2010

What Works - What Doesn't

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.)

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.

Press 11

Trending Sources

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.

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.).

The Content Marketing Pyramid

The Ultimate Framework To Develop & Execute Your Content Marketing Strategy

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.

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. A 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.

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.

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.”.

Best Practices for a Marketing Database Cleanse

A framework comprising of best practices to consider and red flags to avoid.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

The AdRoll Guide to Account-Based Marketing

Personalize your marketing to convert your highest-value accounts.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Effective B2B Marketing Content That Will Lead to Sales Growth

Effective marketing content leads to increased sales productivity, more revenue, greater marketing effectiveness and stronger alignment between marketing and sales.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Stop Killing Your Content: 3 Reasons Your Content Falls Flat

Each year B2B organizations spend more than $5.2 billion on content creation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Customer Success and Marketing Alignment: The Key to Unlocking Customer Advocacy

Most B2B companies say the customer experience is a priority, but their teams are not prepared or coordinated enough to make this a reality.

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.

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.

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.

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?

5 Pillars of Marketing Automation Success

Ensure Your B2B Marketing Clients Get the Best Results

SAL is the Glue that Binds Sales and Marketing in Lead Generation

Industrial Marketing Today

A lead is a lead, right? Depends – are you in marketing or in sales? SAL – Sales Accepted Leads is the bridge between Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). No, I am not splitting hairs nor am I indulging in semantics.

The 4 C’s of B2B Marketing

Buzz Marketing for Technology

We’ve all heard about the four P’s of marketing. Product. Price. Placement. Promotion. The four P’s were created mainly to describe the ideal “marketing mix&#. The term “marketing mix&# became popularized after Neil H.

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.

How PR and Social Media Can Work Together

Webbiquity

Social media and PR would seem to be natural allies. Both are primarily focused on brand awareness, credibility building and image enhancement. Both are critical tools for dealing with bad news or crisis situations. Both require relationships with influential people in one’s industry to be effective.

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Flip My Funnel - Guide To B2B Account Based Marketing

As modern B2B marketers, we have been lucky enough to witness some of the most dramatic shifts in marketing strategies and technologies.