The business enterprise Case for Awesome B2B Content

The business case for awesome B2B content spaceman image

The business case for awesome B2B content spaceman image

Have you seen Everything Everywhere All at Once? It’s the must-watch for everyone, but especially B2B marketers.

The movie tells a simple story about recovery generational trauma. But it really does so using multiverse travel, kung fu fighting, a truckload of googly eyes, and much more.

Simply put, it’s awesome. You have to admire the bravery of both the filmmakers and the financiers, who read this particular script and went, “Yup, that seems reasonable. ”

Marketers could use a healthy dosage of that kind of courage. Amazing content doesn’t overwhelm the storyplot you’re telling the viewers — in fact , it makes your own message more likely to stick.

The Business Case for Awesome B2B Content

Here are a few great types of awesome B2B content smartly amplified to get amazing results. If you’re having trouble convincing the higher-ups that creative content makes good business feeling, let these help you make the case.

Smartsheet’s Efforts Bear Fruit

Productivity solution Smartsheet partnered along with TopRank Marketing to raise understanding of their platform’s Microsoft Teams integration. We settled on a campaign that would allow for amazing influencer content, stunning pictures, and a hook to get the target audience involved in creating their own articles.

The #FruitfulWork campaign started by categorizing work styles as five different types of fruit :

Image presenting five different types of fruit and personality traits associated with each

Then we questioned productivity and collaboration professionals to share their workstyle and exactly how they collaborate best with other types. The result: fun, lively video and static content material that people love to share.

Because of the awesomeness of this content, and the strategic influencer amplification we all built in, this campaign saw:

    • Over 10, 000 pageviews upon campaign content
    • Benchmark-beating engagement on LinkedIn and Tweets
    • A 30% increase in Ms Teams integration activation

MailChimp Mangles Its Own Name

What do you do when a podcast host mispronounces your organization name in a paid advertisement? If you’re MailChimp, you slim into it with a creative advertising campaign that revolves around terms that kind of sound like your own brand name.

The “ Did a person mean MailChimp ” campaign pushed the boundaries of amazing, encompassing surreal short films, a bold new trend, a snack food, a musical app, and more:

All of it was designed to get people talking about, and searching for, these strange phrase combinations (WhaleSynth? KaleLimp? ). Thanks to some savvy SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION, each phrase would quick Google to say, “Did you mean MailChimp? ”

This particular campaign earned free press in everything from Rolling Stone magazine to Buzzfeed, ultimately garnering:

  • Twice the industry average for time per engagement
  • 67 million organic searches
  • $3. 25 mil worth of earned media coverage

Mondi Produces a Human Touch

How can you sell the virtue of physical media in a electronic world? When their brand new graphic design paper, Pergraphica, struggled to find a market, Mondi faced that dilemma go on.

The “Catching Feels” advertising campaign highlights how the experience of keeping a tangible object can affect our emotions — basically, how feeling leads to feelings.

The campaign included joining up with Adobe Stock to create a beautiful book of digital art made physical. The particular book featured six various artists, presenting not just their artwork but also the stories underlying each piece’s development.

By combining wordplay, a beautiful physical object, and persuasive stories, Mondi was able to realize a 35% increase in sales.

Demandbase Sees Heroic Engagement

Cloud-based marketing solution Demandbase wanted to make a big impact with their brand relaunch. That they had partnered with three other martech solutions to create the best Smarter GTM™ platform. At this point, all they needed was obviously a hero or two to grab the public’s attention.

TopRank Marketing worked with the brand name to create an interactive, cartoon comic book based on the brand’s new mascot, DeeBee. With each other, we recruited some of the leaders of the industry to lend their advice — and be transformed into superheroes.

Demandbase comic preview

We backed the launch with blog and social first content material from our influencers, as well as social images and pre-written text messages to make sharing easy.

Once the task was launched, the larger marketing influencer community took notice. We saw organic re-sharing through 19 influencers who were not really included in the asset, with a potential audience of over eight million.

This heroic tale of smarter marketing ultimately earned:

  • Over thirteen, 000 views of the asset
  • 8. 4 million within potential reach
  • Pageviews on 800% of our benchmark

Awesome B2B Content Will get Results

There are many strategic plus tactical elements that make for a successful piece of B2B articles, of course. There’s influencer co-creation, paid and organic hyperbole, supporting content, and further than. But all of that promotional effort works a whole lot better meant for content that is undeniably amazing.

It’s one thing to make attention — anyone can shout, “Hey! Look over right here! ” It’s quite an additional to reward that attention in a way that sparks engagement and inspires re-sharing. That’s exactly where awesome content comes in. Within the all-out battle royale for audience attention, to the amazing go the spoils.

Wish to up your awesomeness quotient? Let’s talk .

And seriously, go watch Everything Everywhere All At Once. Keep in mind that.

The post The Business Case for Awesome B2B Content appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog : TopRank® .

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Content Contemplations: How We Process Details & Why B2B Internet marketers Must Craft Content That Elevates

How B2B marketers can craft content that elevates airplane window view image

How B2B marketers can craft content that elevates airplane window view image

How do B2B marketers craft content material that elevates, and what role do our preferred digital formats play in making this happen?

Recent study data looking at content formats has deep implications when it comes to creating online experiences that will not only be observed, but delight the sensory faculties while also answering the most important questions.

Let’s take a look at how we procedure information, and how written, static images, video, and audio can work cohesively to create B2B marketing content that elevates with hope and delights with hyper-relevant answers shipped at the right time.

1 — Brain Science & Marketing Content material Preferences: Formats, Styles & Relevance


Understanding the human brain, with its exquisitely complex computational plus filtering mechanisms, can go a considerable ways towards learning the varieties of content that can perform the best in B2B marketing.

The digital on the web content we experience daily is in essence simply details that our brains process — swiftly weeding out data that:

  • Doesn’t catch our attention
  • Isn’t relevant
  • Goes against our own life values

Content that passes these initial filters in our brains then begins an additional phase, where greater focus is given to information. In this round of consideration, all of us look at:

  • Does this answer a question I have?
  • Can this be useful to myself?
  • Can it be helpful to others I know?

If your marketing goes by muster during this crucial minute, people will take action by interacting with your content in ways including:

  • Going to a link to learn more
  • Bookmarking or saving an electronic digital asset for sharing or further study
  • Sending a message to get more info

Study data from three annual reports can help us find out more about marketing content preferences.

The volume of requested B2B content consumption increased by over nine percent year-over-year from 2020 to 2021, with total need expanding by over 33 percent, while the average time professionals utilized to consume content climbed in order to 33. 3 hours — an increase of over three hours. (1)

More people are consuming more content, and spending more time processing and using action on what they take the time to engage with.

Among corporate executives, content usage rose by 15. 8 percent in 2021. (1)

Some 31 percent associated with content topics came from the information technology category , accompanied by finance with just over 9 percent, and human resources with 8. 8 percent. (1)

Netline chart.

If you’re a B2B marketer working in the IT sector, you face the inherent challenge of having a lot more content competing with your own, making it even more important to build content that stands out in order to even get your foot within the door.

Some 62 percent of marketers said these people rely more on content when it comes to researching and making buy decisions than they do a year ago . (2)

44 percent of marketers consumed between three and five pieces of articles before engaging with sales, while some 32 percent said they felt overwhelmed at the sheer amount of content available . (2)

2 — Written Information: Content Traditions

through GIPHY

While video and stationary visuals have made huge inroads in being able to convey info, written content remains the most-used format overall.

eBooks were 4. 7 times more likely to be requested than traditional white documents. While white papers represented over 20 percent associated with content, they drove simply 7. 4 percent of registration activity. (1)

Among those in immediate buying positions, the top content formats included white-colored papers, survey reports, plus research papers . (1)

Most other content material formats incorporate written details, whether it’s text in video clips or images, or transcriptions from podcasts and webinars — a telling indication of the enduring power of the written word.

B2B executives have stated that research reports, white documents, and articles are the top content formats for those thinking of buying within three months, while tricks and tips guides, eGuides and cheat sheets came out on top for buyers with timelines of a 12 months or longer. (1)

3 — Static Visuals: Getting Deeper

Sitting firmly in between written and video content, static visual content holds its own power to captivate and ultimately convert browsers into buyers.

