• TheDigitalJen
    Jennifer Stalzer on November 19, 2013

    Tough Lessons to Becoming a Socially Engaged Brand

    About 18 months ago, MasterCard set out on a mission to become the most socially connected and engaged brand in the payments space. As I look back, here's a look at almost ten hard lessons we learned.
  • ChristopherCarfi
    Christopher Carfi on December 9, 2013

    Five Trends That Are Going to Affect Marketing in 2014

    Agile marketing is now a common approach, and includes a healthy loop of building, testing, measuring, learning, refining and improving. There are five trends that you need to be on the lookout for when creating your marketing plans in the coming year, a combination of focus on results and a set of new channels that can connect directly to the bottom line.
  • JeffreyDachis
    Jeffrey Dachis on December 18, 2013

    Real-Time Marketing 101: It All Starts With The Trends

    Imagine you are a marketer in 1951. Harry S. Truman is president and Milton Berle is the most famous person on T.V., raking in 80% of all television viewers every night of the week. It’s the dawn of modern mass marketing. What if you were the first marketer to figure out how to use T.V. to sell stuff? You’d probably be in pretty high demand. The potential to sell your products would be effectively limitless. Well, an innovative, new marketing channel with the potential to rival television for its importance has arrived and marketers are starting to take notice.
  • Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on April 18, 2014

    Six Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

    Content marketing is the linchpin of demand creation –the link between brand awareness and lead generation. Done well, it builds familiarity, affinity and trust with prospective and current customers by providing information that resonates – in the right format, through the right channel, at the right time.
  • IBM Social Business
    IBM Social Business on April 18, 2014

    Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations

    Here is an excerpt from “Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations,” an exclusive whitepaper brought to you by IBM. This whitepaper provides a step-by-step guide for determining your strategy to achieving social business success.
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on May 1, 2014

    The Social Media Pocket Guide: Six Ways Marketers Should Use Social

    This guide walks through each of the “Big Six” objectives and provides a tactical overview of the business case, team considerations and actual content examples and templates to use for your social media initiatives. 
Download the guide now and use it as a cheat sheet on how to get started today using proven tactics and best practices.
  • Actiance
    Actiance Compliance on May 9, 2014

    The Forrester Wave: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014

    Forbidding employees to use social networks because they may expose your business to risk is no longer a viable business strategy. According to its new report published today, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Risk And Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014,” Forrester Research, Inc. says “the practice of prohibiting social [is] no longer feasible.”
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on June 9, 2014

    6 Blueprints for Social Network Success

    The Big 6 social networks offer tremendous marketing opportunities - but each one is very different from the next. That’s why Spredfast has assembled the 6 Blueprints for Social Network Success. In this quick-read collection, you’ll discover more than 50 constructive, actionable marketing tips and real-world examples from major brands like Hyatt, British Airways, Target, and General Mills. Let’s start building!
  • Synapsify
    Synapsify, Inc. on June 16, 2014

    Piecing Together the Story: Synapsify’s Annual Voice of Customer Industry Survey and Insight

    This eBook reveals the common practices and challenges faced today by social media managers/directors and brand insight analyst and conducted an online survey of 70 social media and content analysts professionally recruited for this survey. The survey results are presented as part of a complimentary eBook in which insight industry professionals shed light on their challenges and common practices they face in understanding the true voice of their customers.
  • Michael Brenner has received recognition across the Internet for his knowledge and role in shaping content marketing as we know it today. Recently, I had a chance to sit down and ask Michael about where he sees content marketing, brand journalism and the evolution of content in the c-suite heading. He had some really interesting perspectives that I wanted to share with you.

    There may be no hotter debate in marketing today than the role of content in a business’s marketing strategy. Terms like brand journalism have popped up as the want, need or perhaps necessity to move beyond “Business Blogger” has become paramount to make content marketing more significant than just articles on a website.

    More than just a means of brand awareness, content is starting to play a larger role in the way organizations communicate with their audience and it has become the cornerstone of some businesses go to market strategy, almost as if it has become the new sales call.

    However, some challenges remain. With marketing becoming more measurable and the push for marketing ROI more prominent, many companies are still struggling with how to do content in a way that will help their business and yield results that keep stakeholders happy.

    When it comes to content marketing, there are few more accomplished than Michael Brenner, who spent the past several years driving SAP’s content strategy only to make a recent change that I will let him tell you about. Michael is an annual presenter at the highly regarded Content Marketing World, where this year he will share the stage with great storytellers including Kevin Spacey. Michael has also received recognition across the Internet for his knowledge and role in shaping content marketing as we know it today, so when I had a chance to sit down and talk to Michael about where he sees content marketing, brand journalism and the evolution of content in the c-suite heading, I took it. He had some really interesting perspectives that I wanted to share with you.

