B2B Marketing Blog

[PART 2] 4 Components of a B2B Content Marketing & Demand Gen Machine

By Lauren Frye
Sep 16, 2015
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You’ve stumbled upon Part Two of a short series where we discuss the tips and tricks that can make or break a B2B content strategy. This article will cover statistics and recommendations for effective B2B content promotion, and we’ll also see how to accurately report on your demand gen strategy from a revenue-generation standpoint. Stay tuned.

In Part 1, we discussed how to conduct proper target audience analysis through the creation of B2B buyer personas, and we walked through the 10 principles of successful B2B content creation. If you’d like to take a jaunt back to part one, feel free.


COMPONENT 3: Content Promotion

Often the first thing we think of when we hear “content promotion” is social media, and rightly so. Social media is a fantastic way to promote content, and it’s also an applicable method of gauging your audience’s interest in your content. Shares and ‘likes’ indicate that your readership appreciates your content and considers it valuable. As you begin to consider how to promote your content via social media, consider the following pointers:

Pointer #1: Include a share-bar on your blog

Readers love it when you make sharing easy for them. Include a share-bar on your blog, preferably along the left side, and be sure that it moves along the side of the page as the reader scrolls down. This way, whenever the reader decides that your content is excellent and worthy of their sharing support, those sharing buttons are right in front of them.

Pointer #2: Include “Click-to-tweet” links in your content

Some sharers are also a little lazy, and they’d rather not take time to find a quotable line within your content, so you can just hand them a ready-made tweet. Include a “Tweet this” link, and craft your tweet carefully so that it has the appropriate hashtags, mentions, and link.

Pointer #3. Share your own posts on social media multiple times

While we wouldn’t suggest this practice for LinkedIn, Twitter users don’t mind a lot of tweets. So, after you publish a blog post, schedule out 5-6 tweets over the next 2-3 weeks. That way you’ll get more eyes on your content, more engagement, and more feedback.

But of all of the social networks, which do you choose to use as your most-used promotion channels? That’s an excellent question, and TopRankBlog’s article provides some stats from B2B marketers on their experiences with social media, and the perspectives that they have.

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[STATS] B2B Content Promotion on Social Media

The infographic below compares the percentage of B2B marketers using a particular social media channel with the percentage of marketers who consider it a top-performing channel. In some cases, the percentages correlate. For instance, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content promotion, and 64% of B2B marketers believe that it’s one of their most effective channels.

The most surprising statistic is that 84% of B2B marketers use Facebook as content promotion, but only 32% of Marketers believe that it’s actually an effective content promotion channel. For more of these figures, take a look at the infographic:

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To evaluate the statistics above, we would recommend that the best channels are those used by a higher percentage of B2B marketers. However, this is based on the assumption that the channels that B2B marketers use are actually the correct channels. In your evaluation, temper that assumption by using the second set of data - the number of B2B marketers that believe that the social network in question is among their top-performing channels. If there is a disproportionately low percentage in the second column, it shows that that particular channel might not hold water as well as some marketers would hope.

While these stats can provide some perspective, every business needs to find their own mix of all or some of these channels. It’s not about using one or another, it’s about playing to each of the channel’s strengths in order to generate as large of a readership as possible.

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[STATS] B2B Content Promotion via Paid-Advertising

B2B content promotion via paid-advertising can be evaluated the same way. If your marketing budget makes room for you to subsidize your distribution strategy to extend it’s reach, check out which paid-advertising channels B2B companies are currently using and whether they find those channels effective or not. (Stats provided by TopRankBlog)

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

58% of B2B companies use search engine marketing to distribute / promote content

52% of B2B companies say search engine marketing is an effective paid advertising method to distribute content

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

49% of B2B companies use traditional online banner ads to distribute / promote content

26% of B2B companies say traditional online banner ads are an effective paid advertising method to distribute content

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

48% of B2B companies use social media ads to distribute / promote content

38% of B2B companies say social media ads are an effective paid advertising method to distribute content

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42% of B2B companies use promoted social posts, (like promoted tweets) to distribute / promote content

41% of B2B companies say promoted social posts are an effective paid advertising method to distribute content

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13% of B2B companies use content discovery tools to distribute / promote content

36% of B2B companies say content discovery tools are an effective paid advertising method to distribute content

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

These two key forms of content promotion, social media and paid-advertising, enhance your content marketing readership and subscriber base. It’s kind of like spraying lighter fluid on a stubborn campfire.

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COMPONENT 4: Reporting

Reporting tells all. Marketers can talk until they’re blue in the face about which strategies, channels, ads, keywords, CTAs, landing pages, and blog posts they assume bring in the most leads, but nothing sheds light on assumptions like cold, hard data.

But if you’re going to report, you need to report well. To report well, you need to evaluate your effectiveness based on the right marketing metrics. But which are the “right” metrics?

a) Avoid Reporting with Vanity Metrics

Sales needs qualified leads, and it’s marketing’s job to find those leads. Marketers care that these leads are “qualified” because they want those prospects to have the best possible chance to convert into opportunities, and eventually into customers. Therefore, if a marketer’s ultimate goals is additional revenue, their reporting metrics should be able to gauge their progress toward that goal.

Strangely enough, this isn’t usually the case. Many, many marketers report using “vanity” metrics -- metrics that don’t have any bearing on lead qualification, customer creation, or bottom-line revenue generation. These vanity metrics often include traffic, page views, visit duration, CTA clicks, and even lead volume. While these are good metrics to measure, they don’t have little bearing on whether the leads flowing through your company pipeline are potential customers. But half the time, these metrics are all these marketers have to use. The reason for this is generally because they haven’t pursued a full-funnel reporting solution.

b) Instead, Use Full-Funnel Reporting 

Full-funnel reporting tracks a visitor from their very first touch (or first-ever exposure to your company, online or offline) and tracks that customer’s journey through the entire funnel. As a revenue-oriented reporting solution, this approach provides step-by-step, touchpoint-by-touchpoint data about all of the leads in your pipeline. This reporting process is also commonly known as marketing attribution. 

When marketers have this kind of visibility into their potential customer’s buying journey, they can see which touchpoints contributed to a particular lead’s movement through the funnel. They can tell which keywords (organic and paid) generate the most leads, opps, and customers. They can see which keywords (organic and paid) are underperforming and reallocate that effort and spend to keywords that bring in qualified leads.

This way, marketers can optimize their content marketing strategy, reduce wasted paid ad spend, and have the metrics they need to report accurately and persuasively. This type of full-funnel reporting turns confused, frustrated marketers into company-renowned heroes.

And you’re up next.

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