Content Strategies https://www.demandgenreport.com Sat, 14 Dec 2019 07:33:23 -0500 en-gb Rock Content Acquires ScribbleLive, Forms Global Content Marketing Platform https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/rock-content-acquires-scribblelive-forms-global-content-marketing-platform https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/rock-content-acquires-scribblelive-forms-global-content-marketing-platform Rock Content Acquires ScribbleLive, Forms Global Content Marketing Platform

Rock Content, a Brazilian-based content marketing solutions company, has acquired ScribbleLive, an interactive content and creative network company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company stated that the acquisition of ScribbleLive aims to strengthen Rock Content’s global content marketing offerings. The acquisition also includes the brands ion interactive and Visual.ly to its existing portfolio of content marketing offerings.

Rock Content is now a team of 500 employees, spread across six countries, six offices and four different time zones. ScribbleLive’s Toronto, Canada and U.S. office locations will operate under the Rock brand as Rock Content North America.

“ScribbleLive is a company with lots of similarities with Rock,” said Diego Gomes, Founder and CEO of Rock Content, in a LinkedIn post detailing the announcement. “Their goal is to help brands to create scalable, premium content and interactive experiences. They provide award-winning content marketing products to customers all over the world. We are deep believers that this is a very important step for us and that it will enable Rock to work more and more with global brands, supporting them in the goal of scaling their content marketing strategies in multiple countries and languages.”

“From a technology perspective, our combined offerings provide all customers with a more centralized, multi-language solution that also lays the foundation for Rock to continue its rapid growth toward becoming a category leader,” added Mary Ward, CMO of ScribbleLive, in a statement.

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Brian Anderson) News Briefs Wed, 11 Dec 2019 12:07:04 -0500
#SPS19: Tackling Your 2020 Content Plan With The Customer In Mind https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/sps19-tackling-your-2020-content-plan-with-the-customer-in-mind https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/sps19-tackling-your-2020-content-plan-with-the-customer-in-mind #SPS19: Tackling Your 2020 Content Plan With The Customer In Mind

Having a well-thought-out content plan for the New Year is essential to delivering a top-notch buyer and customer experience no matter where they are in their journey. During Demand Gen Report’s 2019 Strategy & Planning Series, a variety of experts from companies such as Content4Demand, ON24 and Uberflip shared tactical tips and best practices for making the most out of your content and engaging customers and buyers with the proper messaging to accelerate deals.  

According to research from Bain & Co., a mere 5% improvement in customer retention can result in a 25% to 95% increase in profits. “So, if you’re wondering why you should focus on engaging your customer base, here’s the reason why,” said Tiffany Beddow, Director of Customer Marketing at ON24, during her presentation

“Some small, incremental improvements can yield some big rewards. Ultimately, small improvements can drive customer retention and reduce churn.” 

Beddow went on to share insights into creating a foundation and strategy for customer engagement during her session:

  • Step into your customer’s shoes: “Start to think and empathize with customers and the experience they’re having with your brand. Talk to internal stakeholders and actual customers, and really understand — from when someone signs up with you to five years from now — what the experience is like for them and how are they interacting with different teams.”
  • Align across the organization: “There are many stakeholders who are associated with the customers. Bring along anyone who touches the customer: customer success, product team, sales team, other marketing team members. Come together collectively and figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. Talk to see what others are doing so all goals are aligned.”
  • Build your ideal customer journey as a guide: “A customer journey map is a visual representation of every experience your customers have with you. Work together with your team to develop it so everyone is aligned.”

Finally, put your journey map into action by identifying where your customers are interacting with you, what tools you have in your toolkit to drive action and make the experience seamless, and important triggers and milestones for your customers and for you. 

Creating Bingeable Experiences To Accelerate The Buyer’s Journey

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Having a finger on the pulse of who your customers are and how they like to be reached is the first step to building your content plan. The next step is to ensure you’re putting your content in front of the right audience and getting them to move along the journey from one piece of content to the next. This may sound like the job of a content marketer, but during his #SPS19 sessionUberflip’s Randy Frisch argued that ownership of content is on the demand marketer. 

