These 23 Questions Will Save You From Any B2B Content Creation Rut

questions_b2b_content_creation

Creating killer content takes a lot of time and hard work.

If you’re part of the 76% of B2B marketers who are producing more content this year than last, you might be struggling to stay ahead. After all, you only have so many hours in the day.

You may also wonder how to make the best use of your time and create content that resonates with your customers.  

This week, I want to share 23 questions put together by The American Marketing Association that will be invaluable when it come to establishing where to start and what you should write about to engage customers. Check out Ask These 23 Questions to Create Better Content to get the ideas flowing.

How to Boost Brand Engagement with Your B2B Content

  34 East 12th Avenue Vancouver (between Ontario & Quebec)

With 72% of B2B content marketers saying that they struggle to create engaging content, it can sometimes seem like an uphill battle to generate and maintain engagement.

This week, I’m sharing some expert advice put together by Uberflip. They have reached out to marketing experts to identify what makes a top-notch content strategy. Cassandra Jowett from Influitive says, “Most B2B marketers struggle to create engaging content because their customers are not involved in the content creation process.”

For more tips, check out 8 Expert Tips to Generate More Engagement From Your B2B Content in 2016.

The Top 5 Ways to Promote Your Premium Content

The Top 5 Ways to Promote Your Premium Content

Getting your premium content in front of your target audience requires a solid strategy. Many B2B marketers create killer content and then let it waste away on their websites, where no one finds it.

To get noticed by the right buyers, you need to spend even more time promoting your content than you do creating your content. This week I’m happy to share Beacon.by’s The 5 Best Strategies to Promote Your Lead Magnet. I’m a fan of number four: Using LinkedIn Pulse to author an article with a direct link to your lead magnet. You can see this strategy in action here: 5 Reasons Why B2B Websites Fail.

Now go and kick your lead magnet promotion into high gear!

How to Get Your Sales Team to Actually Use Your Content

B2B_Marketing_Sales_Team_Use_Content

Sometimes it can feel like a lost cause …

You’ve created a strong library of content that you want to get in front of as many customers as possible. You hope your sales team will feel as excited about your content as you are. But then the momentum stops short at sales’ door.

Building a relationship between sales and marketing has some incredible benefits, such as higher quality leads and more revenue. A steady flow of content can help sales better educate customers and close more deals … if they actually use the content.  

This week, I’m sharing some easy to implement strategies from NewsCred to help you align your marketing and sales teams. Check out NewsCred’s tips here.

New Research: Case Studies Are The Most Effective B2B Content Marketing Tool

Case Studies Most Effective B2B Content Marketing

We’ve always known that case studies are one of the top dogs of B2B content marketing, but new research from the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Group now proves it.

The LinkedIn Technology Marketing Group recently conducted a survey with more than 600 B2B marketing professionals about the current state of content marketing.

The results show that when evaluating content marketing effectiveness, lead generation continues to be the top goal. Meanwhile, case studies take the #1 spot as the most effective tactic and format. Case studies topped the results in two categories – the most effective content subject to write about and the most effective marketing tactic.

Why Are Case Studies So Effective?

Today’s B2B buyers are self educated and don’t want companies to constantly sell to them. Adding case studies to your lead generation mix helps build trust with buyers, as they hear about you from your customers’ voices – not from your corporate voice. A hawkeye study found that between 71% and 77% of B2B buyers cited testimonials and case studies as the most influential types of content.

Case_Studies_Buyer_Decisions

When B2B buyers conduct research online, they look for peer reviews, testimonials and case studies. All three of these items provide social proof that your products or services deliver results. This proof helps buyers feel confident when they make purchasing decisions. .

The more compelling case studies you have, the more you can engage skeptical prospects and shorten your sales cycles. A relevant case study can capture a buyer’s interest and motivate them to reach out to you earlier.

Plus, adding more case studies and testimonials to your website can boost your conversions. WikiJobs increased its conversions by 34% simply by displaying testimonials prominently on a web page.

How You Can Use Case Studies

Case studies allow you to tell your story from your customers’ perspectives. They are also a great way to get your best customers more involved with your company and give them recognition for all of the awesome things they are doing.

