Content Marketing

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

How To Use Content Marketing To Be An Incredible Seller

Do you want to hear a social selling fairy tale?

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most important influencer of all?

You are, or should be,  if you want to control your selling destiny and bust your quota!

Social Selling Influencer | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

Step in front of the social selling mirror today and ask yourself “Am I an influencer?”

There’s no I in team, but there is one in influencer – and the “I” is you!. The quicker you become an influencer, then the quicker you will connect with decision makers and buying teams to become a legend!

What The Social Selling Influencer Facts Tell Us

  • Brand Awareness: Expert content has an 88% greater impact than brand content and 50% better than the user generated reviews, indicating investing in influencer activity will pay out for your relationship building. Customers trust you more than they trust a brand. (Source: Nielsen)
  • Purchase Intent: Expert content lifts purchase intent over brand content by 38% and 83% over user reviews. This research suggests your subject matter expert-like content will help drive purchase intent at the beginning of the of the sales process and at the end of it! (Source: Nielsen)
  • Looking For Thought Leader: 92% of B2B decision makers want to engage with a thought leader, suggesting that you can connect earlier in the sales process to become a trusted advisor with your reputation. (Source: LinkedIN)

This research suggests positioned as a thought leader will help increase your company’s association with and purchase consideration of your solution as well as your individual creditability to get your foot in the door.

3 Ways To Put The “You” in Social Selling Influence

1.  Own The Top Fold Of The Search Fold. When someone is going meet you for the first time – or is on the phone with you – they will search for you on LinkedIn, Google and Twitter. Make sure you are at the top of the heap and the fold when they find you. Regularly blogging, Tweeting and posting on relevant social media channels will help your positioning. Oh, and make sure your expert content is front and center!

2. Be Where The Puck Is Going To Be. There’s a Wayne Gretzky analogy here even if you are not a hockey fan. You will be more successful if your expert reputation is where the customer finds you vs. telling them about what you know in your email. Establish yourself as an influencer and get found where your customers search – on blogs, LinkedIn, communities, Google, Twitter, SlideShare and even YouTube. If you know your clients search in their watering holes with keywords, make sure your influence footprint has been established  by publishing, publishing and publishing some more.

3. Be A Curator. It’s important to be prolific with your expert content. However, it ‘s hard to create new content daily, especially if you are a team of one (remember, there is not I in team.) So, find expert 3rd-party content and put your ‘spin’ on it to establish your expertise and influence!

Do you have another social selling influencer tip? If so, please share below

The Big Social Selling Take Away

If you take on the role of an influencer by curating content, establishing your reputational footprint and being where the customer is searching you will help your company and your selling strategy. Customers are looking for thought leaders and influencers. So, think about being the “I” in influencer and make a social selling difference today!

So, next time you walk by that mirror to admire your selling success make sure to say, “Mirror mirror on the wall, I am the biggest influencer of all!”

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to moran.gerry@gmail.com or contact me directly on MarketingThink.com. I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

3 Easy Ideas To Get Customers To Pay For Content

Is your gated content worth the relationship currency you’re asking your customers to pay?

What you think is valuable content may be considered worthless to the customer on their buying journey!

Like a toll road, gated content full of how-to insight and relevant research is likely the quickest way for your client to reach their decision destination. However, this swift and easy access comes at a price.


Relationship Currency | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

Do your customers value your content marketing enough to provide their contact information, email address or social sign-in credentials? This CRM contribution is vital to your sales pipeline. The customer really doesn’t care, though.

It is critical for content marketers to find and build their credibility and articulate their value proposition to collect their customers’ relationship currency – and shorten the buyer’s journey and the sales process!

What The Content Marketing and Relationship Currency Facts Tell Us

  • Use Blogging To Increase Credibility. Marketers, who have prioritized blogging, are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI, suggesting that starting the conversation with a blog with a call-to-action is a way to engage with customers at the right place in the journey. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
  • Help Self-Educating Customers. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their buying relationship without talking to a human, indicating decision makers will count on content more than ever. (Gartner Research)
  • More Content Is Always Better In The Eyes Of The Customer; but is it really? The average B2B decision maker consumes 11.4 pieces of content before they buy, suggesting they are spending a lot of time reading content (Source: Forrester)

This content marketing research indicates customers are counting on content to help them make their decision. Maybe too much content, actually. What if they had access to better content earlier in their decision-making process?

