Content Marketing: How Companies are Doing It [Infographic]

Why do companies pursue content marketing, and how are they doing it? A new Infographic from Marketo and ColumnFive Media reflects the growing importance of content marketing, and gives us some insight into the specific tactics being used today.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Companies with over 1,000 employees use an average of 9 content marketing tactics. Some of the most popular include social media, articles, newsletters, case studies and blogs.
  • 54% of marketers use Facebook to distribute content.
  • The two biggest challenges when it comes to content marketing are: producing engaging content (36% of respondents) and producing enough content (21% of respondents).
  • B2B marketers allocate approx. 26% of their total marketing budgets to content marketing

Content Marketing Infographic

The data for this Infographic came from Marketo’s Content Marketing Cheat Sheet and the 2010 B2B Content Marketing white paper on benchmarks, budgets, and trends from MarketingProfs and Junta42!

Social Media Statistics for B2B Marketers

Here is a new, must-see video for B2B marketers interested in social media. It has been prepared by our friends at Earnest Agency in the UK.

Of the stats presented, here some which are especially noteworthy:

  1. CIO’s could well be the biggest blocker to social media adoption. Fifty-four percent of CIO’s prohibit use of social networking sites while at work.
  2. The use of social media by B2B companies is validated by business purchasers. 93% of business buyers believe all companies should have a presence in social media.
  3. If you think C-level executives aren’t active online, you’re sorely mistaken. The Internet is the C-Suites top information resource (74% of C-Level executives say it’s very valuable)
  4. 89% of journalists make use of blogs while conducting their online research and 96% turn to corporate websites.

To read more on the data presented here, check out Earnest Agency’s accompanying blog post which contains further detail and sources:http://earnestagency.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/vital-statistics-for-every-b2b-marketer/.

The Top 10 Marketing Lists on Twitter

With Twitter Lists being rolled out to a greater  portion of users earlier today, there is a lot of buzz being created around the new feature.  In a nod to my friend Manoj at Web Analytics World, who just posted a set of web analytics Twitter lists, here are a some marketing lists to follow on Twitter. This top 10 list is based on the number of followers each list has at the time of this posting.

Top 10 Marketing Lists on Twitter

  1. @Scobleizer/tech-pundits
  2. @dannysullivan/searchmarketing
  3. @dannysullivan/marketing
  4. @seanpower/analytics-and-measurement
  5. @teresaberry/seattle-nw-faves
  6. @SEOdojo/members
  7. @adland/adagencies
  8. @stevewoods/b2bmarketers
  9. @AdvertisingLaw/marketing
  10. @susanbeebe/social-media-smarties

For the complete list, visit the Listorious page: http://listorious.com/tags/marketing.

A Social Media Map for B2B Marketing

Want to see how Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, and ON24 relate to each other? Or have you ever wondered what role Ning, Scribd or Sonic Foundry have to play in the promotional mix?

Here is a new social media map courtesy of London-based agency, Banner. They’ve taken several dozen of the biggest marketing vehicles and charted them according to role, i.e. document sharing, social bookmarking, video sharing, microblogging, etc. To best read the map, view it in full screen mode.

The question quickly becomes: where do I start? My advice would be to circle the mediums you already work with, and then work your way along the lines into new territory. Start by searching for your brand and your main competitors within each of the stations. It should quickly become evident how relevant the vehicle is to your target audience. You will then want to pick a small handful of channels to work with, thus keeping it more focused and using each to their full potential.

12 Questions B2B Marketers are Asking (or Should be Asking)

Blogging from SES San Jose, 2009

At a conference like SES, you’ll find search agencies, representatives from the search engines, consultants, bloggers, … and marketers. The marketers will fall into dozens of categories, by industry, company size, etc., and B2C and/or B2B. I’ve spent a great deal of time with B2B marketers over the last couple of years at trade shows like this one, as well as in sales calls, webinars and client meetings. These are some of the questions you will hear them asking in San Jose.  They will come up in sessions, in the coffee line-ups, and yes, maybe even occasionally at the #SearchBash.

It often starts with the standard challenges tied to Search, like increased visibility, traffic, lead quality, and brand management. But a lot of it goes beyond search:

1.      Am I getting everything I can out of our analytics software? The answer I hear most of the time is a convincing: NO.