Here are some places where you can share your case studies to reach a wider audience and engage more leads:

  • Sales collateral for your team
  • Segmented by product or industry, so you can share the right story with the right prospect
  • Event handouts
  • Presentations at conferences, user groups, and other events
  • Social testimonials
  • Email promotions
  • Sprinkled throughout your website as testimonials
  • Blog posts
  • Video content
  • Stories for your white papers and ebooks
  • SlideShare presentations (don’t forget to post these to your LinkedIn profile)
  • LinkedIn recommendations

Case_Studies_User_Experience

A successful case study requires both telling a great story and supporting it with a great user experience. Organize your content so prospects can easily find what they need, develop headlines that capture their attention, and present your content in a way that’s interesting and informative.

Case Study Resources to Help You Convert More Leads

Although case studies are an integral part of your B2B content marketing toolkit, they can be difficult to acquire and execute. Here’s how to create case studies that resonate with prospects and motivate them to say, “Yes!” to your product or service: 5 Ways to Take Your B2B Case Studies from Blah to Brilliant.

Once you have some killer stories here are 21 Place to Share Your B2B Case Studies. And if you’re still in the process of developing case studies, here’s How to Make B2B Buyers Believe You (Even When You Don’t Have Any Case Studies, yet!)

 

[Infographic] Do You Have Revenue-Leaking Gaps in Your B2B Customer Experience?

Customer Experience

Today, 80% of customers base their buying decisions on their customer experience, rather than price. This eye-opening statistic speaks to how the customer experience should be at the forefront of B2B marketing strategies.

This week, I wanted to share an inforgraphic put together by B2BMarketing.net: 5 worrying truths about the state of B2B customer experience. Not only does it highlight the importance of the customer experience and what brands are getting right, it also identifies common pitfalls and what brands must do to deliver amazing customer experiences.

The Top 9 White Paper Mistakes That Kill Your Credibility and Chase Away Leads

The Top 9 White Paper Mistakes

B2B buyers rely on white papers to make informed purchasing decisions. However, many white papers aren’t helpful – they’re boring sales pitches that put readers to sleep. Here’s how to take your white papers from “snooze fest” to “lead magnet”…

White papers are a B2B marketing workhorse. 

B2B buyers – especially technology buyers – rely on them for in-depth information when making purchasing decisions. According to Eccolo Media, white papers are the #2 type of content that B2B technology buyers use during their purchasing process. White papers are also used across all stages of the sales cycle – from awareness to decision.

When done correctly, white papers can present a compelling argument for your product or service.

However, many white papers miss the mark and fail to engage high-quality leads. Here are nine common mistakes that drive away customers and give white papers a bad name:

1. Your marketing objectives aren’t clear.

Before you develop a white paper, make sure that it aligns with your business objectives. Think about your marketing and business goals, along with what you hope to achieve with the white paper. For example, will you use the white paper for lead generation? Does the white paper fill a gap in your content? Will the white paper support a new product or service that you are launching? Do you want a white paper that positions you as an expert or thought leader for a specific topic?

2. You don’t align your white paper with your prospect’s buying journey.

While aligning your white paper with your business goals is important, it’s even more important to align your white paper with your target audience. After all, if your white paper doesn’t serve your target audience’s needs, they won’t read it.

For your white paper to be effective, you must get clear on your target audience’s problems, needs, and goals. You also must target content for buyers in each phase in your sales cycle. According to Demand Gen Report’s B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, 61% of respondents select vendors who deliver a mix of content that is appropriate for each stage of their buying process.

3. Your topic isn’t a subject that will drive leads.

Many white papers fail to drive leads, because buyers don’t care about the topic.

Find out what questions your customers ask during each stage of the sales cycle. Then, address these concerns in your white paper. Your white paper will get more downloads and shares if it helps your customers solve one of their top challenges.

Speak to Customer's Challenges

Once you have some potential topics, ask your customers and prospects which one they prefer. You can also run topic ideas past your social media communities. Asking for feedback early in the process will ensure that you don’t waste your resources on a white paper that doesn’t bring you a strong ROI.

