Top Three B2B Content Marketing Hacks in 2017

Here’s where my clients and I gained traction using B2B content tactical choices this year.

I’m a trendspotter and I like to think, a trendsetter, too. What I mean by that is that my clients come to me for well-written content and impactful content strategy first; however, by always learning and growing in my field and by keeping track of useful trends, and I am able to:

  • Share best practices that might make their content more impactful (i.e. cause click-throughs and opt-ins)
  • Create topics from my assignments that help them hit their niche prospects more often with what we’re producing together
  • Provide insight about technology and digital delivery methods to give their content “legs” (show them how to create an infographic for social, start a short podcast series, help with email campaign strategies, etc.)

Doing way more than just “checking off client boxes” doesn’t have to feel like upselling to them, once I learn enough about their needs, their numbers, their KPIs and the gaps in prospect/customer experience. That’s why, at the end of the year, I try to gather the tactical trends I have been sharing with my clients to a) recognize and give kudos my sources, of course, and b) create a checklist for a survey to measure how satisfied they are with my services—the ones I’ve contracted for as well as the value-adds I may have contributed.

1) Content Refresh – Disciplines That Work
I’m lucky that I get to go into some great marketing companies as a contractor, so I get to see what other pros are doing as I produce material and meet with their clients for strategic planning. This year, wherever I went, “content refresh” was a topic. Most of us have been at this game for at least 10 years. That means we’ve got scads of blog posts, white papers, email campaigns, eBooks and webinars that can be updated and reposted to great effect. This post by Christopher S. Penn contains an excellent, step-by-step guide to identifying which content should be updated. I highly recommend this approach—especially since Penn claims one can experience “40% more search traffic” by following it.

2) Marketing Analytics- Only Do What You Have To
Once I was certified in one MA program; learned how to use another by the seat of my pants, frankly; and butted my head up against still another overly complex and onerous one, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of my customers’ pain points when it comes to marketing analytics for the B2B environment. If I could share one thing I learned last year it’s this: Follow the lead of the software developers and buy the minimum viable product (MVP-also, most valuable player, fittingly enough!) for your team. After that, you can revisit your process and system and add all of the bells and whistles you need. A word of caution—make sure there are bells and whistles to be had. I had one team decide to use a specific work collaboration tool as their early MA “baby-step” and then realize it didn’t integrate with their prospective MA system and help them track the KPIs they needed to be effective in their space. There’s a great webinar out there from Fusion Marketing Partners that will help you start to delineate your MA needs. Spend the time to watch it and you’ll be able to narrow down your list of basic MA requirements fairly quickly.

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3) Mobile Must-Haves
If I had to point to one mistake I saw most often this year, it was client companies not putting enough emphasis on mobile delivery. This morning, I read a news article about the text message turning 25. This article also talked about the unintended meaning that text messages impart—typing “K” for okay, for example, was seen as negative in many studies. Fact is, we all know that mobile-speak is now the language of the land.

For example, when I check my Google AdWords accounts, upwards of 85% of the people I reach, I reach on mobile. Experts agree that most people do everything on their phones that they used to do on their laptops. When marketers don’t optimize for mobile, they’re literally throwing business out of the window. And how much brand equity is lost when millennials access your website and it doesn’t fit their phone screen, has forms that are hard to fill out, or so many graphics that “float” making them scroll down so much they give up? If your designers and techies don’t have a handle on mobile delivery they need to get on it, like, yesterday.

Those are the three tactical topics I worked with the most in 2017. Do you have more to share? Or would you like to brainstorm with me about the challenges you ran into this year and see what we can do about it? Definitely let me know and have a great holiday season if I don’t hear from you. Here’s to a beautiful, profitable and peaceful 2018 for all of us!

Patty Tomsky

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