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Study: Which Content Marketing tasks are typically in-house or outsourced

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Study: Which Content Marketing tasks are typically in-house or outsourced

A team of online marketers usually have a lot on their plate, especially when campaigns are using multi-channel strategies that involve social media, blog content production, email and pure SEO.

These tactics thrive on content, and because the demand for quality has been escalating in the past few years, there has also been a call for expert writers, graphic designers, and content distribution marketers that are competent enough to compete against thousands of other online marketers.

However, you can’t rely on outsourcing for the entire content marketing operation, because would deprive you of managerial control and supervision. You need to do some of the things in-house to keep you in touch with the activities of the campaign.

So which of the usual tasks are better off delegated to an outside firm? For reference, let’s take a look at a study conducted by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute.

Here are some of the findings:

B2B Content Marketing Insourcing and Outsourcing

  • 56% of B2B marketers create content in-house exclusively

  • 1% of B2B marketers outsource all content creation and 43% use a combination of in-house and outsourced content creation

  • 43% of B2B companies use both in-house and outsourced content creation resources

  • 65% of large companies outsource content creation and 44% overall outsource B2B content creation

  • 91% of B2B content marketers tailor their content in at least one way

  • 59% of B2B content marketers segment content by individual decision maker profiles

Which content marketing tactics are outsourced?

  • 64% of B2B marketers outsource writing

  • 54% of B2B marketers outsource design

  • 30% of B2B marketers outsource content distribution

  • 22% of B2B marketers outsource editing

  • 13% of B2B marketers outsource measurement & analytics

  • 8% of B2B marketers outsource content planning & strategy

  • 5% of B2B marketers outsource buyer persona creation

More marketing teams outsource writers and graphic designers because these are rare commodities which are vital to the whole content-driven campaign. A few years ago, business people and specialists would just post content on blogs without so much concern on the linguistic and visual technicalities of their articles. But since content quality is now imperative for lead generation success, writers and designers are tapped to fill in.

Obviously, administrative tasks such as measurement and analytics, planning and strategy, and buyer persona creation are still under the to-do lists of in-house personnel, because these obligations already entail crucial decisions and alignments with the company’s goals and objectives, and are rarely shared with people outside of the business.

Bad Habits to Stop When You’re a Lead Generation Blogger

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Bad Habits to Stop When You're a Lead Generation Blogger

An online marketer’s attitude is just as important as his or her professional skills. More often than not, no matter how proficient a business blogger is, things will not start rolling into positive results unless certain behavioral lapses are not addressed.

So what are these unproductive habits that need to be brought to a halt?

Amanda Nelson, Content Marketing Manager at Salesforce, lists down several no-no’s in lead generation through content marketing:

Blogging for the Sake of Blogging

You may experience pressure to create or update your company blog, but if you don’t have a plan and goal around it, the effort is a waste. Before you even start typing, know your goals, audience and schedule so your blog is frequently updated with on-topic, relevant content. If you can’t commit to that, don’t blog at all.

Running on Your Own Schedule

Work with your entire marketing department, sales, PR, etc. to understand the big events, product launches, campaigns and other initiatives happening for the year, the quarter and the month so your content can be directly tied in. This will also help you create a content calendar and schedule.

Forgetting to Triple-Check Your Work

No matter how great the content, if you have typos, the credibility is gone. After all, when’s the last time you shared an article riddled with errors? Don’t just double-check your work, triple-check it. Make it a top priority. Get an extra set of eyes on your content or hire a dedicated proofreader.

Always Be Closing

The traditional ABCs of sales do not apply to content marketing. Sure, you want your content and work to drive revenue (and if you do it right, it will), but pushing your audience toward a sale is not the right approach in this type of marketing. Solve your audience’s business problems with helpful, relevant, non-product-related content, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Launching and Then Moving On

Oftentimes, after a piece of content goes live we wipe our hands and move onto the next project. This is a huge mistake. Ensure the campaign not only has a big push at the beginning, but has support throughout the year. For instance, launch those supporting content pieces weeks or months later. The long-tail effect of that content may be greater than the initial splash.

Set It and Forget It

Let’s say you do that big launch and you automate your promotional efforts around your content. Good job, but don’t forget that your eyeballs are still crucial in the process. Oftentimes, we launch a campaign and let it ride. But the beauty of social media and big data is the ability to see your results live and in real time. Check the data and feedback around your content every morning and optimize based on your findings.

