Tag Archives: marketing

How to create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy and Plan

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Content marketing. Don’t you just love it? No? Then read on.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve got lots to say on this topic. Mainly:

  1. How marketers need to *add* content marketing to their current efforts, not use it as a replacement of their current marketing channels in the face of budget cuts. Get real – content is *expensive*. Take a look at the go-to content marketing case studies often cited on the web. Notice a recurring theme? The majority are by huge brands with £multi-million content and distribution budgets. Granted, they all claim to have saved millions since calling what they do content marketing, but hey, these guys were spending *a lot* to begin with. Also, try replacing the phrase ‘content marketing’ in their case studies with the word ‘SEO’. Notice anything?
  2. How we all mistakenly assume content marketing is something new when in fact we’ve all been doing it for a while – we just know it as something else eg SEO or PR

I say all this as someone who’s worked in both publishing and digital marketing since 1997. Content marketing is great. It means we all work. It means people are excited by online content, which is no bad thing. But please just be aware of the full picture before jumping in and betting the house on it.

Anyway, more on this later.

Broadly, there are four key elements you need to think about when it comes to content marketing:

  • Planning: audience needs and questions, buying cycle, answers to those buyers needs and questions
  • Content: production, format, sourcing and approval process, resourcing in terms of staff, support (internal staff / external agency help), related costs etc
  • Distribution: channels, paid, owned, earned, channel discovery and distribution process, resourcing and support (internal staff / external agency help), related costs etc
  • Measurement: as with most digital marketing channels, we need to measure lots of metrics and discover what they’re telling us

There are 000’s of ebooks, whitepapers and Slideshare decks on this topic and they all tackle the topic using variants of the four elements above. It’s essentially digital marketing (and all the paid media low cost tactics that go with that – if you’re smart) with a whole heap of content production thrown on top.

More on this soon…

Social media marketing – what works / what doesn’t

Forrester’s social media analyst Jeremiah Owyang provides a nice overview of brands which have attempted social media marketing using fan pages, widgets etc.

In a nutshell, activities – like fan pages – need to encourage communication and community building within the social network, not direct them offsite (because, presumably, it interrupts users’ conversations and communication).

One nice example is an Alicia Keys fan page, which revealed exclusive news, events etc. Fans are driven to join, debate, sign up to events, share and so on. I’m assuming this has a lot to do with why and how fans think – such as playing one-upmanship and showing other fans how much of a bigger fan you are.

Read Jermiah’s blog post on Web Strategist

Smarties launches Facebook profile – but will it take off?

Another day, another brand setting up a fan profile on Facebook. But a profile page on Facebook does not a social media campaign make.
At the time of writing, 67 users have signed up to the new Smarties profile, which focuses on the reintroduction of blue smarties. It’s all to do with Spirulina apparently (isn’t that naturally green?)
Will events, photos and video content be enough to create a groundswell? The fact that we’re blogging about it doesn’t count – in the context of this blog we’re professional digital media navel gazers.

Corporate websites – how to evolve your ‘irrelevant’ corporate website

Another day, another blog post about the death of the corporate website as we know it. Not literally true, but there’s some good takeaway advice out there nonetheless. My two-penneth is that b2b sites should have included push/pull features long ago.

Read more at Jeremiah’s blog.

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What makes a successful social marketing campaign?

Evan Gerber provides some good common sense advice on social media marketing in iMedia Connection.

In summary:

  • Don’t do social marketing unless it’s part of a larger campaign
  • Don’t do it unless you’re offering users something truly worth visiting – more than once
  • Don’t do it unless you have resource to update and communicate with users
  • Be aware that users don’t want too many widgets or Facebook apps on their page
  • Weigh up the short term benefits with the long term maintenance requirements

Read ‘Avoid these Facebook faux pas‘ in full.

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How to attract users to your website – Bebo style

Getting people to visit your site is easy. Getting niche audiences to visit your site is even easier.

Ask Bebo. They’ve has teamed up with the BBC’s Radio 1 to screen a special episode of the social network’s online drama series ‘KateModern’. The episode will feature bands featured from Radio 1’s Live Lounge of Sunday.

This is a classic example of the value of giving your core audience targeted content. Host something worth visiting – really worth visiting – and they’ll visit you. Seriously – ask E4 and its ongoing huge MySpace Skins campaign which features exclusive video content before TV broadcast. Not got a TV production crew to hand? Fear not, why not try allowing users exlcusive access to a party / rave via your MySpace profile, as per E4’s own Skins’ party invite on its MySpace profile.

How to drive traffic to your blog in four easy steps

Getting people to visit your blog or website isn’t rocket science.

  1. Create your blog/forum/website.
  2. Write lots and lots of award winning blog posts.
  3. Visit similar, market leading blogs and forums and contribute lots, adding your original site’s URL/email address.
  4. Watch as people react to your comments and follow the link to your website.

There. The ‘award winning’ bit might be a bit difficult, granted, but do at least make your posts engaging (yes, we hate that word too, but it’s better than ‘good’) and worthy of a click.

Actually, screw all that. Read this blog post by Seth Godin.