I . t professionals are 435 percent more likely to eat content when it’s in “special report” format , while 75 percent of these in all industries saw a rise in content consumption. (1)

A key element of reports and surveys could be the visual presentation of information in easy-to-digest and share formats, this is why charts and photos are featured in successful marketing efforts in 2022.

When it comes to researching B2B purchases, 45 percent associated with marketers said that research studies and reports were probably the most valuable content formats, then 42 percent who pointed to white papers, 40 percent for eBooks, and 35 percent for training calls. (2)

Demand Gen Report chart

4 — Flowing Video: Making Advertising Memories That Last

When it comes to meeting advertising campaign objectives, electronic video, paid search, plus paid social occupy almost 90 percent of the top eight media content varieties . (1)

As we’ve highlighted frequently in our own weekly TopRank Marketing B2B industry news , both use and conversion power of video content provides continued to grow in B2B marketing.

Some 48 percent of marketers say that they are not using their organization’s existing video content to the fullest potential, despite 88 percent of content entrepreneurs who use video confirming that their organization accomplishes either excellent results from movie or results that fulfilled expectations, according to CMI data .

2021 November 12 CMI / Vidyard Chart

Webinars represent another significantly important video content format.

Professionals registering for webinars are some 29 percent more likely to have a buy decision within six months compared to for any other content structure. (1)

57 percent of marketers stated that webinars and eBooks had been their top content structure, followed by white papers from 55 percent, research reports at 52 percent, blog posts at 46 percent, and case studies at fouthy-six percent. (2)

68 percent of articles marketers said they utilized pre-produced video in efforts over the past year. (3)

Content Marketing Institute chart

5 — Listen Up: Audio & Podcasting In B2B Marketing

A good analogy I’ve used for a lot more that 30 years is that I’d rather pay attention to music I love on a inexpensive $5 transistor radio compared to music I hate in one of the most high-end audiophile listening rooms — and as a long-time owner of massive Minnesota-built Magneplanar loudspeakers, I really do think this.

Exactly the same is true in marketing, where even brilliant no-holds-barred promotions backed by practically unlimited spending can’t quite break the nut if it is promoting a dismal, shoddy product or service.

On the other side of the coin, savvy use of small campaigns with limited budgets that will smartly feature the content choices we’ve explored here may reach virtually unlimited levels when they are applied to a stellar, class-leading service or product .

Podcast marketing revenue is slated in order to top the $2 billion threshold simply by 2023 , with more B2B brands turning to the file format each year.

MarketingCharts Podcast Image

Additionally , several 40 percent of online marketers said they listened to audio content during the past year, symbolizing an increase of three % from the year before. (2)

Elevate Together with your B2B Marketing Red Balloon

through GIPHY

Through a newfound understanding of how we process information and how created, static images, video, and audio can work cohesively, B2B marketers can elevate content to new heights — even as we find our own red go up of marketing hope plus delight.

The marketing magic happens when a person deliver the right information in the formats that people want, and the formats can often be changed to give the same answers in a variety of platforms.

“Reshare. In the event that something was done really well in the past, remix it in to a different format and share this, ” Purna Virji, senior content marketing evangelist and content solutions consultant on LinkedIn* recently observed .

[bctt tweet=”“Reshare. If something was done really well in the past, remix it into a different format and share it.” — Purna Virji @purnavirji” username=”toprank”]

To learn more about boosting your B2B marketing initiatives, check out our CEO Lee Odden ‘s ” Three Steps to Elevated B2B Advertising in 2022: Innovate, Collaborate, Accelerate . ”

Creating award-winning B2B marketing that elevates, provides voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which explains why an increasing number of firms are choosing to work alongside a top digital marketing company such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us to learn the way we can help , as we’ve done for over 20 years just for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday. com while others.


  1. Netline’s 2022 State of B2B Content Consumption & Requirement Report ( 1 )
  2. Requirement Gen Report’s Content Choices Survey Report ( 2 )
  3. Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends ( 3 )

* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The posting Content Contemplations: How We Process Information & Why B2B Marketers Must Craft Content That Elevates appeared 1st on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank® .

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Fast-Forward: 4 Business Problems Solved by B2B Content Marketing

B2B marketer putting together pieces of the content marketing puzzle image.

B2B marketer putting together pieces of the content marketing puzzle image.

Pertaining to B2B business, the pandemic was a magnifying glass pointing out the cracks in systems. We discovered just how fast digital transformation can be whenever our livelihoods are on the line. We found that worldwide supply chains aren’t since resilient as we thought. All of us found that remote work is far more viable an alternative than we’d been resulted in believe.

None of these realizations were brand new — we were just able to see them clearly for the first time.

The same will also apply to B2B buyer behavior. When we talk about how the pandemic transformed B2B sales and marketing and advertising, what we mean is that we can finally see what we have missed before.

As we repair what’s broken and seek to evolve to the next degree, we have a chance to put the purchaser at the center of our attempts. Here are some of the biggest difficulties ahead, and how we can meet them.

Solving B2B Business Problems with Content Marketing

one — Communicating Empathy

You don’t get through collective stress like we’ve all skilled for the past two years without a couple of scars. People are still adjusting, processing, struggling, even grieving. At the same time, businesses have needs that your solution can satisfy, problems you can solve. Yet how can brands help without having seeming insensitive?

Content marketing and advertising is our most powerful device for communicating human-to-human, offering actual value. Now is not the time for bland corporate-speak, either — showcase your people in your content, together with others in your industry who have earned respect and trust.

Be helpful and kind in your content. Be a caring companion to your audience. After all, marketing experts are the keepers of data — we know these people and exactly what they’re struggling with. We’re inside a unique position to create uplifting content.

[bctt tweet=”“Be a caring companion to your audience. After all, marketers are the keepers of data — we know these people and what they’re struggling with. We’re in a unique position to create uplifting content.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

2 — Leading with Purpose

Lately, businesses have come towards the groundbreaking realization that people treatment deeply about social issues. This is a discovery on k?rester with the earth-shattering epiphany that will B2B buyers are human beings who need emotional appeal in addition to facts.

This epiphany offers led to serious discussions about “purpose. ” What does your brand stand for besides aktionär profit? What issues are top of mind and how is the brand helping deal with them? How can we allow people know that we discuss their values?

Content is key for a brand that’s planning to lead with purpose. It’s the medium to tell the particular brand’s purpose story, obviously. But we can go deeper: Content can be a way to enhance other voices and assist tell their stories.

A brandname can post a Martin Luther King, Jr. day message, complete with one of their safer quotes. But a content marketer can post a blog post from a leading voice in the Black community. A brand can say these people stand with Ukraine. A content marketer can bring asylum voices directly to a sympathetic audience. That’s leading with purpose, not purpose as an afterthought.

3 — Humanizing the Brand

I’ve written before about humanizing B2B marketing — specifically about how easy it is to overthink everything. What’s the line between relatable and unprofessional? Will all of us lose trust in our competency if our content is too lighthearted? How do we relate to our entire audience without having alienating a segment?

Here’s the thing: You can’t humanize a brandname.

I say again: You CAN’T humanize a BRAND.

[caption id="attachment_30862" align="alignnone" width="300"] Kool-aid man pitcher The exclusion that proves the guideline.[/caption]

Brands are not human beings. People are. Content marketing can feature people on behalf of the brand, rather than attempting to talk for the brand.

Bring your executives into your content. Bring employees, influencers, external experts. Bring — I’m begging you — your customers and prospects in as well.

If you need to truly humanize, let the human beings come out from behind the brand. Content marketers can lead the way.

4 — Developing Relationships

I have talked read more about building relationships in a decade of being a marketer than I did in a decade to be single. But in the world post-pandemic (and our current world of ongoing but milder pandemic), relationship-building is an even more crucial part of success regarding B2B business. Repeat customers, referrals and brand advocacy are all a more reliable supply of revenue than even the many targeted advertising.

