2010

What Works - What Doesn't

Trending Sources

12 Quick Content Marketing Tips and Trends

What Works - What Doesn't

The frigid cold along Route 128 the other morning didn’t keep a standing-room-only crowd from Schwartz Communications’ Breakfast Roundtable on content marketing (using information shared on the Web to drive sales.) Featured speakers were Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at online marketing site MarketingProfs , and Brian Halligan, CEO of inbound marketing software vendor HubSpot.

If You MUST Write A Press Release, Do It Better

What Works - What Doesn't

At Schwartz Communications’ breakfast roundtable on content marketing last week, attendees were asked to rank which channels they used to get the news out about their company. Plenty of people use “blogs,” “Twitter,” “Facebook,” or “LinkedIn” but “press release” barely registered. That led one attendee to ask why. They get decent readership, she said, as well as some media mentions.

Software Automates Sportswriting. Is B2B Content Marketing Next?

What Works - What Doesn't

Hell, no, I say, and not just because I make my living writing white papers, newsletters, and the like for the IT market. Here’s why. Yes, StatSheet of Durham, N.C. has developed software that writes (or, rather, assembles) stories based on statistics from college football and basketball, NASCAR and other sports. and stitches them together using a choice of pre-defined phrases. But am I worried?

How Much Rope Should You Give a “Corporate Reporter?”

What Works - What Doesn't

Companies have been hiring ex-journalists for years as PR people because they knew how to tell a story and how to work with their fellow ink-stained wretches. For those old enough to remember ink.). Marketing automation vendor Eloqua has gone a step further and hired Jesse Noyes , formerly a business reporter for the Boston Herald , as a “corporate reporter.” How would you respond?

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

It's Official: Forrester Says B2B Buyers Hate Confusing Jargon

What Works - What Doesn't

I’ve been yelling for years that technical jargon in marketing content turns off B2B business buyers. Now, it’s official – or at least corroborated by a Forrester Research Inc. report. When it's too difficult, the executive will choose to switch priorities” to something easier to understand.” (My emphasis.). In other words, if you baffle them with your BS, they’ll tune you out. That’s a good idea.

Toyota Ad Shows Need For Outsider's Eye on Marketing Content

What Works - What Doesn't

  One of the biggest blunders tech marketers make is not clearly explaining what their products do. recent ad from Toyota makes this thunderlingly obvious mistake, and shows why it’s so important to get an outsider’s eye to review your copy.   As everyone knows, Toyota has had some major quality and safety issues. You can't, because it doesn't.

First Rule of Content Marketing: Don't Say Anything Dumb

What Works - What Doesn't

OK, maybe some people are so dumb they don’t know a heater gets hot. But they’re not who’s seeing your marketing content if you’re selling a big-ticket IT product or service. Those types are knowledgeable, have a lot on their plate, and make snap decisions on what to read and not to read. If your marketing collateral doesn’t say anything new and interesting, they’ll move on quickly.

Selling Your Weaknesses in B2B Content Marketing

What Works - What Doesn't

I’ve long argued that admitting your product or service isn’t the right hammer for every nail is an effective way to sell. The folks at marketing automation software vendor HubSpot seem to agree, judging from a recent blog post on “Seven Reasons Social Media is Bad for Marketing.”. Which they are.   Did HubSpot shoot itself in the foot? The implied solution?

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

Using Online Games To Sell Complex B2B Software

What Works - What Doesn't

I have to give IBM points for even trying this: They’ve developed an online game that walks players through a (BPM) Business Process Management) exercise. But is asking prospects to spend the time playing an online game good for all parts of the sales cycle? OK, World of Warcraft it ain’t.   Maybe.

Time to Kill the Press Release?

What Works - What Doesn't

While writing a press release for a client the other day, I got to thinking about what I was doing. Dangerous idea, thinking too much. Because the more I thought, the less reason I could find for a company to issue a traditional “press release.”     What with the long decline of the trade press, there is less “press” out there to “release” information to.  

PR 2

First Rule of Content Creation: Don't Say Something Really Dumb

What Works - What Doesn't

OK, maybe some people are so dumb they don’t know a heater gets hot. But they’re not who’s seeing your marketing content if you’re selling a big-ticket IT product or service. Those types are knowledgeable, have a lot on their plate, and make snap decisions on what to read and not to read. If your marketing collateral doesn’t say anything new and interesting, they’ll move on quickly.  

Real Editors Don't Just Retweet

What Works - What Doesn't

“Content marketing” – using material such as white papers, podcasts and videos to sell to customers – is the latest buzzword as companies try to grab market share in the recovering economy.    One common refrain I keep hearing is that marketers should “think like an editor” in deciding what information to give to customers. That’s what real editors do. 