4. You don’t start from a good creative brief.

Many marketers create one-page documents that outline a few key messages for their white papers.

However, these documents often don’t contain enough info on who your target audience is and how your white paper will help them. If your creative brief is just a  few paragraphs, it won’t give your writer enough information to craft a solid white paper.

Expand on your creative brief to answer questions such as:

  • Who is our primary and secondary audience for this white paper?
  • What are their top challenges or concerns?
  • What solution will help them overcome their challenges?

For my complete list of questions, download my white paper creative brief here.

5. You don’t include quotes and interviews from experts.

Obtaining quotes from subject matter experts and stats from third-party research is critical when writing an authoritative white paper. This information enhances your white paper’s credibility and makes your content more believable.

Stats and data are of particular importance if your target audience is analytical. They want to see numbers that back up your claims.

6. You didn’t use a professional writer.

A white paper can be one of the most persuasive items in your marketing toolbox.

However, it takes a lot of time and skill to craft a compelling white paper. Many B2B marketing teams are small, busy, and don’t have the time to write lengthy pieces of content.

Working with a professional copywriter can help you quickly take your white paper from idea to reality. A copywriter can turn your messages into compelling arguments. This will engage leads and motivate them to take the next step in working with you.

7. You blast your leads with sales messages.

IT pros refer to white paper opt-in forms as, “download a call”. Many of them want a white paper’s content, but they don’t want the sales call that comes five minutes after they download it. Many IT pros avoid answering their phones after opting in for a white paper, so that they won’t have to speak with a sales rep.

If you want to stand out from the pack, don’t bombard your leads with sales calls five minutes after they download a white paper. You can even be transparent in your landing page copy and let leads know if you will call them.

8. Your white paper is a 10-page sales pitch.

Many white papers appear useful on their landing pages. They have compelling titles and promise to share great tips. But when you read these white papers, you find out that they are just lengthy sales brochures. Some even mention their product in the first sentence!

Use 80% Educational Content

Make sure that your white papers contain 80% educational content. Once you educate customers and earn their trust, you can discuss your product in the remaining 20%.

9. You don’t spend enough time promoting your white papers.

Many B2B marketers put lots of time and resources into developing white papers and then simply post them on their websites and hope leads will pour in.

Unfortunately, it’s not this easy. Here are seven ways you can promote your white papers to get more downloads, shares, and leads:

  • Collect leads on your blog. Write a series of related articles for your blog, and direct readers to your white paper’s opt-in form.
  • Create an email campaign. Encourage targeted email segments to download and share your white paper.
  • Give your sales team a cheat sheet. A white paper “cheat sheet” makes it easy for salespeople to hand out to leads.
  • Host a webinar about your white paper’s topic. Not all of your ideal customers will read a white paper. If you host a webinar that’s on the same topic as your white paper, you can reach a wider audience.
  • Convert your white paper into a SlideShare presentation. SlideShare is a great channel to use if your audience responds to visuals. Post highlights from your white paper in a SlideShare presentation. You can even add a lead generation form to your SlideShare presentation to connect with potential customers.
  • Drive targeted leads to your white papers via LinkedIn. LinkedIn has advanced targeting features that let you put your ads in front of exactly the right audience. For example, you can target your audience by company size, job function, title, and location. You can buy both ads and sponsored updates.
  • Get influencers to talk about your white paper. Getting your industry’s top bloggers to talk about your white paper can bring a lot of leads your way. Build relationships with these bloggers before you ask them to do anything for you. Once you have a relationship, send them a link to your white paper’s direct download page, along with a personal email that explains why their readers will find it valuable.

Following these tips will help you take your white papers from “boring” to “brilliant.” And this information doesn’t just apply to white papers. You can also use these techniques with ebooks, guides, and other marketing content to improve your results.

3 Easy Ways To Apply This Information Now

  1. Download my white paper creative brief for a list of questions that will get your project off to a solid start.
  2. Read 27 Places to Promote Your B2B White Papers to learn how to get your content in front of a wider audience.
  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.