Content marketing and advertising can help build these relationships. The first three points We made are all about putting the groundwork for a partnership. Content can offer helpful advice, details about the state of the industry, guidelines — in other words, what your audience needs to succeed in their particular professional and even personal life.

The quickest way to create a relationship? Give your potential customer that crucial bit of advice to make them look brilliant in front of their boss. Give your existing customers acknowledgement and highlight the amazing success your brand assisted them achieve. The more a person lift up and enjoy your buyers, the more they are likely to do the same for the brand.

[bctt tweet=”“Content can offer helpful advice, information about the state of the industry, best practices — in other words, what your audience needs to succeed in their professional and even personal lives.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Elevate Your Content to Solve B2B Challenges

It’s been a rough few years. Human beings have experienced individual plus collective trauma, and we are still processing and rebuilding. That’s true both of the marketers creating content and the people consuming it.

The way in which forward is to use content with regard to what it’s really good with: Telling stories, amplifying human being voices, and providing worth. That’s not to say content must be doing all of the above instead of driving a business outcome — I’m saying that helpful, individual content is the way to generate a business outcome.

We have the privilege, as content marketing experts, to create something that serves both the brand and the audience, and might even be fun for us to create. It’s a unique opportunity and one we should all embrace.

Check out our Content Advertising service page for more motivation.

The particular post Fast-Forward: 4 Business Problems Resolved by B2B Content Advertising appeared very first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank® .

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5 Ways to Build B2B Articles That Resonates With Your Viewers, and Why They Work

Building B2B content that resonates woman with violin image.

Building B2B content that resonates woman with violin image.

B2B advertising has a content problem: there is more of it all the time… and the people we actually want reading it have got started tuning it all out. We can’t exactly cease the content deluge (look, we are even contributing to it right now! ), so instead we have got to figure out:

  1. Why are decision manufacturers tuning out content?
  2. How can we place them from tuning out our bait?

Precisely why isn’t B2B content resonating?

LinkedIn-Edelman assisted answer this first issue in their 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Influence Study . Their conclusions aren’t really all that surprising.

Decision manufacturers can really appreciate good thought leadership content (64% said it was a better foundation for assessing a potential merchant than marketing materials or product sheets), but…. only when it isn’t boring.

And, frankly, uninteresting is usually exactly what it is: 71% of decision makers said less than half of the B2B articles they consumed provided any valuable insight, and only 15% mentioned they would rank any of the content they consumed in 2021 as “excellent” or “very good. ”

Decision makers aren’t tuning out content simply because they don’t care about it or even because their attention covers have been eradicated by the web. They’re tuning us out there because, when they DO cease to give us a shot, they will don’t think we’re providing them with anything they want. Which leads in order to question #2:

How can we make B2B content that actually connects?

Decision makers currently told us what they want: insight. Our readers are looking for believed leadership that provides real guidance on how to navigate situations these people find themselves in right now.

Don’t worry: that will answer should be irritating. After all, isn’t that what you’re already doing? Your own audience would find all kinds of great insights in your content… if they would just READ THROUGH IT!

The thing that’s stopping them through doing that must not be exactly what you’re saying, therefore , yet HOW you’re saying it. It doesn’t matter if you have the most earth-shattering, game-changing scoop in the good your industry… if you talk about it exactly like everyone else talks about their listicles or market awards. We’re all guilty of doing it, and it’s high time we stopped.

Next time you produce several B2B thought leadership content material, keep these five suggestions in mind to ensure you’re introducing your insights in a way that actually speaks to the audience you’re trying to grab hold of. You will be surprised what a difference it will make — when it comes to how fun it is to create and to read.

1 — Get Real

If there’s one particular hallmark of bad B2B thought leadership, it’s that it sounds like it wasn’t made from inside the industry. In fact , this usually reads like it had been made by an alien poorly attempting to conceal themselves as both a human… and THEN an industry professional. That’s possibly why, despite buyers consuming more content than ever, 79% report that the content they read is irrelevant for their actual needs.

The irony here is there are no reason to speak that way! Your thought leadership probably is certainly coming from a market expert, and it probably is speaking to something they worry about. So talk like it is ! Inform your audience what you’ve got to express and why they should care as plainly as possible.

2 — Allow it to be About Them

Our teammate Josh has composed extensively about the need for empathy in B2B content marketing , plus it’s something I think regarding every time I sit down to publish a piece. What does your audience want out of this? Why is this worth their time? So what can it help them do, solve, understand, etc .?

The kind of B2B decision makers reading your content are, above all else, professionals with a work to do. Whatever content they’re consuming, they’re looking for how it’s going to help all of them do their job better. That’s where to begin.

How will the insight you’re writing about impact your audience’s work? What should they do with this information starting right now? Your market is already going to be “translating” your content into how it matters to them; do that work for them.

[bctt tweet=”“The kind of B2B decision makers reading your content are, above all else, professionals with a job to do. Whatever content they’re consuming, they’re looking for how it’s going to help them do their job better.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

3 — Dare to Express an Opinion

The college essay cop-out is so well-known it’s a meme: “In conclusion, America is really a land of contrasts. ” If it doesn’t fly in college, why do we think it flies in B2B content marketing? And yet, exactly how often have you read posts that come down to hand wringing or giving an market “much to consider? ”

Thought leadership isn’t journalism. It doesn’t have to become impartial, and it’s not coming from an outside observer. In fact , that’s its power. Your audience wants to know what you— a human being writing at a computer —thinks about a scenario or development. That’s why they clicked on your byline. Whether they agree or disagree with what you conclude about all the evidence you’ve gathered, at least they’ll remember sufficient to have an opinion! Honesty often interests; college term documents, not so much.

four — Leave Them with Something totally new

Great thought leadership works because it does not stand alone. It’s contextual, it’s engaged with the industry plus moment in which it was created, and, above all, it’s actionable .

When your audience finds your content, it should help them reframe a relevant recent event or phenomenon in a way these people haven’t considered. When they are done, they shouldn’t just want to click on the next article or hit the “contact us” button; they should want to maintain thinking about what they just learned.

In addition to writing on their terms and with their own motivations in mind, try to place all of your thought leadership content material as something new. Even if it isn’t really a particularly new insight or even data-point, make it a new way to THINK about that insight or even data-point. If you can give your own audience something to bring back from your content with them, they will remember where they first got it.

[bctt tweet=”“Great thought leadership works because it doesn’t stand alone. It’s contextual, it’s engaged with the industry and moment in which it was written, and, above all, it’s actionable.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

five — Have some fun with it

I think this is eventually where the B2B content problem started. Somewhere along the way, all of us started thinking of “B2B Professional Thought Leadership” as such severe business that we forgot it basically amounts to talking about something we’re legitimately interested in.

In our initiatives to “do justice” towards the seriousness of the process, we all lost the personal passion plus voice that actually made believed leadership worth reading in the first place. You already care about your articles — that’s why you started writing it, and that’s why you’re reading about how to make it much better. Show how much you care in the content itself. Talk like yourself, be truthful, and have some fun! This won’t just improve how much you like making your content; it can make it resonate with your audience much better, too.

If you need a little help rediscovering your voice to help make your articles resonate with your audience, TopRank Marketing would love to help.

The post 5 Ways to Build B2B Content That When calculated resonates With Your Audience, and Exactly why They Work appeared first on B2B Marketing Weblog – TopRank® .

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To Gate or Not to Gate? Changing Trends in B2B Marketing

Open garden gate image.

Open garden gate image.

Q: How many lead gen marketers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Please fill out the form below and we will email you the punchline.

The great gate debate continues to rage throughout the B2B marketing world. What once was a landscape full of sparse landing pages with lead gen forms has become an ocean of content. But still, there’s little consensus about how to get the most value out of what we marketers create.

Does ungating content devalue it? Does gating content make it inaccessible to the audience you’re most trying to reach? We all agree that getting people’s contact information is a value exchange. The debate is whether we offer the value first, or we demand that the reader do so.

Of course, there is no one answer to these questions. No two B2B audiences are the same, so a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. But it’s true that audience expectations as a whole are changing, and we need to change with them.