“[We must] shift our thinking when it comes to content,” said Frisch. “Content marketing doesn’t own content. The demand marketer, the digital marketer, the person orchestrating the buyer journey should own content.” 

During the session, Frisch talked about the importance of providing buyers more than one piece of content at a time, but it’s critical that this “binging” experience doesn’t trail off into your competitor’s content. 

“We are all locked into the infinite scroll,” said Frisch. “When we open our device and log into social media, we say we’ll just stick around for five minutes. Before we know it, we’re still in the app going from one piece of content to the next.” 

However, delivering this type of binging experience can be risky, Frisch added. “What we risk is not keeping them on our content. We have to deliver experiences that lead people to content from us, not our competitors.” Marketers must avoid engaging with buyers with just one call to action that leads to one piece of content. 

“One piece of content at a time is not enough,” said Frisch. “When people put together seven to 12 pieces of content, they do a good job at not overwhelming their audience. But they give them enough options where they felt that it was consumable and can start doing their research to accelerate their buyer journey. The more content we can get in front of someone, the more time they will spend with us and trust our team.” 

Frisch shared three examples of companies delivering top-notch, “infinite scroll” experiences: 

  • Medtronic uses personalized email signatures in all outbound emails. “If someone clicks on it, they are dropped into a contextualized stream of content based on their segment,” said Frisch. “Each sales rep has their own stream.”
  • Blackbaud segments audiences by revenue and persona then engages with them via email and AI. “When someone clicks on a call-to-action, they’re dropped into a single asset, but they also share seven to eight additional pieces of content to binge on after,” said Frisch. “They’re also using Uberflip’s AI engine to use third-party data input to understand what’s trending in their space.” The idea here is that they can alter what content is served next on the fly. 
  • Using LinkedIn ads, Snowflake directs target accounts to a dedicated stream of content built for that specific account. “They’re getting the attention of their audience by delivering highly targeted ads and they’re living up to expectations by dropping people who click on ad to a personalized stream of content,” said Frisch.

Developing A Content Strategy Around Repurposing

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Having seven to 12 pieces of content for a specific audience may seem like a daunting task, but through content repurposing, marketers are able to develop multiple pieces of content from one “hero” asset. This was a key theme of Content4Demand’s session during #SPS19, in which Alicia Esposito and Tonya Vinas showcased a variety of ways to tackle content marketing in 2020 and beyond. 

One suggestion is to develop a modular strategy, the “tried and true” process from a content strategy perspective, according to Esposito. She added that it comes down to two questions: How to get started from a planning perspective? And how do we make it a day-to-day practice to be nimble and scrappy? 

Esposito suggests taking an existing “Big Rock” E-book or foundational asset (or creating a new one) and using it as the base for additional, shorter pieces of content. When creating a larger, foundational piece, design it from the beginning in a way that is can be broken down. 

“[Start with a] ‘Big Rock’ E-book or foundation asset as a core component of your modular strategy because they are rich and can include additional components. Add stats, reframe best practices in the E-book and turn them into a blog. Branch this big piece into many different follow up pieces to promote engagement where the buyer is.”

Another option is to start from the bottom and “piece together smaller elements and figure out how to bring them together to tell a more comprehensive story,” said Esposito. For example, you can turn a series of blog posts into a white paper or integrate customer success videos into a case study portfolio. 

Nasdaq, for example, had a lot of core white papers created in-house, but the company wanted more mileage out of them to drive lead generation and social interest. They needed to do it in a cost-effective and efficient way from a content creation perspective. Nasdaq turned to Content4Demand to help them take pages from the larger assets and re-use them for checklists, E-books and infographics. 

