Content Your Audience Wants But Isn’t Getting

23 Jul

Is Your Content Passive or Interactive?

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It’s no longer enough for content to be good. (Heck, maybe it never was.) It’s not even enough for content to be timely, personalized, well-distributed, or repurposed. What’s also important is that your content is interactive—or at least, some of your content is interactive. In fact, a Customer Think article argues that the #1 type of content that is most impactful to today’s buyers is also the same type of content that they get the least of: interactive content.

While whitepapers, webinars, and case studies are still widely consumed in the B2B space, there is plenty of room for new and innovative content. B2B marketers shouldn’t feel constrained by these more traditional types of content, described in the article as “passive.” Interactive content such as interactive presentations, ROI calculators, and assessment tools is highly valued by B2B buyers. Not only will it break through some of the clutter by simply breaking through established norms, but according to the survey, it also outperforms passive content in:

  • Producing prospect conversions
  • Educating the buyer
  • Creating differentiation from competitors

Most importantly, this is the type of content B2B buyers want. And the proof is in the numbers:

  • 45% of respondents rated the value of interactive presentations as a 4/5 or 5/5, but only 31% of them had been able to access any in the past year
  • 23% of respondents rated the value of ROI calculators as a 4/5 or 5/5, but only 31% of them had been able to access any in the past year

One of our clients features a piece of interactive content on the homepage of their site, which allows their prospects to calculate estimated savings based on the typical ROI from utilizing their services. This is a prime example of simple, interactive content that educates and produces more conversions because it offers a simple number that a B2B buyer can walk away with and have some idea of what the services can do for them.

Interactive content is the content your audience wants but isn’t getting, so take advantage of this opportunity to set your content apart. For more interactive content marketing revelations from the survey, click here to read the full article.

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B2B Email: Only As Good As the Inbox It Lands In

16 Jul

Simple Tips for Email Deliverability

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You’ve done the unthinkable: you’ve crafted the perfect marketing email. A stunning design, perfect CTA, and breathtakingly relevant content.

And guess what? None of it matters if it doesn’t land in an inbox. Email deliverability is one of the most important things to keep in mind as you engage with your audience. And yet, it seems like it’s often overlooked. This article from Marketing Profs talks about the importance of email deliverability and a few tips on how to improve it. Here are a few of the best tips from the article:

  • Personalize Your Emails: The more personalized your emails are, the more likely your audience is to engage with it. This will produce a more positive sender reputation with ISPs, who can make or break sender reputations. This should be a “gimme.” In fact, we’ve recently discussed the importance of producing personalized content based both on Buyer Personas (who your audience is) and the Buyer Journey (where they are in their sales journey). But according to this article, even simple customizations like variable first names and region-specific modifications make a big difference. There is even evidence that some users will sacrifice online privacy for personalization—in other words, they’re giving up one of their most precious online commodities simply to guarantee that the emails that land in their inbox are actually relevant to them.
  • Optimize Email for Mobile: Sorry, B2B marketers—this applies to you just as much as anyone else. Mobile open rates are growing for B2C and B2B industries alike, and B2B marketers will need to adapt their email code accordingly. Shockingly, only one-third of content publishers say their emails are mobile-optimized. This is unacceptable; since emails are usually opened once, marketers have one chance to make a first impression, and that means creating a content environment that the audience wants to participate in. So maybe it’s not just about personalizing based on where your audience is in their Buyer Journey—it’s about personalizing based on where they are literally reading the content. Don’t let your email deliverability suffer because you’re not willing to optimize for mobile.

These are just a couple of the tips from the article. For the full list of email deliverability best practices, read it by clicking here.

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Recycling—Not Just Good for the Environment

10 Jul

Repurpose Your Content for Greater ROI

Contentchart

Content marketing is a big deal for B2B marketers right now. If you didn’t know that, you haven’t been reading enough Navigate-the-Channel lately. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve discussed the importance of the Buyer 360 (creating the right content at the right time for the right audience) and the biggest content marketing mistakes a B2B company can make. But another mistake many B2B companies make is not breaking down and repurposing content to extend its shelf-life.

Creating good, relevant content is challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. So the more you can stretch your content out (without losing the context), the better your investment. At ER Marketing, it’s unusual for us to create content that isn’t broken down into videos, infographics, emails, nurture campaigns, and/or at least four to five blog posts. The more ways this content can be broken down and repurposed, the greater its reach and the longer its life. It’s a simple tactic that can produce huge ROI.