Here are some of our gating best practices.

1 — Match Your Tactics to Your Goals

The biggest question about gating is the simplest one: Is this content intended to raise awareness, boost thought leadership, or grow your audience? Then gating is a bad choice. Top-of-funnel content should, generally speaking, be as widely accessible as possible.

However, if your goals are mid-to-bottom funnel, then gating might make sense (more on that later). This means content for folks who are actively seeking a solution or evaluating vendors. These folks are in the market for useful content that helps make that purchase decision, and gating that content makes sense.

When you dig a little deeper, though, it’s not just about gated vs. ungated. It’s about how much content you gate, which content in the campaign should go behind that lead gen form, and how you bring the right audience to the content. With that in mind…

[bctt tweet=”“It’s not just about gated vs. ungated. It’s about how much content you gate, which content in the campaign should go behind that lead gen form, and how you bring the right audience to the content.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

2 — Think Bigger Appetizers and Smaller Entrees

Let’s say your organization just sponsored some hefty original research. You know there’s a ton of intrinsic value in that research for your audience. The old-school practice would be to put all of it behind a gate, with just a few stats to whet people’s appetites.

There’s so much free content available now, though, that you have to offer more value before you ask for that contact information. For example, our client Prophix made a long-scroll, content-heavy power page to support their original research: The 2020 CFO Benchmark Report. With influencer content, plenty of stats and some truly gorgeous charts and graphs, the page is a destination unto itself. But for those ready for a next step, the page also directs folks to download the whole report as a PDF, or to contact Prophix for a demo.

Then there’s Content Marketing Institute, which puts out an exhaustive report on B2B marketing benchmarks every year. This past year, they published in conjunction with MarketingProfs and offered the entire report completely ungated, in easily embeddable and shareable format. These folks know that a thought leadership piece like this is worth more the more people see it. CMI’s annual report has made their name synonymous with content marketing, and that’s worth more than the leads they might capture from a gated report.

3 — Don’t Lock Up Your Influencers

In case you haven’t noticed, influencer marketing is one of our agency specialties. We love to work together with B2B influencers to create awesome content. We want to make it as easy as possible for influencers to share the great stuff we make together — which means ditching the gate if at all possible.

B2B thought leaders are going to be more enthusiastic about linking their audience straight to content, rather than to a landing page with a form to fill. 

I can’t think of a more compelling example than our client Demandbase’s recent Smarter GTM™ comic. This is a substantial, visually stunning, influencer-packed piece. And there’s not a gate in sight. Demandbase’s goal for this piece was to raise awareness of their new offering and establish thought leadership. So it made perfect sense to keep it ungated, even though it’s a ton of great content.

[bctt tweet=”“B2B thought leaders are going to be more enthusiastic about linking their audience straight to content, rather than to a landing page with a form to fill.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

4 — Add More Value Behind the Gate

If we’re giving away the good stuff up front, what should we be gating? Look for ways to add additional utility to the content. Prophix did a great job at this with their Digital Transformation in Finance page. They created three mini-assets that spoke to specific audience segments, then embedded CTAs to each one in its relevant section. This way, Prophix is maximizing views to the report page, while also offering a lead-capturing next step for those who want it.

You don’t have to go the lengths that Prophix did to add value, of course. It can be as simple as offering a PDF download of a web-based asset, for portability and printability. Or you could offer a calculator, checklist, or other useful tool. 

5 — Less Gatekeeping, More Great Content

None of this is to say that you should never gate content, of course. If you have a bombshell industry report with insights that will knock people’s socks off, you may be able to make the value proposition. But most marketers will see better results in top-of-funnel content if it’s freely available. 

My advice: Give away the good stuff and treat gated content like a dessert, not a main course. Audience expectations have changed, and in the all-out war for people’s attention, a gate can be a fatal flaw for your content.

Check out Lane Ellis’ post for more advice on B2B marketing in 2022.

The post To Gate or Not to Gate? Changing Trends in B2B Marketing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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Free The Story: How B2B Internet marketers Can Use Digital Storytelling To Bring Content Alive In Brand new Ways

Horizontal futuristic digital woman B2B marketer image

Horizontal futuristic digital woman B2B marketer image

How does electronic storytelling help B2B entrepreneurs bring content to life within powerful new ways?

With more B2B buying research and ongoing client engagement than ever taking place online over the past two years, there have not been as many opportunities to benefit from digital storytelling, yet higher competition has made it crucial to create content that really stands out and engages.

Let’s take a look at how well-crafted digital storytelling may propel B2B content to brand new successes, and how B2B online marketers can breathe new existence into content in a variety of electronic formats.

Sympathy Transforms Digital Storytelling

A shift within how many B2B marketers consider the content their teams develop is often required to fully embrace and benefit from the power associated with successful digital storytelling. Empathy plays a role in this shift, through taking the time to understand audiences, B2B marketers can create more emotionally memorable stories — producing customers feel connected on the deeper level that’s more human and less electronic.

“Brands wish to transact with people who are displaying high levels of empathy, ” Miri Rodriquez , senior storyteller at Microsoft, has observed — a facet of successful electronic storytelling that she expanded on in our article, ” Microsoft’s Miri Rodriguez on How B2B Marketers Are usually Embracing Empathy For Much better Customer Storytelling #B2BMX . ”

Miri Rodriguez image.

Miri looks at storytelling a tactic worthy of being a top goal in 2022.

“Make storytelling excellence one of your top goals in 2022. Wherever you are in the brand storytelling journey, aspire to tangible deliverables in your storytelling strategy in your marketing efforts. This includes determining a plan on how you can best design and tell your brand name story considering inclusion, market trends, thought leadership as well as your customers which are all continuously evolving, ” Miri mentioned recently in our look at ” How to Elevate Your own B2B Marketing Career: Information from Execs at Best B2B Brands . ”

[bctt tweet=”“Make storytelling excellence one of your top goals in 2022. Wherever you are in the brand storytelling journey, aspire to tangible deliverables in your storytelling strategy as part of your marketing efforts.” — Miri Rodriquez @MiriRod” username=”toprank”]

Free of charge The Story: Not Just For B2C Anymore

The move to either all-digital or mostly-digital in B2B over the past several years has allowed brands to experiment with and even embrace aspects of exactly what have traditionally been B2C-only marketing strategies, and these changes are likely to endure even when the planet returns to a much more in-person mode of business operation.

While some of the changes adopted from B2C into the B2B world were minor, the biggest may be the change to working with the power of the story, even in enterprise businesses.

The the freedom digital storytelling offers, B2B marketers can break down many of the old barriers in between brands and buyers, plus truly connect in effective and enduring ways.

Authenticity Humanizes B2B Connections

Digital storytelling also helps B2B internet marketers humanize content with authenticity.

“What good will be your content marketing investment in the event that it’s not believable? If it’s not trusted? ” our TOP DOG Lee Odden recently inquired in a look at ” Three of the Biggest Opportunities to Elevate B2B Marketing in 2022 . ”

When done nicely, digital storytelling not only drives trust, but is also a terrific way to incorporate industry thought leaders, who can augment and bring new living to brand stories . “Content collaborations between skillfully developed and internal subject matter specialists and executives helps to humanize B2B brands by focusing on the real issues customers are usually dealing with, ” Lee mentioned, highlighting another way that customer empathy drives content — including digital storytelling — to new heights.

[bctt tweet=”“Content collaborations between industry experts and internal subject matter experts and executives helps to humanize B2B brands by focusing on the real issues customers are dealing with.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

Customer Solutions In Formats They Choose

Storytelling within B2B doesn’t have to exist in only one digital structure — indeed in 2022 there are more ways to present and share stories than ever — and one of the prime benefits of stellar electronic storytelling is that it can take numerous forms and still ring true with audiences .

A well-crafted tale can be incorporated in B2B efforts that work equally properly on many platforms and in multiple media types, including:

  • Traditional blog content
  • Social platforms
  • Woven into video
  • Added to audio or podcasting
  • Email / newsletter campaigns
  • Conference presentations

A powerful story works across the board, even though some stories are definitely better-suited to being shared in specific formats, a truly memorable 1 will transcend the moderate and make that jump to existing not only on-line, but in the memory from the people your brand wants to connect with . When that will transfer takes place, a story may endure, and drive consumer relationships that reach newly found levels of connection.