3 Ways To Manage Help Customers Manage The Toll Road

1. Use ‘Content Bait.’ Use shorter consumable content to establish your reputation and catch the attention of your customers. This attention-getting strategy will drive qualified traffic to your gated content. Tip: Leverage evergeen blogs by exchanging links to gated content landing pages

2. Create A Great Landing Page. Make sure your landing page clearly articulates the value proposition so the customer understand what they will receive in exchange for their contact information. TIP: Place a short SlideShare presentation on your landing page to help you seal the deal!

3. Offer Only High-value Gated Content. Leverage, a paid research report, white paper, or an e-book to collect on your customers’ relationship currency. Tip: Collect the minimal amount of data to begin a strategic nurturing program.

Do you have another content marketing tip for your gated thought leadership? If so, please share below.

To Toll or Not To Toll, That Is Content Marketing Question

If customers don’t value your content to exchange their relationship currency for it, then they’ll likely continue to self-educate themselves – taking the long and winding road to avoid the toll road fee. They’ll consume a lot of interesting content; however, they’ll waste time and energy to avoid sharing their personal information. They will frame their problem and work toward solving it. Their assessment and action may be right, but then again, it may be wrong.

If you’re going to gate your content, then ensure your customer sees the value in it. Or, embrace a free-for-all content marketing strategy and build a relationship with goodwill and easy access! Kind of like the yellow brick road. But then again, there were flying monkeys that weren’t too friendly on that free road.

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to moran.gerry@gmail.com or contact me directly on MarketingThink.com. I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Treat Content Like Confetti!

Who’s ever been covered in confetti – like the aftermath of the New Year’s celebration?

A ton of confetti dropped from the roof-top and spread over a block of people has a much different effect than unloading a pallet of paper in the middle of that one block.

content marketing strategy

The same effect goes for thought leadership content. No one enjoys one big source of hard-to-consume content.

One 18-page white paper placed on your company website can only be so effective. However, the same content chunked up into infographics, videos, Tweets, LinkedIn posts, short blog posts and other short-form consumables will reach more people over a wider network.

The challenge for the typical business is to find a way to repurpose efficiently and multi-purpose thought leadership content. Content marketing professionals need to meet the needs of the multiple members of the team over the course of the buying process.

The Reams Of Research Tell Us More Customers Are Looking For Shreds Of Content

  • IT decision makers typically consume an average of 10 pieces of content during their buying process, so you need multiple sources of content that support your same value proposition. (Source: IDG)
  • It costs up to 7 times more to acquire a new client than retain an existing one, so your thought leadership needs to help sustain that long-term customer relationship. (Source: Bain & Company)
  • B2B decision makers find their content from multiple sources. 68% find from search engines. 40% discover directly from your website. And, 25% from clicking on social media or emails, indicating the need to distribute your content in multiple ways (Source: CMO Council)

This research suggests the need for companies to map their content marketing strategy to the decision makers’ native behavior.

3 Ways To Treat Your Content Marketing Like It’s Confetti

1. Build Your Thought Leadership With Consumable Content In Mind. Use a brief to help thought leadership developers create the framework of consumable content. Having a better understanding of the end-to-end process creates a quicker and better end result!

2. Get Your Social Media Channel Managers Connected To Your Thought Leadership Content Creators Earlier. Social channel managers will let you know how your content is performing with your network.

3. Leverage Multimedia. Videos, interviews, podcasts and SlideShares. These selections are the new viral medium that gets shared and clicked on the most. Make sure you use these formats when spreading your word!

Do you have another way to leverage your content? If so, please share below!

The Big Lesson With The Confetti Content Approach

Companies need to think about how to leverage their thought leadership by separating it into multiple formats like video, LinkedIn posts, blogs and infographics – to win at the social selling, social business or content marketing.

So, start shredding that thought leadership into a strategy that reaches across your network. If you do it the right way, then there will certainly be something to celebrate!

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to moran.gerry@gmail.com or contact me directly on MarketingThink.com. I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Handy-Dandy Guide To Content Marketing

My great grandmother Michaelena always told me when I was growing up as a young boy, “Gerry, if you want better content, then you need to figure out a better way to ask for it!”