    Dan Newman: Give me a little background on your past experience and what you are doing today?

    Michael Brenner: I started in sales with the Nielsen Company providing marketing information to some of the top consumer and retail brands. I feel like I learned marketing from the best marketers in the world and it all started with data and analytics. I moved into marketing and never looked back because I wanted to help businesses solve problems at scale. I believe that’s what marketing does. It should seek to help people. It isn’t another word for sales, or disguised sales. It is about getting people to know, like and trust you.

    After running marketing for 2 startups, I spent 7 years at SAP doing digital and content marketing. I established the company’s thought leadership blog and set it up like a newsroom with full editorial control. And we were able to show real business results in less than a year in the form of real leads and sales.

    So recently, I decided to join NewsCred. SAP had become a customer after looking at the content marketing landscape. I was familiar with the company and really impressed with the technology and the team. So I decided to take their offer to help other brands do what we did at SAP: turn brands into real publishers, creating content people actually want!

    DN: How do you as a content marketer define Brand Journalism?

    MB: Brand journalism is when a brand is the platform or the sponsor of content that is created for the user as opposed to for the brand. So it is not promotional or insidiously disguised advertising. It is real content created for consumers by people who care about creating quality content.

    There is a lot of debate around whether the term “brand journalism” is an oxymoron. The bottom line is that journalism is defined by the skills, the experience and desire to create quality content that meets the needs of the content consumer. It is not defined by who pays the journalist.

    DN: What are the biggest changes in the way brands are using content marketing as opposed to even just a few years ago?

    MB: Brands are starting to take content marketing seriously. And so this concept of “content hubs” and brand-sponsored media properties is becoming more ubiquitous. Brands are now moving beyond fundamental text and how-to’s and creating content that is entertaining, emotional and even funny. I see a lot more investment by brands in serious, journalistic content platforms as we close out 2014 and into 2015.

    DN: Do you think the lines between brands and media are blurring? If so, how? If not, Why?

    MB: I think the reason you are seeing terms like “brand newsroom,” “brand publisher” and the hotly debated “brand journalist” are exactly because the lines have blurred. It used to be publishers on one side creating content and brands supporting journalism with ads on the other side. Now, brands can go directly to consumers. And we are all increasingly tuning out ads so this just seems like an obvious evolution of the media landscape.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I still believe in the need for objective journalistic coverage. And I believe that many publishers will survive and even thrive. Brands will continue to invest in reaching publisher audiences. But at the same time, brands are hiring journalists, giving them the authority to be objective. And letting us all as content consumers decide on what the best sources of information and entertainment are.

    I believe we will continue to see the lines blur as brands mature as publishers and as the effectiveness of interruptive ads continues to decline.

    DN: What is your best piece of advice for brands looking to maximize their content marketing efforts?

    MB: My best advice for brands looking to maximize their content marketing programs is to create content people want. It has to be an obsession in focusing on the customer. It requires brands to take themselves out of the story and make the customer the hero. The brands that focus on this will turn content from a cost to an asset within their business that produces a return on investment.

    DN: What is the next big shift in content marketing that isn’t yet being talked about?

    MB: Well I’m not gifted enough to see around the next corner. But as I said, looking ahead I see more brands producing content that is more entertaining. In the early stages of content marketing, brands are just trying to understand what their consumers need when it comes to content. So we see lots of lists and how to’s and “what is…” articles.

    In the next phases, they will begin acting more like production studios and creative shops that publish content people seek out to laugh, or cry, or touches them in some deep, personal way. Visual content will be key. You’ll see more humor and much more humanity coming from the content brands produce.

    Brands will move beyond hiring journalists and begin to hire comedians, script writers, movie producers, and storytellers of all kinds.

    In Summation: The role of content marketing for business is still much more in its infancy than some may think. While adoption is growing and more companies are starting to understand the role of content in the new buyer’s journey, there is still a substantial shift to take place from where we are today.

    The content that most deeply connects us to a brand is rarely the content with the greatest utility. While we must certainly consider what consumers need to know about our products and services, it will be the way we create an emotional response that drives the human purchasing experience.

