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New Strategies for Reaching Decision Makers with Your B2B Blog

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By now, everyone knows you need a blog for your B2B brand. However, keeping up with a blog takes a lot of time and marketers don’t always see the results they want from their content. Desired results typically include generating new leads and converting leads into a client, as well as giving your website better visibility.

Chances are though, if you’re reading this post, you’re not seeing the results from your blog that you’re hoping for. This is a common content marketing pain point, especially in the B2B world. And if the market is so saturated with good content, how do you make your content stand out? And, more importantly, how do you make sure your content gets in front of the right people?

Due to the pressure of delivering a blog that actually converts readers into leads and leads into sales, you may be considering getting rid of your blog together. But, before you decide to give up on your hard-earned content, consider these ways you can reach the real decision makers through your blog.

Take Buyer Personas Seriously

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already, is create definitive buyer personas for the decision makers at the types of companies you want to get your content in front of. We like this template from HubSpot. You should be sure to include the following persona components and more:

  • Job titles
  • Company size
  • Skillsets
  • Professional background
  • Industry knowledge as it pertains to your brand
  • Years of experience in your industry
  • Age range
  • Budget
  • Career goals
  • Challenges they face in your industry
  • Pain points they encounter when trying to perform their goals
  • How your brand solves pain points
  • An elevator pitch about your brand that would appeal to decision makers
  • Where they can find your brand (search, case studies, blog, etc.)

It’s likely there are different types of decision makers that you’re trying to reach, so be sure to create a buyer persona for each job title, industry segment, etc. We find it’s helpful to name each persona, and, keep in mind the different personas you are creating content for and to make sure to spread the content out evenly that caters to those specific people.

Cater Your Content Topics

Once you create your buyer personas, it’s time to plan content accordingly.

Next time you fill in your content calendar, consider the topics that actually appeal to decision makers. It’s possible that “101” type basic content might get a lot of views, but it won’t get the right views. If you’re a decision maker at a top brand, you almost certainly have a solid understanding of the niche your brand falls into. How can you take your content to the appropriate level to meet these buyers where they’re at?

One way to plan the most relevant content is to meet with your client-facing coworkers. Ask them to come up with common questions that clients have or pain points that they notice. Turn these questions into post ideas, or even use the question for the post title. It’s a great way to grab attention and resonate with the decision makers.

Move Your Readers Through the Buyer’s Journey

Just like you need to create content for different personas, you also need to create content for different stages of the buyer’s journey. The established (but useful) stages in order of how a buyer moves through them are awareness, consideration and decision making.

Be sure to move your buyer personas through the sales funnel from awareness to making a purchase decision by linking up your content with the right resources. For example, if you are creating a blog post to generate brand awareness, you want to link your post with content that takes the reader to the next step, consideration. In the consideration phase, it’s likely the reader wants to learn more about how your brand can solve pain points so links to a landing page and/or case studies would move them to the next step. Another example, if you’re creating a post that caters to buyers in the consideration phase, you want to link to resources that guides them through the purchase decision page like how to get in touch with your brand or examples of work you’ve done in the past.

Say you’ve created 3 buyer personas and you want to move each one through the buyer’s journey. That means you have 9 different posts to create to cover the full spectrum of your buyer personas and your buyer’s journey. Say you’ve named your personas Alice, Peter and Bob. Your upcoming post targets should look like this, with 3 posts per persona:

Alice: Awareness, Consideration, Decision Making

Peter: Awareness, Consideration, Decision Making

Bob: Awareness, Consideration, Decision Making

Feel free to mix them up, but be sure to create an equal amount of blog posts that speak to each of these personas in each of their phases. It’s helpful to create a content calendar where you can keep track of the posts geared toward your target personas and stages.

Optimize Your Email Program

If someone within a brand has reached the decision-making phase of their career, they are almost certainly a high-ranking employee in the company, knowledgeable about the industry, and don’t have a lot of time on their hands. Therefore, they aren’t doing a lot of research about or keeping up with a scattered variety of blogs. This means you need to get your blog in front of them and accessible when they have time. You can do this through emailing a weekly digest of your blog content. Use your most valuable post titles in the subject line, and consider segmenting your emails either by industry or buyer personas.

Because we believe in content digests so passionately here at FeedOtter, our product is an easy-to-use content marketing tool that automates content digest emails and integrates with tools like Marketo, Pardot and more so that you can drip content to all of your leads and clients. It only takes 5 minutes!