Content Marketing Brief | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

Little did I know that this grandmotherly advice would translate into a very useful content marketing strategy.

I find many B2B organizations linking business units to the feet-on-the-street sales organization without effectively integrating content into this supply chain. The hierarchy might be efficient, however, many times the content marketing strategy misses the mark. And, the right message does not get delivered at the right time to the right audience on the right channel.

The Content Marketing Research Tells Us We Need Relevant Content

  • 89% of B2B decision makers say personalized content (e.g., company, industry, category) is a key influencer (Source: ITSMA)
  • 68% of B2B decision makers depend on the content more this year than last year (Source: Demand Gen Report)
  • B2B decision makers want to consume at least 5 pieces of content before they make a decision (Source: IDG)

This research tells us that content is the key ingredient in this supply chain is not optimized; thus is underperforms.

For example, have you ever asked someone to write a blog post to support a marketing event or campaign? If you have, then you know the sometimes frustration of not getting what you asked for.

Here’s a handy-dandy guide to help you create better content!

10 Things To Include In Your Content Marketing Brief

Consider these ten briefing inclusions to help your writers develop the most efficient copy for your social media strategy:

  1. The working title of this blog post or content is [INSERT TITLE HERE]
  2. The target audience reader for this blog post is [INSERT TARGET HERE]
  3. This target audience is at THIS place in the sales cycle [EARLY or MID or LATE]
  4. The key question this blog post or content to answer is [INSERT KEY QUESTION HERE]
  5. A simple Google search that might lead to this post might be [INSERT A SAMPLE GOOGLE POST YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE MIGHT — USE TO FIND THIS CONTENT]
  6. The key take away the reader should have from this blog post is [INSERT KEY TAKE-AWAY]
  7. The keyword needed to be included in the title, subheads and integrated with the copy is [INSERT KEYWORD HERE]
  8. The hashtags needed to be a part of the supporting tweets are [INSERT COLLECTION OF HASHTAGS HERE]
  9. The key reference page on which this blog post needs to be based I [INSERT PAGE NUMBER OF THE REFERENCED MATERIAL]
  10. The key research facts (try to integrate 1-3 key facts) to be incorporated into the blog post or content. [ATTACH FACT SHEET]

Do you have a content creation trick of the trade to share? If so, please share it below!

What’s The Content Marketing Lesson To Learn?

My grandmother also used to tell me that the marketing supply chain is only as strong as the weakest link – and you cannot afford to have content that does not deliver! So, the big lesson to learn is to work with your supply chain to help them assist you with better content by giving them a better brief!

There is one thing for sure, hope is not a content marketing strategy. You cannot throw requests over the wall and hope for great stuff. It’s incumbent on you to provide clear direction to your writers and content creators. After all, you are the subject matter expert, right?

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to moran.gerry@gmail.com or contact me directly on MarketingThink.com. I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

If You Blog And No One Reads It Did You Really Write It?

If you write a blog post and no one reads it, did you really write it? Hmmm. Now that’s a question for a content marketing guru, ninja or king to answer.

Many marketers have met the challenge of finding and motivating co-workers, internal thought leaders and executive leadership to write blogs. These subject matter experts (SME) are an excellent reputation-building resources a brand. This blogging ‘win’ is huge, since only a few years ago finding in-house content creators was like finding a four-leaf clover.

Blog Post | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

While some marketers have solved the content conundrum of using a blog to drive awareness, engagement and pipeline acceleration, most are just still figuring it out. Blogging is now a key performance indicator (KPI) for many modern marketers – to build solution awareness, engage customers and help the sales process.

Check marks (for a marketing plan execution to-do list) and editorial high fives are given when someone writes a blog – whether or not anyone reads it. And, that’s the writing rub, many great ideas that manifest in a blog post never get read, shared or clicked – missing out on the next step of brand engagement. Underwhelming blog post performance is not attributed to wrong ideas. Rather, it’s the fact that the blog isn’t built to be found. Writing powerful prose is one thing. Building a blog post to be an always-on marketing magnet is another.

A solid keyword strategy will make your blog work harder and drive more results for you.

10 Keyword Considerations For Better Blogging

Before you begin writing and building your blog post, create your list of keywords and variations. Use Google Ad Words tool or Hashtagify.me to find keyword and variations. Here’s a handy dandy 10-step checklist to build a better blog post.

