.

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What IT Buyers Really Think About Your Marketing http://copywritertoronto.com/what-it-buyers-think/ http://copywritertoronto.com/what-it-buyers-think/#respond Wed, 06 May 2015 12:00:35 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5482 what-it-buyers-really-think

What if you could be a fly on the wall and watch as an IT buyer checked out your marketing?

Would you like how they react?

I attended Spiceworks Unplugged in Toronto, where a room of IT marketers heard the truth from a panel of straight-talking IT professionals. The IT pros represented a variety of industries – from software to education. And some of the things they said were surprising.

Here are some of the questions that the IT marketers asked, along with how the IT pros responded:

What is your biggest IT challenge?

Their top challenges included trying to do as much as possible with limited time, staff and resources. Another big challenge was modernizing dated IT infrastructure.

What do you expect from technology marketers?

IT professionals can spot BS a mile away. If you want to engage them, cut the marketing fluff and get real about your product. You should also explain your product from a technical standpoint, as IT pros want to know how to use and maintain your technology. It’s key to explain how your product will integrate with their existing systems.

What buzzwords should you avoid?

The most-hated list includes:

“Failproof”, as users will always find something that fails.

“ROI”. The only way an IT pro can prove your product’s ROI is by deploying it and seeing that it works. They think that ROI calculators are “noise”.

“Cloud”.  IT pros have a joke – “Don’t put it in the cloud. What happens when it rains?” They feel that marketers apply this word to everything. What does the “cloud” really mean when it comes to your product? How will your “cloud” make their lives better?

How long should a demo be?

Many 14-day demos aren’t long enough to evaluate a technology. One IT pro said, “You’re lucky if I finish reading your white paper in 14 days.”

What types of content do you look at when you’re evaluating a product?

The IT pros use white papers to learn about new technologies. Some of the panelists will save the white papers to their iPads and read them at home.

They also like webinars. However, the Spiceworks panelists dislike “live” demos where a salesperson runs the technology in a canned environment. They would prefer to see the technology in action in a real environment. If something goes wrong, they want to see how quickly your rep can resolve the problem.  

One of the IT pros said that he watches videos after he creates a shortlist.

Another one of the IT pros skips the marketing content and goes straight to user manuals. If he knows what he’s looking for in a product, the user manual will provide him with specs. 

What types of content do you hate?

Gated content.

The Spiceworks’ panelists dislike filling out forms just to learn about a product. Some of them have “special” email addresses just for these forms.

They feel like the gate is a “fish hook” to get them on the phone with a sales rep. One of the panelists said that he won’t answer his phone after completing a marketing form, as he’d rather avoid all his calls than speak with a sales rep. 

The IT pros would prefer it if you provided all your content in one place and gave them the power to decide if and when they want to speak with a sales rep.

They also suggested including a checkbox in your form that asks whether they want to be contacted. Yes, sometimes they’re waiting for your call.

Do you ever read purely educational content, such as blog posts?

IT pros love learning, so they enjoy reading educational blog posts. However, they may not share your posts with their social networks, as their corporate IT policies often prevent them from visiting social media sites.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

1. Download the slide presentation to refer to these insights later.

2. Read 10 Steps to an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy to learn how to get the best results from your content marketing.

3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.

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Mind the Gap: The Missing Link to B2B Content Marketing Success http://copywritertoronto.com/how-to-fill-content-gaps/ http://copywritertoronto.com/how-to-fill-content-gaps/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 12:00:35 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5465 Many B2B marketers have a disconnect between the content they’re producing and the content their customers actually want. If your content doesn’t hit the mark, buyers won’t respond. Here’s how to identify and fill your content gaps so you can wow customers and get them to take action.

Mind the gap sign with speeding train in London underground

It’s every content marketer’s worst fear … 

You devote a lot of time and resources into producing a piece of content. You think the topic is interesting. The design is eye-catching. The writing is clear and concise.

But then you publish the content, and nothing happens. No likes … no shares … no rush of leads banging on your door wanting to buy your product …

So, what happened?

You likely missed the mark and put tons of effort into a topic that your audience doesn’t care about.

But there are steps to take to ensure this won’t happen again.

Take stock of your existing content and compare it against what your audience is talking about. You’ll likely find gaps between the content you’re creating and the content your audience wants. Then, create new content that fills these gaps.

Follow these seven steps to fill the gaps in your content: 

1. Conduct a content audit.

It’s hard to get to the finish line if you don’t know your starting point. Audit your existing content to see what you have on hand. For example, you can audit your: 

  • Web pages
  • Blog posts and articles (in your company’s publications and external publications)
  • Sales content such as brochures, sell sheets and data sheets
  • White papers, ebooks and research reports
  • Presentations (e.g. keynotes, webinars and SlideShare decks)
  • FAQs and emails where you answer customer questions
  • Social media updates and replies
  • Demos
  • User forums and support groups
  • Customer advocacy communities
  • Case studies and testimonials

When you audit your content, you’ll likely discover that you have much more content than you thought you had. You’re likely sitting on tons of material that you can turn into valuable content for prospects, leads and customers.