We’ve looked at some of the methods B2B marketers can create stories that connect on a deeper level, including these 5:

[bctt tweet=”“Top digital storytelling transcends the medium and makes that leap from existing online to living on in the memory of the people your brand wants to connect with.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Informing Compelling Digital Tales Develop Genuine Audience Connections


When B2B marketers take the time to inform compelling digital stories that creates genuine audience connections, consist of industry subject matter experts, and share their efforts in a variety of digital formats and publishing systems, the true strength of digital storytelling shines brightly.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at just a few of the methods digital storytelling is helping B2B brands forge higher and more enduring connections, which you’ll find some of them useful in your own efforts in 2022 plus beyond.

Developing award-winning B2B marketing that will humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, this is why more firms are choosing to do business with a top digital marketing company such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses which range from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, mon. com and others.

The post Free The Story: How B2B Marketers Can Use Digital Storytelling To Bring Content Alive Within New Ways appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank® .

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five Helpful Ways B2B Internet marketers Can Achieve Content Approval

Exasperated-looking woman sitting at a desk covered in piles of paper takes a phone call.

Exasperated-looking woman sitting at a desk covered in piles of paper takes a phone call.

The “Wild West” associated with content marketing stuck close to longer than we may have imagined, but COVID-19 very much so brought it to a close. These days, 82% of marketers use content marketing, over 40% of marketers say content is a very important part of their technique, and 70% plan to actively continue investing in it in the long term.

If articles marketing is such big company now, however , why does so much of it still feel clearly lawless? Nowhere is that a lot more true than when it comes to in fact getting either client or internal approval for your articles. You go to all the work of creating your stuff, send it towards the people in charge, and then… you’re at their mercy. And often, your content disappears then and there.

There’s a better way to work content material approval, and it’s about process building. Securing articles approval is a part of your own workflow like everything else, and like everything else, it’s more effective when you have a plan.

Follow these five steps to create your own plan for content approval, and you’ll end up spending a lot less time bitterly running down approval and a lot more time actually planning for your own team’s next big sprinkle.

1 — Standardize the Lead-Up

The last few times your articles got trapped in pending purgatory, was it really because your approver got picky about back-and-forth edits? Sometimes, sure, but usually the issue is simpler… and, unfortunately, closer to house.

Chances are, in fact , you don’t know where the bottlenecks are that will hold up your content approval process. THAT is the biggest problem.

You’re not alone, possibly. According to a survey from the Content Marketing Institute, 42% of content material marketers stated that content production flow has been one of their biggest challenges for the upcoming year. In the mean time, a DIFFERENT survey by the CMI found that only 42% of content marketing teams have a formal content work flow in place.

Once you don’t know what you need to see a piece of content from conception to publication, a lot of your content never reaches the authorization phase at all. Instead, it gets wrapped up in “where were we on with that piece, again? ” territory… until everyone forgets about it. Then, if it WILL see the light of time, everyone’s forgotten what it was for… and you’re to square one.

There’s a straightforward solution: a content work flow . Make a tight, simple game plan designed for publishing and follow it to get every single part of content you create . At every turn, you should know:

A: In which a piece is in the process

B: Who’s in charge of the next step

C: When they plan on completing the next thing

D: Who also they will send their finished work to

E: Repeat

The more you can standardize plus streamline your content creation procedure, the more consistently a clear, relevant piece of content reaches a good approver who knows what they are looking at at. Making that will moment happen is the solitary best way to improve your authorization rate.

[bctt tweet=”“Create a tight, simple game plan for publishing and follow it for every single piece of content you create.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

2 — Simplify & Assign Workflow Deadlines — Internally & Externally

Ok, so you’ve got your workflow established. Great, that’s the easy part. Now you actually have to commit to making use of it… every. single. time. That means two things: you need to keep it simple, and you have to continue to keep it moving.

85% of CEOs fault internal complexity for their failure to grow plus deliver sustainable performance, and it’s the mindkiller of many a content workflow, as well. As a general rule, you should be able to write out your content workflow — with all the names, positions, content information, and description of the role of each participant at every part of the process — for each part of content you produce.

Next, you have to avoid the dreaded “content by committee. ” Keep as few people plugged into the process as possible. Have these people work closely collectively to understand each other’s procedures and get to know their functions.

Assign cement deadlines for each of these tips, whether the person in charge of viewing them through is inner or external. Assign task management manager to keep track of these deadlines and ensure everyone is on pace. Remind your client or approver of these deadlines, why they matter, and exactly why they need to keep up with them.

[bctt tweet=”“Write out your content workflow — with the names, positions, content info, and description of the role of each participant at every step in the process — for each piece of content you produce.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

3 — Make It About Them, Not A person

Failure to obtain content approval usually comes more from communication breakdown than the usual problem with the content itself. Somewhere, the wires get crossed — either the client doesn’t explain what they’re searching for or the creators misunderstand intention and take the wrong add — and then when the approver’s handed the document, these people don’t know what they’re searching at… or how it helps them.

This particular failure may not rest with all the content, but it does rest with the process. According to a recent Accenture survey, only 19% of marketing leaders sensed they had clear objectives when creating new content. According to an additional study, 43% of B2B marketers only “sometimes” define their content marketing KPIs!

If your own content marketers don’t know what they want to do with their content material, how are the people responsible for approving it even supposed to know what to approve it for? Instead, they receive nebulous content that’s disconnected from their business, their objectives, and their ideas about how exactly to propel their brand… and they’re not interested in reading it, much less granting it!

It’s not enough for your team to find out why they’re producing their content (though, you know, they will should); your clients need to find out, too. What do they want this article to accomplish? Why is that the objective? How will this piece achieve that? If you want content acceptance, you have to show your approver why they should care about your articles. To do that, you need to show them exactly why your content marketing matters in order to them.

[bctt tweet=”“If you want content approval, you have to show your approver why they should care about your content. To do that, you need to show them exactly why your content marketing matters to them.” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

4 — Collaborate with Stakeholders From the Jump

In fact , goals are important just for buy-in across the board, not just with your client. There are all kinds of stakeholders in any piece of content material — from collaborators to contributors to subject matter experts to field sellers . They all should be invested in your content, because it stands to benefit all of them. But , as you’re probably all-too-aware… that isn’t always exactly how it goes.

If the only people who worry about your content are the team members making it, you have a big problem. If your client’s team or your own approver doesn’t understand why they should care about your content, why might they?

Now imagine if, instead, everyone cared about your content. The particular sales and marketing groups are excited for the brand new narrative that informs their own strategies. The clients plus approvers are excited to see how the content will move their own agendas forward. Your content producers are excited because they have got enthusiastic buy-in and they seem like what they’re doing issues.

This kind of excitement isn’t as hard to accomplish as you may think: you just need to obtain everyone involved. Ask all stakeholders what exactly they want from the content at every stage in the process. Figure out what would make them excited to speed the content through to approval, and then supply it! Whenever your content finally hits the approver’s desk, they shouldn’t just know what it is — they should be excited to see it take place.

[bctt tweet=”“If the only people who care about your content are the team members making it, you have a big problem. If your client’s team or your approver doesn’t understand why they should care about your content, why would they?” — Harry Mackin” username=”toprank”]

5 — Optimize Your Approval Process

Whenever you’ve got your goals locked-in and your whole team can be enthusiastic about making them happen, you have laid all the groundwork for that most impactful step of all: re-envisioning and optimizing the approval procedure itself .

Now that you have goals and KPIs established, you have something cement to check your content against. Instead of approval being a nebulous process combining harrassing, editing, revising, critiquing along with a little begging, you’ve given your approver definite goalposts to think about when reviewing .

When your approver collaborated throughout the process, this particular new approach to approval will become even more effective. Your approver already knows exactly what you’re going for with this content, so they’re free to critique how effectively they think you will pull it off.

