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Yes, Content Marketing Still Matters!

Content marketing still has a place in the marketing mix. Consumers are hungry for information online and look to online sources to help guide their decisions. In 2021 nearly 70 percent of online shoppers typically read between one and six customer reviews before making a purchasing decision, according to Statista. This points to the fact that consumers are influenced by the content they encounter in their buying journey.

Leading the Way

That’s where content marketing enters the equation. It’s a powerful means to inform and influence potential customers about how you can add value, while establishing trust. Plus, optimized content marketing can bring organic traffic from search engines like Google. This can translate to improved Google rankings, online visibility and more robust sales.

However, effective content marketing doesn’t happen by design. Both art and science, the brands with the most success know to approach content marketing from an inbound perspective. In other words, marketers have become adept at reaching their consumer base in ways that don’t seem too sales-y or formulaic. 

Custom Content Is King

While each brand has its own style, a storytelling framework resonates with consumers and lays a foundation for loyalty.  It’s rooted in intentionally tailoring your content to your target audience and their needs, instead of pushing out a message to a general audience. In contrast, an inbound content marketing strategy means your brand and products appear naturally during their fact-finding mission.

For example, if a health-conscious consumer is looking for information about adding protein to their diet, they might be researching protein shakes. If you're a manufacturer or marketer of plant-based shakes,  you could write a blog post with recipes. Based on keyword research that produces search engine results pages, you could drive consumers to your e-commerce website naturally. 

In short, content marketing is still the secret sauce when it comes to creating brand awareness. Companies of all sizes can remain competitive in a crowded digital landscape while engaging with core consumers more effectively than ever before.

 


What's Working in Technology Content Marketing

What's working in technology content marketing?

In today's rapidly evolving marketing landscape, using the right strategies in technology content marketing can make all the difference. As marketing professionals, we understand that reaching potential customers with the right content at the right time is essential. Knowing your customers inside and out is at the heart of good content marketing.

On our recent webinar, “Trends in Marketing – What Works and What Doesn’t” our panelists debated shared what works in technology content marketing and marketing.

Our panel included a content marketing expert (Jeanne Grunert), an ABM Strategist (Melissa “Lisa” Watts), and our target customer, represented by Ryan Dube, a digital transformation director. Here, we summarize a portion of the webinar and share what works, with plenty of feedback from our target customer.

Five Content Marketing Tactics for the Technology Industry That WORK

  1. Webinars and Website Content: The Power Duo

Webinars and website content emerge as the dynamic duo in connecting with your target audience effectively. If webinars are on topic and focus on a technology, solution, or problem the target audience struggles with, they work well to engage customers.

Ryan, our subject matter expert, raved about webinars. “I love attending them because I’m not being “sold to” – I’m there to learn – and that’s key for me.”

Make sure your webinars are packed with information to make them effective for your audience to ensure they're working for technology content marketing.

  1. No One-Size Fits All Content

One key takeaway from the conversation is the understanding that technology marketing success depends heavily on understanding the customer and marketing to them on a much more detailed, personal level than other forms of marketing.

 No longer can marketers rely on a "one-size-fits-all" approach. For instance, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) might engage with content on Instagram, gathering insights from different sources, while someone from an engineering background might seek data-driven content, such as cases, comparisons, charts, and technical information. Recognizing these nuances is essential for tailoring content to suit the preferences of the intended audience.

  1. Personalization and the Customer Journey

Personalization extends beyond just understanding the customer's persona; it involves knowing where customers acquire their information and tailoring content delivery accordingly. This shift from broad outreach to targeted, relevant content addresses customers' specific needs at different stages of their journey.

The customer journey encompasses various stages, such as the education phase, the consideration phase, and the decision-making phase. Effective content strategies must align with each of these stages to provide the right information at the right time, ultimately guiding potential customers toward a purchase decision.

  1. A Customer-Centric Approach to Technology Content Marketing

A central theme that resonates throughout the conversation is the importance of understanding the customer. Listening to their preferences, pain points, and preferred channels of information consumption is paramount. Content strategies must revolve around the customer's needs, gaps, and challenges. Marketers must position themselves as solution providers who can bridge those gaps effectively.

  1. The Power of Engagement and Relevance

In a world where information is abundant, engagement and relevance are the cornerstones of successful content strategies. Engage with customers in meaningful ways, such as by attending conferences and industry events. By actively participating in the industry discourse, marketers can identify gaps and challenges that their solutions can address.

Technology Content Marketing - the Right Approach

The right approach to technology content marketing (and overall marketing into the tech industry) makes a big difference. Our panelists agreed: personalization, and a deep understanding of the target market, is essential for success. When you start with the customer's problems, and think of them as an individual, your messages will resonate with them.


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Content Marketing vs SEO - Which Is Better for Marketing?

Content marketing and SEO are digital marketing strategies that guarantee optimal online visibility, engagement, and overall success for any B2B company. However, some content marketers and B2B companies are confused about the similarities and differences between the two strategies and which to devote the most effort to.

Three key questions remain:

  • Is one of these strategies superior to the other, or do they function better when integrated?
  • Should B2B companies focus on one or leverage both for overall company success?
  • What’s the best way to approach SEO and Content marketing?

Understanding the distinct attributes of each strategy and the potential synergistic power of both remains the only way to determine the answers to these questions.

Content marketing and SEO complement each other, and research has shown they work best when integrated. B2B companies that resolve how to complement both strategies make the most of their powerful synergy and stay ahead.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable content in the form of blogs, videos, eBooks, and podcasts to educate or inform an audience. Companies leverage it to educate and inform their audience about their products and services, helping them understand how the company stands out from their competitors.

