ABC’s - B2B Marketing Services For The Technology Channel

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Clicklettersto lways delivering valuable content is a challenge for many B2B marketers.So much so that searching the internet for “B2B content marketing” on theweb produces over 100 million results. Sorting through that many results isoverwhelming and time-consuming; it’s a lot of information, ideas, strategies, andtactics. No matter where you are on the experience scale of content marketing,there are a few key fundamental concepts that are helpful to all content marketers.Based on our recent 2019 Technology Marketing Benchmarks and TrendsReport, 82% of respondents rated content marketing as at least a medium tohigh priority for their marketing plan, but only 52% have a plan in place! That’swhy we created the ABC’s of Content Marketing to provide a short and simpleguide to what you need to know about the hefty and important topic.Concepts applicable to all content marketers are included in this eBook,whether you’re just starting out or well into your content marketing plan.After reading the ABC’s of Content Marketing, you will walk away with severalideas to improve your content marketing efforts, and consequently, drive moreopportunities into the sales funnel!Page 2

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutAAnswer Questions.The dreaded question all marketers have at some point is, “What should I write about?” Why not writecontent that answers the questions your customers have? What are your prospects asking you at various stages in the sales funnel?What are your customers asking?What do your customers ask you to help them with?Ask multiple people where their industry is headed.Put a bounty on good questions in your company and then keep a list of FAQs (Frequently AskedQuestions) that you can answer throughout the year.Page 3

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutBBlog.Blogs are ESSENTIAL to any inbound marketing strategy. Don’t have time to write your own blogs?Outsource them. You don’t have to turn all your blogging over to a third party by the way, but it’s a greatway to supplement your own resources and keep an inventory of filler blogs that can be pushed out whenyou don’t have time to think of a new topic.Download the article, To Blog or Not to Blog: Five Questions to Find Your Answer, published in the PartnerChannel Magazine.Page 4

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutCCuration.Every piece of content doesn’t have to be original, particularly when it comes to social networks. Becomea “content curator,” finding and sharing interesting content with your prospects. Develop a list of expertsand influencers to follow, then share their thoughts (and please add your perspective whenever possible.)Compilations.A beacon to all idea (and time) starved content providers. What should you compile? The best blog posts by evangelists in your industryThe best online resourcesBest books of the yearBest new appsPage 5

Content that differentiates you from your competitors is particularly important for later in the sales cycleas your prospects start to consider who they will purchase from. Although most B2B marketers look atcase studies for differentiation, there are other options. Use client quotes and testimonials liberally throughout all your materials (even your emailsignature). Create an infographic about what ONLY you can do for your prospects and why you can do itbetter. When you do create case studies, be concise and liberal with call-outs that show ROI and othermetrics as well as customer quotes.“With a fast growing Microsoft practice, we needed to partner with anorganization with strong marketing competencies and deep knowledge ofour industry to complement our own internal efforts. We have the best ofboth worlds with The Partner Marketing Group. We are able to focus thecreative ideas that will see our practice thrive and use their expertise tocollaborate on content refinement, delivery and program management.”Jim Krahn, PartnerBDO Solutions CanadaPage 6

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutEEditorial Calendar.Build one to keep you on track. Include topics and owners. Take it a step further and note key “events”you want to write for including actual events, tradeshows, webinars and business triggers (such as yearend processes). Hubspot has a great guide to creating editorial calendars and a free template to get youstarted.Page 7

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutFFun.Have some! Even in B2B content creation, there is ample room for creativity. Consider funoccasions like “Admit You’re Happy Month” (August) or any of the hundreds of wacky dayson the calendar. Create your own memes or search for fun images to post. (Please don’tforget to check copyrights).Page 8

ics show that 93% of communication is nonverbal and that people process visuals 60,000 timesfaster than text. How can you take advantage of that? By using graphics to enhance content whereverpossible. Did you celebrate “Have Fun at Work Day”? Take a picture and post it. Ditto if you’re speaking atany events. Add graphics to all your content to help reinforce your key ideas.Page 9

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutHHumans.In the rush to please the bot and improve your search results, it can be easy to forget you are writingfor humans. Get rid of the jargon and be genuine with what you write and it will naturally lead to higherconversions and more sales.Page 10

o graphics. What could be better? Consider creating infographics to complement other thoughtleadership pieces you have published. Since you’ve already done the research, the hardest part is behindyou. By the way, you can have fun with infographics every once in a while (for example, why DOES Santaneed an ERP system?).Inbound Marketing.According to Wikipedia, “inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video,eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, andother forms of content marketing. In contrast, direct mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam,email marketing, and telemarketing are considered ‘outbound marketing.’ Inbound marketing earns theattention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website byproducing interesting content.”Page 11Better in color.Click Here.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutJJournalism.Use journalistic techniques, such as interviewing sources – tocreate some very powerful content. Who do you interview?Everyone from employees to clients, vendors and partners,industry influencers and business leaders.Page 12

g one goal of your content development is to attract new prospects, make sure that everyonewriting content for you has a list of your keywords and is bringing them into the copy (but don’t overstuff ). What’s too much? The preferred ratio of keywords is 1-3% of the overall copy.Page 13

