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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

We’ve all heard ‘content is king’ one too many times, but that can only be the case if your content is impactful, right? Otherwise, your content is…the jester, so to speak?

This past week, our very own Founder and President, Christa Tuttle, joined three other B2B marketing experts as a webinar panelist for Feed Your Marketing Machine: Create Content that Generates Leads. The experts shared best practices around creating and curating content and discussed the types of content that resonate with prospects, how to position content and how content can convert prospects into customers.

Here are three practical applications and takeaways from the webinar that can be implemented immediately into your content creation and curation to grab attention and close prospects.

#1 Address “What’s in it for me?”
When you are mapping out a content strategy or devising the next topic to tackle, keep your reader/potential customer’s point of view in mind. Put yourself in their shoes and ask: “What’s in it for me?” If they don’t have an answer almost immediately, they will quit reading, viewing and/or engaging with what you are trying to share and you’ve lost their attention. Scott Thomas, Founder & President of Intelechy Group, discussed how buyers today are extremely educated even before reaching the Sales team—that all of their research comes from what you are creating and distributing ahead of buyers seeking assistance to buy. If you are not engaging them, someone else will be closing the sale for themselves. Consider the “Buyer’s Journey”: Awareness, Interest and Evaluation and adhere to it. Another expert panelist Dave Wolpert, Chief Content Officer of Sales Engine Int’l, noted that people like “bite-size” content, so offer the same content in small chunks or visually-quick consumable bites, this way, as potential buyers are seeking information, they can quickly consume what you are conveying. Christa Tuttle noted that not all people consume content the same. The following shows how people consume content best:

  • 30% of the population consumes content best through auditory means
  • 65% of the population receives content best visually
  • 5% comprehends content best when delivered kinesthetically

This being known, share the same bite-sized content in a variety of ways for your customers to pick and choose their preference: infographics, whitepapers, short videos, blogs, etc.

Christa Tuttle reiterated that it is imperative to keep track of what resonates, and “test, test, test!”

#2 Know when to gate content versus not gating it
The panelists offered these tips when it comes to gating content versus allowing viewers to access it without giving any contact information.

Gated Content:

  • Anything that is a valuable, more in-depth educational piece or shows advanced interest in the product
  • Examples could be analyst reports, white papers, webinars, eBooks, product trials, online product demos

Non-Gated Content:

  • Anything that describes the company’s general products and services, or assets considered thought leadership which are on the “short side”
  • Examples could be blogs, tip sheets, checklists, infographics, product data sheets, company overviews

The value of non-gated content is being readily and instantly available to the audience, which will also lend a hand in creating traffic through SEO. If content can be accessed easily, it widens the opportunity for the content to be shared as well.

#3 Take advantage of recorded content and understand the secret to success
Ben Cecil, Co-founder & Strategy Director of UPG Video, offered some interesting insight on video creation; the 80/20 Rule. Most of us spend 20% of the time focused on the content when making a video and the other 80% is dedicated to the production and aesthetics. Ben suggests you do the exact opposite. Focus 80% of your efforts into planning and strategy: the type of content, how you will convey this message and how you will make the content resonate with your viewers. It’s the idea that style over substance says nothing.

The webinar was packed full of practical and strategic tips and tricks to enhance your content and to let your content do a majority of the selling for you. For more tips, listen to the entire webinar: Feed Your Marketing Machine: Create Content that Generates Leads.

Looking for other tactics to increase sales, generate leads and drive revenue? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

10 Ideas for B2B Blog Posts

March 5th, 2015 by Jeff Mangels

b2b-blog-ideasYou’re staring at the computer and the only thing you can think about is coming up with a topic to blog about this time. Coming up with engaging, fresh, and high quality content on a regular basis is not an easy task. We get questions about blog content from clients on a very regular basis.

Regular and timely content not only contributes to your SEO strategy, it’s an opportunity to show your social followers that you are actively engaged in your industry and up to speed on current trends. Blogs are also a great opportunity to provide new and valuable information to your existing and potential clients.