Read the full article at: How to Fail at Content Marketing

All Things Digital: 2014 Budget Plans for B2B Marketers

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In a recent post by Ashtyn Douglas, B2B marketing advertising writer at Business.com Media, Inc., a marketing budget revelation proved to be leaning towards the digital trends.

CMOs are enthusiastically devising viable marketing strategies while ideas are free-flowing throughout psyched marketing departments,” Douglas says. “While some are devoting more money globally to their full range of marketing tactics, others are seeing marginal increases and are forced to carefully shift around existing budgets.”

A survey dubbed Advertising Age’s 2014 BtoB’s Outlook:  Marketing Priorities and Planning  sheds light on the increase in overall marketing budgets. Of the 364 B2B marketers surveyed,

  • 52.5% plan to increase their overall B2B marketing budget in 2014 and,
  • 36.4% of respondents plan to see an increase in budget greater than 10%

Here’s the rest of Douglas’ insights from the survey:

Ramping Up ROI with Digital Marketing

When asked which media form they plan to increase their marketing spend on, four out of five respondents indicated  they’ll be allocating a larger slice of the pie to digital marketing- a 13% increase from last year’s survey (Tweet This Stat!). With more traditional marketing tactics like print, TV, direct mail, and radio flatlining in spend, the majority of B2B marketers are seeing success and a succulent ROI on digital media outlets. Of these investigated leading B2B marketers,

  • 61%  are projecting to spend over 25% of their total marketing budgets on digital platforms
  • 10% claim to spend 75-100% of their total marketing budgets on digital platforms

Mobile and Content Strategies are the Leading Ladies

Digging down even further, the survey found that not only are marketing budgets cleaving away from traditional advertising methods, the digital landscape itself is also in flux. When asked where majority of their online marketing budgets will be spent, Ad Age found an obvious emphasis on content marketing. 75% of B2B marketers are increasing their content efforts this year with a 12% increase in using social media as a major content delivery platform.

Responsive design and mobile advertising remains a huge priority for B2B companies. With 65% of C-level executives completely comfortable with making a business purchase on a mobile device, optimizing your web site, lead forms, and crafted content to be mobile-friendly should be a major initiative for you this year.

Striking Gold with Video

White papers, eBooks, infographics, and case studies will remain effective forms of content,  but the major boost in spend this year will be in in the production of webinars, videos, and webcasts. As video is quickly turning heads, make sure you fully optimize this asset before dumping your entire budget into this one medium. More than 50% of videos receive less than 1,000 views, so make sure you’re aligning video ideas with your current marketing strategies.

Read the full post at B2B Marketing Budgets Lean Towards All Things Digital in 2014

Paid Distribution for your B2B Content Marketing? Here’s your Guide

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Paid Distribution for your B2B Content Marketing- Here’s your Guide

A business that aspires to improve its online presence and up its chances in getting B2B sales leads would have to engage with paid advertising sooner or later. Search optimization, maintaining social media profiles, blogs and email campaigns just aren’t enough to sustain a thriving operation.

Paid advertising programs don’t need to be pricey. As long as you can determine where exactly your efforts need to be targeted, you can multiply your B2B sales leads with just a measly investment. The key is to know what suits your business type, goal and approach.

In a post at B2BDigital.net by B2B marketer and analyst Eric Wittlake, almost all of the possible routes to paid online distribution are listed for you to choose from. 12 of these choices are discussed below:

1. Promoted Tweets
Targeting on Twitter requires some creativity but it is one of the best places for B2B content to be promoted. Identify key influencers and combine influencer and keyword targeting.

2. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
With Sponsored Updates you can put your content in the home stream with all of the benefits of LinkedIn’s targeting.

3. Facebook Ads
Facebook’s targeting options for B2B marketers are far better than many people give it credit for. Try typing job titles, industries, affiliations or companies in the self-serve platform.

4. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
StumbleUpon’s paid program delivers traffic directly to your site, they never even click. That translates to lower cost, but also lower average traffic quality.

5. Reddit
Reddit, with the right content, has the potential to deliver an interested and engaged audience at a lower cost than almost any other social outlet.

6. Outbrain
Campaigns run as related content or additional content text links, generally at the end of articles, across a broad range of publications.