    Thank you to Michael Brenner for taking the time to discuss the content r(evolution) with me here on Forbes. If you are interested in hearing more from Michael you can find his blog here. This article first appeared on Forbes and can be found here

    There are no 100% guaranteed strategies to make your start-up into a success. So where does that leave us? At the stage of implementation. Compiled here for your consideration are 5 of the most potent principles of start-up strategy.

    Shocking news: it takes guts to start a company. More than guts, actually.  To be honest, if you’re not running just shy of arrogant, you’re liable to be pretty anxious. Entrepreneurship is hard. The startup business is complex, difficult, and terribly inconsistent. That’s why most marketers are looking for surefire solutions: strategies that never fail.

    These are the heaters. The undeniable, irresistible, and indefatigable forces you deploy when a venture absolutely must succeed. Obviously, these are the strategies you implement in every venture you undergo. Following them all but assures a measure of success.

    Of course, if they were 100% successful, then every entrepreneur would be a billionaire. Since that’s obviously not the case, where does that leave us? At the stage of implementation. Even the most intricate battle plan won’t survive first contact with the enemy. Success is driven by your ability to improvise within the confines of your strategies. To execute an idea despite resistance. This requires tactical prowess as well as strategic intelligence.

    Still, field commanders look to the general for orders, and the initial strategy has to be as fool-proof as possible. And there are indeed some proven effective strategies for start-up success. Since I started working with Template Monster, the company that has transformed from a small start-up into a huge design outfit, I had a lot of opportunities to understand the thinking behind that process.

    Compiled here for your consideration are 5 of the most potent principles of start-up strategy. 

    1.      Feedback and User Generated Content

    No start-up can be successful without customers. The way business is conducted these days requires quite a bit of interactivity between business and consumer. You’ve got to reach out to your target audience, learn about their interests, examine their opinions about your products, and invite them to engage with your content.

    Plainly speaking, you need to solicit and record user interactions with your brand. Figuring in customer feedback will:

    • Inform future marketing decisions
    • Discern opportunities for improvement in your services
    • And engender good will among your audience.

    A good way to accomplish this is by posting positive user reviews on your website. It gives your customers a voice, shows them that they’re appreciated, and stocks your website with fresh content.

    2.      Agents of Influence

    Not only will interacting with your audience increase your company’s credibility, but it will get you plenty of attention. In some cases, you’ll get attention from influential members of niche communities. Word of mouth has always been a powerful form of advertising, but a word from the right mouth in social media will put your exposureefforts on steroids.

    Reach out to prominent voices within your industry for a review—not hastily mind you. You’ve got to romance an influencer. Go through a business style courtship ritual, if you follow my meaning. Comment on their blog posts, follow them on Twitter, get into some exchanges, and bring the idea of endorsement up slowly. Pay them if you’ve got the money and the inclination, but it can often be unnecessary to go that far.

    3.      Fixed Cost Frugality

    Notice how everything I mentioned in the first point was pretty cheap? Low overhead is going to be essential to any start-up until it begins to turn a profit. You need to keep your break even as low as possible until you’re not worried about breaking even. That means cutting corners where you can; so long as you don’t sacrifice the quality of your product.

    Can your employees work from home? If so, there’s no reason to rent office space. Offer your new hires stock options instead of higher salaries, maximize your marketing budget with social marketing and/or organic search. Store inventory in your garage if you have to. Just make sure you’re stretching the dollar as far as it can go.

    4.      Step by Step Advertising

    There is literally zero excuse to gamble with your advertising budget. There has never been more in the way of cheap or free advertising, and simultaneously it’s never been easier to track the results of your advertising spend through the use of analytic tools.

    So how do you approach the marketing budget in your new start-up?

    • SEO

    Begin small. Get the organic search traffic going with SEO. That’s ad hoc advice at this point, but here’s the important part: don’t pay for consulting. It’s a big cost with a low return. Instead, make sure your site is built with a paginated, interlinked structure that’s consistently refreshed with quality content.

    Target a couple of keywords per page, but don’t oversaturate at the cost of clarity or flow. And don’t go nuts on link building strategies, they’re getting less effective by the day. Useful links from authoritative sites will come naturally so long as your content is solid.

    • Paid Search

    Once you’ve got your site handled, move to paid search ads. Pay close attention to your metrics, and experiment. Paid search is a fickle mistress. Put in the work or she won’t put out. Set relevant keywords, maximum bids, and examine the results. Rinse and repeat weekly, noting the changes you make and the effects the changes have. Straight up scientific method.

    • Affiliates, Email, Etc.

