For the last year, TheSearchGuru has begun working on a book about content marketing and what strategies to use when you don’t have enough time, people or budget. Leslie Carruthers has met with top industry movers and shakers in the B2B marketplace gaining insightful views on their successes, challenges and views on what is happening in the industry. One of the questions asked during the interviews was, “What are you seeing works in B2B marketing today?”
Today’s blog focus highlights snippets from these conversations.
Dan Miller: “Constant Connection and Alignment”
When Leslie spoke with Dan Miller, Director, Sales Content and Enablement at Workhuman, he explained that content marketers need to have consistency in how they align with their clients and how they communicate. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this in today’s business model. Clients’ need and expect consistency, efficiency and good communication to see success with their clients and marketing partners.
“One of the things that I hold near and dear is to make sure we are in constant connection and alignment with the demand gen team. What campaigns are you working on? Who was your target audience this quarter? What themes do you want to get across? We need to understand that ultimately, content marketing is providing the fuel, and it’s the destination for campaigns. Without good content, those campaigns aren’t going to work effectively.“
Dan Goldberg: “Eyes on the ‘A’ Players”
Instana Content marketer Dan Goldberg‘s successes in what he is seeing revolve around watching what the competition is doing. As content marketers we need to keep an eye on the competition. By understanding competitive advantages and disadvantages it helps to provide information to develop strategies to generate solid plans for you and your clients!
“It’s really interesting from my perspective. There are a handful of A players, installment being one, and a lot of B players. Then there are C players that are almost more point solutions. It’s keeping an eye on the B players to see if they managed to make that next step up. Then there are a handful of A players that we’re competing against.”
Vicki Frost: “Laser Focus on Value”
When Leslie spoke to Vicki Frost, Global Director, Strategic Content and Campaigns at Vertiv Co, they spoke largely on how success comes when B2B content markers provide value. This is the perception of what a product is worth versus the alternatives. Vicki told us that how a customer feels about the benefits or value of what was paid is where success lies.
“You need to be laser focused on providing value to your customer. You need to understand your customer. To understand what they need, the intersection of what they need, and the problems you can solve. This is so they can understand exactly what you’re providing.
It may be really interesting to provide information on, “Hey, how soon are we going to get flying cars?” and sometimes we do fun articles like that. However a lot more value is assisting with, “Hey, I have this one problem in my data center that I need to understand how to address. How soon is liquid cooling coming into my data center? How reliable are lithium-ion batteries?” These are the things that they want to know about. When clients see we can consistently help with providing that, that proves our value. That’s maximizing our resources.
I only have so much money.
I can only write about so much and promote it so much.
I have to make sure that it’s delivering a value to the customer that they want to pursue. When we get that right, we show that not only can we make these promises, but we can deliver on these promises too. That’s really where content marketers shine, by helping clients understand the expertise. I don’t believe doing a series of clickbate blogs is going to help if a customer is not finding you as a valuable source or finding you as a valuable partner.”
Megan Lunetta: “ABM Programs”
The conversation Leslie had with Global Marketing Executive Megan Lunetta revolved around ABM programs and the successes she experienced using them to customize the buyer experience.
“When we do ABM programs, and tie them to social selling, and there’s a path forward. Those are really successful. If you create a personalized experience for a buyer, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say. Someone having a conversation with you in marketing is huge.
When you get an ad, or an email, or a LinkedIn message, and it doesn’t have anything to do with you or is generic, the message is likely to be deleted. If it isn’t specific like, “Hey, Megan, I know you’re really into Disney…” like that sort of level of knowledge, it’s not good. It’s not hard to find things out about potential clients, because everything is so public.
Getting to deep details works super well, and we tend to do a lot of that. When I was at Visa, we tried to get to that level. It’s much harder at a large brand to get to that point. Many times companies like that will hire an agency to do the work because it is challenging to get the technology right, to have everything tested and proven.
That’s really, really fun. The social selling part is really interesting. There’s a lot of personalized tech out there that helps people create interesting content at scale, and it’s personalized. I had no idea some of these things existed until I came to Transmission, the agency I’m at now.”
Mike Montague: “Hosting Online Events”
It is no secrete that the Pandemic has been challenging for most businesses. Mike Montegue, Global Head of Content at Sandler Training explained though that the pandemic has also offered up some successes for B2B content marketers.
“Coming out of the pandemic, I would say that virtual stuff is working very well. Social selling, social marketing, webinars, virtual events, all of those things are doing very well. And it was surprising, that virtual events increased in the pandemic. You would think that people would get sick of it. They wouldn’t attend as many virtual events and stuff. But all of those numbers have skyrocketed.
I know we would all love to get back to life events and trade shows, but I think it’s interesting to me that virtual events are even more effective now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic or, or pre-pandemic. We just finished one of our most popular events ever. We had 10,000 registrants for a full-day virtual conference, and it went great. The program was great. The content was great. People loved it. But that’s by far the largest registrations we’ve ever had for a virtual event.”