RSS 2

To Sell A Conference, Give Away Last Year’s “Takeaways”

What Works - What Doesn't

Gotten a pitch to attend a conference or trade show lately? Did you decide to spend the money, or ditch it and stay in the office? It’s tough to get people to part with their money, or their time, to attend conferences these days. But one way to do it is to give them a sample of what they’d get if they attended. Tip 3 – Tips for working with SAP NetWeaver variables in Crystal Reports.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Between November 5 and November 17, we surveyed 601 marketers with an 18-question online survey. A few weeks later, Adweek sent the questionnaire to 144 additional marketers. As the survey was answered by nearly our entire population target, the calculated margin of error was approximately 1 percent. Here's what we learned.

Boeing Redesigns Web Site Around Features. And the Business Case Is?

What Works - What Doesn't

Technorati Tags: Boeing , B2B marketing , content marketing , Web site design , marketing , public relations As a hopeless aviation geek, I love the new Boeing Web site which leads not with corporate boilerplate, but with big, splashy photos of its airplanes and its people doing cool things. Even stripping out the paper and distribution costs, producing quality content like this isn’t cheap.

Skill Set For Content Marketing: Number Crunching and A Gut Feel

What Works - What Doesn't

Back when the earth was young and so was I, feedback on my writing came from a grizzled, chain-smoking editor throwing a story back at me and growling “What the hell does this mean? Clean it up.” Now that I’m doing content marketing for clients, the feedback is a pop-up suggesting I tweak the title or juice up the metadescription. Or, rather, tries to tell us what readers want.

Software Consultancy: Why MA Is Hot

What Works - What Doesn't

Software consultancy Software Advice has a good business model: Give away a certain amount of information about software, then charge for more detailed counseling. Market analyst Lauren Carlson also had an interesting recent post about the major trends pushing customers towards marketing automation software , which tracks prospect behavior to determine which products they’re most likely to consider. agree with her drivers, and would add another one: The decline of the trade press which used to be a source of trusted analysis and objectivity for customers.

Amateur Bloggers Jump Ship, Pros Taking Over

What Works - What Doesn't

A story in the current Newsweek says that interest in amateur (non-profit) blogging and contributing to Wikipedia is falling off rapidly as, frankly, people get tired of working for free. The story mentions, in passing, that according to Technorati , professional bloggers are “a rising class.”.   Welcome to reality, or, rather, back to reality. People don’t do things for very long if they don’t get a payback, whether it be emotional, entertainment, financial, etc. The story also notes that “citizen journalism,” in which everyday people cover the local news, is also in decline.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

Virtual Trade Shows for Mere Mortals

What Works - What Doesn't

SAP appears to have done a bang-up job with its combined physical and virtual customer conferences, according to B2B Magazine. Not only did it focus on getting customers to talk to each other, (VS. SAP talking at them,) but tracked which content prospects viewed to learn about their needs, and will use a content management system to target future info and offers to them based on those actions. The simultaneous physical events attracted 20,000 people to Orlando and Frankfurt, not to mention satellite physical locations where people watched live satellite feeds. And that costs.

Just Say No To "Social Media Press Releases"

What Works - What Doesn't

To succeed, the “social media press release” must focus more on content than Web bling.         Catherine Marenghi , senior PR manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions (a client of mine) read my recent post asking if it’s “Time to Kill the Press Release? because it’s too stilted and vendor-focused, and asked what I thought of the Social Media Press Release (SMPR) template.   My first thought was that a “Social Media Press Release Template” makes about as much sense as a mahogany console for an iPhone. On second thought, my first thought was right.

Why "Cost Per Lead" Is The Wrong Question

What Works - What Doesn't

Ask anyone selling marketing software or services what their “cost per lead” is and you’ll get a different, and self-serving, answer. I’ve seen estimates ranging from single dollars to tens of dollars to hundreds of dollars. The cost is always the highest for whatever mechanism (trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, marketing automation software) the competing vendor is hoping to trash.   Of course, everyone cooks the underlying cost numbers to make their approach look best. Is it the current name and contact info of someone who actually visited your booth or downloaded a white paper?

CPA 2

Looking for Good Content? Go for Brains, Not Titles

What Works - What Doesn't

Journalism isn’t like marketing, and that isn’t just because journalists supposedly seek the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Reporters and editors take an extremely pragmatic, “whatever and whoever it takes” approach to getting good stories. That means choosing and quoting good sources based on their knowledge and credibility. Letting marketers choose who can, and cannot, be quoted in your blog or newsletter robs you of the quality content you need. These consultants help very large customers with very complex needs install very large, complicated software.

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

Huge Jargon Slick Drifts Towards Readers; “Resources,” “Mitigate” Clog Brains

What Works - What Doesn't

Let’s say – let’s just say – you were a huge oil company, or a government agency, desperately trying to recover from a major blunder.   You’re not sure how bad things are or when you can fix the situation. But do you do know you messed up real bad, didn’t move quickly enough to fix the problem and are desperately trying to calm everyone down while you scramble to undo the damage you’ve caused.   Yes, I’m talking about the oil slick the size of Puerto Rico now drifting towards the Gulf Coast.   Nearly 2,000 people are working to protect the shoreline and wildlife.