 

 

10 Things You Need on Your B2B Homepage [Infographic]

Copy of Content Marketing Cheatsheets

Your website is at the forefront of your business and arguably the most valuable marketing resource you own. It’s often the first stop for both potential and existing customers, so keeping it optimized should be a priority. Your website can lead customers all the way through their journey – from an introduction via a Google search or blog post through conversion.

Your homepage can make or break that experience and heavily influences buying decisions. A good home page can prompt customers to engage with you and learn more, while a bad home page can cause them to bounce.

This week I’m sharing a valuable infographic from Sagefrog outlining the Top 10 Features Every B2B Homepage Must Have. Have a look to see if your site needs some tweaks. If so, how and where you can make critical adjustments to improve your customers’ experience?

The Top 10 Content Marketing Infographics for Summer 2016

Content_Marketing_Infographics

Summer is officially here bringing with it longer days, warm breezes and those long anticipated vacations (or stay-cations). Yay!

If you’ve got the hammock set up and are looking for some good summer reading, be sure to check out these 10 content marketing infographics curated by the folks over at BrightTalk.

Infographics are the perfect bite-size way to take in a lot of info without having to invest in a longer piece of content. These 10 infographics cover everything from a brief history of content marketing to strategy tips, benchmarks and trends.

Pour yourself a refreshing beverage and check out these 10 Content Marketing Infographics for Your Summer Reading List.

How Content Marketers Can Be More Creative

How_Content_Marketers_Can_Be_More_Creative

Increase creativity with these upgrades to your workspace and habits.

Creativity. We all want it, and we all want it to come easy! Regardless of the project you’re working on, a healthy dose of creativity is an asset that can give your content a leg up over others. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a creativity rut (we’ve all been there), there are a few ways to break free and allow your ingenuity and vision to come together.

I recently came across this great post from UberFlip: How to Optimize Your Workspace & Habits for Creativity. Have a look and get going on some workspace upgrades that will help you be more creative.

For more optimization and productivity tips, check out 7 Productivity Hacks for Smart B2B Content Marketers.

The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Cheat Sheets

The-Ultimate-List-of-Content-Marketing-Cheat-Sheets

B2B marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics – from case studies to white papers to blog posts. Since 76% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did last year, it’s crucial to find ways to be more efficient and productive.

That’s why I loved this article by Marketing Insider Group sharing 15 content marketing cheat sheets. If you are struggling with content marketing, the article lists some great tools that will help you create content faster and easier.

Make sure you check out my personal favourite, The Ultimate List Of Blog Post Ideas by Digital Marketer. It’s a great resource covering the 50 types of blog posts to turn your ideas into great content.

A bonus resource that isn’t on the list is How to Plan Your 2016 Content Calendar. An editorial calendar is an important part of your content marketing strategy. It helps you document, plan and manage massive volumes of content. The resource includes an editorial calendar template that will help you with your planning. 

What are your favourite content marketing resources? I’d love to hear them. Tweet them to me at @copywriterTO.

How to Make B2B Buyers Believe You (Even When You Don’t Have Any Case Studies)

B2B_Buyers_Without_Case_Studies

While case studies are a B2B marketing powerhouse, they’re not always easy to get. Here’s how to engage prospects when you can’t share customer success stories …

Case studies are one of the top dogs of B2B content marketing.

B2B customers rely on them to make informed buying decisions, as case studies give customers social proof that your products and services deliver results.

It’s no surprise that 71% percent of B2B buyers in the awareness stage and 77% in the evaluation stage cited that testimonials and case studies are the most influential types of content.

But it’s not always easy to get case studies.

For example, you may be launching a new product and can’t get case studies until your customers use it. Or you might be in an industry where your customers can’t identify themselves due to legal, security, or privacy issues.

So, what can you do if you can’t get case studies?

Don’t worry. Chances are you have some great options and can draw from other content sources. Here are five ways you can unleash some powerful content while you get your case study ducks in a row:

1. Ask for reviews.

If you can’t get a complete case study, you might still have customers who are willing to post reviews on a site such as G2Crowd or TrustRadius.

The Demand Gen Report B2B Buyer Behaviour Survey found that 53% of business buyers rely on peer recommendations when they make a purchase. This number has increased from 19% in 2012.