“You have an opportunity to use what you have and bring it together to tell a story,” said Esposito. “Think about ways you can tell a consistent story across all of these pieces and re-spin them in as many ways as possible to maximize the reach and impact of your brand.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Klaudia Tirico) Industry Insights Thu, 14 Nov 2019 14:14:49 -0500
Seismic Acquires Percolate To Strengthen Content Experiences https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/seismic-acquires-percolate-to-strengthen-content-experiences https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/seismic-acquires-percolate-to-strengthen-content-experiences Seismic Acquires Percolate To Strengthen Content Experiences

Sales enablement platform provider Seismic has acquired Percolate, a marketing campaign orchestration and content management platform. Through the acquisition, the company is positioned to deliver personalized content throughout the customer journey and across multiple channels, via customer-facing teams including sellers, customer success reps and partners.

By combining Seismic’s sales enablement and asset management functionality with Percolate’s content orchestration and campaign planning tools, marketers will be able to have full control and oversight into how their content impacts the buyer landscape, according to Seismic. The acquisition also equips marketers with the insights and data they need to make intelligent improvements to their content investment.

Percolate is designed to help marketers manage the operations of enterprise content marketing, from strategy and planning to development and execution. The company’s customers include DHL, VMWare and DocuSign. Randy Wootton, CEO of Percolate, will join Seismic's senior leadership team and continue to lead the Percolate team, reporting to Seismic CEO Doug Winter.

“Marketers understand that producing personalized, compelling content is foundational to providing value to their company’s bottom line and therefore the business at large,” said Doug Winter, Co-Founder and CEO of Seismic, in a statement. “Percolate will be essential in helping Seismic widen our industry lead in enabling marketers to do so in one-to-one customer interactions while also expanding our combined capabilities into all content initiatives and distribution channels.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Klaudia Tirico) News Briefs Wed, 06 Nov 2019 14:38:35 -0500
Contentful Integrates Optimizely Tool For Simplified Content Experimentation https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/solution-spotlight/contentful-integrates-optimizely-tool-for-simplified-content-experimentation https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/solution-spotlight/contentful-integrates-optimizely-tool-for-simplified-content-experimentation Contentful Integrates Optimizely Tool For Simplified Content Experimentation

Contentful, an enterprise back-end CMS platform, unveiled an integration with customer experience optimization company Optimizely. The integration aims to help users test content effectiveness and optimize for conversions without leaving Contentful’s web app.

FEATURES/FUNCTIONALITY

By not having to leave the Contentful platform to run content experiments, users gain a unique advantage in terms of speed, agility and flexibility of the types of content they can deliver. The Optimizely app removes hurdles by integrating the two products so users can focus on content versus configuration.

The application minimizes slowdowns caused by content switching and mistakes from manual copying. It also adds context variations to reference fields, assigns variations to experiments and monitors experimentation status.

TARGETED USERS

Together, Contentful and Optimizely enable editors and content managers to run experiments on content without having to ask for code changes, enabling workflow.

COMPATIBILITY

Contentful’s extensibility framework is used by customers to integrate with CRM and ERP capabilities including data collection, personalization, product catalogs and identity and access management. The marketplace offers one-click installation of extensions like Marketo forms, Optimizely audiences and Shopify products — as well as APIs and SDKs used by customers to integrate with products like Oracle ATG or Salesforce Identity.

DELIVERY/PRICING MODELS

Contentful is delivered as a SaaS application, backed by a platform of APIs for content creation, management and delivery. Customers are hosted in multi-tenant cloud environments via free and monthly plans, and annual contacts that offer upgrades to dedicated infrastructure.

CURRENT CLIENTS/USERS

During the beta phase, the Optimizely app has been installed and actively used by over 20 enterprise organizations, including Vistaprint and Mailchimp.

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Experimentation with messaging and user experience boosts customer conversions and revenue. Optimizely’s collaboration with Contentful is designed to make it easier and more efficient for marketers to make data-driven decisions about their content, and scale experimentation to test many factors, resulting in the ability to rapidly iterate to deliver better digital experiences.

