Five Factors of Effective Content Marketing

Five Factors Of Effective Content Marketing

This blog post is written by Kathy Floam-Greenspan and appears on the Forbes Agency Council. You can read the full post here.

In 2022, effective marketing and content creation are inextricably linked. It’s one of the best ways to regularly connect with your audience while boosting your reputation and credibility.

The Content Marketing Institute helpfully defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

In today’s digital-first consumer ecosystem, it’s increasingly important to generate content for potential and recurring buyers. Consider that 54% of B2B decision-makers report spending more than one hour reviewing thought leadership content each week. Meanwhile, nearly half of buyers view three to five pieces of content before initiating a sales process, and 96% of B2B buyers review thought leadership before making a purchase. Overall, nearly 50% of companies plan to grow their content teams this year, with recruitment for content creators, content marketing managers and content strategies leading the way.

Of course, more content is being generated than ever before, making it more difficult for brands to break through the noise and reach their target audience. Here are five factors that can help companies reach their audience with greater frequency and effectiveness.

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5 Resolutions for B2B Marketers

5 Must-Keep New Year’s Resolutions For B2B Marketers

This blog post is written by Kathy Floam-Greenspan and appears on the Forbes Agency Council. You can read the full post here.

Another new year has begun, which means it’s time to make some promises and institute some changes. But not the kind of resolutions that we vow to keep on New Year’s Eve and then abandon days later. We need some substantive, tangible resolutions to help us thrive personally and professionally in 2022.

This is especially true when it comes to our marketing efforts. B2B marketing must continually evolve to capture mind share, generate leads and convert sales in an increasingly loud and crowded online ecosystem.

We can’t just keep doing the same things expecting ever more effective results to follow. But where should we begin? With limited marketing budgets and endless roads to follow, what are the marketing tactics we can’t ignore in the year ahead?

To help answer these questions and guide marketing efforts in the new year, here are my five must-keep marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2022:

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Why Brand Salience Is The Ultimate B2B Marketing Objective – Forbes Agency Council Post

 

This blog post is written by Kathy Floam-Greenspan and appears on the Forbes Agency Council. You can read the full post here.

In today’s crowded online ecosystem, highly effective, breakthrough B2B marketing is more difficult to achieve than ever before. There is so much noise — so much content — that it takes sustained effort to break through.

Like trying to attract attention in a crowded room, gaining recognition, generating leads and increasing sales don’t happen by accident. As a result, effective B2B marketing campaigns take longer and are more involved than we often expect or believe.

This common misconception often keeps B2B SMBs from crafting appropriate target personas that generate new leads.

That’s not to say that B2B marketing is ineffective. According to one report, 60% of always-on, sustained marketing programs are successful. Instead, we need to reorient our thinking about B2B marketing. Embracing the right mindset and pursuing the right outcomes can make marketing campaigns a success.

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You are your target customer (and other marketing misconceptions costing SMBs)

You Are Your Target Customer (And Other Marketing Misconceptions Costing SMBs) – Forbes Agency Council Post

 

This blog post is written by Kathy Floam-Greenspan and appears on the Forbes Agency Council. You can read the full post here.

After a restrictive and disruptive pandemic year, a lot of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are ready to grow, expand and differentiate their customer base. As a result, many SMBs are upping their marketing game, investing time, talent and financial resources to attract new customers, expand to new locations and embrace new markets.

According to Accenture, two-thirds of SMBs investing in marketing services are motivated by organizational growth. Meanwhile, we see a lot of B2B SMBs straining their resources to achieve these outcomes. With many owners doubling as marketing managers, it’s no wonder that so many people in the B2B marketing space are perpetually overwhelmed as they embrace misguided priorities, practices and outcomes.

That’s why, whether you’re an in-house marketing professional or collaborating with an agency, it’s important to operate with the right expectations in mind.

Here are five marketing misconceptions that can derail your efforts rather than enhance your brand.

1. We’re the target audience.

This common misconception often keeps B2B SMBs from crafting appropriate target personas that generate new leads.