As you go through the other steps in this process, determine how much of your existing content should be refreshed, overhauled or repurposed. 

2. Map content to your buyer personas.

If you haven’t updated your buyer personas since Lost went off the air, it’s time for a refresh. The more your content appeals to each persona, the more successful your marketing will be. Here are some questions to ask when you update your buyer personas:

  • What are their job titles?
  • What types of companies do they work for?
  • What is a typical day like for them?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • What are their top goals?
  • How have their challenges and goals changed from the last time you worked on your buyer personas?
  • Where do they get their information?
  • What stage(s) of the sales cycle are they typically involved in?

3. Map content to each stage of the sales cycle.

In Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, 61% of respondents said they selected vendors who delivered a mix of content that was appropriate for each stage of their buying process. When you look at each buyer persona, determine if you have enough content to engage them during the following stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Investigation
  3. Evaluation
  4. Decision
  5. Loyalty/advocacy

 4. Tune in to the right channels.

Are your customers hanging out somewhere without you? Don’t miss the party!

According to Oracle’s Cross-Channel Marketing Report, 67% of companies want to integrate their key marketing activities across channels. However, only 43% say they understand the customer journey and adapt their channel mix accordingly.  

Research how your customers are using different channels. For example, do they ask questions about your products on Quora while you’re investing more in Facebook? Will they respond better to a white paper or a webinar? How are they arriving at your website?

For more tips on boosting your cross-channel engagement read, “How to Tell a Consistent Story Across All of Your B2B Marketing Channels”.

5. Fill your promotional gaps.

Do you have a product launch coming up and not enough content to support it? Are you gearing up for a big trade show and need content that will lure buyers away from other booths? Add these upcoming launches and events to your editorial calendar.

6. Answer customer questions.

One of the best places to find content ideas is from questions your customers ask. What are they emailing you about? What are they posting on your social networks and in your support forums?

Are there any questions that appear over and over? Have you answered these questions in your key content assets? If not, add them to your editorial calendar.

7. Go beyond sales content.

Many B2B marketers create the same type of content all the time. For example, it might all be educational or sales focused. However, varying your content can keep you on your toes – and keep buyers engaged. Create content that does the following:

  • Entertains
  • Educates
  • Engages
  • Persuades

When you go through these steps, you’ll find quite a few gaps in your content. Decide which gaps you would like to fill right away. Which areas are the most critical? Where will you get the biggest bang for your content investment? Add this content to your editorial calendar.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Download the Editorial Calendar Template to take action and fill those content gaps.
  2. Read “5 Keys to Creating Content That Engages Different Verticals” to learn how to maintain a consistent voice when speaking with different audiences.
  3. Share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business. 


Download the Editorial Calendar Template to plan your content
and stay on track.

 

 

 

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Copywriters or Content Writers: Who Can Best Help You Achieve Your B2B Marketing Goals? http://copywritertoronto.com/b2b-copywriter-vs-content-writer/ http://copywritertoronto.com/b2b-copywriter-vs-content-writer/#respond Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:00:00 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5451 Desk Writer

White papers … ghost blogging … sell sheets …

Different marketing tactics require different writing skills. If you have limited resources, will a copywriter or a content writer help you achieve the best results?

As a B2B marketer, you’re likely tasked with producing a ton of content.

According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, B2B marketers now use an average of 13 content marketing tactics. These tactics include everything from blog posts to videos to ebooks.

And this doesn’t include the traditional sales and marketing collateral that B2B buyers need to make informed purchasing decisions – such as brochures, sell sheets and website copy.

Working with a freelance writer can help you produce more marketing collateral faster. However, different marketing tactics require different writing skills.

Will a copywriter or a content writer help you achieve the best results?

What Does a B2B Copywriter Do?

A copywriter persuades readers to take a specific action, such as opting in to a list, buying a product, signing up for a demo or calling a sales rep. Traditionally, B2B copywriters are responsible for things like product pages, brochures and sell sheets.

What Does a B2B Content Writer Do?

A content writer educates a specific audience about one of their key challenges and how to solve it. Important skills for content writers include telling stories and writing in a journalistic style. They typically write things like blog posts, video scripts and ebooks.

You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Writing copy and content are two different skills. However, they depend on each other.