1. Blog Title (title tag, H1 tag.) Always place your primary keyword and variations in early in your attention-grabbing blog title. If you are torn between a catchy headline or a keyword headline, always choose the catchy headline!

2. Meta Description (the descriptive text below the search description below the blog.) While including keyword and variations in your post’s meta description do not impact search ranking, their addition will help your readers better understand why they should read the post.

3. Blog Copy. Include 1-2 keywords and variations for every 100 words you write (i.e., maintain a 1-2% keyword density) to capture a search engine’s attention … and eventually your readers’ attention. Make sure not to over-stuff your blog post with keywords, since Google does not like that and it makes for an amateurish blog. Remember, the rule of thumb is 2% density for each keyword or variation – not the collection of keywords.

4. Graphics. Include keywords in your graphics’ descriptions and alt-tags to set up a picture-perfect search for Google.

5. URL. Add keywords in the structure of your URL (i.e., the areas that you see in the browser.)

Perfect Blog Post

6. SEO Plugins. Yoast’s SEO plugin is the best source for automating your keywords strategy!

7. Linguistic Plugins. If you are writing for the masses, then the Yoast plugin is an excellent solution. However, if you are blogging for a particular type of reader (or place in the sales funnel), then Atomic Reach provides a must-have tool!

8. Subheads (H2 Tags.) Every blog post should have at least one subhead, so it’s easier to read. And, every subhead needs to have keywords and variations in it.

9. Blog Promotion. Readers find your blog posts in one of the three ways – search, email delivery or social referrals. When writing your LinkedIn, Twitter, SlideShare, YouTube or Facebook posts, make sure to use similar keywords and hashtags to map back to the story you tell in your blog.

10. Analytics. Creating content according to these best practices is a great start to building the foundation to your blog post’s success. However, using a tool like Google Analytics will help you understand your referral traffic to see if your SEO keyword and social referral strategy are working.

Do you have another blogging tip? If so, please share below or contact me directly at MarketingThink.com.

Think of these ten tips as the planks that build a great blogging platform. If you follow this advice in your next blog post, you’ll never have to wonder if you write it, will anyone see it. Now, when that tree falls in the forest, it may not make a sound.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

7 Must-Read Tips To Simplify Content Marketing Planning

Forrest Gump tells us “Stupid is as stupid does.” Well, if that is the case then we should stop being stupid with our annual content marketing planning. Rather, the new quote should be “Simple is as simple does.”

Simplification is the new innovator. Simplification is the new disruptor. Simplification is the key to a deeper customer connection.

Let’s make things more simple in 2015!

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 10.37.20 AM

Too many brands have an enthusiastic, scattershot and complex approach to their digital and content go-to-market strategy.
Sales, marketing and content creation have converged. The sooner we simplify and innovate this convergence, the sooner we catch our customers’ attention to deepening the relationship. If we are Modern Marketers (and sellers and publishers), then we should think how to connect better with our Modern Buyers in today’s digital, social, and customer-centric time.

7 Ways To Solve The Content Marketing Planning Conundrum

1. Be open to reinventing your marketing approach completely. If there is ever a sacred cow in the brand strategy room, it’s content creation – who owns it, who deploys it, who measure it? Modern Marketers need to consider killing their current approach to customer contact with relevant content. Focus on creating content that customers want to read. And, manage the right metrics to understand its business impact. Measuring content and connection success from the ground up – the connecting awareness, consideration and conversion business impact will translate into a winning business strategy.

2. Tear down internal silos to focus on the big picture. Departmental silos are complex and stunt innovation. Daily, big brands and small businesses navigate the gauntlet of tools, content creation, resourcing, and budget management silos. Modern Marketers need to tear down silos and focus on their long-term strategic thinking and activation that is the most efficient path to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’

3. Create an efficient content creation supply chain. Content has many lives on many different channels, so we need to consider how the content creation supply chain can work for us vs. against us. Many brands spend too much time creating content for one-time use. When brands simplify content creation and distribution they build for long-term use. This focus enables them to double down on the opportunity to drive always-on organic reach. What if marketers built content as if it was at the start of its journey instead of its end? Create content at an earlier stage, to be consumed and shared in multiple channels – email, Twitter, blogs, videos, SlideShare, social selling posts – to simplify the marketing process. Create content to make it easier for everyone to share content on earned channels.