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B2B Sales Team Wishes for Marketing

What Your B2B Sales Team Wishes You’d Consider Before Investing In Marketing – Forbes Agency Council Post

 

This blog post is written by Kathy Floam-Greenspan and appears on the Forbes Agency Council. You can read the full post here.

After an extremely challenging year, many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are feeling a renewed optimism that their teams can operate safely and that their businesses can flourish as the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us.

According to a recent poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife, 44% of the small business owners who responded are hopeful about the future, and more than half expect their revenue to increase this year.

I think that’s why we’ve been seeing many SMBs in the B2B sector enhancing their marketing investments or initiating the process for the first time. In-house marketing teams and third-party agencies can execute these efforts, but I’ve found that they are best positioned to succeed when leaders engage the sales team in the process.

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Five B2B Marketing Tactics To Fuel SMB Growth Post-Pandemic – Forbes Agency Council Post

 

This blog post is written by Kathy Floam-Greenspan and appears on the Forbes Agency Council. You can read the full post here.

Whether you’re leading a bootstrapped tech startup or overseeing a significant organizational expansion in your B2B company, the right marketing strategy can make all the difference. When executed effectively, businesses that focus on solutions and products for other businesses can expect their marketing efforts to increase brand recognition, market exposure, demand creation, lead generation and sales.

That’s why, as companies begin to emerge from the pandemic, many are placing a renewed emphasis on marketing and advertising to optimize their competitive positioning as customer spending rebounds. It’s estimated that companies will increase advertising spending by more than 15% this year, often directing those resources to digital efforts.

At the same time, B2B marketing isn’t a magic bullet. It can’t solve every problem, and its impact can be limited, especially when deployed in a haphazard or incongruous way. This is particularly true for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the B2B sector, which often lack the financial and personnel resources of their corporate counterparts.

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Video Content Isn't Optional - It's a Must

Video Content for B2B Marketing is No Longer Just an Option – It’s an Absolute Must

Video Content Isn't Optional - It's a Must

If you think video content is something nice to have one day when you finally get around to it, it is time to reassess.

In the last year, video has risen to the top of the list of the most effective marketing B2B marketing tactics. And we have some eye-opening data to back it up.

Here are some staggering statistics that are illuminated in The State of Video Marketing 2021 Report:

  • 91% of marketers believe that the pandemic made video even more important for brands
  • When asked how they’d prefer to learn about a product or service, 69% would choose a short video
  • More than 99% of marketers who use video expect to continue using it
  • 87% report positive ROI from their video content (way up from the mere 33% in 2015)
  • 84% say video has helped them generate leads
  • 94% of marketers agree that video has increased understanding of their product or service
  • People are TWICE as likely to share video over other types of online content
  • 86% believe video increased traffic to their website
  • 83% report that video has helped increase time on page
  • 78% report that video has directly helped increase sales

Video provides your brand with storytelling superpower. You can show AND tell, all in one medium, and get your point across to your target audiences, more quickly, simply, and effectively.

Let Pom show you how to put video to work for your company.

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The Shining Stars of B2B Marketing in Q1 2021 (So Far)

Shining Stars of B2B MarketingWe’re on the second month of the first quarter of ’21, and two tools in our b2b marketing toolbox are standing out as shining stars so far. Below is the lowdown, so you can consider adding them to your own marketing strategy.

BTW, if you still haven’t put a short-term strategic marketing plan in place for your company, our Short-Term Plan for $750 promotion is valid through March 31, 2021. Take us up on this because winging your marketing in today’s interesting times (or any time, really) is rarely effective.

The Shining Stars of Q1 2021 (So Far)

Star #1: Community Memberships & Sponsorships

We identified Community Membership & Sponsorships in our last blog post “B2B Marketing Round Up: What Worked Best in 2020,” and we’re seeing continued performance so far in 2021. Several of our clients are generating quality leads from these types of engagements.

The big thing to keep in mind is that we’re not talking about memberships and sponsorships in huge trade associations here. We’re talking about conducting extensive research to strategically identify and vet small- to mid-size niche organizations that cater to a vertical market or certain segments within a vertical market.