Use LinkedIn

There are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to get in front of your target audience. Let’s explore a few:

  • Message your contacts: You can message up to 50 of your contacts at a time. We recommend using this feature wisely and limiting the messages you send out to once a quarter, so be sure to lead with your strongest content. Research shows that people open LinkedIn Mail 85% more often than regular email. So, while you could export your LinkedIn contacts and email them directly, we don’t recommend doing it that way.
  • Updates: You should share your content on both your personal LinkedIn profile and on your company page. Be sure to leverage hashtags and catchy taglines. We recommend you update your profile and company page once per post. When decision makers are considering your brand, they might vet your LinkedIn profile so you need to establish thought leadership.
  • Ads: LinkedIn Ads allow you to get really specific when it comes to the types of companies and job titles that you are trying to get in front of. We recommend not just putting an ad up about your company; you need to lead with thought leadership resources, like your best blog posts. This works with any budget and you can pay per click to be sure the right people are reading your posts.

Align with Sales

Be sure that your sales team knows everything about the awesome blog content that you produce. If your sales rep is talking to a lead, that lead is in the consideration or decision stage of their buyer’s journey. Equip your sales team with content that appeals to the different stages and industries, and sales can leverage your thought leadership content to establish brand credibility and close deals.

While brand awareness content is part of the buyer’s journey (and thus part of your blog), know that if sales is talking to a lead, they have obviously moved passed the awareness phase, so you shouldn’t need to share that type of content with your sales team.

You might want to consider an internal library that you update with your new content. This way you can slice and dice it up to sales by categorizing your content by buyer persona and buyer’s journey.

If you want to take it a step further, you can pre-write social media posts for your sales team to share on their own social channels every week. Any bit of word-of-mouth recommendations you can get that point to your content is extremely helpful.

Re-Think Your CTA

The usual CTA (call to action) at the end of a blog post functions for readers to ask pertinent questions or share personal insights in the comments below. But, are people really commenting? If you feel like you’re doing everything it takes to reach the decision makers, but you’re still only reaching mid-level or entry level readers, invite them to share your post with their boss or co-workers.

Conclusion

The key things to consider when creating a blog targeted towards decision makers is to make certain you’re utilizing and integrating your individual buyer personas and buyer journeys. Leveraging email and LinkedIn can be really powerful, and don’t forget to have your co-workers share your awesome content. Give these strategies a try before you decide to give up on or put less time in your blog.

Are you ready to get your blog in front of the right people? Try our curated newsletter feature to stay on the top of mind for your target consumers.

 

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3 Innovative Ways B2B Content Marketers Nailed It

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These days, content is as varied, creative, and effective as ever before…which means it’s even more challenging to stand out in the crowd. In the B2B industry, competition is fierce. There are countless ways to use engaging content to drive your business, but which methods will work best for you?

We have picked out a few particularly impressive examples in the hopes that you’ll find a method that resonates with you and your brand. Let’s take a look.

Customer is King

Obviously, your customers (past, present, and potential) are incredibly important to you. So, why not sing their praises to the world? Drift, a conversational marketing service, has elevated customer appreciation into brilliant content marketing, and everybody wins. Here’s how.

First, they feature success stories with their customers on their blog. They talk about how great the company is, and how they were able to help them achieve such amazing success. This shares social proof with potential customers who are in the consideration phase, and assures them they’re on the right track.

There are plenty of examples of customer testimonials, and the reader gets a comprehensive rundown on how the services work, but in an easy to understand, conversational way. Next, the sharing starts, and both companies link back to the other, exponentially raising the share radius and providing some tasty SEO juice in the process.

Drift’s blog is also full of informational content, and the writing is funny and quirky enough to make all of it easy to read. So, you have a great company that clearly loves its customers, happy customers who are willing to testify how great Drift is while enjoying tons of brand exposure, and potential clients who are reassured they’re onto something good. Like we said, everybody wins.

Educate and Sell

There are so many different marketing experts and industry rock stars out there, and they all have great insight and advice to share. Likewise, there are countless new entrepreneurs and startups that need some guidance. Problem is, you have to search and filter through an enormous amount of unorganized and vague posts before you happen upon some relevant industry content, and then hope that it’s well written and pertains to your pain points.

Enter First Round, a thoughtfully curated collection of digital magazines that cover a variety of industries and let the experts do the talking. You need to find and digest this content quickly and efficiently, and come away with actionable tactics you can consider and employ right away. That’s a stated goal of First Round, along with providing entertaining and engaging content that the experts themselves offer. This is a prime example of how strictly offering education and insight is both impactful and beneficial for everyone involved.

