The Inbound and Content Marketing blog

Are you putting your B2B buyer personas first?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  7, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing is customer-centric: your target audience is at the heart of everything you do. Therefore, you need to understand that audience – and one of the best ways to do that is to create B2B buyer personas.

Buyer personas represent the people that matter to your business. HubSpot defines them as "fictional, generalised characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behaviour patterns among your real and potential customers". 

Your buyer personas should inform your entire inbound marketing strategy. Without them, your campaigns and messaging could be completely missing the mark. So, how can you make certain that you're effectively prioritising your B2B buyer personas?

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What B2B content writers should know about 10x content

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  23, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

By now, many companies understand the vital role that content plays in attracting their target audience. According to HubSpot's 2016 State of Inbound report, 73 per cent of organisations have adopted inbound as their primary approach to marketing – and, of course, inbound is powered by content. The report surveyed more than 4,500 respondents from marketing backgrounds in B2B, B2C, small, and mid-sized businesses, which are based in over 132 countries – so the results are not to be sniffed at! 

However, it is no longer enough for businesses to simply create content. The competition is heating up and there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of content out there. In today's environment, mediocre content just won't cut it – and even good, unique content will struggle. So, we need to be creating extraordinary content.

In 2016, Rand Fishkin, the co-founder of Moz, coined the term "10x content". And, in doing so, he offered B2B content writers a solution to this very real problem.

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How to create content ideas for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  23, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Regular content creation is at the heart of modern marketing, but maintaining a constant stream of useful and engaging content can be challenging. This is especially true in professional services where you may feel interesting topics may be few and far between.

So how can you generate ideas for content? 

Firstly, look at how to find out what your clients want to read about. You can create as much content as you like, but it will only be truly effective if it satisfies a need – if it gives your clients the answers to the questions they are asking.

Secondly, look at types of content that work for professional services – starting with a type often makes creating the content for it much easier.

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Why are your B2B marketing tactics not working?

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Are you struggling to maintain previous levels of sales, or having issues generating leads? If you are simply doing more of the same, it could be that your whole approach is the problem. The entire marketing and buyer landscape has changed – old methods no longer work. Unless you recognise this and change your strategy, your sales will suffer and problems will follow.

The evidence for the revolution

You may have heard the saying: "If you have been doing something the same way for a long period of time – it's probably wrong."

When Adobe carried out a survey in 2013, they found that 76 per cent of people felt that marketing had changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50, with a similar number saying that the old marketing model is no longer sufficient. There are a whole host of factors – technological, social, and more that are accelerating this rate of change.

So, if you haven't changed your B2B marketing tactics in the past few years, you need to rethink - or lose potential sales.

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3 top benefits of content marketing for manufacturing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  10, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you are a manufacturer already on a content marketing journey, or one that is considering taking the plunge, it's always worth reiterating the benefits of content marketing for manufacturing.

According to research published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) at the end of 2016, 85 per cent of manufacturing marketers use content marketing. However, well over three-quarters (79 per cent) of these describe their organisation's content marketing maturity level as "first steps", "young" or "adolescent", as opposed to "mature" or "sophisticated".  And only a third (33 per cent) say that their organisations have clarity on [what constitutes] content marketing success.

The early stages of a content marketing strategy can be hard. It takes time to lay down the foundations and results don't appear overnight – but, when they do, they're well worth the wait.

So, here are three top benefits of content marketing for manufacturing to keep in mind if you're in need of a boost or have just plain lost your mojo.

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4 myths about B2B content writing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  2, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Myth: a widely held but false belief or idea."

Oxford Dictionaries

B2B content writing is a topic ripe for discussion. There's tons of information and advice out there, which you could spend hours reading and digesting. But, you might still find yourself scratching your head over what denotes best practice. 

So, in the age of the "post-truth" society, it's time to put to bed a few lingering myths about creating B2B content. 

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4 simple productivity techniques to help B2B content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  26, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"We'll publish a blog post every day this month"; "this quarter, we'll create a top-of-the-funnel eBook and a middle-of-the-funnel whitepaper": it's easy to be ambitious about your B2B content strategy, but achieving your goals can often be a different story.

When there's so much to do and distractions at every turn, it can be difficult for B2B content writers to be as productive as they would like. However, successful content marketing relies on consistently creating useful and valuable content for your target audience.

So, here are five simple productivity techniques, to help you power through your to-do list and create the great content you have planned.

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What are 2017's B2B social media marketing challenges?

Written by Keith Errington  |  25, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It seems in 2017 the one thing we can be certain of is change. Nowhere is this felt more than in the areas of your business that are reliant on, or intricately tied to, technology. Marketing, in particular, has become more centred around technology in recent years and has been undergoing radical change.

And perhaps the most changeable digital channel for marketing is social media, which is more relevant than ever to B2B businesses. A 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey shows that more than half (53 percent) of B2B buyers are turning to social media to make buying decisions and more than a third (34 percent) say they are spending more time this year than last, using social media to research vendors and solutions.

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Why inbound marketing for manufacturing supports Industry 4.0

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  24, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is set to revolutionise the manufacturing and production industry by integrating the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, data integration and other technological advances into the heart of production and manufacturing systems."

Salesforce

There's no doubt that Industry 4.0 is coming for the manufacturing industry – and with it, big changes. The ultimate goal of Industry 4.0 is the "smart" factory, in which "cyber-physical systems (CPS) will monitor the physical processes within modular structured factories, and a virtual copy of the physical world will be mined for data in real time, enabling decentralised decisions" (Source: The Manufacturer).

Simultaneously, there are changes afoot in the sales and marketing environment – the go-to methods simply don't work as well as they used to. Today, more and more business is conducted online and, to put it simply, no one wants to talk to your sales team – at least, not to start with. The power has passed into the hands of buyers, who want to ensure they are informed and educated about their needs before they speak to a sales person. In fact, according to a survey carried out by Forrester, 74 per cent of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase.

So, what to do?

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Why you should focus on B2B marketing fundamentals in 2017

Written by Keith Errington  |  12, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

January is traditionally a time when companies look to the year ahead, so what are the main B2B marketing issues they should be addressing in 2017?

Well, despite the many new technologies being bandied about and the cloud of hype surrounding them, it will be a focus on the fundamentals that will allow B2B businesses to succeed this year.

Integrated approach to business

Managing a business used to be easy – each function of the business – manufacturing, sales, marketing, customer service and management had their own departments – their own boxes if you like. Each reported to the board through a more-or-less vertical reporting and controlling system. It was always very clear what each area did, what is was responsible for and what their territory was.

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Why B2B content writers should embrace their writing voice

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Writing is the painting of the voice" - Voltaire

We all have unique voices: deep and rich, breathy, high-pitched, soft and honeyed. And when we write, we also have unique voices. However, sometimes we stymie our voices, shackling our personalities to produce flat, impersonal writing. We resort to tired templates and worn-out clichés, jargon and meaninglessness.

This is all too easily done in the context of B2B content writing, where much of what is created is dismissed as "boring". After all, if what you're writing about is dull, then why bother to inject some individuality?

The answer is, because it matters. When you're writing for a business, your audience is still made up of real people, with real problems – and you might just be able to solve them. But first, you need to embrace your writing voice.

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