Once you’ve honed in on some good candidates, start by joining as a member in whatever capacity makes sense. Take advantage of everything that is included in your membership—logo on their website, boilerplate content, social posts, etc. Maximize it. Then, consider taking it up a notch or two with some paid activities such as conducting an educational webinar to their members. Many will guarantee a certain number of registrants and provide you with their contact information after the event. Then, get involved in their online communities.

More about this next…

Star #2: Community Marketing

Many of our clients are finding that gaining visibility within niche vertical communities can be fruitful in terms of helping them reach new audiences.

Here’s the thing—you have to be savvy and strategic about doing this. Pushing your company and products won’t fly. Pushing your knowledge, helpfulness and resourcefulness does.

Start by studying the online communities available and the segments within them, so you can get a sense of which ones best suit your goals. Gain an understanding of the type of people who participate, the topics that arise and the approaches that are well-received.

Then, devise your strategy for each community, along with a weekly routine for engaging in them. For example, develop a spreadsheet that harnesses profiles for each community that can be utilized to save links to articles of interests, ideas for posts (even an occasional blog post from your company), etc. Then, utilize this when performing your weekly community engagement time.

The idea is to become a regular, helpful presence within these communities, and when an opportunity arises to suggest your offerings, seize it—in a low-key, friendly manner.

Last but not least, there’s a ton of market intelligence to be gained from community marketing. Pay attention to timely topics and trends that arise and keep marketing (and other divisions in your company!) dialed in so they can make good use of these insights.

Ready to get serious about getting strategic? Get a result-producing Short-Term Marketing Plan from the B2B marketing pros at Pom for just $750.
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B2B Marketing Round Up: What Worked Best in 2020

Despite the desire many of us still feel to burn sage every day to ward off the bad energy from 2020, many of our clients were able to hunker down and still make their numbers in an unprecedented year of insanity. As we venture into the first quarter of 2021, we thought it would be worth sharing a brief round up of what worked best in B2B marketing in 2020 from our agency’s perspective.

Let’s do it.

#1: Embrace the Quarterly Marketing Plan

Forget trying to figure out a detailed marketing plan for 6 to 12 months. Instead, take it one quarter at a time. Define your objectives. Focus your messaging. Align your tactics and your website. Monitor and measure results. And, keep a running wish list of what else you’d like to be doing. Towards the end of each quarter, evaluate your outcomes and your wish list and then rinse and repeat for the next quarter.

Today’s times require flexibility and adaptability. Sure, you can have annual objectives. Just prioritize them into quarterly-sized pieces. Then revisit them each quarter because they may change.

#2: Make Customer Case Studies Timely & Relevant

Here’s something to consider: your pre-pandemic customer case studies may no longer be relevant (or as relevant). It’s sad but true. But here’s the thing, you don’t necessarily have to start over from scratch. We recommend assessing your case studies and determining if you have certain customers that particularly benefitted during the last year from having your solution(s) in place.

If so, conduct a follow-up interview with them and ask strategic questions that help you get some quality timely, relevant insights. Then, update the case study and put it to work for you on your website, social media, collateral, videos, webinars, etc. Our clients found prospects to be hungry for timely, relevant case studies.

#3: Lose the Attitude About Webinars

In the early lockdown days, people in the B2B world were sitting on webinars for hours each day trying to figure out how to deal with the world turning on its axis. Webinar burnout was intense. But then, when things calmed down over the summer and fall, webinars started to become truly effective for lead generation.

Hands down, the best type of webinar involved timely, relevant case studies, where a client co-presented with one of their customers in telling the story of how having their solution in place gave them an edge when things went to hell in a hand basket. Also, promoting webinars to outside audiences via vertical sponsorships instead of home-grown prospect lists proved to be more fruitful in terms of driving webinar registrants (this is likely because most companies suck at managing their prospect databases).