By consistently publishing and distributing valuable industry information, B2B companies present themselves as reliable go-to resources for industry thought leadership information. This helps the company build trust and authority, enabling them to convert their prospects easily.

To excel with content marketing, you need an efficient content marketing strategy that includes plans for audience research, content planning, creation, distribution, analytics, and others.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the strategies and techniques used to improve a website and its pages to rank at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs). Ranking high on SERPs increases a website’s visibility, as research has shown that most people don’t go beyond the first page of a search engine when seeking information.

The increased visibility generates more traffic, increasing the website’s leads and conversion rate. The primary aim of SEO is to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to a website from search engines.

Companies adopt SEO to increase their company's, product's, or service's awareness, improving their revenue generation chances.

To execute SEO successfully, you must have a robust SEO strategy that includes plans for keyword research, link building, competitive analysis,on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and technical SEO, amongst others.

Difference between Content Marketing and SEO

While content marketing and SEO are similar or complementary, they have differences in their goals, scope, and the role search engines play.

The Goals of Content Marketing and SEO

Content marketing aims to build brand awareness, establish industry authority, and build solid and beneficial relationships across all marketing channels with potential customers. To achieve this goal, companies create relevant and educational content that resonates with their target audience, depending on the marketing channel.

However, SEO aims to increase a website’s visibility and rankings on search engines, enabling it to attract high-quality leads. Companies achieve this goal by optimizing various elements, such as website load speed, meta, and title tags, HTTP status codes, mobile friendliness, backlink structure, etc.

SEO significantly increases the chances of success on one vital content marketing channel – search engine marketing.

The Scope of Content Marketing and SEO

Another difference between content marketing and SEO is their scope. Content marketing focuses more on content creation in various formats and distribution through multiple channels, such as social media, blogs, search engines, emails, etc.

On the other hand, SEO involves all technical, on-page, and off-page activities in helping a website achieve the most content distribution and visibility on search engines.

Role of Search Engines in Content Marketing and SEO

This is a more subtle difference between content marketing and SEO. Content marketing emphasizes creating high-quality, relevant content that addresses the target audience's needs, preferences, and pain points. When content marketing involves website content, the content might help the website rank on search engines.

However, SEO is more direct in helping websites rank on search engines. It focuses on the website’s technical sides, content structure, and other on-page and off-page elements like keyword research and integration, quality backlink building, user experience, etc. All these help search engine algorithms understand a website’s relevance and rank it at the top of SERPs for those searching for related information.

Content Marketing and SEO: How They Complement Each Other

Content marketing vs. SEO shouldn't be the question. The better question should be how can both work together for optimal results. SEO and content marketing complement each other, from keyword optimization to brand and product visibility, user experience, and link building.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is one of the most vital ways SEO helps actualize content marketing goals. When users seek information on search engines, they do so with keywords. Identifying and optimizing for these keywords is only possible through extensive keyword research, an SEO activity.

To rank high and generate traffic from search engines where prospects actively use these keywords, companies create relevant content that addresses prospects’ needs and pain points and integrate these keywords naturally into them.

Improved Visibility and Brand Awareness

Content marketing and SEO work hand in hand to improve a company’s website’s visibility on search engines, creating awareness for its products and services. SEO is used in content marketing to help search engines identify and index well-written content that addresses customer needs.

The more readers find the content useful, the more search engines will help push it to a larger audience. Content marketing efforts are more fruitful when the content reaches a broader audience, and SEO helps achieve this by pushing the content higher in search rankings.

Quality and User Experience

Content marketing and SEO also work together to improve content quality and user experience.

By conducting extensive keyword research and SERP audits, companies gain more insight into their target audience’s expectations. They can then create content that addresses those expectations.

The quality of a piece of content depends a lot on how relevant it is to the readers. And the more relevant the content is, the better the user experience.

Engaging, informative content improves a website’s search engine rankings. It keeps readers hooked on your website longer. And the more people stay on your website, the greater the odds they'll contact you.

Increased Link-Building Opportunities

Great, informative, and exhaustive content attracts backlinks from other websites. The more backlinks content receives, especially from authoritative sources, the more search engines recognize the content and website as relevant and trustworthy. And this makes the search engine algorithms push the content higher up on the SERPs.

Great content and SEO marketing strategies lead to more organic link-building opportunities. In turn, this increase a website’s ranking, visibility, traffic generation, and ultimately lead generation and conversion.

Integrate Your Content Marketing and SEO Strategies and Achieve Optimal Results

Undoubtedly, optimal online marketing results come with integrating SEO and content marketing strategy. An extensive content marketing strategy without a complementing SEO strategy is ineffective. You can miss out on many organic leads and leave a lot of money on the table. Similarly, a robust SEO strategy without solid content marketing backing it up is almost futile.

The ideal approach is to develop a complementary SEO content marketing strategy that includes content marketing and SEO plans. Smart B2B companies integrate both strategies to give their brand, products, and services much-needed organic visibility, ultimately increasing revenue-generating opportunities.

 


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The Important of Content Marketing for B2B Companies

Content marketing is important for B2B and B2C companies. 

Content marketing is a valid marketing approach for both B2B and B2C companies. However, many are skeptical of adopting content marketing as part of their strategy because they’re unsure of itsf ROI. Here, we dispel the myth that content marketing does not produce significant ROI and examine its importance in the marketing mix. 

 

Content Marketing for B2B Companies Is Similar to Marketing for B2C Companies

Here’s a typical definition of content marketing; 

‘A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (blogs, white papers, case studies, videos, social media posts, etc.) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.’

This definition shows that content marketing is crucial for every business.

There’s a need for B2Bs to understand their prospects' pain points and adopt content marketing strategies to educate and inform the prospects about their products and services and how they solve those pain points.

There are many reasons why content marketing is essential for B2B companies, from helping them build trust and authority to showcasing their products and services and generating high-quality leads.

