Tips and How to

K’s Top Five for the Week – December 3

This week’s list of picks features articles and posts with a heavy emphasis on content marketing. As you’ll see in the article from eMarketer, content marketing isn’t really an option anymore.

It’s a must-have.

And whether you’re an old content marketing pro or just getting started, this week’s top five list will have something that will help you stand out.

Enjoy!

2011 Trends: Content Marketing is Critical via @emarketer The title says it all. Interruption marketing just doesn’t work as well as it used to. Engaging content is the wave of the future.

B2B Lead Nurturing and Social Media by @ardath421 Great article from Ardath Albee. Social media is not some stand alone method. It is integrated into your overall content marketing (and marketing efforts). Read on to see just how much.

The Three Rules of Content Marketing by @juntajoe Companies are publishers. It’s time to face up to that ...

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6 Keys for Creating Compelling White Papers

In the latest 2010 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report business to business technology marketers found out what works when trying to influence their prospects.

What was at the top of the list?

White papers.

Of course not all white papers are created equally. Done well, white papers can mean the difference between a prospect engaging in the sales process with you, rather than the competition. Done poorly, white papers can do more to make you look bad than influence your prospects to buy.

So whether you call them white papers, executive briefings, or special reports it’s important to take the time to make them the best they can be.

Here’s my list of six things that will help you make your next white paper as compelling and effective as it can be.

#1 – Write to a single ideal prospect

I know many of you may bristle at this one, ...

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K’s Top Five for the Week – November 5

Sorry for the long absence! As most of you know, I’ve been working on moving my website both to WordPress and to a new domain. I’m happy to report I’m finally finished, and the new site is working beautifully. Plus it’s a dream to maintain and update. Gotta love that!

I’ve really missed blogging over the last couple of weeks, but I’ve still been out checking out the great information other folks are putting out there. So this week I’m back on track with a top five post and next week I’ll be back with some fresh new content as well.

This week’s posts focus on web development myths and maximizing the results your website generates. Hope you find them useful.

Until next week!

5 Web Development Myths Debunked by @HelenaBouchez via @MarketingProfs

Great article on the myths of web development and what really makes it difficult. (It’s not ...

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3 Ways to Get the Most from Case Studies

What’s one of the most valuable pieces of collateral you can have in your B2B marketing toolkit?

Case studies. Customer stories. Success stories.

Whatever you like to call them, they’re marketing gold. And survey after survey shows customers value them. Take Eccolo’s recent survey of technology buyers and influencers. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said case studies were moderately to extremely influential in their decision.

And getting your customers to talk about their experience with you not only influences prospects to do business with you, it can even trim the sales cycle.

Since case studies are so valuable, you want to make sure and get the most impact you can. Here’s three ideas on how to do exactly that.

#1: Be Strategic

In the excitement of getting a customer who’s interested in doing a case study, it’s easy to forget to be strategic. But just like any ...

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K’s Top Five for the Week – October 1

Boy the weather has turned here in Ohio over the last week. Talk about going from the dog days of summer to fall-time breezes! But I was ready for the change.

If you want to change some thinking and turn assumptions on their head, I’ve got a couple of posts for you. Check out the first two on the pick list.

This week’s other choices give some good data about who’s on your targeted social media site, how to avoid direct mail mistakes and discuss what “engaging” content means. All are great reads.

Enjoy this week’s picks and let me know which ones you found to be most helpful.

Until next week!

Are B2B Marketers Shooting for the Wrong Target? by @jeremyvictor via @B2Bbloggers

If you ask marketers what their biggest challenge is, chance are you’ll hear “getting more high-quality leads.” But is that really the best way to ...

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B2B Technology Marketers Find Out What Works

Last week Eccolo Media released the 2010 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report. This survey gathered preferences of 500 U.S.-based respondents who were influencers or decision makers on a technology buy

And here’s what they shared…

  • Brochures and data sheets are the most frequently consumed content (83%)
  • White papers are the most influential content
  • Both influencers and decision makers ranked white papers as being most influential
  • After white papers, case studies are considered most influential

While white papers and case studies are must-have tools, they are not all created equally. The number one disappointment?

Poorly written content.

Brochures also aren’t making the impact they might be. While they are the most frequently consumed, their influence isn’t as high as other collateral. A better B2B brochure might solve this issue.

Preferred Format & Length

Most respondents prefer written case studies, though video testimonials are gaining ground. Video is ...

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K’s Top Five for the Week – September 24

This week’s top five starts with analysis of a fresh batch of research from Eccolo Media on what B2B Technology Buyers like in their collateral.

It’s followed by some posts on how to be a thought leader and become a trusted expert resource.

All content is meant to have prospects take some sort of action. If you think you may fall short in this area, check out the post on how to improve your calls-to-action.

Last, but not least, see some metrics on the impact of Google Instant.

Enjoy this week’s reads and let me know if you’ve found something you think I’ve missed. Until next week!

B2B Technology Buyers Share Their Content Preferences by @StephanieTilton via @Savvy_B2B

Eccolo Media just released their third annual B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report. In this post Stephanie summarizes the collateral buyers like the most and when they’re most likely to consume it. ...

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3 Reasons Why You Need a Creative Brief

When you think “creative brief” you may automatically think “ad agency.” And that’s ok. Creative briefs are well within the traditional stomping grounds of agencies. Many won’t start a project without one.

Interestingly, while clients seem happy to provide key project information for a creative brief, they often look at it as an agency product. Too often they look at it as something unique to agency projects.

It’s not.

A good creative brief is a vital document that should be done for every marketing project regardless of who’s involved. Even if it’s an internal project. Even if it only involves a freelancer or two.

Why?

Here’s three reasons why you need a creative brief for every marketing project.

They Set Expectations

A good creative brief sets expectations for the project. It answers key questions such as:

  • What is the project? (i.e. banner ad, white paper, e-mail, ...
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The Power of Why

I have two kids under the age of four, both of whom are now talking. I tell you this because lately my house has been awash with the word “why.”

At first it started with just my oldest answering any statement with the word “why.” Now that her brother is talking, let’s just say the power of imitation has taken over.

Here’s what a typical conversation in my house looks like:

“Please don’t touch the oven.”

“Why?”

“Because the oven is hot.”

“Why?”

“Because I was cooking dinner.”

“Why?”

“Because we need to cook our food before we eat it.”

“Why?”

The questioning goes on until I lose my patience and inform them we’re done discussing it to please just do as I ask. (This violates my oath to never tell my kids to do something “because I said so” since I hated that when I was young, but that’s ...

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Build a Better B2B Brochure

There have been cries about the death of the B2B brochure for a while now. I don’t know about you, but I still see B2B brochures. A lot of them.

Turns out the web hasn’t killed brochures. It’s given companies a way to distribute them, and require personal information for the privilege of viewing them. So they are far from dead. And I can’t argue with marketers’ desire to hang onto them. Done well, brochures create value and help move customers through the sales cycle.

What does a well-done brochure look like? It’s a far cry from the PDF files that populate most company websites. You’ve seen the ones I mean. The brochure title is the product name. They begin with a paragraph about how wonderful the product is, how it fits into everything else the company offers, and ends with a list of highlighted features.

Now here’s the big ...

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