    After you’ve found effective strategies for organic and paid search, move on to affiliate marketing. Apply the scientific method again, experiment for successful strategies minimizing cost per customer and maximizing their lifetime value as you go. Next move to email and newsletters. Examine metrics, see what works,and abandon what doesn’t.

    Then you move to more expensive and less trackable ads, things like radio or TV.

    If you work at one avenue of advertising until you’ve mastered it, you can move to the next higher scaled marketing endeavor with greater confidence and no fear of over extending your resources.

    5.      Preparation + Opportunity = ?

    If you answered success, congratulations. You are officially familiar with oft-quoted execu-speak. Please, tell me your thoughts on synergy.

    Seriously though, all we’re talking about here is planning. Nothing more than exhaustive, extensive, and painstaking planning is the most infallible of all start-up strategies. Start broad with qualitative company goals, and break it down into quantifiable specifics. Estimate the time required to meet these goals and put them on a timetable, and check your progress weekly. Divvy up goals and projects to your employees so that no one has too much on their plate at once (including you).

    Base your timetable on an editorial calendar likea content creator might use to organize their blogging with. It’s probably best to keep this calendar on a collaborative web application such as Google Calendar/Docs/Drive or Evernote. During your weekly meetings refer to the specific analytics measuring each goal on your agenda. Evaluate the numbers and come up with new goals, strategies, and what have you as needed.

    Simple organization in vision and workflow will be a primary concern for any start-up far into its evolution into a full-fledged corporate entity.

    Approaching the strategic planning phase of your start-up is indeed an intimidating proposition. There’s plenty on your plate that you may never have considered before. If, however, you approach the process with an open mind, a heart for adventure, and an elbow willing to apply grease you’ll find it can be fun figuring out the specifics of applying effective business strategies.

    The fun really starts when you see the revenue stream thicken up.

    The minute a marketing technique becomes a fad, it becomes a breeding ground for mediocrity. Here are suggestions for content marketing that actually works.

    The minute a marketing technique becomes a fad, it becomes a breeding ground for mediocrity. Content marketing is the latest example. People today have the idea that content marketing is a magic bullet for branding, SEO, loyalty building, lead generation – you name it, content marketing can do it. As a result, everybody is publishing, whether or not he or she has creative talent, marketing talent or something to say. Predictably, these types of content marketing are failing, and chewing up a lot of time and money in the process.

    Here are suggestions for doing content marketing that actually works.

    Content Must Be Useful

    One of my more successful content marketing efforts in recent months was a series of posts about business jargon that appeared on the Jeff Bullas blog. These posts succeeded in getting views, comments and shares because they contained very useful information.

    Being clever is great. Being original is great. But very often content creators focus too much attention on being clever and original, and not enough on being useful. This is a costly error, where the best-case result is something akin to a Super Bowl ad: Off the charts brilliant, nobody remembers the brand, and the company is out millions of dollars. Let’s not even think about the worst-case scenario.

    Posts like the jargon series are a pain in the butt to create. They require hours of research and meticulous writing and editing.  The idea behind these posts isn’t particularly original; tons of posts about business jargon are published every month. And the style, while clever enough, is hardly a match for many of the wittier jargon posts I’ve read. What makes these posts stand out is their breadth and problem-solving value: A writer or editor can reference this information day in and day out to find non-jargon replacements for 150 of the most common offenders.

    Keep Quality Standards High

    Content marketers feel pressure to publish from many directions. Management likes to see a lot of published material because it creates performance metrics that are easy to capture. Never mind that the 100 articles published all sucked. We published 100 articles!

    SEO likes quantity because every published piece of content represents a unique backlink. And while leveraging SEO in content marketing is a good practice, creating links for the sake of numbers is a dubious approach. If the links lack relevance, or if there are too many of the same type, the SEO impact will be negligible or even negative.

    Content marketers themselves easily gravitate to quantitative metrics, because pointing to results – i.e., the number of published pieces you produced – helps justify your job. On the other hand, if managers see you thinking or having brainstorming sessions all day long, they may regard you as unproductive or some type of loon.

    For sustained success in content marketing, one must resist the pressure to publish. While a certain amount of quantity is necessary to move the dial, quantity should never come at the expense of quality. Mediocre content results in mediocre branding, mediocre SEO and mediocre lead generation. One really superb article is worth more than 10 or even 100 articles that merely go through the motions.

    The key to success is to set quality standards that are high enough to impress your target audience, yet not so high as to take production below critical mass.