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutLLanding Pages.Most likely, some of your content is being developed as ‘calls to action’ for a campaign. If you are notincluding landing pages as part of those campaigns, you’re hurting your results. You also may not bealone.According to MarketingSherpa’s Landing Page Handbook (2nd edition), 44% of clicks for B2B companiesare directed to the business’s homepage, not a special landing page. Why? One reason may be thedifficulty for marketing teams to create their own landing pages. If your webmaster is not able to help youcreate great landing pages quickly – and for all your campaigns – consider a service like Unbounce whichhas GREAT landing pages that are easy to create and customize, and a lot of resources to help you getthe best results.Page 14

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutMMetrics.Like any other form of marketing, you need metrics to help guide your content marketing initiatives. Whatyou measure depends on your goals but simple content marketing metrics can include: Content usage (views and downloads), shares and whether content leads to additional actions (i.e.,did people sign up for a newsletter, social site or take another action after reviewing your content?). Add calls to action within your content and measure clicks on those links. Revenue. Yes, you can measure it. How many people downloaded your content, then ultimatelypurchased your product or service?There are also, of course, ‘reach’ metrics – such as followers, likes and visitors to your sites. Althoughmany content marketers dismiss these as “vanity metrics,” we don’t agree. There IS value in these metrics.Page 15

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutNNewsroom.Earlier we mentioned using journalistic tactics to keep content flowing. Let’s take it a step further. Create a“newsroom” within your company by asking a few key employees to write about what’s happening in yourtarget markets. Sell cloud solutions? Set up news feeds and alerts and assign the big stories and breakingnews for commentary and analysis.Page 16

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutOOutbound Marketing.In case you didn’t catch this under the letter “I,” here’s the definition of both inbound and outboundmarketing according to Wikipedia. “Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts,video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, andother forms of content marketing. In contrast, direct mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam,email marketing, and telemarketing are considered ‘outbound marketing.’ Inbound marketing earns theattention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website byproducing interesting content.”Outsource.(a/k/a: Be realistic.) You’re going to need a lot of content. We recommend blogging at least once a weekand creating an original thought leadership piece once a quarter as the MINIMUM. This is in addition toall the content you’re curating through your social networks. Outsourcing some of this content is a goodway to keep it from crippling your internal resources. On top of the volume challenges, there’s also an80-20 rule. 80% of your content should be NON-PROMOTIONAL. Use your resources where they can dothe best job – most likely on the 20% promotional and on curating content that will be valuable to yourtarget audience. Hire a writer to deliver your thought leadership pieces. This has the added advantageof making sure you don’t drift into the dreaded features and benefits or “about us” type content where itdoesn’t belong.Page 17

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutPPlan.A content strategy and plan helps you identify the most critical content to create and to identify andallocate the resources you need. According to a survey from the Content Marketing Institute, marketerswithout a content strategy typically take longer to get content created, use it less effectively and createless than those with a plan. We also see a trend of marketers without a content strategy paying more perpiece than those with a plan.Avoid practicing “random acts of content” by identifying your content needs and building a plan todevelop those pieces. A content plan will utilize your buyer personas and help make sure you are creatingcompelling content for all your targets.Page 18

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutP2Promotion.If you build it, they may not come. You need a solid distribution plan for your content that incorporatesall possible distribution channels. Make it easy on yourself and create a promotion checklist listing all thevehicles you will use to promote new content. You don’t need to do it all for every piece, but having a listwill keep you on track.Think outside the box. Other than the obvious blogs and social networks, where else can you share andpromote your content? Can you share with any partners or vendors you work with? If you’ve createda thought leadership piece (eBook, whitepaper, infographic), they may be willing to share it with theircustomers and prospects. If you have relationships with influencers, perhaps they will be interested inwriting a blog about your latest piece. And beyond online, is it in your email signature? Do you talk aboutit in your newsletter or other regular communications? You probably spent a lot of time and/or money tobuild your content so make sure it’s viewed by as many people in your target market as possible.Page 19

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutQQuality over Quantity.While you need a steady stream of content to keep your site and offers fresh and effective, it’s even moreimportant that you deliver quality pieces. Taking shortcuts (usually in the form of pushing out a lot ofpromotional pieces) won’t work. Be realistic and plan, identify gaps, and if necessary, outsource to extendyour resources.Page 20