Find Trend Pitches In Your Earnings Releases

What Works - What Doesn't

It’s good news these days to see a company whose revenue grew more than 70% year over year, as encryption vendor Voltage Security announced today. They’re even profitable, more to the point.) It’s an even better story when the earnings press release holds the germ of a trend story, which this does – but not until the sixth graf. That’s when Voltage says one reason for its success is that many customers are using Voltage’s encryption products to reduce the size of their PCI (Payment Card Industry) audits.

What B2B Readers Want, Circa 2010

What Works - What Doesn't

I’ve had a great opportunity recently to learn what B2B customers want in content by – shock of shocks – asking them. The impetus is a competitive analysis I’m helping do for a publisher, which includes asking readers about everything from what they read, how they get it (print or online) to how they use content to do their jobs better. Paper is NOT dead. While most of the readers I surveyed just want the daily email update with links to a Web site, a stubborn significant minority still want that hard copy – particularly for “airplane reading” or for reading longer stories. Social networking?

New Ways Around An Old Problem: Getting Reference Customers

What Works - What Doesn't

At my advanced age (a sister, a cousin and a friend just became grandparents!) it isn’t often I run across a completely new source of great ideas to solve an “evergreen” problem. But while doing some research on customer retention for a client, I stumbled on Bill Lee, who blogs and Tweets on the very specific topic of how to get customers to serve as “references” – i.e., to be quoted, interviewed, cited, etc. on how great your product or service is. That provides value for them, not just you. If you’re going nuts trying to get reference customers, this will be a breath of fresh air.

2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study

To build a world-class marketing program, it's crucial to compare yourself to the best performers - but competitor data can be scarce.

Ten reasons to blog – even if nobody reads it

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

 . Building an engaged community through a business blog can be extremely difficult — sometimes impossible. Look at companies like General Electric who do an amazing job with their blog and yet have almost no “community&# or comments at all. There must be some good business reason they do it, right? . There better be. Do your competitors have a blog? This is valuable real estate!

A fascinating “hardcore” B2B social media success

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

With many companies now engaged in social media marketing strategies for nearly two years or more, success stories are starting to emerge, even in the difficult marketing world of industrial B2B.  I discovered a great success story to share with you through a masters thesis being developed by Haakon Jenson of Norway. BACKGROUND. Limited marketing budget and employee resources. STRATEGY. RESULTS.

Want a Bigger Marketing Budget? Send Less Leads to Sales

B2B Lead Generation Blog

If your 2011 marketing budget is tighter than you want it to be, trying giving sales less leads. According to Marketing Sherpa’s just-released 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report , a whopping 80 percent of the 935 respondents said they pass unqualified leads along to sales. That’s a costly mistake. Let me explain why: For every 100 raw leads, only 4 to 7 are ready to buy.

A Simple B2B Marketing Framework

Everything Technology Marketing

We often discuss in this blog how B2B marketing is becoming more complex, and how to manage this complexity. Marketing is getting involved in many more areas that touch the customer along the buying process, multiplied by a dizzying variety of new tactics, online communications and engagement platforms. But that's content for another blog post. Let me know your thoughts about this framework.

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

Every brand’s content roadmap is different; each path to success is unique to that brand’s story, perspective, assets, and goals. But there is an overarching approach that’s proven to work—one we’ve refined after helping hundreds of brands reach their content marketing goals and after speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

The Best Email Subject Line For Teleprospecting I've Seen Yet.

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

The best email subject line I've seen in my career came through my Inbox this week. Brad G, one of our inside sales reps shared an email he had received from a prospect praising his persistence in prospecting him. We call it "polite persistence" here at AG and I was very proud that the prospect not only responded to Brad, but took the time to compliment his approach and work ethic. Love to see that. As I was closing out the email I glanced at the subject line that Brad had sent to the prospect. It read " Attention: Jim - Final Follow up". or "do I know Pete"? Next he uses Jim's name.

Best 97

11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011

Buzz Marketing for Technology

Around this time last year I wrote about the 10 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2010 and while I would say 7 out of 10 have already materialized and the others are on their way. So that begs the question – what’s on the horizon specifically for B2B Marketers next year? Here are 11 concrete ways I think the environment in which B2B Marketers operate will evolve in 2011. Enjoy! Email this to a friend?

Cartoon: Who is creating content for your company?

Digital Body Language

Today's my first attempt at cartooning (okay, not really, all the hard work was done by gifted cartoonist Brady Bonus ). hope you enjoy it! First posted this morning on It's All About Revenue : Tags: Social media Content

7 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Next Webinar Invitation

The Point

I’ve written a number of times in this space about how to maximize response from email Webinar invitations. The campaign below from Parallels , a Swiss-based software company, provides a handy illustration of those techniques by displaying what key mistakes to avoid. For example: 1. Sell the offer, not the product. Lead with compelling benefits, not just facts. Use images wisely. See #1 above.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.