Focusing on peer reviews can enhance your credibility and boost your sales.

Subject_Matter_Experts

2. Let your subject matter experts shine.

Buyers value your subject matter experts’ opinions. According to ITSMA’s 2015 How Buyers Consume Information Study, B2B customers want to know what your subject matter experts think. In fact, vendor subject matter experts were rated the most trustworthy or credible source of information – beating even peers, analysts, and digital influencers.

Ask your internal subject matter experts to contribute to your content – such as by writing blog posts, authoring white papers, presenting at live events, or answering questions during webinars. If your subject matter experts are too busy to blog regularly, you can have a ghost writer interview them and write posts on their behalf.

3. Provide other valuable content.

The vendor with the best content wins.

In Demand Gen Report’s B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, 61% of respondents said that they select vendors who deliver a mix of content that is appropriate for each stage of their buying process.

While case studies are valuable across all stages of the buying cycle, you have other options. For example, you can provide educational white papers, blog posts, and videos. Webinars are also are great way to interact with prospects and answer their questions. With so many options, prospects may not even notice that you don’t have any case studies.

Social_Media_in_Buying_Decisions

4. Boost your social presence.

Yes. Your buyers are using social media to research you.

According to IDG, 86% of IT buyers use social networks and content in their purchase decisions. They are most likely to use social media in the general education stage of their buying process.

Meanwhile, Demand Gen Report found that LinkedIn is the top network for senior executives who want to connect via social media. Whether you have case studies or not, you should focus some of your marketing efforts on LinkedIn. For example, you can upload articles to LinkedIn Publisher or post SlideShare presentations to your profile. Also ask your subject mater experts to add their thought leadership to their LinkedIn profiles. Showing customers the faces behind your company can boost your credibility – even if you don’t have case studies.

Demand Gen Report also found that blogs are the top social medium for non-executives. Updating yours on a regular basis can get you in front of a wider audience and motivate prospects to learn more about your company.

5. Publish a use case (proceed with caution)

When you’re launching a new product, it might be too early to get case studies that you can share.

Instead, you can put together use cases – or examples of how people can use your product. The point of a use case is to get customers to visualize themselves achieving the benefits that your products and services offer.

However, you must be clear that your use cases are examples – not stories about real customers. You don’t want to mislead buyers.

While use cases can provide some value, you’ll want to get real customer success stories as soon as possible.

The above are great ways to support your sales team in the absence of case studies. But, as mentioned, B2B buyers rely heavily on case studies.

And you may not be a stuck as you think. You may have customers who are willing to share their success stories with the world. All you need to do is ask.

Once you have a stellar case study ready to go, check out these 21 Places to Share Your B2B Case Studies.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Read How B2B Buyers Are Engaging With Your Content [Data]  To help you get the most out of your content investments, I’ve compiled some recent statistics on how B2B buyers are using content throughout the sales cycle.
  2. Read “10 Steps to an Effective Content Marketing Strategy” to help plan your content. Research has shown that B2B marketers who document their content strategies get better results than those who don’t.
  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.

 

The New Content Marketing Benchmarks Are Here: How Do You Stack Up?

Content Marketing Benchmarks

Do you ever wonder how your content is stacking up against your competitors?

Is your content getting the same engagement as others in the industry? How do you know if you are leading or lagging?  

Luckily, the folks over at Venngage have put together some benchmarks that we can use as a point of reference when it comes to how our content is performing. Not only have they pulled data from the top 115 marketing tech companies, but they have designed it to be actionable. You can plug in a few of your own numbers to see how you measure up.

Here are some of the metrics that they have benchmarked:

  • Blog post total shares and shares by platform
  • Blog post shares by followers
  • Blog post total shares by content type
  • Total shares and shares by platform, per month
  • Top companies

Check out the SlideShare and Infographic to see how you stack up.

4 Must-Do Steps to Maximize the Value of Your Content

4 Must-Do Steps to Maximize the Value of Your Content

This week, I’m sharing a post from my friends over at SingleGrain. They’ve put together four really powerful ways to squeeze the most out of your content – something that we all hope to achieve!