CONTACT INFO

Contentful

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Amanda Hollenbeck) Solution Spotlight Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:42:37 -0400
Do More With Less: Scrappy Marketing Stories To Fuel Your Creative Engine https://www.demandgenreport.com/blog/a/do-more-with-less-scrappy-marketing-stories-to-fuel-your-creative-engine https://www.demandgenreport.com/blog/a/do-more-with-less-scrappy-marketing-stories-to-fuel-your-creative-engine Do More With Less: Scrappy Marketing Stories To Fuel Your Creative Engine

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Here at Demand Gen Report, we’re constantly highlighting B2B marketing case studies of carefully and thoroughly planned out campaigns. These large ideas take a lot of time and effort from all aspects of the organization to come to life, but let’s face it, sometimes marketers just don’t have the time and bandwidth to develop large campaigns on top of large campaigns on a regular basis.

That’s where scrappy marketing comes in. While the term may mean different things to different people, it essentially means doing more with less. Sometimes being a little unpolished can really go a long way.

If you’re lacking in time and resources but still want to achieve some killer results, it might be time to dabble in scrappy marketing. Below, we’ll highlight two examples of successful scrappiness to fuel your creative engine.

PGi Maximizes Impact From A Single Piece Of Content

A turnkey approach to scrappy marketing is to take a large E-book or white paper and develop a complete content campaign around it. Not only does it save time and effort, but it also allows your organization to deliver thought-leadership content to audiences with various consumption preferences (because not everyone wants to read a 30-page white paper in their free time).

A great example of this is PGi, who wanted to maximize the reach and impact of its annual influencer E-book. Working with Content4Demand, a B2B content strategy and creative agency, the company simply took the foundational trends and takeaways from the book and developed smaller assets, such as a promotional social video, infographic, brief and three articles published on the company website.

“[PGi’s] goal was to bring as many people from different vehicles from different channels to that piece as possible,” said Alicia Esposito, Senior Content Strategist at Content4Demand. “So, all of the derivative content that we created from the get-go was designed to be just intriguing enough, without giving away all the information, because we wanted to bring people to that foundational piece.”

According to Esposito, the team was able to turn the content around within a month after the core E-book was finalized.

“If you have aggressive leads and goals and you want a big piece like that [E-book], invest your time upfront in that planning process and determine what's realistic and what's required for edits and approvals, especially when including influencers,” said Esposito. “Then the scrappy marketing comes in, and you think about how quickly and easily you can break it down into different formats and the different amplification channels.”

Devex Turns Webinars Into Conference Calls

When it comes to content formats, webinars might be one of the most difficult to develop on a scrappy level. After all, producing, promoting and executing structured, hour-long panel style webinars with thought leaders and an extensive PowerPoint presentation can’t be done overnight. While these are the types of webinars Devex, a media platform for the global development community, was used to creating, they decided to flip that model on its head by creating shorter “conference call-type” webinars that packed a lot of punch with little effort.

“As a media company, we often have breaking news stories that would definitely be worthy of a digital event… IF we had the time to put one together,” said Olivia Chapman, Digital Producer at Devex, in a conversation with ON24. “As a solution, we came up with a “conference call” vs “webinar” distinction. The conference call is just 30 minutes long; and instead of a series of presentations via slide deck, the speakers on the “call” simply broadcast their audio conversation about a topic, informed by audience questions submitted in advance and during the live event.”

Aside from being fun and easy to market, the conference call webinars have increased event output, as the company is able to put the events together in a few days in response to breaking news. They are also easier to sell to busy presenters who don’t always have the time to put together large presentations and slide shows.

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Klaudia Tirico) Blog Wed, 18 Sep 2019 13:04:23 -0400
SDL Launches AI-Powered Content Assistant Designed To Summarize Complex Documents https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/sdl-launches-ai-powered-content-assistant-designed-to-summarize-complex-documents https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/sdl-launches-ai-powered-content-assistant-designed-to-summarize-complex-documents SDL Launches AI-Powered Content Assistant Designed To Summarize Complex Documents

SDL, a global language and content management solutions provider, unveiled its SDL Content Assistant, a tool that aims to create easily digestible copy from lengthy documents via extracts and snippets.