2.      Is Search working in tandem with other online channels? If I outsource SEO and PPC, will they work with our web developers, ad agency, PR, etc.?  Also, can a search agency understand my vertical industry well enough?

3.      Is my paid Search cannibalizing traffic that would otherwise be coming from SEO?

4.      Do we have an accurate model of our customer’s buying process? This question is often followed by, “it depends”, or even silence. How does the buying funnel model apply?

5.      How much of our marketing/sales cycle can be handled online? Is it siloed off from our face-to-face meetings with prospects?

6.      Marketing automation software – how much can it do?  How does it tie in to our sales CRM?  Lead nurturing: how much can be automated? What are we supposed to nurture leads with?

7.      How do I measure engagement over a long sales cycle and multiple buyers at the same time?

8.      Reporting: how do I attribute a sales opportunity to the proper marketing campaign(s)? Who gets credit for the sales lead?

9.      Social media: is it relevant to my buyers, really? Can’t we just start our own social network? Who in the company should be managing the Twitter account? The Facebook profile? Should our YouTube videos be professionally done? How do buyer demographics affect the way they buy from us? Do digital natives operate differently than digital immigrants?

10.   What about tools like PPC bid management software? At what point can we afford to make the investment, and will it be more effective?

11.   If only our whole marketing team really got search… How can we get everybody on the same page?

12.   Is a thought leadership strategy effective? How can we get started? I think this is especially relevant for service-based B2B companies seeking to establish their brand. There are several examples of companies that have built a fabulous reputation and wide visibility this way without spending a ton of money on advertising.

These questions don’t have quick answers, and each one is worthy of an in-depth panel discussion in itself.  But if you’re at SES today, you might want to check out one of the following four sessions on the B2B and verticals track, including Gord Hotchkiss’ panel called The BuyerSphere Project, Understanding B2B Buying Behavior.

mapping-the-buyersphere

What Age Is Your Customer?

I can hardly believe we’re only a few days away from wrapping up the BuyerSphere webinar series. It has been quite a journey. Since the beginning of April, Enquiro has been building an amazing package of webinars and research papers which go to the very core of B2B marketing. Experts from Google, Business.com, Covario, Demandbase and Marketo have all contributed their unique experience and marketing advice. If you’ve missed them so far, you can still get the recordings and white papers at www.enquiro.com/b2bresearch.

The final webinar in the series will be – in my opinion – one of the most fascinating and thought provoking. We’re calling it The Rise of the Digital Native: B2B Buying in Flux. Gord Hotchkiss and his panel of experts are taking a look at a very basic but fundamental question: Does age play a role in marketing? What does Enquiro’s latest research show us about B2B buying behavior as it relates to the buyer’s demographic, and more specifically, how and when the buyer grew up?

For the first time ever in an Enquiro webinar, we’re also joined by Danny Sullivan and Rand Fishkin, two very big hitters in the Search Marketing industry. They will be part of the panel along with our own Gord Hotchkiss, Ben Hanna (Business.com), Chris Golec (Demandbase), Matthias Blume (Covario) and Mark McMaster (Google).

As an attendee of the live event, you will get to hear the discussion as it happens, plus be able to send the panel your marketing-related questions. We will also be touching upon the highlights of the rest of the series, so if you’ve missed previous webinars, don’t miss out on this one. To top it off, one lucky attendee will win a BuyerSphere hard copy white paper package, plus a 15-minute search marketing audit with an Enquiro account manager.

The Rise of the Digital Native
Live Webinar
Wednesday, June 24 2:00pm Pacific
Register now –>

The webinar explores:

* The differences between a Digital Native and a Digital Immigrant
* Why the brain gets wired differently in Digital Natives
* How this impacts interactions with technology and the web
* What are the implications for B2B buying
* How the landscape might shift in the next decade

Panelists:
Gord Hotchkiss – President and CEO, Enquiro
Rand Fishkin – CEO and Co-Founder, SEOmoz
Danny Sullivan – Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land
Ben Hanna – VP Marketing, Business.com
Mark McMaster – Senior Planner of Technology/B2B Markets, Google
Chris Golec – Founder and CEO, Demandbase
Moderated by Bill Barnes, EVP Business Development, Enquiro

danny-rand2

Rand Fishkin, CEO and founder of SEOmoz, and Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land will be special guests at the wrap-up to the BuyerSphere webinar series, June 24.