Time is Money

Here at FeedOtter, we are all about content marketing solutions, specifically, automating content digest emails so of course we need to include an example from our own experience!

Trimble had a problem. They are an international company that offers unique positioning products, innovative hardware and software , and complex informational solutions to massive companies on several continents. They had a tremendous amount of helpful content to push out to current and potential clients, and had counted on emails and newsletters to do so.

Problem was, all of this needed to be integrated and organized to be sent in a timely and efficient manner. Oh yeah, and in five different languages. Newsletters were taking all day to curate and compose, and they were trying to write unique code and design entire systems to do so. Yes, email campaigns work, but the effort spent in formatting and translating them was costing a lot of time and money.

Enter FeedOtter, a content management service that was able to provide Trimble with newsletter templates, integration with scheduled automated email services, and translation services right away. Within two years, Trimble’s website traffic from subscribers doubled, monthly conversions increased by 150%, and the creative team was able to focus more on the quality of the newsletters.

The takeaway? Hire the right experts to do what they excel at, and utilize your team to keep the quality up where it should be. If it works for a huge company like Trimble, it can work for you, too.

Do you have any examples of brands who rock at content marketing? We’d love to chat with you about it in the comments below!

 

 

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7 Creative Ways to Promote B2B Content

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Here’s an amazing fact: the most successful B2B marketers spend roughly 40% of their budget on content marketing. That’s a huge number, and it proves what a powerful strategy content marketing can be. Unfortunately, too many marketers simply create great content and then call the job done. Creating content is only part of the job; marketers also need stellar strategy to promote it.

Creating content around your brand is a great way to show thought leadership, generate leads, and usher leads through the sales funnel. Thing is, creating great and engaging content is only the first step. You have to find a way to share it with the world, and this post will help you do just that. Check out these 6 creative ways to promote your content, because you need to develop a stronger content marketing strategy for your brand.

Newsletters

Email is a great way to get your content in front of your target consumers, but, with so much spam being delivered every day, it’s getting harder to stand out in all the clutter. So, consider this: consumers opt-in all the time to newsletters that cover different niches that they’re interested in. Consult your buyer personas and take some time to think about which brands, topics and newsletters your target consumers would trust.

Once you’ve narrowed down the type of newsletters that your target consumer would be likely to opt-in to, find out how you can work with these publications. Usually, you can find a media or advertising contact in the footer of the website. Reach out to these contacts and specify how you want to work with them.

Since we’re specifying how to work with your target newsletters, we recommend leading with a strong piece of informative content, as opposed to a self-promotional ad about your brand. An eBook, white paper or other “downloadable” piece of content is best so that you can generate leads and capture email addresses.

Use Images

A report by BuzzSumo reported that content that features an image every 75-100 words gets double the shares than content without images. This shows that your content should be visually driven if your readers are going to consider it worthy of sharing on their own social media channels.

Sure, stock photos work. But, simple graphics like charts or quotes add a whole other layer to your blog and social media posts. We like Canva and Snappa because they’re really easy to use.

Make it “Sharable”

Images aren’t the only way to make content easily sharable. When people share content on their social channels, they look at it as sharing a post that they personally stand behind. Readers are usually going to look for something unique about your post, and they want to be the first ones to report it to their friends. Sharing a post is personal and people like to take credit for sharing good content. Does your brand’s content make readers feel like they are sharing something new?

We’re all very busy. Readers share content when it’s easy for them to do it quickly. Be sure to have social share buttons on the sidebar and end of your content—there are plenty of plugins for this. Additionally, when you’re loading up your new piece of content, make sure that social share buttons send out a catchy message with the link to your content. Readers often click the social share buttons and don’t personalize the social message.

Another way to make your content sharable is to use Click to Tweet. This allows you to pull out the perfect quote or line in your content that readers can click and share straight from the post. It’s easy for you to insert into your content and even easier for your readers to share your post. Check out how we used it here.

Give a Webinar

70% of internet users want to learn about products through content versus traditional advertisements. You can use this information when planning how to promote your content. Being a thought leader and giving webinars that align with the content you want to promote are both great ways to engage with your target consumers, while also promoting your latest eBook or white paper. Give consumers what they want and spend your budget on promoting content as opposed to self-promotional ads.

Capitalize on Social Media

It’s a given that you should share your content on social media, but with so many brands using multiple social media platforms, you need to get creative. Some ways to do that are:

  • Tap into relevant hashtags
  • Use images
  • Pull out quotes or statistics from your content
  • A/B test different messages

Make sure that you are focusing on the relevant platforms that will reach your desired target audiences. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all have particular features and certain demographic trends and users, so do your research before you invest in social media promotion.