Powered by Hai — SDL’s Linguistic AI™, Content Assistant seeks to simplify the content creation process of reading through long documents, which could normally take content and marketing teams hours to review. The tool enables marketers and content creators to drop large documents, such as reports, white papers and complex research materials, into the assistant where it will summarize the document and provide insight.

The solution is also designed to:

  • Pull promotable blurbs for marketers to distribute;
  • Allow users to choose the length of the summary needed through the Slider feature;
  • Use keywords to extract topics that marketers want to focus on;
  • Publish short pieces from extracted content directly to social media through the Scratchpad feature; and
  • Translate snackable content instantly to reach global audiences.

“Many AI tools are more developers’ toys than practical real-world business solutions. Needing in-depth technical knowledge to operate, they remain inaccessible to most marketers,” said Jim Saunders, Chief Product Officer at SDL, in a statement. “SDL Content Assistant is different. It has been built with marketers in mind but is highly intuitive and will make a difference to anyone involved in creating content.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Amanda Hollenbeck) News Briefs Tue, 03 Sep 2019 13:53:36 -0400
Alyce Unveils Chrome Extension To Help Fuel Direct Mail Efforts With Interest Data https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/alyce-unveils-chrome-extension-to-help-fuel-direct-mail-efforts-with-interest-data https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/news-briefs/alyce-unveils-chrome-extension-to-help-fuel-direct-mail-efforts-with-interest-data Alyce Unveils Chrome Extension To Help Fuel Direct Mail Efforts With Interest Data

Alyce, an AI-powered platform for strategic B2B gifting, has launched Alyce for Chrome, an extension designed to allow sales representatives to strengthen relationships with prospects by providing easy access to personal interest data through Chrome.

Whether a sales rep is scrolling through a prospects’ LinkedIn page or reading an email, the AI-driven Chrome extension pulls personal interest data that can help them match the perfect gift. Sales reps are also able to send gifts directly through the AI-extension to prospects — as well as monitor their gifting activity.

The new solution aims to provide sales reps with a tool that breaks through the noise in the age of spam, and perfectly matches gifts to prospects with personal interest data at their fingertips.

“In the world of increased spam, sales executives today are increasingly emphasizing the importance of taking a more relatable and authentic approach,” said Greg Segall, Founder and CEO of Alyce, in a statement. “We’re proud to roll out Alyce for Chrome because it’s a first-of-a-kind tool that helps make reps more personal and relatable by uncovering personal interest data for their prospects and customers, allowing them to connect at a human level.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Amanda Hollenbeck) News Briefs Tue, 27 Aug 2019 10:06:58 -0400
Uberflip CMO Randy Frisch Dishes On The Evolution (And Challenges) Of Content Experience https://www.demandgenreport.com/blog/a/uberflip-cmo-randy-frisch-dishes-on-the-evolution-and-challenges-of-content-experience https://www.demandgenreport.com/blog/a/uberflip-cmo-randy-frisch-dishes-on-the-evolution-and-challenges-of-content-experience Uberflip CMO Randy Frisch Dishes On The Evolution (And Challenges) Of Content Experience

/Conex: The Content Experience is one of my favorite events to attend to learn the latest in content marketing and experience best practices. The speakers and content are always top notch and I bring back so many great takeaways and action items to my marketing and editorial team.

This year’s theme put a spotlight on the content experience and how marketers must focus on the packaging and distribution of their content just as much as they focus on content creation. Check out my recap of the event here.

In addition, I had a chance to sit down with Randy Frisch, CMO of Uberflip, backstage at Conex to learn how the content experience will evolve, key challenges facing today’s marketing teams and some exciting new things coming from Uberflip this year.

Demand Gen Report: The content experience has been a key focus of Conex for the past few years. How are you seeing content experiences evolve in 2019 and beyond?