    Sell Internally

    While content marketing is very much a fad among marketers, it remains unfamiliar to co-workers and company leadership. The issue of quality versus quantity no doubt makes perfect sense to content marketers, but is not an issue the firm’s management staff considers regularly. To gain and sustain internal support for programs, content marketers must spend a good deal of time educating the internal team and selling it on the value of their strategic plan.

    How exactly do you sell your program internally? Using quality versus quantity as an example --

    ·      Cite authoritative articles such as this one or this one or this one or perhaps even the one you are now reading.

    ·      Establish your own credibility. If management is skeptical about content marketing, they may be skeptical about you as well. Attending seminars, earning certifications and building relationships with established marketers outside the firm are ways to demonstrate your expertise to those internal skeptics.

    ·      Set realistic goals. Even a truly great piece of content won’t make your program an overnight success. Like most marketing programs, content marketing takes time. If you under promise and over deliver, you’re far more likely to keep your program moving forward.

    One additional thought: As a content marketer, are you honing your sales skills? For any marketer, having sales ability is a tremendous asset, because it enables one to build consensus, get buy-in, leverage successes and overcome failures. However, content marketers have a tougher sales job than many other marketers, since activities such as SEO, paid search marketing and email marketing are generally accepted as being credible and having inherent value. Content marketing, on the other hand, needs to be sold as something credible and valuable before one can even begin to sell a specific course of action.

    David Ogilvy famously said, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” We can adapt this idea to content marketing by saying, “If you can’t sell it, you can’t create it.”

    As Facebook requires brand pages to pay up for visibility, in spite of its other transparency transgressions, it has wisely taken the road that old-line media staples like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres did not.

    One of the dirty little secrets of shows like Oprah Winfrey’s former talk show, as well as Ellen DeGeneres’ syndicated program, is that many of the brands and products featured in episodes about the host’s favorite gifts and other product giveaways are included because companies paid for it.

    That’s right. For the uninitiated out there: it’s pay for play – sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Of course, if you work in PR, you were already aware of this.

    "Pay-for-play is PR prostitution,” said longtime PR pro Jason Michael with Barokas Public Relations in Denver. “The metrics are nice but you're taking a shower after you send the coverage report. When you're sitting around a table exchanging Jaws-like placement stories and someone talks about how they placed a client on Oprah, Ellen, Martha Stewart, Dr. Oz, you know it wasn't a result of the type of relationship-building, strong writing and clever campaigning that normally have us beating our chests. It's because a client with deep pockets signed a $100,000 check.”

    Keep in mind, however, that not all of the products seen on Rachael Ray or Steve Harvey – particularly not Steve’s glorious mustache – are paid for.

    “There are different levels,” said a longtime daytime talk show guest booker who asked to remain anonymous. “If the products make sense in terms of content, sometimes we’ll reach out and integrate them on our own. But sure, most of the shows now have a department focused on branded integration and the bigger give-awayw, where a brand is actually giving money or there’s a charitable tie, those are generally pay-for-play.”

    The upside – and why brands are willing to stroke a healthy check – is the practice creates the perception that a beloved television icon has endorsed your product. It’s money well spent from an ROI perspective, as most viewers of these shows haven’t a clue. They simply think that Oprah, Ellen, and the other hosts they adore just love that Shake Weight or the 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray collection of “The Love Boat.”

    Sure, the viewing public is duped, but for the most part it’s a victimless crime. Clearly the practice lacks any notion of ethical transparency, but Ellen’s dancing, well, that’s enough for most of us (I’m an unabashed fan of anything she does).

    What’s interesting about the talk show ruse, however, is that the world’s most popular social media platform is essentially now employing the same model, with a twist.

    As those who follow the social media space are aware, this year Facebook changed its guidelines regarding the reach of posts by brands and organizations within its platform.  There have been ongoing algorithmic tweaks over the years, but posts from brands and consumers alike used to reach a majority of people who subscribed to your Page or profile in their Facebook News Feed. Today, however, if you are a brand with some 5 million Facebook followers, to have one of your compelling and rich posts reach more than 50,000 consumers in their News Feed, the brand must pay a variable amount to boost the content.

    “Brands and companies have been upset about the decline in organic reach of their Facebook posts, but we just see it as a time to reevaluate our content efforts in channels to deliver on brand objectives,” said Lisa Keller, a senior social media strategist at Purina. “Does it make sense for us to spend time creating 1-3 posts/day if no one is seeing it? No. It makes more sense for us to critically look at our brand objectives and create a post or two a week directly related to objectives and promote them to our target audiences. Spend budget on limited key content, but still use always-on community management to engage your resulting audience.”