Do you struggle to come up with new angles and ideas? Ideally, you’ve brainstormed several topics with your team and you’re planning your content using an editorial calendar. A calendar with deadlines will help hold you accountable to produce a steady flow of new posts, as well as back-up content for times when you are pulled away for more pressing projects. By dedicating one to two hours every week for writing, you can set yourself up for success and get ahead of the game.

Here are 10 topic ideas that can help you draw new visitors and build upon existing customer relationships. Keep in mind that many of these ideas also lend themselves to content outside of a blog like social media posts, articles or videos.

  1. Share client testimonials. When you receive praise from a client, ask them if you can turn it in to a post. In the post, demonstrate how you helped your client and the positive outcomes. Use the post to solicit additional customer success stories.
  2. Interview an expert. Is there someone within your industry who you admire? Reach out to them for with a short list of questions about industry trends or a particular problem. Publish the responses as part of a blog post.
  3. Debunk a common misconception or myth. Every industry has its fair share of myths and misconceptions. Use your blog to set the record straight by addressing them and educating your audience at the same time.
  4. Answer FAQs. What are the most common questions your customers ask? Compile the answers to these questions in a blog or answer them individually in separate blogs. You can direct customers to the answer in your blog when they ask.
  5. Discuss current industry trends. The timeliness of your blog posts can make a huge difference. Consider a trending topic and add a unique perspective to it. When you discuss how things are evolving in your industry and talk about trends, you convey authority to your readers.
  6. Create a top 10 list. Summon your best David Letterman and go for it. Don’t feel like you have to use 10 items. You can do more or fewer when it makes sense. Building a blog from a list also simplifies outlining the points that you would like to get across to the reader.
  7. Share tips and tricks. Are you a product or subject matter expert? Share some useful and practical information with readers in the form of tips or tricks. You could even turn it in to a recurring blog segment such as “Quick Tips with Launch Marketing.”
  8. Post about an event. You can write a blog while you are attending a professional trade show or conference. You could also post an event recap. Discuss the workshops you attended, quote speakers you heard and discuss the latest trends or ideas from the conference. This is an excellent opportunity to share your experiences.
  9. Review a book or report. You are constantly researching and learning so why not share a review on something interesting that you read? Highlight interesting information or share your criticism. After all, it is a review.
  10. Highlight a milestone. Make it personal by talking about your company’s history. Discuss an important time in your company and how it shaped your business. Getting personal with your readers can build trust over time.

 

This is only a short-list of ideas for posts to your blog. Take a look around you. Consider your business, Industry trends, conversation with clients and even what you hear in the news. The

point is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ideas are out there that can inspire you so keep your eyes and ears open and mix it up with different types of posts to keep it fresh.

Have additional questions about blogging or content marketing? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

 

Image from: http://www.thesaleslion.com/employees-required-blog-content-marketing/

Thinking About Becoming a Thought Leader?

January 8th, 2015 by Somer Klepper

The importance of being a thought leader in your industry continues to grow now more than ever, with a plethora of digital outlets available. Countless websites, blogs, various social media sites and the traditional/nontraditional press outlets create an expansive space for businesses to ignore and say nothing, say the wrong things and damage their reputation, or use strategically and build up their brand equity with thought leadership that shares their voice, message and vision. Thought leadership is a key element in branding, which results in more organic traffic and increases the credibility of your business. When you deliver concrete, educational and useful information and circulate it in the right places, people read it and learn to trust your company as a thought leader in the industry. Then they will come to you and invest in your product and services because of the foundation of trust you’ve built.

thought-leader

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” –John Maxwell

How does one become a thought leader?