Best of all, informed approval paves the way in which for truly meaningful feedback . Without a clear knowledge of goals, feedback becomes nebulous, undirected, and often circular — just like the approval process itself. With goals in place, however , all feedback can focus on how you can better achieve exactly what you’re trying to do, which can make any edits far easier each to communicate and to carry out.

For more tips on how to bring your content marketing process out of the Wild West plus into the age of business, maintain the experts at the TopRank Marketing blog .

The write-up 5 Helpful Ways B2B Marketers Can perform Content Approval appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank® .

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Most readily useful of B2B Marketing: Learn & Refine With Insight From Our Top 10 Content Marketing Posts

Portrait of a smiling B2B content marketer with arms crossed.

Portrait of a smiling B2B content marketer with arms crossed.

What were our top B2B content marketing articles of the entire year?

Content encompasses nearly everything we read, watch, or listen to, so that as our CEO Lee Odden said years ago, it’s also represents a significant part of the reason the necessity for search technology began in the first place.

We’re proud of the continued content marketing successes our team of marketers at TopRank Marketing have achieved during still another challenging year, for a wide-range of major B2B clients. As 2022 draws ever closer, we desired to take time to share our top content marketing articles of the year — each filled up with insights, best practices, research, examples, and a look towards the future.

We’re also fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank B2B Marketing blog — which celebrates its 19th year this month.

This collection of our top 10 content marketing posts of the year can serve as a valuable resource, full of practical examples and relevant topics for digital B2B marketing professionals from CMOs to copywriters.

We hope that you’ll find these articles useful well into 2022 and far beyond.

Now, sit back and join us even as we move on to the top 10.

Our Hottest Content Marketing Posts of 2021:

1 . 6 Eye-Opening B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2021 — Nick Nelson

Content Writer Drafting Copy on Laptop

In our top content marketing post of the entire year, our senior content marketing manager Nick Nelson looks closely at the state of B2B content marketing and where it’s going, with data-backed statistics from a various of sources that help paint an insightful picture of what is coming.

Insights include:

  • Businesses are probably the most trusted institution for information
  • 88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is a priority
  • Mobile device usage has risen dramatically
  • Brands are using Instagram Stories more than ever
  • Most B2B marketers say the pandemic had a meaningful impact on their strategies
  • Top barriers to creating great B2B content include workload and changing priorities

You can check out all of Nick’s posts here , and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn .

[bctt tweet=”“People are looking to businesses for credible, clear, and accurate insights and guidance. As marketers, we must harness this opportunity to earn and solidify this trust.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

2 . 5 Ways to Humanize Your B2B Content Marketing – And exactly why It Matters — Joshua Nite

Smiling business man sitting with four robots image.

B2B buyers are people. Is your content written about, by, and for humans?

In our second most widely used content marketing post of the year, our own senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite shares five powerful methods to better humanize your B2B content, from using key vocabulary elements to co-creation with influencers, and much more.

You can check out all of Josh’s posts here , and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn .

[bctt tweet=”“If human beings are buying and using your product or service, they are experiencing emotions and generating stories.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

3. 5 B2C Content Marketing Methods that B2B Marketers Should Steal (And 5 They Shouldn’t Touch) — Joshua Nite

Pickpocket taking money from oblivious man on phone image.

Can B2C-style content marketing work for B2B?

In our third most popular content marketing article of the season, Joshua Nite says yes, but only up to a point.

Josh has a look at what B2B marketers can borrow from B2C, and what they shouldn’t — from having a greater stand and embracing diversity to getting personal, this fascinating article extends to the core of top B2B content marketing tactics.

[bctt tweet=”“The central thesis for using B2C techniques in B2B is the realization that there’s no such thing as a ‘B2B buyer.’ They’re not a distinct species. People are people, whether they’re at work or at home .” — Joshua Nite @nitewrites” username=”toprank”]

4. 10 Ways to Drive Revenue through Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi — Joe Pulizzi / Lee Odden

Drive Revenue Content Marketing

Just how can content marketing drive revenue for your business?

In our fourth most-read B2B content marketing article of the year, the one-and-only Joe Pulizzi of The Tilt shares 10 direct and indirect methods to drive revenue with content marketing, in a powerful and insightful guest post celebrating his updated and expanded Content Inc. book.

Learn content marketing revenue-driving tactics you may be overlooking, including:

  • Advertising/Sponsorship
  • Conferences and Events
  • Premium Content
  • Donations
  • Affiliate Sales
  • Subscriptions
  • Product Sales
  • Services Sales
  • Loyalty Revenue
  • Increased Yield on Current Clients

[bctt tweet=”“The most successful content creators leverage not one, but multiple streams of revenue. Whether you consider yourself a marketer or part of a media company, we are all publishers.” — Joe Pulizzi @JoePulizzi” username=”toprank”]

5. 5 Things B2B Content Marketers Need to Know About Working with Influencers — Lee Odden

B2B influencer content marketing

What do B2B content marketers need to know about working with influencers?

In our fifth most popular content marketing post of the year, Lee shares five key points to inform and drive a successful B2B influencer content marketing program, from where to start and examples of success to what not to do, including details on:

  • Defining B2B Content Influencer Marketing
  • How to Engage B2B Influencers for Content
  • How to start with Influencer Content Marketing
  • B2B Influencer Content Marketing in Action
  • What Not to Do When Collaborating with B2B Influencers on Content

Check out each of Lee’s 2, 600+ posts here , and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn .

[bctt tweet=”“Collaborating with influencers on content for B2B marketing efforts is an effective way for B2B brands to optimize their marketing.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

6. B2B Content Marketing: 10 Tips to Level Up Your Writing Skills — Joshua Nite

Typewriter on Faded Blue Wood Background Image

How can B2B content marketers elevate writing skills and create a more human connection with readers?

From rhythm and revision to spicing up conclusions, in our sixth most popular content marketing article of the entire year, Josh shares 10 tips to level-up your writing skills, including:

  • Be Aware of Rhythm
  • Practice Introductions
  • Don’t Tell the Audience What They Already know just
  • Let Go of Obsolete Rules
  • Read It Out Loud
  • Write, Wait, Review, Revise
  • Spice Up Your Conclusions

This inspiring piece includes tips to elevate your B2B content marketing writing, and to make that blank screen less daunting.

[bctt tweet=”“Writing and revising require two different mindsets. If you’re trying to do both at the same time, you’re likely not doing either as well as you might.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

7. Social First for B2B Content Marketing: What, Why and How — Joshua Nite

Hairless Cat at Laptop Image

What is social first, and how does it make B2B content marketing distinctively better?

In the seventh most read content marketing piece of the year, Josh shares the what, why, and how, combined to create substantial social posts crafted to provoke comments, likes, reactions and shares, including:

  • Hit the Sweet Spot for Word Count
  • Begin a Conversation
  • Involve Influencers
  • Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose

[bctt tweet=”“In the never-ending struggle to earn attention, B2B marketers have to use every strategy we have. And we have to make sure our goals for each channel line up with that channels’ strengths and weaknesses.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

8. 10 Actionable B2B Content Marketing Insights From New Research — Lane R. Ellis

Professional black women leading group of fellow B2B marketers around table image.

Where is B2B content marketing headed in 2022 and beyond?

In our eighth most-read content content marketing post of the year, I share 10 actionable insights that marketers can use today, from eye-opening B2B content marketing research, including a review of:

  • More B2B Content Marketing & Greater Success From Defined Strategies
  • More Successful B2B Organizations Outsource, Use Content Marketing Tools
  • Measurement, Creativity & Consistency Present In Top B2B Content Marketing
  • Bolstering Customer Loyalty & Nurturing Audiences Are Key
  • Empathy Allows B2B Marketers To Capture Greater Attention
  • Video Investment In 2022 & Another B2B Content Marketing Landscape
  • Large & SMB Organizations Benefit From B2B Content Marketing
  • Putting Audience Needs & Journey Stages First
  • Virtual Events, Research & Blog Posts Are Primary Elements
  • Content Marketing Hits Multiple B2B Targets

You can check out all of my posts here , and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn .

