Run A Campaign
Integrated Campaign and B2B Content Marketing Solutions
"If you market, they will come"
What's Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy?
Here are a few reasons why the words Campaign and Content Marketing are appearing more frequently than ever on B2B publications like us.
#1: EVERYONE IS CREATING CONTENT
Either you pay for it or you do it in-house, Content is how today’s marketing is done – in text, images, audio and video. Whitepapers, case-studies, featured articles, webinars, infographics - are becoming all too common as we see more and more people writing, sharing and engaging in marketing Content. In the B2B market that we are all in, purchasing decisions are made by well informed executives; and this is where Content that is convincing, that is validated by real-world findings, that provides a clear and concise message and that addresses exactly the information needs of these people goes a long way in meeting your marketing and sales objectives.
But if you have been long enough in B2B Marketing, you know that in reality, despite producing all the good quality Content and despite putting up your own blogs and forums, what usually happens is that your Content is often lost in the heaps of white papers, research papers, reports, analysis, case studies, blog posts and various other marketing materials produced by everyone else in the market. At the same time, the market is inundated with poor quality content that reduces the willingness of potential clients to engage in the content you are producing. What you will come to realize is that UNLESS you know how to bring YOUR content to the top of the pile and make it stand out, the Content itself contributes very little in driving your marketing KPIs - forcing today's marketers to rethink their strategies for creating visibility and engagement on their Content. In B2B Content Marketing, you have to first market your Content, before your Content markets your product.
#2: TO INFLUENCE, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN REPETITIONWhat is the shelf life of your Content? Well, if it appears on a popular publication, it stays there until the next 10 posts move it down – which means that your precious Content has about 24 hours before it goes out of sight and, subsequently, out of mind. People forget unless within a certain time span, they see the message again and again and again.... and again. We found that when we cover an idea or a concept for 6 weeks in a row, the idea gets picked up in other third party forums and earns a huge number of mentions on social media for months after that - creating the 'influencer' effect most marketers aim for. In contrast, we find that a relatively more compelling idea, which despite having a sharp spike in first-day hits, ‘dies down’ quickly because of its one-time silo/limited appearance.
#3: PEOPLE LIKE INFORMATION THAT IS EASY TO FIND
People get tired scouring the web looking for bits and pieces of information. They like a one-stop point of reference with Content that has been carefully selected and curated, neatly stacked and accurately labelled and provided contextually. So they go to places where this service is readily provided and with digital Content (that’s all the stuff you see, read and hear on digital screens) fast becoming the go-to reference for their research and learning, you have to make sure that when you put your Content out there in the market, that you put it where people can find it, easily, anytime they want.
#4: NEW BUYERS ARE FOUND IN NEW CROWDS
Telecom sector is moving fast. Today 3G is old story. Operators are rolling out LTE-A services and moving on to develop 5G. Operators are pushing towards SDN, and are investing to virtualize a large portion of their network functions. Operators are beefing up their cloud services and their own big data capabilities to scale up their M2M offerings as IoT picks up in a big way. The breadth and depth of knowhow in this field is growing phenomenally, so is the telecom services market (a whopping USD1.4 trillion in 2014) and so are the venues where new crowds are congregating to learn and to share all these knowledge. These new venues – websites, publications, company blogs, pages on social media, focus group, communities, forums, pages in social bookmarking sites and segments in Content aggregation sites – have become crowd pullers especially the newer crowds that are ready to consume the latest Content on a wide range of new and emerging technologies and solutions. As a B2B marketer, you have to find these new venues, engage their crowds with relevant information and insights and build a new following for your brand and solutions.
#5: CONTEXT IS NOT ABOUT MATCHING KEYWORDS AND TAGS
Your Content may seem like a great fit for a lot of online channels and publications, but is it really? Well, in B2B marketing, context is not about the matching of keywords and tags, context is about matching of intent. You have to match the intent of the ‘environment’ where you place your Content with your own marketing intent ( for example, our intent at The Fast Mode is to create a knowledge and a reference point for people whose jobs are to build, maintain and enhance today’s communication networks). Let's say that your Content is created for network architects/designers/engineers looking for a network optimization solution for a specific service - that will be your intent. So, where do you place your Content? a. In a high-traffic telecom site that talks about a wide variety of news from the industry (all the way to corporate restructuring and layoffs); b. A popular blog that discusses transport network technologies OR c. A site dedicated to mobile broadband solutions with significant coverage on data and video delivery optimization solutions and deployments? You will go for (c) because this is the site that will be attracting the largest number of network architects/designers/engineers who ARE indeed looking for solutions when they are visiting the site. How do you ascertain that anyway? Just ask yourself – if you are the client you are targeting for, how much time will you be spending looking for solution information in this places?