 

7 Top Reasons Why B2B Companies Need to Have a Strategic Content Marketing Plan

1. Builds Trust and Authority

B2B buyers constantly try to mitigate risks and optimize purchases. They scrutinize every piece of information they receive before making purchasing decisions. When a company consistently presents itself as the go-to resource for expert industry information and insights, they become a trusted authority.

Smart B2B companies can use content marketing to build trust and authority by consistently creating valuable and relevant content. Building a B2B content marketing strategy that includes case studies, blogs, customer testimonials, thought leadership whitepapers, etc., signals industry expertise and helps build buyers’ trust.

2. Helps B2B Buyers Make Purchasing Decisions

B2B buyers are conscious of making purchasing mistakes that could negatively impact their ROI and customer relationships. They extensively research products and services before making any purchase decision.

B2B companies can use content marketing to provide relevant educational content that helps these customers make informed purchasing decisions. They can provide this information using marketing materials that show detailed product information, use cases, demos, and how the products and services help problem-solving.

By using transactional content for B2B marketing, companies can get their customers, who are at the decision stage of their buyer journey, to make instant buying decisions.

3. Improves SEO and Website Traffic

Strategic content marketing helps B2B companies rank higher on SERPs for different money keywords, increasing website traffic and driving MQLs. During product research, most B2B buyers use keywords to query search engines for specific information regarding their needs. This is especially true when they don’t know about companies offering the required solutions.

Because search engines reward quality content with high-ranking and qualified leads, strategic companies can rank for those keywords, have more visibility, and deliver exceptional content detailed enough to answer all the prospects’ questions. Creating content relevant to your target audience and search engines can generate high-quality leads, leading to increased revenue.   

4. Helps Companies Stay Competitive

Most B2B companies are already leveraging content marketing to drive leads. And since B2B buyers conduct online research before purchasing, companies not adopting content marketing lose out on many sales and market share. 

It has become a critical differentiator among companies with similar target markets.

5. Bring Higher-Quality Leads

High-quality lead generation is one of the many benefits of content marketing to B2B companies. Content marketing generates more qualified leads because it drives leads actively seeking solutions. These prospects don’t waste time making purchasing decisions when they encounter content they resonate with.

Different approaches to content marketing help companies attract people at different stages of their buyer's journey. With informational and educational content, B2B companies can attract customers at the awareness stage of their buyer journey. Companies can also attract higher quality leads at the consideration stage of their journey, with a different approach to content – transactional.

Knowing how and when to use each approach to content marketing for B2B lead generation is vital to increasing sales and revenue. . It all lies in the company’s content marketing strategy.

6. Content Marketing is Cost-Effective 

Content marketing is a cost-effective marketing approach for B2B companies for valid reasons. Consistently updated quality and valuable content can rank at the top of search engines for years and generate leads year-on-year. This is cost-effective in the long run and requires an insignificant investment compared to paid marketing. 

Furthermore, valuable content can be repurposed into other forms, such as infographics, videos, podcasts, eBooks, whitepapers, etc., which can be used in other marketing channels like email, social media, etc. This reduces the cost of generating separate marketing materials for these other channels, reducing the overall marketing cost for a company.

With a solid content marketing strategy, companies can save the costs of running daily, monthly, or yearly paid ads and achieve similar or even better results.

Showcase Your Products and Services

Content marketing is an excellent way for B2B companies to showcase their products and services. Customer-centric companies create content that answers their audience’s questions while suggesting their products and services as the necessary solutions.

Even more, they provide detailed content highlighting their products' specific features and benefits. 

Since B2B buyers at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey use online information to compare products and make buying decisions, content marketing becomes strategic for companies that leverage it.

The fascinating thing about using content marketing to showcase products and services is that, when executed well, it can be so engaging and fun that the customer never loses focus or interest. For instance, a product review can be developed to deliver value and drive conversions without the readers feeling they’re being sold to. 

Leverage Content Marketing, Adopt a Strategy, and 10X Your Results

Companies that adopt content marketing and create valuable content are sure to win in a competitive B2B market. It’s a non-negotiable for companies that want to be future-proof and increase market share and profit margin. Hopefully, you have the insights to adopt an effective content marketing strategy, execute it well, and generate 10x your results.




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Content Clusters: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Content clusters, also called a B2B pillar content strategy, consist of related groups of content on a website. This content may be a group of articles and blog posts, or multiple types of content, such as blog posts, articles, presentations, videos, infographics and so on. No matter what type of content pieces are featured, however, they are all grouped under a main idea or topic – an umbrella, if you will, or a pillar, whichever visual works for you – and are related through a series of logical, connected keywords.

Why Develop Content Clusters?

I’m not exactly sure when the term content cluster came about, but over the past several years, it’s become apparent that using big, long form content pieces (pillar posts) with layers of related yet separate content pieces works wonders to boost a site’s organic search traffic.

How Search Engines Work – How Content Is Discovered

If you think about how search engines work, the answer to “why develop content clusters?” readily becomes apparent:

  1. Search engines send scouts, called spiders or bots, to scour the internet for new content.
  2. They follow links from page to page to find and review new materials published online.
  3. Materials are indexed according to keywords – what the bot considers the main topic of the content piece.
  4. Google and other search engines use an algorithm to rank the content according to usefulness, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (the infamous E-A-T formula).

When search engines encounter content, they look for links as they scan the web page, and then they follow those links, and so on…and that helps the content rank well. We know from experience and data tracked over many years that the more your website interlinks in a logical, helpful way to the visitor or reader, the better.