How Does Your Risk Fit Into My Funnel?

I had the pleasure of producing Enquiro’s recent webinar titled Beyond the B2B Buying Funnel. Being a B2B marketer myself, I’m quite fond of the funnel concept and use it to map things like lead volume vs. position in the sales/marketing cycle. An interview I conducted with Jim Sterne takes a look at funnels of different shapes and how they reveal demand generation ailments and successes.

But where does the funnel fall short? One of the main messages I’ve taken from the material is that we shouldn’t look to the funnel model to imply a clear top-to-bottom progression in the sales process. Gord Hotchkiss refers to new research which shows that buyers are prone to experiencing a “risk gap” which, if not addressed by the marketer, acts as a plug in the funnel.

Risk is a fascinating concept in the field of B2B buying. One of the webinar presenters, Jon Miller, pointed out that a bad purchase decision can cost you your reputation or even your job, while good decisions will often benefit the company more than the individual.

So how does an individual mitigate risk? In-depth interviews with buyers, which were a part of the research methodology, show that buyers gravitate to six ways of dealing with it:

  1. Rely on own past experience and drawing upon company-approved vendors
  2. Listening to word of mouth and experience of others
  3. Asking their existing vendors for advice
  4. Assessing the credibility of the potential vendor
  5. Checking out the vendor online, including on search engines
  6. Weighing price options

Keep in mind that there is the risk to the individual, other individuals involved in the purchase decision, and risk to the organization as a whole. It becomes complex very quickly when risks to the different buyers aren’t the same – and they rarely are. And while companies have ways of giving structure to buying, e.g. through RFQ processes, findings show that the important decisions on a personal level aren’t always necessarily rational. We depend on our own library of heuristic shortcuts to come to decisions which can be irrational. Gord Hotchkiss also talked about these shortcuts, and how they are based on existing belief structures in this post on Herbert Simon’s concept of bounded rationality.

While it may be difficult to market against irrational buying decisions, there is hope, especially if we understand how irrational behavior is linked to risk. Part of eliminating the risk gap includes going back to basic sales and marketing principles, identifying and developing a market before we sell to them. As marketers, it is vital that we understand the specific risk gaps associated with buying from our company, in our industry, and help the buyer bridge those more effectively.

The 60-minute webinar was recorded and is available on demand. In it, you’ll hear Gord Hotchkiss present the new research along with Mark McMaster (Google), Ben Hanna (Business.com), Jon Miller (Marketo), Matthias Blume (Covario) and Chris Golec (Demandbase). The B2B Expert Series of webinars is moderated by Bill Barnes.

Participate in a B2B Buyers’ Survey

I’d like to send out this call for b2b survey participants. Enquiro Research works tirelessly to put out excellent B2B focused research. Now is your chance to be a part of it.

We would like your input in an online survey, in order to understand more about your experiences when making business purchase decisions, and/or going through the process of short-listing vendors and business solutions. By completing the survey you’ll be adding valuable insight into an area of business that is undergoing tremendous change.

The survey will take you 15 – 20 minutes to complete and you could win a $25 Starbucks card to thank you for your valuable time.

Also, you’ll be able to register to be invited to Enquiro’s 2009 B2B webinar series, consisting of six high-powered free webinars delivering cutting edge insight into what’s happening in the world of online business-to-business marketing.

Click here to go directly to the survey and thank you for helping us to create world class research.

Enquiro Research logo

Writing and Promoting White Papers – an interview with Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is one of the leading authorities on the topic of writing and marketing white papers. He has written more than 130 white papers for many of the world’s most recognized companies, including Microsoft, Dow Jones, FedEx, Motorola, Monster, Hewlett-Packard and SAP.

In this 17 minute interview, you’ll hear me ask Michael about white paper promotion from a b2b marketing perspective, including:

  • What prompted the book Writing White Papers?
  • Which promotional channels work best for white papers?
  • What is the life span of a white paper?
  • Should companies charge for white papers?
  • What about white paper registration forms?
  • What options are out there for white paper syndication?
  • Where is white paper publishing and promotion headed?

Michael is also the author of the bestselling book, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged. His work is used as required reading at major universities such as MIT and Johns Hopkins. You can find him on Twitter at @mike_stelzner.