We work hard at generating valuable content and want our content to be as effective as possible. If you’re struggling with ways to push that post the extra mile or ring out a little bit more reach from that white paper, check out these must-do’s that will seriously up your game: 4 Steps To Expand and Promote Your Epic Content

Do you want more tips on how to scale your content? Check out my recent post: How to Scale Your B2B Content – Without Sacrificing Its Quality

 

5 Quick Tips: Social Media for B2B

 

Quick Tips: Social Media for B2B

Believe it or not, some companies are still skeptical about the benefits of B2B social media. A lot of B2Bs think they are boring, at least compared to most B2Cs, and wouldn’t be interesting to social communities. They also perceive that it’s harder to measure the effectiveness of social on the B2B side of things. Despite these myths, social media can be just as, if not more, transformative for B2Bs.

There are inherent differences between B2B and B2C. But for both, succeeding on social media is all about strategy and tactics. Having a clear picture of your target audience and where they are in the buying cycle doesn’t differ whether you’re selling to businesses or consumers.

This post by KissMetrics, How to Use Social Media to Drive Traffic for B2B Companies, features five simple but powerful things to consider when taking your social media efforts to the next level. Number four is a must!

10 B2B Content Marketing Planning Mistakes That Are Stifling Your Success

B2B Content Marketing Planing Mistakes

B2B content marketers who create and follow through with a plan are more successful than those who wing it. Here’s how to avoid common planning mistakes that can derail your content marketing success …

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

With content marketing now mainstream (88% of B2B marketers in North America use content marketing), most brands have jumped on board with generating more content in the hopes of boosting brand awareness, engaging a larger audience, and standing out from their competitors.

But only 30% of B2B marketers think their content marketing is effective. This is because they’re going in without a plan.

To win at content marketing, you need both a strategy and a plan to implement that strategy.

Doing content marketing without a plan is like driving to a new destination without your GPS. You’ll likely make wrong turns and get lost along the way.

Are You Making These 10 Content Planning Mistakes?

Regardless of where you are in your planning process, if you know what to look out for, you can easily avoid these ten common planning mistakes.

1. Not setting goals for your content

Ninety-three percent of the most effective B2B content marketers cite lead generation as a goal. When you set goals, you can structure your strategy around what matters.

Measuring your goals is equally important. Looking at metrics will help you track your growth and success en route to your target.

According to the B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, the most important goals and metrics for B2B content marketing:

Goals:

  • Lead generation (85%)
  • Sales (84%)
  • Lead nurturing (78%)
  • Brand awareness (77%)
  • Engagement (76%)

Metrics:

  • Sales lead quality (87%)
  • Sales (84%)
  • Higher conversion rates (82%)
  • Sales lead quantity (71%)
  • Website traffic (71%)

2. Not documenting your strategy

Having an idea about where you want your marketing efforts to go and putting that idea into action are two different things. Documenting your strategy can set you apart from your competitors and help you reach your goals. It’s not surprising that sixty percent of B2B marketers with a documented content marketing strategy say they are effective, compared with 32% of those with just a verbal strategy.

Document Your Strategy

Use your goals to create your strategy. Then, break down your strategy into actions with deadlines. Once you create your schedule, stick with it. Having a tangible roadmap will keep you on track towards your goals and successes.

3. Not having the right resources

Having the right resources at your fingertips is critical to your content marketing success.

While many B2B marketers are a “marketing department of one”, you can’t be expected to do it all yourself. It’s hard to find the time to plan, create, and promote your content on top of everything else that you need to do.

You can find it helpful to delegate some of your content creation to a team, especially if you feel overwhelmed. With other contributors, your content will end up fresher and more vibrant. Meanwhile, you’ll be less stressed about finding the time to do everything yourself.

There are a ton of tools to help you source, create, organization and distribute your content – as well as manage and collaborate with your team. Check out the B2B Content Marketers’ Guide to Getting it Done.

4. Not getting other people in the organization involved

Your content marketing goals likely span all areas of your business, so it makes sense that multiple departments should be involved. Collaborating with other departments will make your content more effective and help other areas of the business achieve their goals.

Utilize Other Departments

In particular, sales, customer service, and product development can provide insights that will translate into more valuable content.