B2B Pillar Content Strategy

A B2B pillar content strategy starts with pillars, or big concepts related to the heart of your website. On my gardening website, Home Garden Joy, pillar topics include vegetable gardening, composting, and seed starting, all basic concepts for new gardeners to master. On a fashion website, pillar topics might include capsule wardrobes, choosing flattering colors, or classic pieces to add to your wardrobe.

Each website’s pillar content varies according to the theme, unique spin, or ‘tilt’ as Joe Pulizzi calls it, of your site. A B2B pillar content strategy focuses on key concepts a business might be marketing to other businesses. Each topic, or pillar, in a B2B pillar content strategy should be broad enough to cover the idea thoroughly. Keyword-rich articles, linked from the pillar topic, create an ecosystem of content pieces related to a single concept or thought.

How to Begin a Content Cluster or B2B Pillar Content Strategy

Newcomers to content clusters or B2B pillar content strategies often wonder where they should begin. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What questions does my audience ask that my business is unique positioned to answer?
  • What key search terms do these questions relate to?
  • What is the search volume for this term?
  • Are there synonyms or related topics? If so, what is the search volume for those topics?
  • What has my competition published on this topic?
  • Have I published anything on this topic? If so, how many visits does it get?
  • Could my previously published pieces on this idea benefit from a rewrite?

The Seven Oaks Consulting Technique of Building Pillar Clusters

At Seven Oaks Consulting, our team of professional B2B content marketers uses a technique we call spider mapping to develop content clusters.

  • We put the main idea or big concept for the pillar content strategy in the middle along with its search volume, competition, and links to the top 3 content pieces into the big center circle.
  • Then, we brainstorm ideas around the big idea. These ideas go into the little surrounding circles.
  • We then conduct additional keyword research to develop out the shorter articles in the circles that looks like planets orbiting the sun.

Here’s an example from my own gardening website, Home Garden Joy. The primary idea is how to grow beets. We then spun off “beets” into multiple interlinked concepts, including recipes, to build a content cluster around growing beets.

example of content clusters

And then – voila. We have a content cluster. Writers receive their assignments, with the pillar content piece (the big idea in the middle) a long form topic and each orbiting topic developed into a supporting yet unique article.

We make sure that the pillar links out to the shorter pieces, and the shorter pieces link to the pillar. Then, we make sure that there are other links from our website into each piece.

Tools to Help Develop Content Clusters

There are a ton of SEO tools available to help you develop content clusters. I’ll share some of our favorites here.

  • SEM Rush – the big daddy of SEO tools. On the expensive side but you get a ton of great tools in one monthly package. It will help you assess keywords, compare competitive sites, and develop ideas.
  • Moz – another great SEO tool to help you find keywords and develop your strategy.
  • Keysearch – a low- priced yet feature-rich keyword search tool that also helps you pinpoint the top sites currently ranking for keywords you’re hoping to use and rank for.
  • Yoast – I absolutely love the paid Yoast plugin and it is worth every penny. We use it on all of our sites. It finds orphan content, or content that is not linked to anything else on the site and thus harder to find for search engines. It also helps us see if our content is readable and hits the right SEO buttons to rank well. Lastly, a paid Yoast subscription provides access to their library of educational materials, which is also great if you are new to SEO!
  • AnswerthePublic – this tool used to be free but is now a reasonably priced paid tool. It lets you assess keywords and develop conceptual lists around keywords.

Again, there are dozens more platforms and tools just like these out there, and every content marketer will have her favorite. I recommend starting with free or low priced tools (Google search analytics tools, Keysearch, AnswerthePublic) if you’re just starting out.

2B2 Pillar Content Strategy Part of Our Services

We provide B2B pillar content strategy creation as part of all of our content marketing packages, so if you’re reading this and feeling overwhelmed, give us a call. We worked with technology and manufacturing companies to develop robust content marketing strategies to boost website traffic, brand awareness, leads, and sales.

Our content clusters include keyword research, content topics development, writing and editing for proper organic SEO, and our unique subject matter expert review (which no other content marketing agency provides!).  Please contact us for a free consultation and discussion of your content marketing goals.

 

Video: Content Clusters, Creating B2B Content Pillars


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The Power of Customer Success Stories: How to Leverage Content Marketing for Maximum Impact

The Power of Customer Success Stories: How to Leverage Content Marketing for Maximum Impact

Customer success stories offer B2B companies a powerful way to share their work with customers.

Over the years, from the days of marketing gurus like Gary Halbert, David Ogilvy, etc., stories have been a powerful marketing tool. Now, companies leverage customers’ success stories as a content marketing tool. Stories build trust and credibility. They improve lead generation, nurturing, and conversion.

There are many ways to leverage customer stories for content marketing. Case studies and testimonials are the most common. We’ll go beyond case studies and testimonials to evaluate and discuss other creative ways B2B companies can leverage their customer success stories to boost their content marketing returns.

What Is a Customer Success Story?

A customer success story, or client story relates the tale of customer’s encounter with a company’s product or service. It includes detailed information, from the point of contact to the challenges, positive experiences, and how the products or services addressed their needs. Smart B2B companies understand that prospects trust what a customer says about a company and its products and services more than what the company says about itself. Therefore, they leverage customer stories to boost their content marketing effectiveness.

Customer success stories work best with prospects in the consideration stage of their customer journey. Early in the customer journey, customers may be eager to hear from others who have used a particular product or service they want to purchase. Customer-centric companies use customer success stories to dispel these fears and show how they’ve helped customers with similar challenges. They highlight challenges and pain points, and how the company solved these challenges.

Ways You Can Leverage Customer Success Stories for Content Marketing

Here are some ways B2B companies can leverage customer success stories to enhance their content marketing efforts:

Case Studies

Case studies are the most common ways companies show prospects how their business operates. Beyond sharing customer success stories, companies use case studies to narrate the customer journey and how they address every customer’s needs.