[bctt tweet=”“B2B content marketing is growing in importance, scope, and adoption by organizations of all sizes, and is poised to see further expansion in 2022 and beyond.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

9. 6 B2B Content Marketing Summertime Sizzlers To Increase Audience Engagement — Joshua Nite

Dog surfing in the summer of B2B marketing image.

How can B2B marketers make their content more engaging?

Within our ninth most popular content marketing post of the year, Josh offers up six summertime B2B content marketing sizzlers, from going live and taking people behind the scenes to exploring social-first and interactive content, collaborating with influencers, and measuring engagement metrics.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s all about customer engagement. That means connecting with people on a personal level, offering something novel and fascinating, and using that contact to build a meaningful relationship.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

10. Equilibrium: 10 Tips to Balance Creativity and Process in B2B Content Marketing — Joshua Nite

Two marketers aside illustration of brain showing creative and intellectual sides image.

How can you balance the analytical and creative for greater B2B content marketing success?

Rounding our our list of the very best content marketing article of the years is yet another insightful piece by Josh. From involving diverse voices and embracing keyword research to learning your audience and more, Josh shares 10 tips to balance creativity and process in B2B content marketing, including:

  • Embrace Keyword Research
  • Learn Your Audience
  • Involve Diverse Voices
  • Release the Ego
  • Read Other People’s Content
  • Don’t Confuse the Garnish for the Meal
  • Have a Clear Next Step
  • Get Invested in Results
  • Collaborate with Analytics Folks
  • Continue Your Education

[bctt tweet=”“Marketing content should compel your reader to take specific action. No matter how creative and fun your piece is, at the end there should be a logical, meaningful, and measurable next step.” — Joshua Nite @nitewrites” username=”toprank”]

Thanks TopRank Marketing Readers & Writers

Thanks to you our readers, and to all of our top content marketing authors for contributing these top 10 content marketing posts of 2021 — congratulations on making the list!

We published dozens of posts this year specifically about content marketing, and plan to enable you to get even more in 2022, so stay tuned for a new year of the latest helpful search industry research and insight.

Please tell us which content marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2022 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel absolve to leave those thoughts in the comments section below.

Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter , LinkedIn , Facebook , Instagram , and YouTube .

To learn more about the rising power of influence in B2B, watch our CEO Lee Odden in the comprehensive new webinar ” How to Accelerate B2B Marketing Results by Working With Influencers , ” and learn to create greater content marketing impact with influence.

The post Best of B2B Marketing: Learn & Refine With Insight From Our Top 10 Content Marketing Posts appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank® .

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How B2B Content Marketing May Build Trust that Appears the Test of Time

Silouettes of marketing acrobats catching one another image.

Silouettes of marketing acrobats catching one another image.

Nothing sends up red flags quicker than someone saying “Trust me. ” It’s the same as “Honestly, I swear, it is the truth! ” You can’t construct trust by demanding this — the more you talk about it, the less credible you sound.

Building believe in takes continued action with time. It’s always a work in progress and it’s extremely fragile.

Brands need to focus on building that credibility using their audiences. In the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer report , 53% of respondents ranked trust as being a deciding factor in purchase decisions, second only to affordability. The report also found trust is really a crucial indicator for consumer loyalty, with half of participants saying it played a major role.

But here’s the challenge: less than half of those surveyed — in 11 countries around the world — said they believe in major brands.

As content entrepreneurs, we should be helping build that will relationship. And there’s great news on that front! Marketers are no longer the least trusted supply of information.

We’re now the second least trusted . Politicians are the 1 institution with less trustworthiness.

Okay, enough doom plus gloom. Here are six methods B2B content marketing may build trust with your buyers.

6 Trust Builders through B2B Content Marketing

I’ve divided this list in to two sections. The first 3 are table stakes — these are things that brands should already be doing, that will customers expect and requirement. The second three are methods to kick that trust up to the next level.

Base Degree Trust Builders

1 — Honesty

You can’t get more basic in building trust than not lying to would-be. Your content should never attempt to deceived or misdirect your audience. This includes claims about your solution, or your competitor’s solution.

I would extend the meaning beyond product, though, to the quality of the content alone. If you promise practical, important content but deliver a sales pitch, that’s dishonest.

2 — Transparency

It’s not exactly what you say that can damage trust; it’s also what you do not say. For a business, which could mean using consumer information without their express consent. It can be as major since covering up a scandal, or as small as deleting bad reviews.

In the Information Age group, anything hidden will ultimately be brought to light. If your business is lacking transparency, it will be discovered — and trust will require a serious nose dive.

three or more — Consistency

Customer experience expert Shep Hyken says the secret to creating a crazy fan is to consistently exceed expectations. It’s the “consistently” part that makes all the difference. For B2B content, which means establishing a regular cadence with regard to publishing high-quality content plus continually following through.

It is much better to publish one incredible content piece a month compared to four mediocre ones. Established your content calendar to a level of commitment that combines regularity and quality.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s much better to publish one amazing content piece a month than four mediocre ones. Set your content calendar to a level of commitment that combines consistency and quality.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Following Level Trust Builders

4 — Utility

We all know that content needs to have value for your audience. That’s a given; you’re asking for their attention, so that you should reward it. Simply by ‘utility’ I mean offering value that goes beyond the narrow context of your brand’s solution.

Great B2B articles can help your buyer impress their boss, do better from their job, or obtain that next promotion. If you consider the broader context of their lives beyond their conversation with your solution, you can find a number of opportunities to help.

Even if your content isn’t pointing people directly at your “request a demo” link, if it has genuine utility, it will build rely on with the brand. That’s the type of long-term relationship building that will absolutely serves a business objective.

5 — Sincerity

Do you care about the people you’re marketing and advertising to? That may feel like a loaded question. Of training course we care about these folks, right? We’re practicing empathy and building personas and personalizing content and we’re carrying it out all for them.

But do you sincerely want these people to succeed, to be happy and content material? Do you genuinely believe your articles will help people achieve these goals? If you can say ‘yes’ to the above, that decency and sincerity will come glowing through in your content.

6 — Purpose

A few more data to round things out there: In the Edelmant Trust Measure survey, 60 percent of shoppers in the U. S. state they would buy or boycott based on whether a brand talks out on racial injustice. Nearly half said they value a brand’s impact on environmental surroundings.

Utility and sincerity in content are about viewing the audience in the broader context of their lives. Objective is about seeing your brand name in the broader context from the world we live in. What is your brand doing to help make the world a better place? How do your content support and enhance those efforts?

Marketers are usually natural-born storytellers. We can use that superpower to tell stories that desperately need to be noticed. For a quick source of motivation, check out Lush’s Instagram profile . Right next to playlists about their bath and body items are lists tagged “Take Action” and “Decolonize. ” Their purpose is an integral part of their brand. This approach may alienate a few potential buyers, but it inspires a community associated with raving fans who talk about Lush’s values.

Don’t Allow Your Trust Fall

Rely on is one of the key ways your own brand can differentiate alone to win business, build relationships, and create raving supporters. But you can’t simply request that trust: It has to be continually earned. Content marketers are in the best position to do that work — if we decide to take up the challenge.

Want to learn more? Check out these content marketing insights from the latest CMI benchmark report.

The post How B2B Content material Marketing Can Build Rely on that Stands the Test of Time appeared first on B2B Marketing and advertising Blog – TopRank® .

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10 Actionable B2B Content Marketing Insights From New Study

Professional black women leading group of fellow B2B marketers around table image.

Professional black women leading group of fellow B2B marketers around table image.

Exactly where is B2B content advertising headed in 2022 plus beyond?

Continuing an impressive and time-tested advertising tradition, the recently-released twelfth annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Funds, and Trends research report from Articles Marketing Institute (CMI), MarketingProfs, and ON24 offers up a bountiful array of insights for B2B content marketing experts, and helps us solution this key question and many others.

The particular 54-page 2021 edition offers a comprehensive look at how a few of the top content marketers happen to be making an impact and becoming successful during the past year, even with the unprecedented challenges we’ve most of faced.