Randy Frisch: There are a couple of things that I think are changing there. One is the degree of personalization that’s expected from our buyers. We use Spotify day-to-day, where we open it up, and it says the words: “made for you.” It feels like they're truly picking songs for me. Spotify now has 108 million subscribers. So, 108 million people are getting a different playlist every day. And that's why they're winning over companies like Apple that only have 60 million subscribers. The idea of doing that at that scale didn't come to mind years ago, right? It’s the same thing with marketing.

Daniel Day of Snowflake is a really forward-thinking guy. And when he started kind of creating these personalized experiences two-plus years ago, the mindset was, “we're going to pick 10 accounts and we're going to do all these ads in a personalized way, to direct mail and email signatures. We're going to link out to curated streams of content [for those 10 accounts].” Now, last I spoke to him, he's doing it for 2,000 different accounts. So, 2,000 different accounts are getting handpicked content with custom messaging. And on any page that they land on, they feel like Snowflake understands them. That's where we are today.

The second trend I’m seeing is more AI. I don't think we're at the point of a pure-play AI age just yet. If you think about your Amazon suggestions, they are usually not dead on. Just because I bought this; I do not necessarily need that, right? So, we're not perfect there. And that's where I think the marketer still needs to drive a lot of this.

We announced a strategic partnership with 6sense. We also have a similar partnership with Bombora and have one launching soon with Demandbase. Those are three sources of really valuable insight that a marketer can use to help predict what content to serve that right.

DGR: Are there any new challenges facing marketers in their efforts to deliver great content experiences?

Frisch: One, I think is still ownership of this next stage of content marketing. So, if we say it's not content marketing, its content experience, who's going to own that? We have people here at this conference this week who now have a job title called “Content Experience,” which is really not a thing five years ago. But we don't all expect there's going to be content experience manager [at every company], so I think demand gen marketers and digital marketers kind of must step up a bit. That’s one challenge.

The other one that I would point to is privacy. It’s definitely something that marketers are just being careful about, for good reason. You know, everything that's happened with Facebook in recent years, I think marketers are being very careful. I often say with all this data comes great responsibility. We want to make sure that we’re adding value. We all trust Google, even though they're searching everything, and they know where we are in that moment. It's because I don't have to search “beer stores near me,” right? I just type “beer store” and they know I'm looking near me at this stage. I think that that's the same thing that marketers are having to do is we now have this accept button on every website for GDPR. I hope that evolves in some sort of meaningful way at some point. But right now, we're all just clicking “accept.” I think we're will start to click “decline,” or will go away from the website if the homepage isn’t catered to us. I think people have to find that balance.

DGR: The first day — the workshop day — of the event was heavily focused on video marketing and content. How, in your opinion, has video marketing evolved and what innovations in video are you currently seeing that will play a big role in content marketing in the future?

Frisch: I think it's that we can produce videos so quickly now. And the expectations of our audience are more about getting raw, true emotion. There's this area for marketers to play in there, as long as they can stay genuine. To me, that's the key: it sounds cheesy but keeping it real. Someone wrote to me a private message on LinkedIn saying they watched one of my videos, and it really didn't feel like me. It was a video where [one of our partners] asked me to read a script. We used to teleprompter and the audience saw through that. They saw that was not me. Even though I ad-libbed, we lost that real feeling. So, I think with our videos, the key that people are looking for is that that opportunity to have a conversation.

DGR: What’s next for Uberflip? Anything new coming down the pipe?

Frisch: We're always trying to innovate, but Conex is obviously a great opportunity for us to update what's been in the works. We've got two big projects. One is a complete upgrade to our whole analytics package. Being very honest, our analytics in the past were not the best. We very much directed people to use solutions like Google Analytics. We weren't really showcasing how content is performing on our side, we’d just pass the data into the marketing automation platform. We’ve really built that from the ground up. We partnered with Looker on this. It gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of reporting to see what is working, how personalization is affecting different attempts that we're looking to do. I'm really excited about that.