4. Be ready to jump on real-time triggers to distribute the message. Anchored and pop-up trigger events are a simple strategy to fuel the spread of hot content. For instance, in 2014 The New York Times assessed they strategically handled the Michael Sam ‘trigger event.’ However, their digitally and socially savvy competitors focused their content and owned channels to jump on the opportunity on Google hangouts and YouTube interviews  where THEIR readers were vs. where the owned channels were.

5. Understand competitive activity – inside and out. Competitive tracking is one of the simplest ways to stay ahead of the competition. Brands need to be listening to, reading about and dissecting competitive campaigns apart to know what’s working with their content and distribution. For instance, brands should regularly review HubSpot’s and Marketo’s content and marketing strategy, whether or not they are competitors. Listening and discovering how others ‘do marketing’ will help you to advance your marketing strategy more quickly.

6. Adopt and integrate social strategies vs. adding them in the end. Everyone knows it’s harder to retrofit something vs. building it from the ground up. Social media morphs content and distribution to the readers. It’s clear that many brands add social into the mix as an afterthought – sometimes as a wrong-sized or misplaced gear in their machine. This misplacement hinders organic distribution. Brands must figure out how to activate their content creators and marketers to think more socially. Companies are still trying to figure out how to leverage social to grow their audience (see their leaked report from 2014); likely due to their internal struggles. On the other hand, BuzzFeed has increased their footprint by 6X; likely due to smart social coworkers, empowerment and understanding that a great social media share is better than a great article headline.

7. Listen, amplify and connect to develop an audience. As Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot implied “If you’re not (listening to and) responding to customer inquiries, questions from leads and prospects about your products, and influencers in your space on social media, your competitors are, and they will eat your lunch.” Listening is always the first step to developing content, and audience and a sale!

Do you have a tip to help simplify sales, marketing and content planning for 2015? If so, please share in below in the comment section. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

As the New York Times stated, “We need makers, entrepreneurs, reader advocates and zeitgeist watchers’ to make the Modern Marketer recipe work.” Here’s to cooking up a simple plan for 2015.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Can Content Marketing Accelerate Sales Pipeline?

Can posting the right content for the right customer on the right channel at the right time really speed up a sale?

When it’s put that way, that type of sales success sounds more like it’s driven by publishing instead of selling, right? I thought only call-blitzing sales rep could make a sale close faster.

ontent Vs. Phone | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

So, here’s a news flash! Successful sales reps and marketers need to be good at publishing, too. Good content skills speed up the quota-busting long game. If you are not integrating your content marketing strategy into your field marketing, corporate marketing and field sales organizations, then you need to make this change – to create more sales opportunities, increase sale size, and decrease the sale cycle.

The Content Marketing, Social Media and Social Selling Recipe

Unlike email or telemarketing, content marketing is not a direct marketing tactic. It is an ingredient in the sales recipe – something that will make it ‘cook quicker.’ The three steps to create this marketing mix to accelerate the sales pipeline are:

1. Awareness. Establish your brand awareness and credibility by showing you understand the customer’s challenge through content posted on your social channels. Your customers find out about you from your reputation, which manifests through your social posts in relevant watering holes.

2. Consideration. Drive purchase consideration by getting customers to click through to your destination or reply with a comment. This engagement connects so you can help them solve their problem. This initial conversation, combined with content, will help your customer understand you can solve their problem.

3. Acceleration. Increase relationships and accelerate pipeline by delivering the right content at the right time – via 1-1 and other broader nurturing channels.

Using these three steps will accelerate sales more than if selling without social media and content marketing.

Content marketing can help accelerate pipeline on two levels – at the marketing department/organization AND from the individual sale rep level.

How Marketing Departments Can Use Content To Accelerate Sales

Marketing organizations can use content to activate late-funnel conversations and consideration by delivering relevant information to specific customer watering holes – LinkedIn Groups, external communities, etc. For instance, if the marketing team was close to closing key deals around cloud-based point of sales solutions, then content could be created in a format (e.g., infographic) to resonate in watering holes.

Unfortunately, many companies have not adopted an end-to-end content model to take advantage of these targeted opportunities. And, just loading up Twitter with a selection of branded Tweets won’t work either. Neither will blog posts placed on company-owned sites since they need to be amplified, in addition to being posted.

