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Effective B2B Content Marketing Tactics

Effective B2B Content Marketing TacticsBest practices for B2B marketing have changed drastically in the last few years. The introduction of the internet, ecommerce, and social media networking has created brand new marketing needs. Consumers also now have an endless supply of choices, which has create a desire for real engagement between online retailers and potential customers. That is why there is now a greater emphasis on B2B content marketing.

Online content is a company’s best opportunity to communicate directly with potential leads. Millions of people use the internet every day in search of solutions to their biggest problems. A company’s tutorials, newsletters, articles, webpages, and blogs are all valuable reference sources that can turn potential leads into consumers. If you are still not convinced you need content marketing, you can read my earlier blog; Five Reasons Why Content Marketing is Not a Waste of Time before proceeding with this article on how to actually use it to your advantage.

B2B Content Marketing Tactics

Creating relevant and informative content is necessary for success, but it has to be effectively marketed or it will never be read. Social media is the most popular content marketing tactic because of its vast reach and frequency of use. Over 80% of B2B marketers use social media to promote their content.

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the most commonly used social sites for content marketing, although YouTube and Google+ are also used by a high percentage of B2B marketers.

Content Marketing worth Sharing

Crafty B2B content marketers will develop articles and content that social media users actually want to share. The information must be compelling, informative, or humorous to insight a strong reaction. B2B marketers will also use contests and giveaways as an incentive for reposting or sharing particular content.

Content Marketing SEO Strategies

Search engine optimization is another powerful content marketing strategy. Most people start their product research using a search engine. If your articles and website are not appearing in the first few pages of the search results, they won’t be seen. Strategically-placed keywords and meta-tags, along with genuine link-building are needed to drive your content to the top of the rankings.

Market Content on Forums and Discussion Boards

Another B2B marketing tactic is spreading word of your article all over the internet by posting snippets of it on forums and discussion boards. Make sure to use boards that are related to your industry or target market. You also need to include your website and authorship, so readers and web crawlers can reference it back to your original blog.

Content Marketing with Marketing Automation

There are countless ways to gain exposure for your content and most of which will be enhance when it is incorporated with a marketing automation strategy. Marketing automation software streamlines the process without distracting from the customer engagement. It profiles your typical website audience and then develops content that taps into their needs and interests.

Always keep in mind that your content has to be as strong as your B2B content marketing tactics, otherwise readers will be disappointed and less likely to follow you in the future. Business buyers are savvy consumers and it is important to create and promote content they truly want to read.

What Makes Content King?

What Makes Content King?In a previous blog on How to use Lead Nurturing Content to Convert More B2B Customers, I mentioned that content is king when it comes to lead conversion. I only touched on the topic briefly, but decided the subject is worthy of its own post.

Content Creates a Connection

Most marketing automation strategists focus on the sheer volume of leads and the speed of automated software when they are promoting their services to new businesses. Although these are beneficial to the success of a marketing automation campaign, they do not actually create a connection between the company and the consumer.

Lead nurturing content is a company chances to build a lasting relationship by communicating directly with the lead. It has to give the reader real value to keep them interested. Unfortunately, even clever and helpful content will still be useless if it is never read. That is why there also needs to be an emphasis on effective content marketing.

Promote Content on Discussion Boards

Content marketing will require strategic networking with other people in your industry. Spend time establishing your online authorship by posting compelling quotes and tidbits from your nurturing content on other forums and discussion boards. Make sure to create clear links back to original blog posting to encourage two-way traffic.

Content Marketing with Social Media

Millions of articles are shared every day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. Marketing automation strategist will create content worthy of being shared and then use a combination of different social media sites to distribute and promote the information online.

The techniques for approaching social media users vary depending on the site. LinkedIn and Google+ are ideal for professional business content while Facebook and Twitter should have a more entertaining or educational aspect to the article.

Understand Your Target Audience

How and where you promote your content will depend on your company’s unique target audience. Start by using website visitor tracking and lead profiling to gather valuable information on your potential leads. Look for similar interests and online behavior that will help you understand their needs and interests. This will allow you to create lead nurturing content that answers their questions and help you promote it in the places they are most likely to look.