  • Remove the concern of self-promotion. You’re probably already doing a bit of self-promotion without realizing it, so continue doing so, but in a bolder, more direct way. Careful to not sound arrogant, just confident and knowledgeable.
  • Be patient. At the beginning, remember that you’re just starting to deliver and they’re just starting to read your material. Like in any other area of life, relationships built on trust take time to grow.
  • Realize your level of experience and speak to the audience who is actually willing to listen. Ex: If you are a small startup, do not expect to deliver Apple-level CEO content. Be honest with yourself and your readers – that being said, if your content is not strong, don’t post it as a thought leadership piece.
  • Ask yourself if you have truly created something worth trusting and worth sharing. The passion and confidence will shine through the piece. Ex: You’re convinced that the new software your company designed will change the industry and you’re very proud of it. Call your mom, your best friend from college and mention it to your neighbor the next time you see him in the yard – listen to yourself and mimic that voice (professionally) later when writing thought leadership content.
  • NEVER stop learning. As you grow in your field of expertise, it’s wise to learn from others as well. Not only will you gain knowledge about other products and services in your field, but also note their delivery and the presentations that grabbed your attention. Apply those to your delivery.
  • Start creating alliances. Smart people tend to converse with other smart people. The expression, “Birds of a feather flock together,” rings true here. Let people know who those alliances are by combining efforts, events or possible resources.
  • Apply for awards. Awards show credibility – it’s as simple as that.
  • Think of LinkedIn as your favorite outlet. Facebook and Twitter are useful outlets and typically reach the masses, but LinkedIn is known for being a natural go-to for connecting with professionals and professional thought leadership material. Not only is LinkedIn good for posting strong content, but it’s also a place where people can easily see credibility from those alliances you made and support from customers and potential customers.

 

Considering the above will start you off to becoming a thought leader in your industry, and keep these three components front and center: Experience, Credentials and Passion. If you can stay consistent in delivering each of these components within each of your thought leadership efforts, with time and consistency, you will reign as the go-to resource for advice and information that will lead to increased sales and profits. For more tips on creating content that gains readership, look here: http://launch-marketing.com/creating-content-tips-gaining-readership-engagement/ Please share your comments on thought leadership best practices for those wanting to share their words of wisdom! Keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Content is the present and future of marketing. It is the way we are learning to communicate, reach and build relationships with our potential customers and clients. It’s our way of selling ourselves and products without directly asking for the sale. We create a dialogue and potential ongoing relationship by empowering interested readers with shared knowledge, best practices, real-world case studies and other content that can help them learn something new, work smarter and be more productive. What makes content marketing so successful is the way the messaging is crafted; it  motivates people to want to read it, share it and ultimately buy or act through the digital relationship you have sprung. If you take a glance at successful businesses’ websites and social media pages, you will find a presence of blogs and conversations ignited around much more than products. Lowe’s is posting Vine videos of other uses for everyday objects, Grey Poupon has a “Members Only” club on Facebook that was defined by their reputation of finer taste and based on members’ grammar. These are just two examples of unique, creative content that has helped broaden messaging to reach new or untapped demographics and create engagement for our brands.

Content Marketing Tips

So what does content need in order to gain readership and create a buzz?

  • A strong headline. They won’t read it if you can’t grab their attention from the start.
  • How-To’s and Lists. People want to learn something and they want to learn it quickly with simple steps to follow.
  • Stats and Facts. Readers want facts and stats over opinions – if you have them, share them.
  • Make it easy to share. If you want your readers to share your content, apply a sharebar with social media buttons to the pages you want passed along.
  • Remember: Quality over quantity.  Be relevant, Be valuable.
  • Infographics. People absolutely love infographics. Our minds naturally remember graphics and images over text.
  • Tell stories. Tell the story of how your business began or the tale of the first company picnic when you burned the burgers because you were busy playing horseshoes.
  • Be unique, but buy into the trends. This is an ongoing struggle, but it can be done.
  • The power of humor. You’ve seen a viral cat video, admit it, and it was funny.
  • Be positive.
  • Be interesting.
  • All posts do NOT need to be about business. Your readers know you’re a person; don’t make them doubt it.
  • Timing is everything. When posting your content, do some research.  Check out when your competition is posting, use the free social media analytics tools available, compare similar content when posted at different times – see what works.  If you have a piece that you believe deserves extra attention, post it twice at different times, but promote it with a different headline.

Your readers want to know what you know. With the ever expanding use of digital communications, rich media, social media and interest in blogs, you can build relationships and share why your business beats the others with crafted content. Follow the tips above and watch the impact.

For more tips on creating content for social media look here.