How Social Media Can Accelerate Pipeline From An Account Based Marketing or Sales Organization Perspective

Content can also accelerate ABM- or sales team-based pipeline. A company can create targeted content to speak to the key point that will help close the sale. For instance, if a company is selling analytics solutions to the target account, then they could create a SlideShare presentation to speak to the key  customer needs. After syndicating this content on owned social channels get the team to distribute and deliver this content – infographics, SlideShares, blog posts, etc. – via individual digital, social and email channels.

In regards to sales- and ABM-focused social listening, companies can monitor key accounts to understand if there are any dots to connect – to help handle an objection or double-down on a point of interest with custom content.

Do you have a way in which you have used content to accelerate pipeline? If so, please share below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com.

So, if you are trying to accelerate pipeline, you need first to build a process to map content to the right customer on the right channel at the right time. There is no one size fits all when it comes to pipeline acceleration and content creation.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Is Your Kingdom Interested In Your Content?

80% of B2B decision makers visit vendor-independent communities, vendor-sponsored forums, and LinkedIn at least monthly for business purposes, says Marketing Charts. I’d call these communities the customer conten kingdoms!

Content Is King | MarketingThink.com

This analogy derived from when I read bedtime stories to my children, Reily and Taylor, and I got to the story about the king. You know, where content is king. My kids always loved that part and invariably asked me “What if the kingdom does not think the king is interesting? Doesn’t the kingdom need to be interested in what the king has to say?” Now there is an interesting point to ponder!

If you know where your customers are going, or the kingdom in which they reside, then you need to find the best way to connect with them. Delivering content in the digital and social way that they want and expect will be your key to B2B marketing success and the customer kingdom.

5 Content Marketing Keys To The Customer Kingdom

1. Understand the anatomy of your B2B customer. Knowing what they consider relevant and how they consume content will help you create a win-win editorial strategy. Creating a customer feedback loop between sales and product marketing will help create the best content marketing materials as possible.

2. Use content to map to specific ‘sweet-spots’ in the buying journey. A content marketing strategy that drives awareness and engagement at the right time will set you up for success to have a relevant conversation with your B2B customers. Social media’s one-to-many delivery strength will always be in the awareness and engagement phase of the buyer journey. So, make sure to create content for the different parts of the journey – the customers expect it.

3. Deliver relevant content, like video, to help make a connection with your B2B customer.  B2B content takes all forms. And, video is an under-used and highly consumed medium. Integrating YouTube videos into your marketing strategy will help you reach your audience and achieve your goals.

4. Deliver content where your B2B customers spend their time. My daughter, Taylor, who is an avid ‘fisherwoman’ always tells me that you have to fish where the fish are if you are going to catch anything. So, with 27% of B2B customers using social media to inform a business decision, you need to be using it to connect with them!

5. Always provide a next step for your B2B customers with a clear call-to-action. Once you understand your customer, find where they buy and create consumable content, you need to direct them to the next step – more content, a relevant event, or even a phone call. Always include a clear call-to-action in your content to make it easy for the customer to deepen the relationship on their terms.

Do you have a few pointers that help you create customer centric content? If so, please share below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, or on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

My darling children, Reily and Taylor, make an excellent point! For content to be king, the kingdom needs to be interested in what the king is saying. If the emperor has no clothes, then he will know by the kingdom voting – no page views, no sharing, and no engagement. Long live relevant and kingdom-centric content!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

5 Content Marketing Plays To Win At Social Selling

Content marketing or social selling success is not as easy as turning on a switch. Using content for sales plays to connect with audiences to drive specific results has proven successful for many marketers and sales organizations.

Content Marketing Play | MarketngThink.com

Having a content action plan or play on your chalkboard will help you move the move the sale forward toward the goal.

5 Ways To Use Content To Become A Better Social Selling Rep

1. Blogging is the 24-7 extension of your brand – helping you articulate your expertise and point of view when the customer wants to hear it!

2. Your customers do not want to be sold. 70% of your customers want their problems solved, so position yourself as a problem solver with great content on LinkedIn, Twitter or blogging so they pick you! 

3. You don’t have to create your own content to connect with your customers. There are five simple ways to source it to connect with them earlier in the buying cycle.