Online consumers are aware they have an abundance of choices, which gives them higher expectations. They expect real engagement, free advice, and useful resources. Lead nurturing content is necessary for creating a more meaningful connection with potential leads and content marketing is needed to spread word of your valuable content and attract new visitors. Successfully combining these two marketing strategies will show you exactly why content is the king when it comes to lead conversion.

B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013

B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013LinkedIn released the results from a 2013 content marketing trends survey of its B2B Technology Marketing Community. The overall impression from the survey? The popularity of content marketing is increasing; however, the tactics are changing. We’ll look at B2B content marketing trends in 2013.

Here are some key findings from the survey:

  1. 61% of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43% last year
  2. 93% of B2B marketers are creating their own content while 34% are syndicating or curating content and 30% are encouraging user-generated content
  3. YouTube popularity as a channel to engage B2B audiences is rising while Facebook is losing ground; videos are the fifth most effective content format to reach B2B audiences and 73% indicated that YouTube is an effective platform, up from 53% in 2012
  4. The least popular content formats are printed books, online games, and podcasts
  5. Whitepapers dropped significantly in perceived effectiveness, moving from second place in 2012 to sixth place in 2013
  6. Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective B2B content tactics
  7. The top three marketing goals for content marketing are lead generation (71%), thought leadership/market education (50%), and customer acquisition (45%)
  8. LinkedIn is considered an effective social media network for reaching and engaging B2B audiences by 85% of respondents
  9. 65% indicated that Twitter is an effective channel; this was down from 70% last year
  10.  39% indicated Facebook remains an effective platform, down from 54% in 2012
  11. 37% of marketers use marketing automation to generate leads while 36% use an MA platform to nurture leads
  12. 39% don’t use marketing automation in any capacity, down from 57% last year
  13. 55% say the top challenge for their enterprise is to find enough time and bandwidth to create content; the next biggest challenges are producing engaging content (49%) and producing enough content variety to fulfill the needs of marketing programs (39%)

The survey was conducted in June 2013 and included 815 LinkedIn community members from a wide range of industries, locations, and employers.

How to use Lead Nurturing Content to Convert More B2B Customers

How to use Lead Nurturing Content to Convert More B2B Customers While researching the latest lead nurturing techniques, I came across an informative article on B2B Content Marketing for Lead Nurturing and Retention by Caroline Watts. It discusses the impressive ways content can be used to convert more B2B customers, which inspired my own take on the subject matter.

I have always stressed how important quality content is to the marketing automation process. Any content you post must be relevant and informative if you expect it to sway an undecided consumer. It should be catered to their specific needs and provide them with answers that will help them make an informed purchasing decision. Learn nurturing content is critical for converting B2B customers.

Content is King

Content is probably the most critical aspect of a marketing automation program, since it is a company’s chance to communicate directly with potential leads. It can be used to build interest in a particular product or service while guiding them towards final conversion.

Great content is not only essential for marketing automation; it is also incredibly beneficial to your SEO efforts. Well-written content will improve your search engine ranking, which will inevitably drive more traffic to your website.

Lead Nurturing Techniques

The success of the content will depend on how the content is developed and promoted. You will successfully convert more B2B customers by ensuring that the right message is being sent to the right people at the right time. This will require lead profiling, lead segmenting, and a strong social media presence.

Lead Profiling Software

Understanding a lead’s needs and interests will make it easier to create relevant and useful content. Marketing automation software programs will track website visitors, monitor their behavior, and extract demographic details about each specific lead. Using this information to customize content is an essential lead nurturing technique.

Segmenting Leads into Groups

Instead of developing unique content for each lead, B2B buyers should be segmented in groups based on similar needs and profiles. Marketers will be able to convert more B2B customers by creating lead nurturing content that addresses groups of buyers. They will appreciate that the content has still be personalized to their needs.

Strong Social Media Presence

Another lead nurturing technique is to promote the new content using various social media sites. The leads that are captured by marketing automation software may not be same leads that are your followers on Facebook and Twitter. Cross promotion between mediums will increase awareness of the content and inspire more potential leads to click on the articles. This will also help your SEO efforts and increase traffic to your site.

Quality content is essential for marketing your business online. It is the most influential part of your website for both leads and search engine crawlers. It can also convert more B2B customers when it is used with a comprehensive marketing automation strategy.

