What Works - What Doesn't

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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.

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.

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.

What B2B Readers Want, Circa 2010

What Works - What Doesn't

Good news for 2010: The amateur bloggers and Tweeters haven’t completely replaced those of us who make a living (or try to!) by writing. 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. At least one, yes, still has his secretary print it out for him. Social networking? News, that is.

Finding the Mythical C-Level Exec

What Works - What Doesn't

Like the unicorn , whose horn was said to cure illnesses and neutralize poison, the C-level executive is a mythical creature, though long hunted by IT sales rep looking for a cure to their late-quarter sales slump. But, as Forrester Research points out in a recent report , “.no but no generic “C-level executive.”. Hoping to find the CFO? Looking for the CSO? Does this take time and money?

Maintenance Fees, a Cash Cow for Vendors, Under Attack From Users

What Works - What Doesn't

Some customers are pushing back on software maintenance agreements, threatening vendors with the loss of their most predictable, profitable continuing revenue stream.   Priced at 15% or 18% (or more) of the up-front purchase price of the software, maintenance agreements provide customers with updates and enhancements as well as support.

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.

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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?

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.  

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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Top-10 B2B Marketing Topics of 2010

Everything Technology Marketing

With 2010 coming to an end, it is time for a quick review of the most popular B2B marketing posts on the Everything Technology Marketing blog. Thank you all for participating in this blog - I learned a lot from our discussions this year. See you in 2011

Eloqua Experience 2010

LeadSloth

This week I attended the Eloqua Experience, Eloqua’s user conference in San Francisco. The big news of this event is the launch of Eloqua 10. It’s the result of 2 years of hard work, and it looks very good. The revamped user interface makes working with Eloqua a lot of fun. Here is a preview: Eloqua 10 Campaign Builder (click to enlarge). They are raving about Eloqua 10. Overall.

Best of 2010 – 13 Twitter Tips for Increasing Engagement

Sazbean

2010 in Review! original on increasing engagement posted October 18, 2010) A major frustration for people trying out Twitter for the first time is figuring out how to get anyone to respond. We’re posting the best articles from the year to help you get 2011 off to the right start! They set up their Twitter account, tweet a few times and wonder why no one responds.

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Best Social PR Guides and Tips of 2010 (So Far)

Webbiquity

Read on to learn how social media is changing PR, how pitching bloggers is different from traditional media outreach, how to optimize press releases for search and online distribution, which tools should be in your social PR toolbox and more here in some of the best articles and blog posts on social PR of 2010 so far. Social media has fundamentally altered the practice of public relations. And as any blogger can tell you, PR pros understand this, as witnessed by the incredible increase in blogger outreach “pitches&# from corporate PR departments and firms over the past two years.

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The State of the Blogosphere 2010

delicious b2bmarketing

Brian Solis Home Articles Business – Marketing PR 2.0 – New Communications Social Media Speaking Books Appearances About The State of the Blogosphere 2010 December 13, 2010 View Comments The question we ask ourselves when examining the state of the blogosphere is whether or not the cup is half full or half empty? If drinking from the glass, it is then half empty. startups.

50 (of the) Best Twitter Guides, Stats, Tips and Tools of 2010 (So Far)

Webbiquity

You’ll find the answers to these questions and many more here in 50 of the best Twitter tools, posts, how-to guides and rants of 2010 so far. Brian Solis provides a wealth of statistics that answer these questions and more, e.g., 87% of Americans said they were familiar with Twitter in 2010, up from just 26% in 2009. So what are the best ways to use Twitter for business? Crabs.

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Best Email Marketing Tips, Tactics and Metrics of 2010

Webbiquity

items that should be in your 2010 email budget by BtoB Magazine. While social media is the flashy show horse of online marketing, email remains the solid workhorse. According to recent research , 92% of marketers consider email to be one of their “most important marketing tools” and 54% plan increased spending on it in the coming year. Well, unlike social media, email is virtually universal.

The Best B2B Marketing Ideas of 2010

delicious b2bmarketing

MarketingProfs Member Login | About Us | Members Benefits | PRO Members MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog Home Marketing Resources Online Seminars Conferences Videos Research Store PRO Members Forum Blog Jobs Blog Home Archives RSS/XML Veronica Maria Jarski BIO 12.20.10 The Best B2B Marketing Ideas of 2010 A guest post by Jeff Ogden , president of Find New Customers Although companies like Marketo, Eloqua and Kinaxis have produced terrific written content in blogs, e-books, etc., 19, 2010. Those are a few of the favorites we found in 2010. They all are very entertaining, too.

78 (of the) Best Social Media Marketing Tips, Guides, Tools and Strategies of 2010 (So Far)

Webbiquity

10 Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master In 2010 by the COMMS corner. With the amount of helpful content about social media marketing growing faster than Facebook’s user base or Lindsay Lohan’s court appearances, it’s tough to keep up. Here’s a modest contribution to help with that effort; more than six dozen of the best, most bookmark-able articles and blog posts about social media tactics, tools and strategies written so far this year, by leading writers like John Jantsch , Lori Dicker , Lee Odden , Lisa Barone , Jay Baer and many more. s, 50?s,

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