Sharing customer success stories with case studies requires B2B companies to highlight how their customers used their products or services to overcome challenges and achieve their business goals. They include key metrics, testimonials, and use cases and add compelling narratives to show their offerings’ value and effectiveness.

Blog Posts

Companies can use blog posts to share their customers’ success stories. This is useful, especially to B2B companies that wish to show detailed use cases of their products or services to enable their prospects to see how they are the best fit for their business.

To successfully share customer stories with this method, B2B companies must make blog posts about their customers, detailing their pain points and how their products or services provide the solution. These blog posts can be presented as interviews or guest posts from customers.

Video Testimonials

Videos are powerful content marketing tools with multipurpose use in content marketing. B2B companies that want to leverage their customers’ success stories to drive visibility and conversion must use video testimonials.

Video testimonials don’t just capture your customers’ stories more engagingly and compellingly; they also build trust and credibility faster, as the prospects hear directly from the customers. Video testimonials can be incorporated into other content marketing formats like published blog posts, shared on video-sharing networks like YouTube, posted on social media, or attached to emails.

Social Media

With over 4.2 billion social media users worldwide, companies understand the impact building trust and credibility on social media platforms using their customers’ success stories would have on their business.

To effectively leverage social media for sharing customer stories, companies develop social media campaigns that focus on sharing their customer stories. Share them as quotes, short video clips, infographics, and other repurposed content.

Encourage customers to share their stories using specific hashtags; when they do, they respond and engage with them by quoting their stories and pushing the success stories to their followers. This increases engagement on the company’s social media accounts, thus, increasing visibility and leading to more lead generation and sales.

Webinars

Webinars are fast becoming a vital content marketing channel companies can leverage to share exciting news and information with their prospects and customers.

B2B companies can use webinars to share customer success stories by inviting customers for interviews. In these interviews, their customers will share their stories, beginning with their challenges, how they sought solutions, and how the company’s products or services addressed their needs. 

Given the nature of webinars, companies can have more in-depth conversations with their customers, highlighting the key benefits they derive from their products or services. This gives prospects a detailed insight into the customer experience success stories and helps them envision telling their stories someday.

Email Campaigns

Email marketing has remained a powerful content marketing channel companies adopt to nurture leads into buying and repeat customers.

Leveraging email campaigns to share customer success stories helps companies handle customer objections and convince them to try their products and services. This strategy will work best in multichannel marketing where other strategies, like video testimonials, podcast episodes, webinars, blog links, etc., are incorporated to give the prospects more reasons to trust the company.

 

Why Use Customer Stories and Testimonials?

Customer stories and testimonials are powerful content marketing tools that future-centric B2B companies adopt to build trust and credibility. They make it easy for companies to showcase their values and benefits.

Success stories also make products and services relatable. When prospects see other customers who have been in their shoes and had a successful experience, they imagine themselves achieving the same feat. This influences them to purchase the products without further objections.

Furthermore, customer stories enhance content marketing efforts as they can be repurposed into valuable content that supports lead generation and conversion.

 

Learn more about the power of stories: How Brand Storytelling Increased ROI 2,700%!

 

How to Structure Success Stories and Testimonials to Get Results

Like a typical story, customer success stories and testimonials follow a structure. They move from problem to solution.

That means companies should first narrate their customers’ challenges. Then, talk about how they sought solutions. End with how their products and services provided the customers with the needed solution.

This approach enables the prospects to envision the customer’s journey. It also provides insights into how their problems can be addressed with the company’s products and services.

 

Use Customer Stories Strategically and Get Improved ROI

Customer success stories can help a company generate massive leads and help it nurture prospects into buying customers. However, handling B2B customer success stories is delicate, as companies must seek their customers’ consent and tell the story strategically. Always ask permission before sharing success stories. 

Leveraging customer stories for content marketing is a powerful marketing approach for fB2B companies. When executed properly, it can greatly improve ROI. 

 

 

 

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7 Ways to Amplify Your Content - and Get Leads and Site Traffic

Creating valuable and relevant content is no longer enough to attract customers. Fierce industry competition and the amount of content published daily have tightened the chances of content marketing success. Only companies with a robust content marketing strategy that includes all steps of the content lifecycle enjoy the benefits of content marketing.

Getting your content across to your target audience is critical to marketing success. No content will attain its full potential if it’s not adequately distributed and promoted with the right strategy. That is where content amplification comes in.

What Is Content Amplification?

Content amplification is the concept of using various channels to promote and distribute content to gain a wider reach. Content amplification aims to boost online presence, stay memorable, increase engagement, and ultimately drive more traffic, leads, and conversions.

It’s a vital concept for B2B marketing.

Why Is Content Amplification Important for B2B Marketing?

Content amplification is crucial to B2B marketing because it allows companies to get their content across to the right audience (decision-makers) at the right time and in the proper context.

B2B purchase decisions are often made by multiple stakeholders who ask numerous questions and conduct intense research on various platforms. Effective content amplification increases a company’s likelihood of staying top-of-mind when these decision-makers decide.

According to a Converge report, 90% of B2B companies said content amplification enhanced their content marketing strategy results. No matter how great a piece of content is and the high engagement it attracts, it’ll yield more results with content amplification.

To reach the right audience and attract qualified leads, it’s more than important for companies to use the right content amplification strategies and techniques.

 

7 Ways to Make Content Amplification Work for You (Platforms, Strategies, and Techniques)

Here are seven ways to amplify content:

1. Leverage Social Media

Social media is an inexhaustible gold mine for B2B brand visibility. There are over 4.7 billion people on social media, which gives marketers an ocean of prospects to tap into.

Result-focused B2B companies can use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to amplify content and reach a specific audience. Don’t just share content once; routinely share your content according to a content amplification strategy that aligns with your digital content strategy goals.