Lead Liaison Hits B2B Marketing Automation Milestone

Allen, TX (PRWEB) May 15, 2013 – Marketing automation innovator Lead Liaison has made a commitment to delivering more support to its customers than its largest competitors, and the company is on pace to fulfill that commitment. Lead Liaison announced on Monday that it had hit a B2B marketing automation milestone by delivering its 300th content piece ahead of schedule by over one month.

Since beginning an aggressive customer support campaign in November 2012, Lead Liaison has published business to business solution guides, industry datasheets, blog posts, social media links, decision-making tools, and sales and marketing resources. The company set a target date of June 30, 2012 to deliver 300 pieces of content that provide assistance to its customers. On May 8 it surpassed that goal.

Lead Liaison has become a fast-rising player in the b2b marketing automation space, a space dominated by giants Eloqua, HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot, partly due to its focus on providing digital sales and marketing resources at a steady rate.

Within this extremely competitive industry, marketing automation vendors have relied upon publishing digital content to attract and educate their markets, commonly known as “content marketing”. Article distribution, blog posting, press releases, and publication of extended documents like white papers or research reports have been commonly used to elevate awareness about automated marketing and lead management solutions. Content marketing to b2b marketing automation customers is typically driven through regularly publishing new content. Within the industry, companies often seek to surpass content milestones such as 100, 300, 700, and 1,000 published content pieces.

For Lead Liaison, the concept of content marketing doesn’t simply mean using content to attract customers, however. The company is using content to support its customers’ sales and marketing activities.

“Our mission is more than simply achieving top-of-mind-awareness by becoming a knowledge authority. We want (customers) to feel supported before, during, and after implementing our marketing automation and lead management solutions,” said vice president of communications Alex Brown. “We have felt, for a long time, that the key to driving sustained growth in this industry is through the integration of software solutions and knowledge sharing.”

Examples of content Lead Liaison has published include industry analysis, sales and marketing advice, lead management tools, and product tutorials. Topics such as aligning marketing and sales teams, managing the flow of marketing leads, developing an email marketing campaign, and others have been covered within the 300 pieces of content. And tools such as the Lead Management Grader, Scoring Model Designer, and 92 Lead Management Data Points have helped customers become more refined and targeted in their business to business sales and marketing practices.

For more information about Lead Liaison’s marketing automation products or its support services contact Lead Liaison at 888 895 3237 or sales(at)leadliaison(dot)com.

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Lead Liaison is an application development company that designs, develops, and sells cloud-based marketing and sales automation software. The company markets to small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, and focuses on creating the broadest and most user-friendly revenue generation software platform. Applications cover all phases of lead management automation including sales prospecting, lead generation, and marketing automation functions that directly influence revenue generation. It’s innovative and robust lead management platform combines unparalleled sales prospecting, lead capture, real-time lead tracking, lead qualification, lead distribution, database segmentation, lead nurturing and ROI reporting. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers an effective user experience and integrated cloud computing capabilities.

For More Information

Alex Brown
VP, Corporate Communications
abrown(at)leadliaison(dot)com
888.895.3237 (888 89 LEADS)

Five Reasons Why Content Marketing is Not a Waste of Time

Content MarketingContent marketing is not a waste of time. Like most other forms of marketing, content marketing has the capacity to either set you back, or hopefully get you a ton of great clients. In case you’ve never even heard of it, content marketing refers to sending information to your clients in order to sell your services, tell them more about your industry – or for our purposes, generate some leads.

There are many different kinds of content marketing including:

  • EBooks
  • Social media posts
  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • Newsletters

Pretty much anything that presents your audience with information with the purpose of generating a lead or sale qualifies as content marketing.

Content marketing has the capacity to become a waste of time if your organization isn’t doing it correctly. If you’ve seen a terrible, poorly written, completely off topic blog out there, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve seen businesses advertise totally irrelevant, cutesy small talk or photos on their social media networks rather than messages that elevate them and increase their branding power, you know not what to do.

If you’re keeping away from content marketing for your business because you’re intimidated, it might be time to either do some exploring, or hire a content genius to help you. However you decide to handle it, content marketing can be time worth spent for your business. Here are five reasons why.

