* This article originally appeared on Content4Demand. *
Sometimes the best way to bring your content marketing and demand gen strategy to the next level is to take cues and best practices from your peers.
Make no mistake, your peers don’t just represent your direct competitors or organizations that have similar target audiences or speak to the same industries. In the current B2B marketing climate, the best way to push your company’s limits and truly innovate is if you follow the lead of brands in completely different industry sectors.
That’s why we created the Killer Content Awards. Over the past six years, we’ve seen organizations from all over the world submit nominations for the awards, hoping to get their hands on a Finny. We’ve used our annual awards report and luncheon to spotlight how big-name brands and nimble startups alike have tested new content marketing approaches, designed immersive campaigns and even taken chances with new formats, platforms and design theories.
But we wanted to do something more. That is why this year, we introduced the Killer Content Showcase Series to recognize some of our winners and have them share their own unique stories and experiences. With each session, we wanted to spotlight a different trend, illustrate how a brand tackled this trend, and uncover some core tips and best practices for all B2B practitioners. If you want to take a closer look at the content these and other companies created, you can download the full report of 2016.
You can access all of the sessions from the summer-long series on the dedicated microsite, but here are some of the takeaways we gleaned from the digital event:
1. Leverage influencers to gain social clout and boost word-of-mouth for your content. Event Farm onboarded 12 experts from different brands and industries for its Future of Event Marketing series to help generate awareness and boost registrations.
2. Reuse and reversion existing content for new formats. Event Farm turned recordings from its series into a variety of podcasts and blog posts.
3. Co-brand content with reputable publications to build buyer trust and improve overall positioning in target industries. Magnetic partnered with Retail TouchPoints to create a survey and E-book designed to expose the gap between customer expectations and retail strategies.
4. Use survey data and takeaways to fuel a comprehensive campaign that touts a variety of content formats, including infographics, quizzes and even media coverage.
5. Sales cheat sheets and toolkits get your reps excited about new content and give them the facts and takeaways they need for social selling and one-to-one conversations with prospects.
6. Tailor your content tone and style to what your buyers want. For YouEarnedIt, consistent, helpful and even goofy content works!
7. Transform event themes and session topics into multi-touch marketing campaigns that tout a variety of different assets like E-books, blogs and case studies.
8. To generate a lot of buzz, think outside the box. YouEarnedIt embraced guerilla marketing tactics, such as chalk stencils, posters, stickers and man-on-the-ground tactics to promote its session at SXSW.
9. Map content topics, each asset to target buyers and their stage in the decision-making process. Even if you don’t have fully baked personas, knowing your target buyer’s job role/function, industry, responsibilities and goals, is a great place to start. Also, audit and assess your content for timeliness, relevance and alignment to target buyers and specific buyers’ journey stages. Retire irrelevant or outdated assets and identify gaps in your library to prioritize content creation.
10. Tailor content and campaigns to the unique needs and aspirations of buyers in different industries. For example, Booker created a series of short videos tailored to the pet care market and how its business management and POS solutions meet these businesses’ unique needs.
If you want to learn more from the companies that participated in our 2016 Killer Content Showcase Series, watch the on-demand versions of the sessions now. And if you think you deserve a Finny, submit your nomination for our 2017 awards!