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New Research: Top-Performing Marketers Prioritize Audience Needs, Leverage Email And Educational Content For Nurturing

Ninety percent of best-in-class marketers put their audience’s informational needs above their company’s sales/promotional messages, according to new research from the Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and Conductor.

The report, titled B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends — North America, surveyed responses from 771 B2B marketers and analyzed strategies for improving content marketing efforts and driving success. Additional findings include:

  • Email and educational content are the top two ways B2B marketers nurture their audience;
  • 56% of marketers have increased their spending on content creation in the past year and 37% have increased their content marketing staff; and
  • The three main content marketing concerns are changes to SEO/search algorithms (61%), changes to social media algorithms (45%) and making content marketing a revenue center (41%).

“It’s terrific to see how many content marketers are putting the audience first,” said Lisa Murton Beets, Research Director at the Content Marketing Institute, in a statement. “This was a novel concept to many traditional marketers 10 years ago … [but] now it’s a common practice among the most successful content marketers surveyed [and] we can see how much marketers have adjusted their thinking.”

5 B2B Brands That Show Us How Social Media Should Be Used

Progressive B2B brands are taking a note from the B2C playbook and meeting buyers on their preferred platforms, such as on podcasts, through videos and on social media. In fact, the number of buyers using social media to research potential solutions has grown from 20% in 2012 to 54% in 2018, according to the B2B Buyers Survey. Yet, research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that while 80% of B2B marketers have a social media strategy in place, only 32% have documented it.

A winning social media strategy must be documented and expansive. B2B companies should leverage a variety of social media platforms to not only promote their products, but also share relevant content, engage with customers, build brand awareness and more. Here are five B2B brands with a stellar social media presence we can all learn from:

MailChimp Mixes Eye-Catching Visuals & Humor On Instagram

MailChimp is an email marketing platform, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking at their Instagram. The company’s Instagram page is a beautiful blend of bright colors, entertaining videos and a dash of humor — a winning combination that has landed MailChimp over 83,000 Instagram followers. Visit the page for yourself and see if you can resist hitting the follow button.

 

Slack Drives Customer Engagement, Service Via Twitter

Slack leverages Twitter as a two-way communication platform to engage with current and prospective customers. On most days, the Slack Twitter is awash with relevant videos, articles and more, and the Slack team is constantly responding to comments from other Twitter users. But on days where Slack is down, the company uses Twitter as an active platform to send out status updates and field individual questions and feedback from users. With Twitter, Slack can provide real-time customer support in an easily accessible and scalable way.

 

HubSpot Continues Post-Event Conversations Over Facebook 

The best brands don’t just have social media pages for their companies, but also their events. HubSpot is a shining example of Facebook use at its finest.

The company has created a separate Facebook page solely for its annual INBOUND event. Although the event takes place in early September, the company is dedicated to building a year-long, sustainable community around it. To do so, HubSpot created an INBOUND Studio page, where it posts video interviews, “dear attendee” tips, quotes and more on a regular basis. The posts help drive engagement long after the event has ended, as well as build excitement around the following year’s event.  

 

Oracle Humanizes B2B Marketing On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is repeatedly named the top social media platform to reach B2B buyers, and Oracle is a prime example of how to best leverage the site. The company is ranked 9th on LinkedIn’s top companies list and has amassed more than three million LinkedIn followers. Beyond just sharing content and relevant news, Oracle makes a point to connect with its followers and showcase the people behind the brand.

Earlier this month, the company opened up about losing 11 employees on 9/11. Then, in the wake of Hurricane Florence, Oracle posted a video of two employees who are delivering supplies and providing aid to those affected by the storm and urged its followers to join them in giving back. In doing so, Oracle humanizes its brand and creates a company image that people will want to support.

 

Adobe Fuels Instagram Feed With Customer Content

Instagram is quickly growing in popularity and is considered the number one platform for engagement. Nevertheless, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many B2B brands using the platform, let alone posting content on a regular basis.

Adobe, which recently acquired Marketo, has a notable Instagram presence on par with MailChimp. The Adobe Instagram feed looks like something straight out of Pinterest, with breathtaking travel photos, inspirational quotes and quirky designs. But don’t be fooled by the professional-looking photos, as they are often created by Adobe users themselves. By crowdsourcing user photos, Adobe always has a steady stream of content available and can showcase the power of its products over social media.