Then the second one that we hit on briefly before was the partnership with 6sense. That integration comes as part of a much larger group of integrations you'll continue to see in the coming months because we built an entire marketplace, which we started two and a half years ago. We’re rethinking Uberflip from an API-first mentality. We started to build our own product on the API. Take as an example our sales extension. Anyone else could have built that — we didn't have to build it. But we built it completely on our API. So, if someone wanted to build it themselves, they can build it using all our API endpoints. Now, you're going to see probably around 10 to 12 this week that will be announced. Then, we’re expecting probably around 100 in the first year.

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Klaudia Tirico) Blog Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:43:38 -0400
Conex 2019: Enhancing Content Creation & Distribution Strategies To Cater To Modern Buyers https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/conex-2019-enhancing-content-creation-distribution-strategies-to-cater-to-modern-buyers https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/conex-2019-enhancing-content-creation-distribution-strategies-to-cater-to-modern-buyers Conex 2019: Enhancing Content Creation & Distribution Strategies To Cater To Modern Buyers

As buyer preferences continue to evolve towards efficiency, convenience and a need to binge, marketers must deliver on their expectations to keep their companies and products top of mind.

Content consumption, for example, has transformed from the days of TV Guide channels and Friday-night trips to Blockbuster. Now, buyers are accustomed to personalized Netflix feeds and on-demand TV shows — and they expect this kind of experience in their professional lives.

This idea of offering B2B content the same way services such as Netflix and Spotify present it — on-demand, endless scroll, smart recommendations, personalized — was a key theme of this year’s Conex: The Content Experience event presented by Uberflip. More than 700 marketers made their way to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario for three days of tactical workshops and thought-provoking sessions on how to create and own the content experience.

Streaming was a key theme of Uberflip CMO Randy Frisch’s keynote address to kick-off the event. Much like the personalized content hubs Netflix offers its customers, B2B content must be packaged accordingly and distributed in a way the buyer wants to consume it.

“This streaming mentality that we have to think about from a marketing perspective is helping companies win,” said Frisch during his keynote. “What are you streaming to your buyers? What works for your audience to lock them in?”

Going Beyond Content Creation To Drive Profitable Action

Content is used in a variety of different ways — even going beyond inbound. Vendors have a small slice of buyer’s time, Frisch said, showing research that stated they spend 82% of their time researching and 18% of the time talking to vendors. “[We must] earn the same proportion of that 82%,” he added. “That changes the way we think about marketing and the purpose of content.”

Content marketing is more than just creating content, according to Frisch. It’s also about how that content is distributed to target audiences.

“What’s the point in creating all this content if we don’t use it and distribute it to drive profitable action from our customers?” said Frisch. “The reality of what we need to do is think about content marketing as much more than just creation.”

Even companies like G2 and Forrester are categorizing content strategies beyond just “content marketing.” G2 now files companies under creation, experience and distribution categories. Forrester also acknowledged activation and experience as part of its Wave Report.

Frisch went on to share a blueprint for what marketers should focus on when it comes to the content experience:

  • Environment: “It’s the environment around us — all that leads to more engagement,” said Frisch.
  • Structure: The idea of related content by structuring content around challenges and pain points, not by content type.
  • Engagement: Frisch said to focus on delivering a better experience at the end of the day. Get away from emails that have one piece of content and give people choices.

Companies such as Medtronic, Blackbaud and Snowflake are already seeing success from the way they package and distribute content.

Medtronic has a heavy focus on sales enablement. The company segments their content by account and adds banners promoting content in emails to gather attention. The CTAs lead the recipient to different content experiences. Each one is tailored to a sales rep and the content they want to deliver.

Blackbaud’s focus is more on demand generation. The company segments around personas and [leverages] different engagement strategies. Emails, for example, don’t just link to one piece of content. All emails are linked to a content experience — a collection of content to encourage an accelerated buyer journey. They also use AI to suggest content on the fly.