That’s why I was quick to click this article when it came across my inbox. In it, the author provides a quick list of tips to extend the life of your content. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Repurpose for different audiences: As we’ve discussed in past blog posts, it’s important to consider your Buyer Personas and Buyer Journey when producing content. So adjusting your content with minor tweaks to accommodate for different stages of the sales cycle is an excellent way to provide greater insights to your audience. For example: Turn a whitepaper into a recorded webinar for people further down the sales cycle.
  • Break down your lists: Lists are hyper-digestible and easy to skim. So either boil down big topics into a simple list with the CTA to learn more, or take basic information from a list and expand it into a more focused post.
  • Compile a round-up: Did you recently write a series of posts about a product, service, or industry trend? Compile them all in one big blog post or eblast so your audience can consume all of this content at once.

For more tips on how to extend the life of your content for greater ROI, read the full article here.

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Content Marketing No-No’s

1 Jul

Don’t Let Your Company Make These Content Marketing Mistakes!

Do vs. Don't

Content is easy, right? All you have to do is write a couple pages about a product you sell and people will want to read it, right?Because what you have to say is just so interesting, right? Anyone can do it, right? It’s so easy, right?

Not so fast. Those of us who do it often know that creating useful, interesting content that is relevant to your audience at the exact moment they need it is not as easy as it looks. I talked about that at length in my last blog post, focusing on the importance of bringing together Buyer Personas and the Buyer Journey for a complete 360° view of your audience before ever beginning to create content for them.

While it’s a common mistake not to look at your audience from both of those angles, there are other content marketing mistakes you can make just as easily. A recent articlefrom MarketingProfs highlighted a few:

  1. Not Knowing Your Audience: This one is similar to what I talked about in my last blog post. The biggest mistake a content marketer can make is creating content that doesn’t entertain, educate, or solve a problem for your customer. If you’re treating content like it’s all about you and your brand, it’s a surefire way to create disinterest in your audience—especially if they’re just beginning their Buyer Journey.
  2. Not Having a Brand Voice: Develop one, and keep it consistent. While you might make minor tweaks in tone depending on the tactic or type of content, all your content should ultimately sound like the same person is speaking. A good tip from this article is that you should even go as far as creating a style guide and performing “content audits” to see where inconsistencies occur.
  3. Not Enough Distribution: Blogs and social media aren’t the end-all be-all, especially in B2B content marketing. How you distribute your content marketing is just as important as the content you produce. Remember: if you write it, they will not necessarily come. Consider high-traffic areas of your website, industry association websites, and trusted industry publications.

Content marketing is tricky. As much as we want to simplify it into easily digestible steps that produce great leads and even greater sales, it doesn’t always work that way. It’s trial and error. It’s trying different distribution methods and different types of content. It’s testing and—well, more testing. But what it isn’t is “easy.” Regardless, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain mistakes we can all avoid as marketers. For more about content marketing mistakes to avoid, read the full article or check out my last blog post.

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B2B Vendors: Make Sure Your Website Delivers

23 Jun

What Your Customers Really Want from Your Website

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Are you a B2B vendor? If so, your website probably isn’t delivering what your potential customers actually want—at least, that’s according to a recent study from KoMarketing, Huff Industrial Marketing, and BuyerZone.

A blog post by marketingcharts.com recently broke down the study and some of the important insights into online customer behavior. So what are some of the most important areas for improvement B2B websites can improve on?

  • Thorough contact information
  • Research reports
  • “About” information and team bios
  • Case studies and whitepapers

Content marketing has also been a recurring theme among many of our blog posts lately (see some related blog posts here, here, and here) and the blog post revealed no shortage of content marketing insights. Most notably, it broke down the content types that B2B customers are most likely to complete forms to receive:

  • Trial offers: 62%
  • Product demos: 48%
  • Product evaluations: 48%
  • Research: 41%

So good content is as relevant as ever, and now B2B marketers have some insights into what qualifies as “good” content. But there are some deterrents to form completion that we need to consider, such as excessive field requirements and requiring a physical address or phone numbers. Fortunately, relatively few were against sharing their email address, presenting a great opportunity for nurture campaigns and further email marketing.

Want more information from the survey to help with your content planning and website goals? Click here to read the full article.

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