Content Marketing is good for Your SEO

When your content marketing utilizes well-researched keywords, your SEO will start to look better over time. Sure, good search engine optimization isn’t just about writing great articles – but one major factor in ranking over competitors is sharing good, updated content both on your website and in your link building. If you’re not using content to beef up your website and get great, authority links back to your site, you can be sure your competitors are.

Content Marketing Helps You Not Come Off Like a Cheapskate

These days, information is power – AND money. Getting an email address because you gave away an eBook is a great way to keep in touch with clients. Each time you use someone’s email, you’re keeping them in your sales funnel.

You can’t just ask customers for emails without being willing to give something in return. Content marketing allows you to give the customer a valuable piece of information they can use in their everyday lives or business transactions. Giving the client great content for their personal info is quid pro quo, and it’s expected these days.

Content Marketing Establishes Trust

Reading your content gives customers the opportunity to know who you are, what you can offer and to gauge your expertise on a certain subject. The more in-the-know you appear to be, the more your potential clients will trust that your products or services are the right choice. Content marketing allows your clients to get to know you before making a purchase. Establishing that trust from the get go can make for an easier, more harmonious working relationship as well.

Content Marketing Gets You Out There

If you and your competitor offer the same services at the same prices –but I find out your competitor has a kept-up blog, a huge social media following and a good number of guest blogs out there, who would I trust more?

Not only does good content make you more competitive, good content marketing gets in front of more eyes than no marketing at all. You can create great content for your Facebook and run $5-at-a-time sponsored ads to reach friends of friends. If your content is worth reading, just $5 can result in hundreds of subscribers.

Content Marketing is Multipurpose

Great SEO, trust building, brand building, reputation energizing – the best reason to engage in good content marketing for your business is that content marketing is multipurpose. You can use it for SEO, for great social media, for better brand awareness and more. Because it’s easy to do and robust, a good content strategy can benefit you in all channels of your marketing.

If you find the right help or have the expertise to deploy a great content marketing strategy, you’ll next need to look at measuring your results. A lead management system that scores and helps you follow up with leads can integrate directly into your content management program. Lead Liaison is a great choice. If you aren’t ready to deploy a content marketing strategy yet, now is the time to work with Lead Liaison to ensure your tracking needs and goals are met before you begin content marketing. Talk to us about how we can integrate our services with your content marketing strategy today!

Good Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing StrategyIn July we wrote about “Marketing Automation Challenges – Avoiding Status Quo” and “New Marketing Technology” as two obstacles facing adoption of marketing automation. The third obstacle, which we’ll discuss today, is being “content challenged”. Whether you’re using marketing and sales automation technology to help your business or not, a good content marketing strategy never hurts.

Personally, I’ve worked for several companies with a bad content marketing strategy. All companies had three things in common. First, they knew they had to create content. They did so in a reactive way, they were not proactive about content creation. Second, they had no schedule. They created content on a whim at infrequent periods. Third, their content was misguided. The marketing teams thought like the sellers, not the buyers.

Now that we’ve defined what a bad content marketing strategy is, let’s discuss a good content marketing strategy:

The truth is – we live in a digital content era and the internet completely shifted business to business sales. Buyers conduct the majority of their research online instead of calling the vendor. A good content marketing strategy requires a company to become a “content creation machine” – stretching their marketing footprint far and wide across a multitude of internet outlets; including social media, blogs, corporate websites and partner websites. Content should be re-purposed into emails, whitepapers, webinars and more. See our article on 101 business to business lead generation ideas and tips to light a spark.

Framework for a Good Content Marketing Strategy:

1. Blog at least two times a week
2. Put on monthly webinars
3. Produce quarterly whitepapers and/or eBooks
4. Tweet at least two times per day to promote new content and share relevant material
5. Comment on other blogs and/or forums at least two time a week
6. Produce a useful and/or educational tool for your buyers at least two times per year (ROI analysis, calculators, templates, guides, etc.)

Most importantly, stay committed for the long run. Do not start, stop then start again. It does you no good. Part of a search engine’s ranking formula is content-freshness; i.e. how often content is updated or added. If necessary, hire a marketing assistant to help create and distribute content. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to a good content marketing strategy, one hell of an inbound marketing program (see Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing) and more leads for sales!

We’d love to hear from you, how do you create a good marketing content strategy? What would you add to our framework?

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