Snowflake is all about account-based marketing and they target up to 2,000 accounts. The company has taken personalization to the next level by completely customizing the experience to gain attention. Snowflake does so with display ads, personalized direct mail packages and email signatures. Each engagement/distribution tactic is linked to a tailored experience. The company has found that deals are 2X as likely to close at 3X the deal size.

Slowing Down The Experience With Thoughtful Storytelling

A true content experience is really all about the story you’re trying to tell. But today’s buyers are not interested in product-centric messaging that talks about how amazing your company and/or product is, they want to know how your company is going to help them solve their pain points.

During her session at Conex, Ardath Albee, B2B Marketing Strategist and CEO of Marketing Interactions, discussed three key criteria that define an experience: consistency, story and takeaways.

“Whatever content you post on your channels needs to be relevant to your personas,” she said. “A story delivers experiences. Your hero (buyer) sets out to solve a problem but is confronted by a villain (obstacles/pain points) and finds a mentor (your company) to help them reach their goal.”

However, delivering that story and approaching conversion campaigns as an arm’s race is not the way to tackle it, according to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. During her presentation, she revealed that the smarter approach is to slow down and think strategically about what value you’re providing your prospects and customers.

“Seventy-three percent of marketers are producing more content than they did a year ago,” said Handley. “Yet, just 35% of us really know that the content we’re producing is effective and gaining customers and building relationships. Volume is not the key. We don’t need to produce more stuff … [we need to] be more strategic and thoughtful.”

Handley emphasized the need to simply slow down and question what you think you know about your prospects and customers. Instead of thinking, “We need a piece of content for _____,” marketers must focus on, “Our audience needs _____.”

Both Albee and Handley also shared the importance of shedding the “marketer voice.” Marketers often forget they’re talking to real people, so the jargon and business-speak can often turn people off.

“Marketers are perfectly engaging and normal in real life,” said Handley. “Then they go to write an email and they sound awkward and weird. We need to shed it. It’s so important now in this busy world. It’s a real opportunity to have a real connection.”

This is especially important to note when writing emails or sending email newsletters.

“Ninety-two percent of marketers are using email,” said Handley. “There is a tendency in marketing to focus on the first part of the word ‘newsletter,’ because we have something we want to say. We think of email newsletters as a distribution strategy. Instead of thinking about it as a distribution strategy, focus on the ‘letter’ because the strongest email marketing programs don’t focus on the news, they focus on the letter.”

Renewing Old Content Is More Important Than Ever

As Uberflip’s Frisch noted during his keynote, content marketing has been mainly thought of as “creating content” instead of “creating, packaging and distributing content.” However, with so much new content coming down the pipe, marketers often forget about older content and how much they miss out on if they don’t simply refresh it.

During his session at Conex, Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Neil Patel Digital, argued that marketers spend too much time and money creating new content and not enough time updating their older content. Renewing and refreshing old content — and even promoting it months after publishing — is an easy way to gain more traffic, according to Patel.

“I write one blog post a week,” said Patel. “But I have a team of people who help me update my old content. We update roughly 90 blog posts a month. I get five million visitors because I fine-tune my existing content.”

Patel also noted that re-posting blog content on different channels, such as LinkedIn or Medium, and re-sharing old content also helps boost traffic. “Google doesn’t penalize for duplicate content,” he said. “You can share your old content over and over again, and a lot of time, you’ll get more love from when you shared it the first time.”

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Klaudia Tirico) Industry Insights Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:33:28 -0400
Data-Driven Strategies For Writing Better Titles & Headlines https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/infographics/data-driven-strategies-for-writing-better-titles-headlines https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/infographics/data-driven-strategies-for-writing-better-titles-headlines Data-Driven Strategies For Writing Better Titles & Headlines

This infographic from HubSpot shares insights into why perfecting headlines and titles is crucial to digital content today, while also providing data-backed tips and best practices for focusing on headlines to drive website traffic, engage web visitors and convert them into prospects.

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feed@demandgenreport.com (Brian Anderson) Infographics Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:59:57 -0400