#6: B2B MARKETING CONTENT IS SERIOUS STUFF
You cannot promote your technology or solution the same way a tour agency promotes their holidays. For example, if you are throwing your money at CPM advertising, then you have to make sure that your billing solution white papers are not being advertised on a technology job site or worse, on a DIY home improvement site just because these sites seem to relate to 'technology' or seem to be dealing with 'technical' discussions. Browser cookies do a lot of tag matching, and thousands of impressions are wasted when they appear to the wrong people (happens all the time); or the right people but at the wrong time. Timing is key because unlike B2C ad Content (e.g. a video of a couple frolicking on the beach), B2B ad Content (e.g. a white paper that discusses multi-tenant MVNO platform for Quad-Play operators) hardly has anyone responding to the 'call-to-action' during casual browsing as this form of Content is heavy and demands time and focus. If you want more clicks on your B2B Content, you have to ensure that your Content is appearing to the right people when these people are READY to zoom into the details, and dive into the complexities of the subject matter. For example, where would telecom professionals go on a Monday morning to catch up on the latest developments in the telecoms software market - that's where your stuff should be appearing.
#7: TAKE INTEREST IN THE BIGGER PICTURE
You never know who your next customer is going to be, especially if you are providing solutions that can be adapted for multiple applications across other segments and industries. A lot of today’s telecom solutions boast this ability and what was previously deployed by mobile/fixed operators are also being sought after by cable operators, satellite operators, IPTV providers, MVNOs, OTT/content providers and more recently, cloud service providers, M2M/telematics companies and even power and healthcare service providers. Ovum in a recent report, said that internet content providers (ICPs) such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Alibaba and others are expected to make huge network capital expenditures in the next five years - their total capital expenditures reached USD$57 billion in 2014. As a B2B content marketer, you have to connect your content to emerging ideas (2014 - Internet of Everything), popular and fast growing end-products/services (2014 - Network App Store, Wearables, Web-based Real-time Communications), hot topics (2014 - Smart Cities, Inter-Operator M2M Collaborations, Digital Services Providers) and wider social/economic agenda (2014 - Net Neutrality, Internet for All ) – and newer clients will find you because you relate to what matters to them and this gives them the confidence to start exploring your solutions for the development of their own services.
#8: BE PENNY WISE AND POUND WISE
Most often, B2B Content Marketing is worked out without a customized distribution strategy and in most cases, leverages the companies’ standard press communication channels. The reason for this is that the perception that customized B2B Content distribution is expensive and not something that most companies can afford. Well, maybe it is time to break this taboo. Newer B2B publications are mostly 100% digital channels that are operated at a fraction of the cost of traditional B2B publications and are able to run more than 30 types of multi-format digital Content as well as events from advertorials and 'how-to' videos to webinars, live forums and live chats and are able to create an overnight presence for your Content across the web with social media blasts and cross publishing on affiliate channels. The result? Impactful campaigns delivered to the right people at rates that are just 50-60% of what is used to be to run an ad banner.
As a B2B Content marketer, it is essential that you start building and maintaining your own media/publication partner distribution list with a matrix that ranks them by context, breadth and depth of coverage, Content quality, Content quantity, user interface and experience, Content types including rich Content, traffic (especially unique visitors and segmentation), number of sub-channels and social media/cross distribution strenght (The fastest way to do this, by the way, is to request their Media Kit). Next, categorize these channels by costs (publishing and distribution - per Content per month (banners, blogs, white papers), effective CPM, Pay-per-Click(PCC) rates, event costs per 100 attendees, advisory, Content design and creation costs if any, etc). When you start working on your next campaign, use all this information and rope in some help from the Content marketing specialists from these channels to create the best Content distribution strategy.
#9: CREATE AN AVALANCHE
Lastly, and the most important of all, B2B Content Marketing is all about impact. To create impact, there must be quantity, intensity and engagement. This is why marketing campaigns are becoming popular. We find that marketing campaigns are 5X more powerful than the general year-long ‘hey look, we sell stuff’ advertisements in producing the ROI on marketing (measured from KPIs such as click rates, downloads and brand interaction). A campaign is a targeted, time-limited, multi-form, multi-channel, intensive CONTENT DISTRIBUTION EXERCISE that involves banner advertisements, webinars, forums, online hangouts, special reports, survey findings, executive interviews, videos and feature articles coming out in succession and in cohesion across various channels, leading to maximum brand marketing and maximum interaction for your products/solutions. With campaigns, you can pull in all the resources you have within the organization – from your staff to your website and social media channels – and make the most of your media and publication/distribution partnerships to create your own biggest online ‘show’ and deliver the highest impact.
Year 2016 is poised to be a big year for Content Marketing and now we know why. So, let's go ahead and get started on creating the best campaigns for your brand and solutions!