5. Not repurposing content

Today’s B2B marketers are producing more content than ever. However, many marketers will publish a piece of content once on their website or blog and then fail to do anything else with it. This begs the question, how do we create large volumes of content without sacrificing its quality?

Twenty-nine percent of leading marketers systematically reuse and repurpose their content. If you’re not doing the same, you will fail to capitalize on each piece of content and maximize your reach.

Maximize Your Reach

It can be tough to keep your feeds full of fresh posts, but there are ways to scale your content. Check out: How to Scale Your B2B Content Without Sacrificing Its Quality.

6. Not using evergreen content

Just like it’s namesake, evergreen content stays fresh for a long period. It can work hard for longer – increasing your traffic, social shares, leads, and search engine rankings. You can also use your best evergreen content a list-building tool to grow your subscribers.

If you want your content to have a longer shelf life, pick a topic that will interest your customers for the next few years. You don’t want to discuss a trend that may become dated in a few months.

7. Not planning content that improves customer experience

Buyers are spending more time looking at content online and less time interacting with sales and customer service reps. Shockingly, Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with enterprises without interacting with a human.

Digital Relationships

Use your content as an opportunity to provide customers with a great experience. Be relevant, accessible, and honest. For more tips check out How to Use Content to Improve Your Customer Experience.

8. Not telling your customers’ stories

The best way to connect with your audience is by telling your customers’ stories. Savvy B2B buyers don’t like sales pitches. They want to connect with real people – not with faceless brands.

Sharing customer stories is a great way to build these connections. The truth is, the best stories come from your customers, not from your sales or marketing teams.

Share how customers have used your products and what benefits they have achieved. And don’t be afraid to address things that didn’t go well in your case studies. This shows potential customers how you handle and solve problems. For more ideas, read The 4 Pillars You Need to Tell Great B2B Stories

9. Not budgeting enough

Seventy-six percent of marketers are increasing their investment in content marketing, and 51% of B2B marketers indicate that they will increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months. Social Media Examiner’s Industry Report estimated that marketers will increase spending on creating visual assets, including videos, as well as original written content.

Increasing Marketing Budgets

Not allocating enough of a budget for your content marketing can be a major roadblock. You can have a stellar strategy and content plan, but without the proper budget, you won’t be able to see it through.

Also, inefficiency in content planning and creation can result in budget blunders and overspends. According to a recent study, mid-to-large B2B companies waste $958 million each year on inefficient and ineffective content.

10. Not answering customer questions

Talking about what you want to talk about, not what your customers want to talk about, is a common B2B marketing mistake. Providing customers with value should be at the heart of your content. Listening to your customers can give you ideas on what they are interested in, so you can create content that resonates with them.

The stronger your content marketing plan, the more successful you will be. Look at your content marketing strategy to determine if you have any gaps that are preventing you from connecting with customers and driving business through your content.

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Download Your Copy Of The B2B Content Marketers’ Guide To Getting It Done

How To Have Your Most Productive Day… Every Day.

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3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

1. Download The B2B Content Marketer’s Guide to Getting It Done: How to Have Your Most Productive Day … Every Day!

2. Read How to Scale Your B2B Content – Without Sacrificing Its Quality for more tips that will help you improve your productivity while getting better content marketing results.

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

 

The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Blog Posts

The days of tricking search engines are over.

If you have been using tactics that try to manipulate Google, you probably have noticed a significant dip in traffic.

Barry Feldman and Andy Crestodina have collaborated to create this 21 point SEO Blog Post checklist that can help you create blog content that satisfies both readers and Google.

The checklist is a fantastic resource for you to check out. However, I would add five important items to it:

  1. Write longer content. The first page of Google is dominated by articles that average 1890 words.
  2. Optimize your images with keywords. Google has a search just for images that can bring traffic to your site.
  3. Add a good summary and a link back to your post in the description of any of your YouTube videos that you embed in your posts. YouTube videos rank very well in search.
  4. Make sure that you have easy ways to share your post on social media that also show your share counts. This helps with credibility and increases social shares. Social Warfare is a great tool because it also includes Twitter counts.
  5. Create internal links to other content on your site when relevant and interesting. This will cause people to stay longer on your site – boosting your engagement.