    Jason Falls, the accomplished social media consultant and speaker who last year went in-house at CafePress as their vice president of digital strategy, believes Facebook simply doesn’t think brands understand how to create content that speak to their followers.

    "While I would agree most brands aren't very good at creating compelling content that would naturally fare well in Facebook's algorithm, some are, and they're being penalized as well,” he said. “You hope Facebook finds a way to fairly reward great organic brand content, but we haven't seen many signals that the network is really interested in not being evil to some degree."

    But why did Facebook make this relatively monumental swtich? Quite simply, revenue. With the financial pressures as a now-publicly traded entity, much like the airline industry has done in forcing travelers to pay for checked luggage, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. have done what any savvy business would do. Facebook is simply creating new revenue streams within the confines of formerly free-to-use posting-reach for brand pages, and they are generating a mint.

    The net result has been that consumers are seeing fewer organic brand posts but more paid posts, which sounds like it would be a net win for consumers, although I’m personally becoming more aggravated as my news stream becomes further filled with ads for colon cleansing therapeutics.

    There is one significant point of differentiation of note in Facebook’s evolution into the Oprah model – transparency.

    As media continues to evolve at breakneck speed and old-world channels seek to compete with their younger brethren, transparency has become invaluable currency in the eyes of today’s younger, self-righteous consumer. Thus, while Facebook is clearly losing mind-share to Twitter and Instagram – which also have clearly delineated sponsored posts – at least consumers can differentiate the hookers from the hotties when comparing Facebook at daytime talkshows.

    Of course, we can't turn a blind eye towards Facebook’s other transparency transgressions. Whether it’s user posts being “public” by default on the light end of the platform’s indiscretions, to the more devious psychological testing performed in 2012 by Facebook’s Data Science team on some 700,000 users – Facebook is not innocent and crosses the line regularly.

    However, Zuck can take solace in any comparisons to the generally-idolized Oprah and Ellen in terms of product placement transparency. So the next time some talk show host calls out Facebook because some 44-year-old man married a 17-year-old girl that he met through the platform, let’s just ask them whether or not they really loved” that solar-powered pillow that always stays cool on both sides.

    Getting your message in front of the decision makers is difficult. So, how can you ensure that your B2B content makes it past the gatekeeper and into the hands of your target audience?

    We've all felt the frustration of calling a vendor and trying to get through to the right person. First you must navigate the automated attendant to get to the right department. Then you punch in your account number. Finally you get to a human being on the other end, and it turns out they're not even in the right department. They transfer you to the correct one, and that agent asks you for the information you punched in earlier.

    And you haven't even gotten to the reason for your call.

    Selling to B2B customers can be a similar process. Getting your message in front of the decision makers is difficult. So, how can you ensure that your B2B content makes it past the gatekeeper and into the hands of your target audience?

    Create relevant content

    Demand Gen Report found in their latest B2B Buyer Behaviour Survey that 58% of B2B buyers spend more time researching their purchases than they did in the past. Creating content that will help buyers in their research ensures that you stay top-of-mind with them as they make their decision. If your content "is relevant to their research and is helpful for them during the process," then B2B technology buyers will pay attention to you.

    Target the appropriate audience

    Because there are always multiple involved in any B2B buying decision, create content that's appropriate to those various roles and responsibilities. Understand that a one-size-fits-all approach is going to negatively impact the number of times your information makes it past the initial gatekeeper of your target audience. Repurpose your content and copy so that it appeals to IT staff, management, and senior executives. In fact, over 80% of IT executives stated that that content was a "significant" driver of their buying decisions. Eighty percent! Now that's a BIG reason to target the appropriate audience with your B2B content, isn't it?

    Have the relevant timing

    The final piece of the puzzle is to have the right timing with your content. The B2B buying pipeline is long, and your ideal customers appreciate the amount of content you can produce for each stage of the pipeline. Over 60% of surveyed B2B businesses said their winning vendors "delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchasing process."

    Final thought

    After all this planning and creating, there's one final thing that will ensure your B2B content gets past the gatekeeper and into the hands of the people that want it: help, don't sell. B2B buyers are looking for information that proves you understand them and can help. To excite and inspire your target audience, your content should help them with obstacles and problems they face. By doing so, they'll unconsciously think that you can help them solve their problems (which of course you can, but by not saying so outright, they come to the realization on their own, and create a bond with you.)

    The post Get Your B2B Content Past the Gatekeeper appeared first on Spacebarpress.