Utilize Influencers

Connecting with thought leaders in your space not only creates more dynamic content, it also means that those influencers will likely share the content that you quote them in.

Plan a brainstorming session and think of at least 10 influencers in your space that your target consumer trusts. Reach out to these influencers and make it easy for them to weigh in by asking them for just a quote or by having a list of questions they can answer. Use these quotes and answers in a blog post or eBook.

Influencers by nature have a large and loyal following. If you use their words in their content, they’ll share on their own social and email channels. We like to pre-write social media posts for influencers so they can simply copy and paste on their social channels. We also ask them if they have any newsletters that they can contribute content for, and offer to write a paragraph that they can use in their email to promote the content.

Grow an Email List

Having an internal email list is crucial to generating leads and communicating your content with potential consumers.

One effective way to grow this list is by producing downloadable content where the reader has to enter their email address. You also should have a “subscribe” button on your website and blog.

We recommend that your brand taps into this list once a week and send out a weekly email that promotes your latest content. In your weekly email, you should position your brand as a thought leader and also link to the latest research reports and strategies from like minded brands. You want this email to entertain and inform your target consumers and not be overly self-promotional.

Do you have any tips when it comes to promoting B2B content? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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The Top 5 B2B Marketing Podcasts to Listen to in 2019

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Look, we know how busy you are, so this will be quick. Just take a few seconds to think about how you stay current on the digital marketing trends that you need to stay on top of: keeping track of the constant changes in Google’s algorithms that affect your content marketing strategy, how often you go on Twitter to see what your favorite thought leaders are saying about new marketing strategies, all the time you spend perusing LinkedIn for marketing advice and reading the latest marketing blogs so that you stay relevant in your industry. Kind of overwhelming, right?

Digital marketing changes so rapidly that it’s almost a full-time job just to keep up with trends and develop modernized strategies. As we head into 2019, we here at FeedOtter want to help marketers find ways to stay constantly inspired and innovative so that you can “wow” your co-workers and target consumers.

So how do you stay relevant in the marketing industry and still have time to do actual work? Podcasts!

There are so many innovative podcasts that round up the greatest minds in the marketing industry and discuss the latest and greatest digital marketing strategies. And, if you’re good at multitasking, you can listen to podcasts while you answer your emails…hands-free learning!

Because we know you’re busy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 B2B marketing podcasts that marketers should listen to in order to keep up with the quickly evolving marketing world. We chose the podcasts based on creativity, their ability to convey new marketing trends, and their ability to interview marketing thought leaders and innovation. Check them out and let us know what you think on Twitter @Feed_Otter.

The Garyvee Audio Experience

Host Gary Vaynerchuk is a New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker, and works with several Fortune 100 brands. Needless to say, he knows his way around marketing, and his podcast focuses a lot on entrepreneurship, tech and media. Gary is extremely vibrant and entertaining, and his podcast is a great motivator for all marketers.

Website/iTunes

B2B Growth

As the title suggests, this podcast features B2B industry thought leaders, and is geared toward executives who want to increase growth. Each episode is only 15 minutes long, so the podcasts get straight to the point and listeners can quickly be inspired and elicit new ideas. We like this podcast because it offers tangible advice that can be executed immediately.

Website/iTunes

Marketing Milestones Podcast

This podcast focuses on up and coming B2B businesses and marketers, so it’s ideal for newer marketing teams at the start-up level. Focusing on interviewing thought leaders in the B2B marketing world, this podcast covers important topics like lead gen and email marketing. If you are new to marketing, this podcast is for you, and can be the equivalent to a college degree (if you listen to every episode).

Website/iTunes

The Marketing Book Podcast

We love this podcast because each week it covers a new book about marketing and summarizes the most effective information each book offers. Each episode interviews authors to talk about the book being featured, so you can soak up the gist of a book without having to read it! The best-selling authors featured on this podcast cover a nice balance of sales, digital marketing and B2B marketing.

Website/iTunes

Foundr Podcast

Hosted by Nathan Chan, Foundr Podcast is full of in-depth interviews with marketing and business thought leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington. A lot of the episodes feature how marketers went from beginners to all-stars, so it’s a truly inspirational podcast for all levels of B2B digital marketing.

Website/iTunes

We know that it takes time to research to stay current in the B2B marketing world, so we hope this list of podcasts will get you thoroughly inspired and educated enough to have a powerful 2019 for your brand!

Do you have a favorite marketing podcast? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!