10 B2B Content Marketing Productivity Tools You Need to Use Today

10 B2B Content Marketing Productivity Tools You Need to Use Today

While you’re reading this, you likely have no less than a dozen other tabs open and a to-do list that’s growing by the minute.

As B2B marketers, we have our plates full. We’re producing more content than ever, using an average of 13 content marketing tactics from case studies to white papers to blog posts.

Keeping up with all of this content is a challenge. We constantly strive for increased productivity and ways to streamline our workloads to keep the content machine rolling.

Here are ten productivity tools that can help you save time while you produce record-breaking amounts of content:  

1. Evernote

EverNote

Evernote calls itself “the productivity app that keeps your projects, ideas, and inspiration handy across all your digital devices.” With that said, it’s a powerful tool to organize, save, and schedule content for later. You can capture content and curate it when you’re in need of some inspiration. 

2. Trello

Trello

This scheduling and project management platform has a focus on team collaboration, allowing you to create an overview of your current and future tasks. It lets you collaborate with your content development team and keep all of your project’s files, photos and notes in one place. Trello can also be an effective content planning calendar as seen here: Creating Content Management Calendars in Trello.

3. Feedly

Feedly

Speaking of content planning, Feedly is a great tool for discovering and curating content. The tool integrates with many social media management platforms and is an efficient way of sourcing valuable, industry-specific content for your audience. 

4. Oktopost

Oktopost

Oktopost is my go-to social media management platform. I love it, because it’s specifically geared towards B2B marketers and lets you track and manage your leads through social media. It also integrates with Feedly, making it a match made in content marketing heaven. 

5. RescueTime

Rescue Time

Being scattered and distracted is something we can all relate to. RescueTime is a plug in that aims to help you understand your daily habits. It tracks where and when your distractions occur, so you can be more productive. You can also ban those distracting websites and have an accurate glimpse of exactly how much time you spent on emails or in meetings.

6. IFTTT

IFTTT

Short for “If This Then That”, IFTTT allows you to automate actions in one app as a response to actions within another. Think about all of the repetitive task you do in a day. Now, think about how great it would be to automate those. Choose from a list of recipes or create your own. IFTTT integrates with a ton of apps and services you use daily – it’s a time saver for sure.

7. Mixmax

MixMax

Emails are the bane of our work existence. They can be a huge time suck. Mix Max cleans up your inbox by allowing you to track, organize, and automate your emails. It also has productivity features such as templates, mail merging, and scheduling.

8. Slack

Slack

If you haven’t already heard of Slack, it’s a messaging app for teams that makes it easy to categorize and track conversations about projects or clients across multiple teams. You can drag and drop to share files, as well as set reminders and notifications. Slack claims to decrease your email up to 48% – woah!

9. Thoughtboxes

Thought Boxes

As an alternative to drowning in Post-it notes, Thoughtboxes are a simple way of keeping all of your notes in one, visually organized page. Categorize and colour code your lists by task, project, or client. You can also use Thoughtboxes to jot down ideas on the fly without leaving a cluster of crumpled stickies in your wake. 

10. 1Password

1Password

It seems like everything requires a password these days, and our list of passwords to remember is constantly growing. 1Password is an amazing tool that securely stores and auto-fills your passwords whenever you need them, saving you on time and frustrations. 

 

 

Fill Up Your B2B Content Calendar With This Great Resource

Fill Your B2B Content Calendar

Planning, creating and scaling content can be a challenge. A lot of time and hard work can go into content production, and we’re all looking for ways to maximize our content and increase our productivity as B2B marketers.

This week, I wanted to share a great resource that I came across that can help you diversify your content creation. Check it out: 105 Types of Content to Fill Up Your Editorial Calendar

Now that you have so many choices, what types of content will help you attract the most leads and turn them into customers? Have a look at these five winning B2B content marketing tactics: The Top Dogs Of B2B Content Marketing [Infographic]

If you’re looking for more productivity tools, be sure to check out my blog post this Wednesday, where I will dive deeper into 10 productivity tools for B2B marketers.