 

2. Collaborate with Influencers

A strong content amplification strategy involves partnering with industry influencers and thought leaders. Influencer marketing enables companies to share relevant content and promote their products and solutions.

According to Smart Insight's essential influencer marketing facts for 2020, 51% of marketers agreed that influencer marketing helped them acquire better customers. This is because a partnership with the right niche influencer gives you access to an audience filled with potential clients.

While some influencers might offer this service for free, others would want a mutually beneficial relationship.

 

3. Adopt Paid Promotion

Another critical way to amplify content is to pay for promotions on search engines, social media, and other online platforms. B2B companies in the start-up phase can use paid promotions to gain adequate visibility and reach.

Paid promotion is a highly effective content amplification strategy that allows you to target audiences with specific demographics and interests.

 

4. Repurpose Your Content

People have preferences when it comes to content format. While some love reading texts, others prefer content in an image or video format. Infographics are also highly effective with some groups of people.

B2B companies should understand these natural differences and make the most of them by repurposing their content to suit different audience preferences. Repurposing content into e-books, podcasts, infographics, and videos enables your company to reach a broader audience.

Furthermore, repurposing content enables your audience to easily share them with their network, increasing your reach, conversions, and profitability.

A Referral Rock survey showed that 94% of marketers surveyed repurposed their content, while the remaining 6% planned to do so in the future. In the same study, 46% of the marketers indicated that repurposing content brought in the best results in terms of leads, conversions, etc., compared to other efforts.

 

5. Engage with Your Community

Communities provide opportunities for B2B marketers to amplify their content with ease. By answering questions and contributing to important discussions on online forums, commenting on other blogs, and actively connecting with others on social media, B2B marketers can efficiently promote their content to a broader audience.

 

6. Optimize for Search Engines

Optimizing content for search engines is crucial for companies to amplify their content. Growth-driven companies can optimize content with relevant keywords, meta descriptions, tags, and other on-page optimization strategies. Also, add several content assets, like whitepapers, e-books, templates, quizzes, infographics, and videos, to give your content a natural amplification.

GaggleAMP analyzed 50 of HubSpot’s most shared blog posts and found that 84% of the posts had content assets such as calculators, quizzes, templates, etc. Well-optimized content will rank well and go shoulder-to-shoulder with websites with strong domain authority.

 

7. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is another crucial way to amplify content effectively. Email subscribers are often loyalists, and if you execute effective email marketing, they’ll always expect your emails and forward your valuable content to their networks.

 

Content Amplification Tools

Here are some tools to make your content amplification easier:

OutBrain: An online platform that provides content discovery and recommendation services. It allows marketers to promote their content on major media outlets and websites.

BuzzSumo: A social media analytics tool that enables companies to track trends and identify industry influencers to help promote their content.

Buffer: A social media management tool that enables users to schedule and publish content on various platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

CoSchedule: A tool that helps businesses create and distribute content, manage their editorial calendar, and track the performance of their marketing campaigns.

GaggleAMP: A social media amplification tool that enables businesses to amplify their social media presence using the power of employee advocacy.

 

Common Amplification Goals and KPIs

Here are some content amplification goals and common KPIs.

  • Increase Website Traffic: The KPIs for measuring this goal are monthly traffic, bounce rate, page views, time on site, etc.
  • Generate Leads: The KPIs to measure lead generation are conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), cost per lead (CPL), lead quality, etc.
  • Boost Brand Awareness: Marketers use impressions, social media shares, mentions, and reach to measure this content amplification goal.
  • Improve Engagement: The most common KPIs for this content amplification goal are likes, comments, and shares on social media, email open rates, click-through rates, and time spent on a page.
  • Increase Sales: Sales increase is one of the essential content amplification goals, and it is measured with conversion rate, revenue generated, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on investment (ROI).

Amplify Your Content to Improve Your Content Marketing ROI

Content amplification is critical to every content marketing strategy as it enhances the content reach and significantly improves brand awareness, lead generation, and return on investment. Smart B2B marketers don’t fail to make plans for content promotion while planning out their content marketing approach.

At Seven Oaks Consulting, we understand the importance of content amplification to B2B technology companies, which is why it’s a critical part of every content marketing strategy we develop.

We’re an expert content marketing agency offering content marketing solutions to B2B companies. We can serve as your content marketing team to keep your content wheel running while you focus on your business, or we can be your go-to company for outsourced content. Either way, we align our goals with yours to achieve marketing success. Reach out to learn how we can help.


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3 Quick Tips to Write an Effective Case Study

A case study is an essential part of the B2B content marketing strategy. When a potential client reads your case studies, they have perused your website and have a very good idea of what your company can offer. This is the stage where the buyer is considering and deciding. Case studies allow them to get to know your company more and will help.

Make Sure Your Case Study Relates to Your Ideal Client

A case study is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how your company adds value by solving problems for your clients. You’ll want to ensure your case study is relatable to your clients.

Take some time to think about your ideal client, their industry, and their problems. You’ll want your case studies to reflect these concepts and include answers your client finds relevant. If the client does, they are more likely to trust you.

Be Specific

Don’t exclude details when creating your case study. You may be required to maintain client confidentiality or leave specific information out of the case study at a client’s request. But you should always be as specific as possible with the information you do include, such as:

 

  • Your client’s name

If you have permission to use your client’s name, do so by all means. If not, then keep this information confidential. You can describe the client by their industry, business size, etc.

Before publishing your case study, check the description with your client to ensure they feel comfortable. Some clients are more sensitive than others about maintaining their privacy. You don’t want to reveal so much information that someone reading the case study can determine your client’s identity.

