No matter what industry they’re in, today’s B2B professionals are looking for authentic, audience-based content to help them do their jobs better. Gone are the days where the blog section of a company’s website is packed with product-related information.
There’s a common rule for first dates and dinner parties: Don’t talk about religion or politics.
We have been writing about the increasing importance of using video as an integral part of storytelling for a few years now. However, it wasn’t until I was in the audience at our recently concluded B2B Marketing Exchange that I fully appreciated the critical role video content can play in engaging business audiences.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to Finny Friday, our monthly blog dedicated to celebrating Killer Content Award winners from throughout the years. Stay tuned for future installments where we dive deeply into what makes killer content.
Effective B2B marketing campaigns are comprised of a variety of factors: engaging content, well-timed messaging and more. However, leveraging an integrated, streamlined technology stack to measure success in real-time and adapt to buyer needs on the fly is increasingly important. This approach is what helped Booker Software win a Finny this past February during our annual Killer Content Awards.
In a recent Killer Content Showcase Series webinar hosted by Demand Gen Report, Jim D’Arcangelo of Booker Software discussed the company’s goals, tactics and best practices for fueling content-driven demand generation initiatives.
Demand Gen Report: What were your goals for developing the content approach?
Jim D’Arcangelo: Our goals come down to our specific audience, market and how we’re pursuing them relative to corporate goals and the goals of our sales team. We start with the company’s key four goals, roll those into what we need to do from a channel perspective, and then roll it into our marketing goals.
Once we have that, we get very analytical and creative in terms of how we’re going to hit those goals. We forecast not only on a monthly basis, but also by the day, for every piece of content and campaign that we do. We also measure for ROI not just for tech stack components, but we also take a look at individual pieces by channel spend and so on.
We run things very tight; and like I said, we drill it down so everyone on the marketing team has a number they are accountable for each month. It all rolls up to sales and corporate goals.
DGR: What made you select your content formats and the overall execution approach?
D’Arcangelo: We did quite a bit of research before entering into the tech services space. We found out that the audience engaged much more with video content versus reading any sort of whitepaper. This was especially true in the SMB space; any sort of lengthy content was generally less engaging.
Along with video being an appealing [content format], our audience is really engaged with end-customers – in this case dogs – much more so than many categories. We found that if we wrapped that background information along with [the buyer’s preferences], we were able to combine it all into a video campaign that drove significant results. By the end of the month, we saw a 25% increase in the number of inbound leads generated.
DGR: How did you establish your content promotion and amplification method and what channels were included?
We’ve done more market research on our space and the drivers for how buyers engage content, companies and brands — we’ve also assessed the data and analytics from our blog. In doing so, we’ve found that there are different ways to reach audiences and engage them far beyond the buyer journey. This month we are upping the ante on our blog content, and when we mix and merge [content selections], we see a huge uptick in engagement. On a week-over-week basis since launching our blog, sheBOOM, we’ve seen a 50-60% increase in unique visitors.
DGR: What are some key lessons learned from this process that you’d like other marketers to take with them for future campaigns?
D’Arcangelo: The biggest lesson-learned would be that the customer buyer journey never ends — it keeps evolving, becoming more detailed and complex. Customer advocacy, for example, was small at the beginning but has since grown into one of our bigger lead drivers. Content consumption, and the way buyers can be reached, will also evolve. Once you invest in the foundation of your tech stack and your approach to content-driven demand generation, you can increasingly jack up the efficiency just by understanding data and analytics.
Last lesson I’d share is for the tech stack itself. Each month, it’s important to assess our tech stack. Use conferences as a means to learn about key vendors at once, and keep your knowledge of the technology up-to-date.
Does your content deserve a Finny? Fill out the form and submit your nomination for the 2017 Killer Content Awards!
Editor’s Note: Welcome back to Finny Friday, our monthly blog dedicated to celebrating Killer Content Award winners from throughout the years.
In a world where B2B buyers are often bombarded with information, it helps to stand out from the crowd. That’s why more and more marketers are relying on the help of industry experts and key influencers to help elevate their brand message and generate leads. That’s exactly what Event Farm did with its Future of Marketing series.
"B2B doesn't have to be boring!"
That was one of many great takeaways provided by David Meerman Scott during the keynote session at last week’s Content2Conversion Conference. The noted author of New Rules of Marketing & PR shared that many B2B organizations are still thinking of content marketing purely as white papers and spec sheets.
However, more than 40 sessions during the event revealed that B2B brands are quickly stepping up their creativity with more visually focused pieces and interactive formats that work well across all screen sizes.
The piece provides “deep dives” with visually compelling links on how themes were created and the payoffs realized from campaigns that extends far beyond the traditional white paper formula.
Here is a snapshot of some of the award-winning brands you’ll learn more about in the piece:
American Express — See how the leader in business travel used exclusive survey data across a variety of formats, including infographics, “listicles” and E-books.
Blackbaud — Tap into the interactive journey the company created with a menu of calculators, quizzes and videos to highlight an expanded educational effort for its clients.
Cox Media — Uncover a new approach to planning by checking out the “advent” calendar-style asset the company created, which revealed a new asset every week.
Dell — Learn how the tech giant re-wrote the rules of lead nurture programs by aligning more than 1,200 content assets to specific stages of the buying cycle.
LinkedIn — Connect with how the social leader used influential authors Brian Solis and cartoonist Hugh MacLeod to illustrate the key message that content is currency.
NASDAQ — Experience the interactive format NASDAQ used to relate its rich history and innovation, which was later featured on mobile screens as well as the video tower in New York’s Times Square.
“The Killer Content Depths” is not only a great way to learn more about the creative approach B2B brands are taking, but it will also give you a first-hand opportunity to experience the Ceros platform. As active participants in the publishing and custom content space, we have quickly become big fans of Ceros, because it allows our team to create interactive infographics, dynamic E-books and rich iPaper experiences, all without requiring coding.
Check out the piece and let us know what you think.
Glassdoor made a smart move by capitalizing on the popular “Dummies” series when it published Employer Branding For Dummies, Glassdoor Special Edition. The content was the top-performing E-book out of 15 E-books that the company created in 2014 and helped the employment and recruiting marketplace win a Killer Content Award that year.
Integrated content marketing campaigns often find success by providing buyers with a seamless journey as they educate themselves prior to making a purchase. Cox Media, for example, developed an integrated campaign that generated more than 500 downloads and over 2,000 potential leads — earning the company a Killer Content Award in 2014.