For example, you might publish an amazing blog post that gives readers your best tips. However, you’ll need persuasive copy at the end of the post that motivates readers to take the next step (such as downloading an ebook or registering for a webinar). This will align your content with your marketing goals, helping you attract leads and turn them into customers.

On the other hand, you can’t just publish sales-focused copy. Buyers don’t want to hear about how great your product is when they’re just starting to research their problem. You need entertaining or educational content to earn their trust.

Plus, many B2B marketing tactics require a mix of content and copy. For example, a white paper both educates readers about their problems and highlights the key benefits of your product.

When you work with someone who writes both copy and content, you can: 

  • Engage readers – from the headline to the call to action
  • Guide buyers through your sales cycle
  • Speak to your customers’ challenges and needs
  • Show customers how you can help them achieve their goals
  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors
  • Increase your conversions, leads and sales

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

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Only 34% of B2B Technology Marketers Are Effective at Content Marketing [Study] http://copywritertoronto.com/cmi-2015-b2b-technology-content-marketing-findings/ http://copywritertoronto.com/cmi-2015-b2b-technology-content-marketing-findings/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:00:26 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5445 Frustrated b2b content marketer tearing out her hair

New research reveals that most B2B technology marketers are missing a major key to content marketing success. Here’s what it takes to be effective…

The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released the B2B Technology Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report. According to the report, 93% of B2B technology marketers use content marketing to attract and retain customers. However, only 34% believe they are effective.

Why do we have such a large gap?

One possibility is that only 33% of B2B technology marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. According to the report, “Technology marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy are less challenged with content marketing when compared with their peers who have a verbal-only strategy or no strategy at all.” In fact, 59% of the B2B technology marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy feel they are effective.

In addition to documenting your content marketing strategy, you also must act upon it. The study found that the most successful technology marketers follow their strategies very closely.

Other key findings from the study include: 

  • 48% of B2B technology companies have a dedicated content marketing group. The companies with dedicated groups are more likely to excel at content marketing.
  • 74% of B2B technology marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago.
  • The three most effective content marketing tactics are in-person events, webinars and research reports. Case studies, white papers and videos tied for fourth place.
  • The top social platform for B2B technology marketers is LinkedIn, with 64% of respondents citing it as effective. LinkedIn is followed by Twitter at 58% and YouTube at 48%.
  • B2B technology marketers are working on an average of 14 content marketing initiatives. The top three initiatives are creating more engaging/higher-quality content, converting more website visitors and gaining a better understanding of their audience.

The findings from this study mirrored the results from the latest B2B content marketing report, which included responses from a wider range of B2B marketers. Both studies found that the most successful marketers not only document their content marketing strategies but also put these strategies into action. 

3 Ways You Can Apply This Information Now

  1. Check out the complete B2B Technology Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America
  2. Read 10 Steps to an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy to learn how to get the best results from your content marketing.
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.
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7 Keys to Creating B2B Product Pages That Convert Leads Into Customers http://copywritertoronto.com/b2b-product-pages-that-convert/ http://copywritertoronto.com/b2b-product-pages-that-convert/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:00:28 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5431 Man drawing a product page wireframe on a glass window

B2B buyers are conducting research online and waiting longer to speak with sales reps. Think of your product pages as a virtual sales team that educates buyers and answers their key questions.

Here’s how to improve your product pages to engage leads and boost your sales.

As a B2B marketer, you’re likely creating a ton of content … such as blog posts, social updates, videos and white papers. This content is great for educating early-stage leads and raising brand awareness.

Eventually you want to move leads from your blog and social channels to your website, where they can check out your products.

But what do your leads find when they land on your product pages?

Do these pages contain compelling information that motivates them to learn more about your products? Or are your product pages unclear, boring and driving leads away?

Here are seven keys to developing B2B product pages that bring you leads and sales: 

1. Don’t cram too much info on the page.

Many product pages try to do too much at once. They attempt to describe all of a product’s features in long, dense paragraphs. However, this makes it hard for leads to read and understand your message.

You don’t need to say everything about your product on a single web page. Instead, focus on a few key messages. From there, leads can download a brochure or check out another piece of content to learn more.

Also, try not to list all of your products on one page. You’ll improve your SEO and make it easier for leads to find you if you have a separate landing page for each product. 

2. Include social proof.

Today’s buyers are wary of marketing. Instead, they want to know what their peers think of your products. Include case studies, testimonials and peer reviews in your product descriptions to help boost your credibility.

3. Show the benefits.

Many B2B product pages include long lists of features and technical specifications. However, you must show readers the benefits to pique their interest and motivate them to learn more about your product. How will your product help them overcome some of the big challenges that they’re facing? How will it make their jobs easier? How will it improve their business results?  