 

  • The client’s problem

Don’t hesitate to provide details about your client’s problem. This is where you draw potential clients in. If they can see their problems when reading your case study, they can relate to it more readily.

 

  • The solution

It’s not enough to let the reader know that you were able to solve the problem. Back up your statement with numbers. Tell the reader how the solution your company suggested or implemented was able to benefit your client in real terms. “Once Client [X] started doing [y], their company was able to save [z] percent annually.” This is something the potential client can relate to and helps them move toward deciding whether to work with you.

 

Tell the Whole Story

When you write your case study, make sure you tell the story from start to finish. Slow down to ensure that you don’t miss any details along the way. Ensure that the case study includes your initial contact with the client and the client discussing the problem initially. This kind of detail gives the reader context before they move into the specifics of the problem and how your company was able to solve it.


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The Value of Content Marketing for Technology Companies

11 Ways Content Marketing Drives Value for Technology Companies

Content marketing for technology companies continually achieves success, especially for B2B companies in highly competitive industries. The more tech companies launch and offer diverse products and services, the more the market gets noisier. Only companies that effectively communicate their value proposition will eventually meet their marketing goals, boost market share, increase revenue, and gain a competitive edge.

Although companies employ various strategies to communicate their value proposition and increase market share, content marketing has been recognized as one of the most effective strategies.

A Content Marketing Institute report showed that 73% of B2B and 75% of B2C companies use content marketing to show their expertise and authoritativeness, build customer trust, drive business results, and improve profit margins.

Before I explore how content marketing brings immeasurable value to B2B tech companies, the essence of a practical content marketing strategy, and the best way to win with content marketing, let me briefly discuss…

 

Why Content Marketing Is Key to Success for Tech Companies

Content marketing integrates with and powers all other marketing channels, which is part of why 22% of B2B marketers spend 50% or more of their total marketing budget on content marketing. It enables companies to educate and inform their target audience on diverse, relevant, and helpful topics ranging from the latest industry trends to best practices, client FAQs and pain points, etc. It helps smart companies to establish themselves as thought leaders and trusted advisors, increasing credibility and trust.

Customers are easily drawn to companies that share valuable content. Strategic content addresses clients' pain points and challenges, attracts and converts quality leads, and drives business results.

Furthermore, content marketing is crucial to achieving brand visibility, awareness, and a positive reputation, which is vital to every tech company's success.

It's non-negotiable if you're in business to make a profit. A Semrush survey of marketing pros showed that 91% of the respondents agreed that they achieved success with content marketing in 2021.

 

How Content Marketing Brings Value to Tech Companies

Content marketing brings overall long-term value.

 

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Content marketing is invaluable for building brand awareness and increasing visibility on a budget, as supported by eighty percent of marketers. Tech companies leverage content marketing to create compelling brand stories that induce an emotional connection in customers. Compelling brand storytelling communicates a company's mission, vision, and unique selling proposition, ultimately differentiating the company from competitors.

Furthermore, with billions of social media users available, an effective digital content strategy leverages social media platforms' potential for lead generation. Tech companies with effective content marketing strategies preach their products and services on social media, enabling them to acquire only quality leads.

 

2. Increase Website Traffic

Tech companies use content marketing to drive website traffic by providing valuable information that addresses critical clients' questions and pain points. According to Hubspot data, consistent content marketing yielded 55% more website traffic for the companies.

Excellent content marketing provides SEO-rich valuable content and promotes content through other content amplification channels. These increase content reach and drive more quality traffic.

 

3. Generate Quality Leads

Effective content marketing helps tech companies attract quality leads actively seeking solutions. HubSpot surveyed 1400 websites, and among other findings, it was revealed that companies that adopted content marketing gathered 68% more leads from blogging alone than customers without blogs.

Their 2023 state of marketing report, which included original data from over 1200 marketers across the globe, also supported that inbound marketing channels like content marketing drives 54% more leads than traditional marketing channels.

When you publish whitepapers, ebooks, blogs, webinars, and other informative materials packaged to deliver value, clients will trust you enough to drop their contacts, allowing you to follow up and move them down the sales funnel.

 

4. Establish Thought Leadership

Future-proof tech companies establish themselves as thought leaders by creating informative and insightful content and repeatedly addressing industry questions and concerns. This practice builds credibility and increases reputation and trust, as customers see such companies as reliable sources for credible industry information.

A 2020 study by Edelman and LinkedIn featured expanded insights from 3,275 global business leaders. It showed that nearly 90% of C-level decision-makers believed that thought leadership influences their opinion of a company.

Companies that successfully establish thought leadership easily convert their target audience into brand loyalists and advocates, increasing retention and profitability.

5. Build a Community

Customer-oriented companies understand the importance of a community of vibrant, happy, and loyal followers and leverage all available means to build one.

Content marketing effectively builds a valuable loyal community around a company, its products, and its services. B2Bs that create content that encourages discussion and engagement foster a sense of brand affinity that increase brand loyalty. A community of loyal customers increases brand visibility and reduces advertising and other customer acquisition, support, and retention costs, increasing profitability in the long run.

 

6. Enhance Customer Engagement

Content marketing improves customer engagement and service delivery.

Creating and effectively distributing valuable, shareable content is an excellent way to engage prospects across customer touchpoints. Smart tech companies use this approach to increase content reach, increase visibility for their products and services and generate more quality leads, conversions, and referrals.

 

7. Support Sales Efforts

Content marketing supports and enables sales to achieve more. A robust sales enablement strategy streamlines the collaboration between marketing and sales so that marketing qualifies leads before passing them on to sales. This relationship involves using content to attract, engage, and delight prospects before moving them down the sales funnel for conversion. Doing this reduces the load on the sales team, reduces customer acquisition costs, and boosts revenue generation.