 

  • Published in Blog

Top Quotes From Conex: Thought-Provoking Tidbits That Start A Content Marketing Convo

I just returned to New Jersey after spending three days in Toronto with Uberflip and more than 700 content marketers at the company’s annual Conex event. I’m a big fan of the event, because I am a big fan of content marketing, content creation and everything in-between. So, you can understand my excitement to attend every year and learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry.

This year, that included speakers such as:

  • Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert;
  • Amy Landino of Vlog Boss Studios;
  • Tamsin Webster, Founder and Chief Message Strategist, The Red Thread;
  • Caitlin Angeloff, Global Head of Social Media Strategy & Operations at DocuSign;
  • Marcus Sheridan of Marcus Sheridan International Inc.;
  • Nate Skinner, VP of Product Marketing at Pardot;
  • Andrew Davis, Author of Brandscaping;
  • Corinne Sklar, CMO of Bluewolf Group; and
  • Much, much more!

The event packed so many great presentations spanning over three days. While I already covered an extensive recap of the event here — highlighting many thought-provoking insights into content marketing and the content experience that marketers can deploy in their organizations almost immediately — I still have so many great quotes and tidbits from the event that deserve a bit of a spotlight.

With that said, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites here in hopes that they will spark a conversation among you and your colleagues.

“There is nothing worse than homeless content. It’s your PDF on SlideShare; it’s your video on YouTube; it’s your infographic, sad and lonely on your blog. Give your content a home and make it feel like it has a place to live.”
-Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

“Content organization is hot. It’s foundational to creating truly personalized content experiences. Use a content experience platform so you can scale it and not slave over spreadsheets.”
-Anna Hrach, Strategist, Convince & Convert

“There’s one step in between homeless content and where we are now — that’s when we are generating content after content. It’s like we’re standing on a street corner, saying, ‘Please, sir, will you read some more.’”
-Tamsen Webster, Founder and Chief Message Strategist, The Red Thread

“Content is the ‘’location, location, location’ of the 20th century.”
-Carlos Abler, Content Marketing Strategy, 3M

“The reason why people give you their money is the same reason they gave me money as a pool guy, it’s because they feel something about you that they didn’t feel about others. Trust allows someone to give you their money.”
-Marcus Sheridan, Owner, Professional Speaker, Author, Marcus Sheridan International Inc.

“Marketing and sales goes on all the dates. They get vetted by the entire organization and then they hand it over to Bob to deliver the experience.”
-Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer, Design Symphony

“Social video should not be mistaken for TV. Television doesn’t let you interact with your audience; Facebook does.”
-Caitlin Angeloff, Global Head of Social Media Strategy & Operations, DocuSign

“When you hire a marketer, what is their on-boarding process? When you have them start, make sure they understand the importance of execution. Teach the process on day one, instill the values up front and build a culture of ‘get it done.’”
-Corinne Sklar, CMO, Bluewolf Group

“If you want to be authentic, don’t tell people the theme of the story. Let them feel the message. It’s the same thing with your mission statement — make them feel the mission statement.”
-Matthew Luhn, Keynote Speaker and Former Pixar Animator

“Ignoring video is the avoided handshake of 2018.”
-Amy Landino, YouTuber, Speaker, Podcaster, Author and Marketing Consultant, Vlog Boss Studios

“Quit blaming the goldfish. Our audience is capable of paying attention as long as we grab and hold their attention.”
-Andrew Davis, Author of Brandscaping

Get more insights from Conex by checking out my recap. Plus, I sat down with Randy Frisch, CMO of Uberflip, during the event, and you can listen to our conversation here.

  • Published in Blog

Content Marketing, The Remix: Delivering True Content Experiences At Scale

For a long time, content marketing has been defined (or assumed) as simply “creating content,” but this mindset is destined for failure.

“Creating content is not enough,” said Randy Frisch, CMO of Uberflip, during his keynote presentation at the company’s annual Conex event in Toronto. “We have to focus on the content experience for the buyer journey. A content experience occurs wherever and whenever anyone encounters your content. It could be terrible or great. They occur at every stage of the funnel.”

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