4. Consider your call to action.

Whenever I ask B2B marketers what call to action they want me to include in their copy, they almost always say, “Contact us to buy our product.” Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Most of the leads who view your product page won’t be ready to speak with a sales rep.

While you should provide your contact info on your product pages, you may also want to consider softer calls to action for leads who need to do more research before they speak with you. Some options include:

  • Download a brochure or data sheet.
  • Read a case study.
  • Sign up for a webinar.

5. Use video and images.

Not all of your buyers will want to read about your product. Post a short video (less than two minutes long) that outlines the challenges your customers face and how your product will help them solve these challenges. You can also include screenshots of your product, so readers can see it in action.

6. Optimize your product pages for mobile.

According to the State of B2B Procurement study, 44% of B2B buyers use mobile devices when they research products. Optimize your product pages so buyers can easily view them on their mobile devices. Place your most important information and your call to action at the top of the page so mobile users won’t need to scroll far to take action.  

7. Split test.

Split test various elements on your product pages to see what delivers the best results. For example, you can experiment with:

  • Headers
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Page layouts
  • Call to action text and buttons
  • The type of call to action that works best (e.g. download a white paper, contact a sales rep, check out a brochure)
  • The number of calls to action per page
  • Whether your site’s navigation or design elements are distracting visitors and harming your conversions

Studies have found that B2B buyers are completing more research on their own before they speak with sales reps. Think of your product pages as virtual sales reps that educate buyers and answer all of their initial questions.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Review your product pages. Are there any changes that you would like to make? Is anything holding you back from converting more leads into customers?
  2. Read “How B2B Buyers Are Engaging With Your Content” to find out what your customers want from your content.
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.
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What to Look for in a B2B Copywriter http://copywritertoronto.com/what-to-look-for-in-a-b2b-copywriter/ http://copywritertoronto.com/what-to-look-for-in-a-b2b-copywriter/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:00:41 +0000 http://copywritertoronto.com/?p=5427 Serious copywriter smoking a pipe in front of a typewriter

Outsourcing your B2B copywriting to a freelancer can be a daunting task. Choosing the wrong copywriter can cause project delays, increase your workload and cost you more in the long run. However, choosing the right copywriter can make your life easier, improve your marketing results and help you produce more content – faster.

Many B2B marketers try several copywriters before they find the best fit. Make your search easier by looking for the following traits: 

1. Experience in Your Industry

Some copywriters are generalists, which means they write about everything from health supplements to electronics. Generalists can be a good choice for agencies that work with both B2B and B2C clients and need a writer who can adapt to anything. However, a generalist may not be the best option for B2B companies with technical or complex offers.

If your product or service has a steep learning curve, look for a writer who has prior experience in your industry. I’ve had several clients come to me after working with generalists who didn’t understand their industry. This caused delays as the copywriters turned in copy that couldn’t be used.

Working with someone who has experience in your industry can decrease the amount of time you spend briefing the writer and managing revisions. This helps your project run smoothly and can bring you better results.

When you look for someone who has prior experience in your industry, you may find a copywriter who has worked for or is working with one of your competitors. The B2B world is small. Discuss any competitive concerns upfront and ask your copywriter to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

2. The Ability to Write “Content” and “Copy”

Writing sales-focused “copy” and writing educational “content” are two different skills. However, since the two are so closely interwoven, it’s best to find a freelancer who can write both.

Look for someone who can tell stories and write journalistic, educational content. Your copywriter should also write compelling calls to action that motivate leads to take the next step after reading your content.

You’ll also see better results if your copywriter brings a touch of “content” into your sales materials. For example, your copywriter should speak to your customers’ needs and challenges – even when writing sales materials such as data sheets and product pages.

3. A Proven Process

You’ll have fewer headaches if your copywriter has a process for completing projects successfully. This process can include providing you with a creative brief, submitting outlines and keeping in touch throughout the project.

Your copywriter should also have a system for handling revisions, as this can greatly impact your timelines. For example, how many rounds of revisions do you think you’ll need? Be sure to account for revisions when planning your timelines.

4. Reliability

American Writers & Artists once revealed that 75% of copywriters miss their deadlines. Yikes!

One way to determine whether you’ll get your copy on time is by asking your copywriter for references or testimonials. Including a timeline in your copywriting contracts can also help you meet your deadlines.

Help your copywriter meet your deadlines by sending them all your background info and quickly responding to any questions. If you don’t give them the info they need until the day before the project is due, your copywriter may not be able to meet your deadlines.

Ease into a relationship with a new copywriter by testing them on a small project. If it goes well, you can feel confident moving forward. 

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Get answers to more questions about what it’s like to work with a B2B copywriter.
  2. Read 3 Ways to Make Your Technology Marketing More Human for more tips on how to create compelling content.
  3. Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.
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