4. Many of your customers are Twitter, so knowing how to send a tweet the right way and not embarrass yourself is a key way to leverage content to help deepen the customer relationship.

5. Before you jump into using content to try to help your selling strategy, map out your plan. This way your social selling activity will have a greater likelihood to succeed.

Do you have a content play that helped you win the sale? If so, please share below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

To win at social selling, we all need to be delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time on the right channel. Maybe one of these five ideas might help you convince another customer to join your team.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 1 Comment

Junk Email Is Your Content Marketing Treasure

One man’s ‘junk’ email is another man’s content marketing ‘treasure.’  You just need to embrace the ‘Oscar The Grouch editorial manager’ in you!

Oscar the Grouch Content | MarketingThink.com

Over 100 billion emails sent and received daily – opt-in email newsletters and updates, cold-call inquiries, customer service follow-ups or just plain old emails for which you did not ask. With all of that email there is bound to be a research, infographic or value proposition treasure if you dig deep into your digital trash can. Sesame Street’s own Oscar The Grouch used to say, “This is where I wanna be – junk (email) paradise! Just look it at. It’s like a work of (content marketing) art.”

For years, I automatically deleted all of these messages to avoid trudging through my inbox … someone else’s digital destination stuffed with their priorities.  However, when I created my blog, MarketingThink.com, I changed my tune and started to read each email to look for content gold –  interesting statistics, infographics and questions I should be asking or answering.  Now, every piece of email has the potential to inform me and support my blogging and content marketing lessons – helping me connect my audience with great ideas and statistics.

5 Ways To Use Your Junk Email For Content Marketing

No matter the industry, to whom you market or sell, solicitation or ‘junk’ emails typically have 5 things in common of which you can take advantage:

1. Key Questions. Use emails to see how they pose questions that customers should be asking and build posts around them. Asking questions is one of the best attention-getting techniques brands use – especially for blog titles. Prospects and customers are drawn in with the questions they should be asking since it helps them to frame their challenges and opportunities. Read your emails and leverage these questions – turning them into a blog post of your own with your own point of view.

2. Research. Dig into your inbox to discover secondary research and facts.  Few companies can afford to conduct primary research. However, most people have a selection of quality secondary facts and figures at their fingertips – opted-in and unsolicited emails. Look under the hood of your email inbox to find the relevant research facts to hook the reader and craft your message. These numbers and graphics can help you set up a customer trigger to incite a response – a moment of fear, or why a particular issue should warrant extra concern or consideration. My advice … always double-check your referenced facts and sources.

3. Reason Why It’s Important. See how others communicate why readers need to take action.  See how others articulate reasons why readers need to take action on the key question or piece of research and incorporate that into your content’s call to action! See how others articulate reasons why readers need to take action on the key question or piece of research and incorporate that into your content’s call to action! Somewhere in the body of a good solicitation email, there is a statement that identifies why attending the event or downloading the asset it valuable. These ‘reasons why’ are a great blog post starter. Remember, the most important blog posts speak specifically to one issue. If you have more than one point to make, then create another blog post!

4. Key Takeaways. See how others articulate key takeaways so you can focus your content to make the biggest reader impact. A good solicitation email highlights something similar to “You Will Learn These 5 Things By Attending (or downloading.)” Whether it is your own company email or another’s, this subject call-out is a great guide for you to create focused content that articulates your point of view. In other words, what will the reader learn by reading your blog post or e-book? Yes, you can blatantly point out to the reader the takeaways from your content!

5. Find Influencers. Find, follow and source the content of the speakers and authors highlighted in others’ events and publications notifications. If you are looking to follow or source the content of a 1st-, 2nd, or 3rd-tier influencer for your content curation strategy, then research and follow the relevant speakers referenced in others’ emails. These speakers are typically active on social media, blog and create content that you can curate or spark ideas.

Whenever you are using statistics or key information to support your blogs or writing, make sure to attribute the contributing source – it shows good manners and lends to your credibility.

Do you have another source of content or reference materials that have been inspiring or added to the quality of your content marketing strategy? If so, please share below. Or, contact me at MarketingThink.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.

So, before you throw away that next email because your email inbox is filled to the brim,  remember what Oscar The Grouch would do if he were your editorial manager – he’d  make content marketing art out of the emails found in his junk folder.

 

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