B2B content marketing is growing in importance, scope, and re-homing by organizations of all sizes, and is poised to see further expansion in 2022 and beyond, as we’ll examine.

Let’s take a look at some of the insights and revelations from the analysis data that you can take action on and use today in your own B2B content marketing efforts, and include in your strategy for 2022 and nicely beyond.

1 — More B2B Content material Marketing & Greater Success From Defined Strategies

The research’s very own introduction summarizes as a crucial finding the significant success that content marketing has had within the B2B landscape over the past difficult year.

It should come as little surprise, since other recent research has also revealed that content-based company models are on the uptick, such as new report data from the Interactive Advertising Agency (IAB) contained in its latest “ The Financial Impact of the Market Producing Internet ” research, published every four many years.

The new IAB data showed that more than half of all U. S i9000. advertising and media work is now derived from the Internet, along with a healthy proliferation of business based on content creation — a well known fact that is backed up throughout much of CMI’s recent research.

Having a documented content material marketing strategy is a basic however vital factor seen in the most successful organizations, with 62 percent of the survey’s top performers developing a defined strategy in place , compared to only 40 % of all content marketers taking part in the study, while just eleven percent of the least successful performers said that they had the documented content marketing plan in place.

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2 — More Successful B2B Organizations Outsource, Use Content Marketing Equipment

A majority of the very best marketers in the research — some 57 percent — say that their own organization outsources some content marketing functions , a statistic that meshes with the importance of generating best-answer content , whether or not in-house or in the form of a high award-winning outside agency like TopRank Marketing.

While only half of marketers who describe their organizations’ approach to content marketing as minimally or not at all effective say that they use content creation, calendaring, or collaborative workflow equipment, a hefty 83 percent of the most successful organizations do make use of such technology, the report noted.

3 — Measurement, Creativeness & Consistency Present In Best B2B Content Marketing

Another differentiator that places a stark comparison between the most and least successful content marketers is the fact that 90 % of the top performers have a program in place to measure the performance of content advertising efforts , while simply 39 percent of the minimum successful organizations use this kind of measurements.

Across the board, today’s B2B content material marketers view 2022 along with optimism for content advertising, as witnessed by 75 percent of these at the most successful organization who seem to expect content marketing budgets to increase in 2022 , with even 61 % of those having the least success also expecting to spend more upon content marketing next year.

The most successful companies utilizing content marketing tend to place a higher value over the attribute of creativity, the trait 92 percent associated with top content marketers said their organization sees as helping to craft successful articles, while just 63 percent at lower-performing organizations highly value such creativity within content marketing, the review noted.

Uniformity has always been an important element of the content marketing, especially in the B2B landscape, however the new analysis shows just how key consistent customer experiences have become, with 81 % of the most successful content internet marketers noting that their company provides consistent content , while just 30 percent of these at the least successful firms stay consistent throughout the customer journey.

4 — Bolstering Customer Loyalty & Nurturing Audiences Are Essential

Another glaring contrast between the most productive and the least successful B2B content marketers is exactly how each utilizes content advertising to build customer loyalty and also to nurture new leads or even audiences, the research reveals.

78 % of top performers make a point to use content marketing in loyalty-building programs targeting current customers and clients , while only 34 % of the least successful performers do.

64 percent of best performers use content advertising to nurture audiences, clients, or leads — a tactic that just 23 percent of the least successful organizations use.

[bctt tweet=”“B2B content marketing is growing in importance, scope, and adoption by organizations of all sizes, and is poised to see further expansion in 2022 and beyond.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

five — Empathy Allows B2B Marketers To Capture Greater Attention

The new research shows a general uptick in how content advertising has succeeded in recording attention in the B2B world even as competition has boomed to epic proportions as the pandemic has continuing, and that the global health turmoil has brought the practice of content marketing to more organizations, becoming an essential element to some.

Empathy has been a top concern when it comes to garnering that attention, the research also shows, a discovering that we’ve emphasized, most recently within our senior content marketer Joshua Nite’s look at, “ Why Empathy Matters More than Ever in B2B Content Advertising (And How to Get It Right) . ”

More than half of B2B content material marketers in the new research said that over the past year it is become more challenging to catch the attention of audiences.

6 — Movie Investment In 2022 & A Different B2B Content Advertising Landscape

When i covered recently in our weekly Friday TopRank Marketing B2B marketing business news , 69 percent of B2B content marketers said that they will view video as a best area of 2022 investment , according to the new research.

Some 77 percent of B2B content marketers said that their content marketing strategy was various now compared to how this operated prior to the pandemic , with 4 percent noting an extreme difference, 15 % who said it was completely different, 22 percent who observed that it had differed somewhat, and 36 percent who have noted a moderate distinction in strategy.

2021 October 15 CMI / MarketingProfs Chart

seven — Large & SMB Organizations Benefit From B2B Content Marketing

CMI’s research pointed out that successful B2B content marketing and advertising helps organizations of all sizes achieve successful marketing final results .

Through smaller B2B organizations that will saw 27 percent of marketers in their ranks record high levels of content advertising success, to 30 percent through those at large companies, content material marketing was seen the bringing success due to the worth that it provides regardless of organizational size.

In 2021 75 percent of B2B marketers working from larger firms said that their organization utilized outsourcing, up from some 71 % in 2019 — and much more tellingly, up significantly through last year’s 61 percent, the CMI research has noted.

8 — Putting Audience Needs & Journey Stages First

87 % of the most successful B2B articles marketers said that their companies focus on putting the needs of their audience ahead of their own organizations’ sales or promotional messaging , compared to only 41 percent of those from businesses with the least successful articles marketing efforts, the research showed.

Similarly, 62 percent of those at top performers observed their organization crafted content with an eye towards the specific levels of buyer journeys , with just 17 % of low performers consuming these element into account within their efforts.

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9 — Virtual Events, Research & Blog Posts Are Primary Components

Today’s B2B marketers have more variety plus choices than ever when it comes to the elements that can be used in content marketing, however certain digital resources have performed better than other people.

The B2B content assets producing the best results over the past year consist of virtual events, research reports, blog posts below 3, 000 words, e-books and whitepapers, and the venerable case study , all rating above video in the brand new research.

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The almost exponential increase in both the range and volume of digital property B2B content marketers are utilizing every day now makes it essential than ever to accurately keep track of vast amounts of content, which explains why more B2B firms also are taking a look at an implementing electronic asset management solutions, when i explored recently in ” Optimizing Digital Property: How B2B Marketers Can Combine the Best of External & Internal Search Findability . ”

10 — Content Advertising Hits Multiple B2B Goals

Finally, with all of these increasingly important B2B content marketing elements coming together to form a cohesive technique, the CMI research has proven the top goals content advertising has brought to organizations from small or large.

80 % of B2B content entrepreneurs said their organization’s content material marketing efforts created brand name awareness , with 75 percent noting it built brand credibility and improved trust, while 70 percent found articles marketing successful in training their audiences .

Additional benefits attained by content marketing were better loyalty among existing clients and customers, lead generation plus nurturing, and content marketing’s ability to successfully drive attendance to virtual, in-person, or hybrid events.

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Great time Off By Turning B2B Content Marketing Insights In to Action


The 10-plus insights we’ve shared here will help propel your own B2B articles marketing efforts to new heights in 2022 and beyond.

To be able to help you further all facets of your B2B content marketing strategy, here are five bonus posts we’ve recently published, every exploring how to craft successful best-answer content:

Content marketing and advertising takes on added scope and potential for greater and more genuine audience connections when it ties with B2B influencer marketing and advertising, an area our CEO Lee Odden explored recently in an episode of our Inside B2B Influence podcast featuring Brian Solis , global innovation evangelist at Salesforce, ” Inside B2B Influence: Brian Solis of Salesforce on the Long term of Influence in B2B Marketing . ”

No matter how you point it, creating award-winning B2B content marketing takes a lot of time and effort, which is why numerous firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency like TopRank Marketing. Contact us today to learn how we can help, because we’ve done for businesses which range from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday. com and others.

The post 10 Actionable B2B Content material Marketing Insights From New Research appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog — TopRank® .

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