 

8. Showcase Products and Features

As highlighted, content marketing helps companies showcase products, service features, and benefits. While providing information and addressing clients' pain points, tech companies can present their products and services as solutions to the challenges.

Effective content marketing involving practical content like case studies and visual content like webinars is so powerful that companies can make potential clients experience their products and services with detailed descriptions. This information eliminates conversion barriers and facilitates purchasing decisions.

 

9. Provide Customer Support

As clients seek more and more self-service support, content marketing makes it easy for companies to meet clients' concerns and questions even before the ticket reaches the CX department. Companies that provide detailed information on industry topics and answers to frequently asked questions about their products reduce the workload on customer support teams and improve customer satisfaction.

Savvy tech companies set up knowledge bases and provide product documentation to help customers solve problems and learn more about their products or service without contacting the support team. Even more, these companies use social media and email marketing to provide additional support and keep customers informed of new features or changes to their products or services, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

 

10. Provide Analytics and Insights

Customer insights are critical to the success of B2B tech companies. Content marketing analytics data provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, helping companies improve their products and provide better customer experience.

Forward-thinking companies make data-driven decisions powered by metrics such as website traffic, engagement, bounce rates, lead generation rates, most visited pages, customer journey maps, most searched keywords, etc., that help them discover customers' preferences and refine their content marketing strategy to meet those preferences.

 

11. Support Recruitment Efforts

Content marketing is also instrumental in recruiting top talents. It helps a company showcase its culture and values and highlight career opportunities. Tech companies that create content around their company culture and work ethics and how it supports the comfort and growth of their employees attract the best talents.

 

A Content Marketing Approach That Yields Optimal Results

Content marketing is essential. So is having a robust content marketing strategy that yields optimal results at a minimal cost. A good content marketing strategy and execution is the key to staying competitive in a highly competitive tech industry.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 5% of B2B marketers don't plan to develop a content marketing strategy. Being a part of this minority automatically puts any tech company at a disadvantage, as 95% of others implementing content marketing strategies will indeed have a competitive edge.

Because adopting content marketing is a must for profit-minded companies, B2Bs are often faced with two options - hiring in-house content marketers and putting them on a monthly salary or outsourcing their content marketing needs to experts experienced in developing, executing, and managing content marketing strategies.

What a company will opt for depends on many factors, including budget, personnel available, experience level, company size, etc. Whatever you choose, your content marketing strategy must track the right value metrics that bring business to the company. That way, you're not chasing shadows with your content marketing.

 

Work with Experts that Maximize Content Marketing Value for Tech Companies

The value of content marketing for tech companies can't be overemphasized. A well-implemented content marketing strategy can move a tech company from zero recognition to becoming a trusted, reliable go-to brand for quality industry information. It increases lead generation and conversion, boosts revenue, enhances CX delivery, and yields long-term business value.

Seven Oaks Consulting provides content marketing for technology companies that achieve tremendous results with content marketing. We're a content marketing outsourcing company that can assist you so you can focus on other business processes and be assured of winning with content.

We have 15+ years of experience providing content marketing for technology companies. We invite you to reach out to discuss how we can help your company benefit from these values of content marketing for tech companies.


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How to Build an Audience Through Free Content

You are undoubtedly familiar with the sales cycle, and it's normal for some customers to take time before deciding to buy. What do you do in the meantime? You do the following:

  • Continue to be helpful to your customers by offering exemplary customer service.
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
  • Build an audience by providing prospective customers with free content they can use.

Why Would You Provide Free Content?

Why would you want to give anything away? Usually, that strategy flies in the face of what you have been taught to run a successful business.

In this case, we're talking about giving away content that your current and prospective customers can use. They will find it helpful and remember the company that provides valuable, free content when they are ready to make a buying decision.

How to Build an Audience Through Sharing Content Strategically

Your team can provide free content to your audience in many forms. Consider these options to develop a following, win loyalty, and gain a long-term customer base.

1. Offer a free report.

Offer a free report to those who sign up for your mailing list. It should be on a timely topic that prospective customers will find interesting. The three to five page report is something that readers can easily digest.

2. Write blog posts.

Ideally, a blog post should be more conversational than an article. Picture chatting in comfortable chairs with a few friends beside a roaring fire. They've asked you a question about a problem they are having. What tone would you use when responding to them?

Company blog posts should be warm but professional. You want to avoid using jargon or any language that is inflammatory or offensive. The goal is to bring readers in, not drive them away.

Consider that if online users like your posts, they will share them with others. If enough internet users "Like" your posts, there is a chance your free content will go viral.

Always include "Like" and "Share" buttons on your blog posts and invite your readers to use them.

3. Reply to comments on your blog posts.

Don't ignore comments on your blog post. Always respond to them; this is an excellent way to start an online discussion.

Not everyone will agree with your blog content, and even the naysayers can comment on what you post. Always start by thanking them for their thoughtful comment; then respond respectfully.

4. Speak at local business group meetings.

Local business groups are always looking for speakers to appear at their meetings. Contact the small business association in your city (and nearby cities) and the local chamber of commerce to volunteer your services.

Before reaching out, think carefully about the topics you (or one of your executives) could discuss and why they would interest local business owners. Ask how long the business group would like the presentation to be for its members. Bring plenty of business cards to hand out to the business group members. Ask whether you can bring brochures for group members if they wish to have more information about your company.

5. Offer to do radio and television spots on local stations.

Local radio and television stations may seek content that their listeners and viewers will find interesting. Contact producers at local stations and offer to provide some on-air content. You will likely score some points if you have a specific topic ready.

If the listeners or viewers like what they hear or see, you can turn a casual experience into a regular gig. The key is to be approachable. Focus on people's problems and how your company has the solutions to help solve them.