#4: Reach New Audiences with Sponsorships

Trade shows and conferences as we know them went kaput in 2020 and, of course, this was a big blow in the B2B realm because so many companies rely on these for brand awareness and lead generation. From our perspective, very few organizations have found a way to make virtual conferences worth the investment (plus, the prices are just ridiculous). Savvy (and often smaller) trade/industry organizations have crafted sponsorships that enable you to reach their memberships and audiences in very targeted ways, including sponsored blog and social posts, involvement in their online communities, articles or ads in their e-newsletters/emails and webinars. Several of our clients have had great lead generation success co-presenting timely, relevant case study-focused webinars with their customers to a niche industry organization. The best case scenario is to co-present with a customer that is already involved with the organization, so you can ride on their coattails.

#5: Get Your Name Out There with Article Placements

Many of our clients are small to mid-size technology, security, cybersecurity and construction companies. They’re competing against big-name national players. While lead generation is crucial for them, so is growing their brand awareness and credibility in the marketplace. One of the most effective ways to do this is with article placements. This involves continuous media outreach to targeted industry publications and websites and pitching thought leadership topics for articles.

To be successful, though, it really does require professionals who know what they’re doing and have connections. The results are worth it when you have a steady stream of editorial articles, quoted mentions, bylined contributed pieces and customer stories that you can spotlight on your website and leverage for social media and SEO. This is an angle we worked hard in 2020 and found great success with for our clients.

Ready to get serious about getting strategic? For the month of January, the pros at Pom will create a result-producing Q1 Marketing Plan for just $750.
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Short-Term Plan: Website Refresh

Embrace the Short-Term Plan: A Strategic Website Refresh can Have as Much Impact as a Site Revamp

After the year we’ve all had, taking on a website revamp is not something that every company has the stomach or budget to do. Yet, limping along with a website that is not strategically aligned with your business objectives, is performing poorly, is out of date or lackluster is likely sabotaging your organization’s success. Instead of adding bandaids to your site to try to make it a little better here and there, consider undertaking a strategic website refresh.

Here’s the process we utilize for our clients to elevate (without completely overhauling) their websites in the most strategic and efficient manner:

Step #1: Define Your Top 5 Goals

Before you start changing things on your site, it’s critical to get clear on what you’re trying to achieve. Is it communicating more distinctive messaging? Generating more incoming leads? Updating your product and service offerings? Adding case studies? All of the above? Start with identifying your top 5 goals.

Step #2: Create a Wish List & Understand What is Feasible with Your Site

Some sites are easier to update than others. Once you have your goals, create a wish list of how you would like to bring them to life on your site. Maybe it’s retooling the billboard on your home page, refreshing imagery throughout the site, adding a video, creating new pages of content, implementing new forms, etc. Run your wish list by an experienced web developer who can get into the backend of your website and tell you what is realistic and what is not.

Step #3: Map Out a Concrete Plan

Next up is mapping out a concrete plan for your site updates. We typically wireframe these for our clients. These are blueprint-like drawings that show all of the changes intended to be made to the site. They’re great for getting internal buy-in before getting content and graphics created.

Step #4: Create the Necessary Content & Graphics

Once your plan is ready to roll, it’s time to write the content, find photos, and create any necessary graphics and videos. This is typically a multi-faceted project unto itself, but once all of the assets are approved, the wireframes and content are then packaged up and provided to the developer to implement on the site.

Step #5: Implement. Test. Deploy. Promote.

There are always some rounds of back and forth with the web developer when they implement the designs in order to make sure everything is perfect and rendering well on all devices. It’s important to test the site as if it is brand new to make sure everything is working well. Once it’s good to go, it’s deployed and can be promoted in all the various ways included in your marketing plan.

We recently completed a website refresh for our client Raffa Investment Advisers, which included new creative as well as updated content throughout the site. Check out the before and after of the homepage billboard:

Before:

Raffa Before

After:

Raffa After

Click to visit their site, where you’ll see all four new billboards that scroll on the homepage.

For the month of December, Get a Strategic Website Refresh Plan for $750 from the Pros at Pom

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