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutRRepurpose,Reuse, Recycle.Once you create a good thought leadership piece, make sure you have a strategy for maximizing thetime you put into it. One good piece can go a long way. Did you create a whitepaper on what to considerwhen selecting an ERP system? Consider an infographic to go with it. Break down the whitepaper and create some blog posts, and use a blog post to address anythingyou may have left out. Pull out key tips and push them out via social media. Take it a few steps further and create an animated video with the top tips and a worksheet thatyour target audience can download to assess their readiness for an ERP system.Page 21

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutSSales Funnel.When you create your content plan, you should identify what your prospects’ challenges are at eachstage of the sales cycle. Make sure you carry that through in the pieces you are writing and thateverything you do addresses a need for that. For example, early in the sales cycle, prospects are seekingto be educated. Later in the sales cycle, they need information such as customer case studies to helpvalidate their decision.Sales.Once you complete the mapping of your content to the various stages of the sales funnel, make sureyour sales team is aware of what’s available and when and how to use it. Keep a sales collateral libraryorganized by top, bottom and middle of the funnel and prospect type so that they can easily grab thecontent you’ve created. If you don’t connect them with the content and keep it top of mind, don’t expectit to be used.Page 22

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutTTitles.A good title: Can make or break your content. Should communicate in very few words who the piece is for and what they will learn. Will incorporate your keywords.It’s a lot to ask and yet most writers will spend far less time on a title then it warrants. Take the time tocreate a powerful title and you’ll see markedly better results. Read this article by Neil Patel for some greatadvice on writing powerful titles and headlines that will get your piece read.Page 23

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutUUnique.Unique content appeals to both humans AND search engines. A well-researched original contentpiece (for example, the results of a survey you conduct or future trends in distribution) will add to yourcredibility, position you as a thought leader, and encourage more shares and forwards. At the same time,search engines will embrace the uniqueness of your content.Page 24

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutVVideo.According to Forbes Insights, 75% of executives surveyed said they watchwork-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly. For the letterV, let’s consider video to be all forms of moving images – including animation,whiteboard animation, screen casting and the more traditional video. Take timeto research what’s out there and include this powerful vehicle in your contentplanning. Visit and sign-up for updates from ReelSEO for inspiration.Page 25

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutWWebinars.In line with videos, webinars are a powerful form of content that you are most likely already utilizing.Extend your efforts by recording all webinars and making them available in your library. Use your webinartools to record SHORT webinars (15 minutes and under) as well. As with other forms of content, don’tforget to promote your webinars via blogs, social media, on your website, and in your newsletters.Page 26

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutXX-ray.Take a look at your content like you would look at an X-ray. Use Google Analyticsand social stats to clearly see which content is performing well for you.It’s worth your time to step back from your work and look at it critically to seewhere you need to increase focus and where you can minimize effort.Page 27

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutYYear End.The end of the year is a super rich content time so start planning now! Year-end articles can run as earlyas September and go through January. Topics can include everything from specific tips to compilations,the year in review, and ’what’s ahead’ pieces.Page 28

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutZzzzzzzz.ZIs your marketing a snoozefest? Let’s face it—technology can be boring!Look for ways to incorporate some excitement into your marketing through images, video, engagingstories or interactive polls.Need some inspiration? Read this blog by Hootsuite for 12 Ways to Promote Your “Boring” Brand orProduct on Social Media.One of the tips Hootsuite recommends is to promote your company culture and you can read our blogon that very topic for tips on how to do that.Page 29

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPP2QRSTUVWXYZAboutSee “O” for Outsource.Our ServicesThe Partner Marketing Group is dedicated to helping technology companies and software vendors growthrough inbound and outbound marketing. We tap into your company’s value, goals and focus to createstrategic marketing plans, content, channel programs, training and more.Our PeopleOur team consists of professional, experienced marketers with decades of devotion to the technologychannel. We know how to help you achieve your goals from day one. Working with us is a collaborativeeffort and you can feel confident knowing you have a dedicated marketing partner with the passion,expertise and commitment you need to succeed.Contact us today to get rtnerMarketingGroup.com734-425-7414All rights reserved. Content owned by The Partner Marketing Group. 2019BLOGPage 30

lways delivering valuable content is a challenge for many B2B marketers. So much so that searching the internet for “B2B content marketing” on the web produces over 100 million results. Sorting through that many results is overwhelming and time-consuming; it’s a lot of information, ideas, strategies, and tactics.

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Agrees that leadership team gives ample time to produce content marketing results 84% 59% 38% Always/frequently delivers content consistently 75% 59% 33% Rates alignment of metrics and content marketing goals as excellent/very good 54% 19% 2% This Year’s B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At-A-Glance 2018 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute .

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