7. Disqus
Disqus brings a large base of blogs and mid-sized publishers.

8. SlideShare
Don’t just embed a SlideShare presentation in your content. Ensure your SlideShare can stand on its own and promote it directly on SlideShare.

9. YouTube
If you use video, there is a good chance it is already on YouTube. Don’t forget that you can also promote your YouTube videos.

10. Google
Google still reigns as the king of search. For the best results when you are first starting, do not run on the display network and consider further limiting your program to only core search.

11. Yahoo/Bing
Although combined they have about 40% of Google’s overall search volume, they are less important to most B2B marketers than the market share would indicate.

12. Retargeting
The most cost effective element of a display campaign is generally retargeting. With relatively low media costs ($2 to $5 CPM) and the opportunity to extend your nurture program logic into display, retargeting is a useful option for sharing additional content with people who have already visited your site.

Check other paid distribution options in the full article at THE B2B MARKETING GUIDE TO PAID CONTENT DISTRIBUTION

How to Not Run Out of Topics for your B2B Lead Generation Blog

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Creativity is a gift that also comes along with the unfortunate neurotic compulsion to maintain a certain level of quality in each and every output. This also applies B2B lead generation content bloggers – they continuously search for topics that are meant to “excel” amongst the countless supply of blogs online, especially against competitors.

The problem with that mindset is that sooner or later, a writer would suffer from creative bankruptcy. It’s inevitable no matter how good you are (even Stephen King goes through such a phase).

Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer at HubSpot, shared a post that details how content marketers can maintain an endless supply of blog topics.

From Business.com:

1. Think small.

Starting out, I thought every blog post I wrote had to feature big, industry-changing ideas. I’ve realized that specific, tactical tips or explanations are just as valuable to your readers. Instead of getting stuck on reinventing posts on industry predictions, shifts, and trends, think about the questions you had when you were first getting started in your field and answer them. Or, maybe you discovered an effective task management app, or recently got helpful advice on how to best respond to difficult emails. Write about it.

2. Feature guest posts.

Not only does guest content give you one less original topic to brainstorm, but it offers your readers an interesting new voice every once-in-awhile. Is there a thought leader in your industry that you have a good relationship with or a speaker you met at conference that stood out? Ask them to contribute to your blog. An added benefit: your guest writer will share the post with their community and social networks, helping drive more new traffic to your website.

3. Ask the audience.

If you’re trying to think of topics your readers will find useful, then the best inspiration is, well, the readers. Are prospects, customers, or followers asking questions about your industry on social media, in blog comments, via email, or in feedback forms? By paying attention to their pain points, you may stumble upon a blog topic you didn’t know your audience would love. Next time you’re chatting with a customer, don’t be afraid to ask what information they’d find helpful.

4. Try the Blog Topic Generator.

We recently developed a tool just for bloggers in need of new ideas called the Blog Topic Generator. Think of three topics you haven’t blogged about before, or want to blog about again from a different angle and the generator will present you with 5 potential blog titles. Pretty easy, right? Tweak the titles to fit your language, style, and business, and you’re ready to write.

5. Explore different formats.

Similar to tip #3, think about how you can reverse the format of your content to work for your blog. Think beyond text and present information visually with a graph, annotated photo, or cartoon. Or, what if you wrote a blog post consisting only of tweets? There are tons of ways to communicate information, so explore mixed media blog posts to give your typing skills a break and spice up your content.

Read the full article at 5 Tips For an Endless Supply of Blog Topics

Which type of B2B Lead Generation Content leaves lasting impressions?

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Marketers who use content as a magnetic force to draw in prospects always face a dilemma in initiating and perpetuating interest. Without that element, people are never going to read an article and therefore, their potential as leads are extinguished. That’s a very basic principle in B2B lead generation:

People don’t offer you their interest – you have to earn it.

To do that, you have to know what kind of marketing message to send across. And that is exactly what the folks at Nielsen did in their Global Survey of Trust in Advertising back in the first quarter of this year. They polled more than 29,000 respondents from 5 continents and asked them: Which types of advertising messages resonate most with you?

The results (see chart) are not at all a surprise – well, most of it.

Which type of B2B Lead Generation ContentBy a hair-thin margin, respondents chose “humorous” messages as the most influential at 47%, over “real-life situations” at 46%.

All tied at 38% are marketing messages that are “family-oriented”, “health-themed”, or “value-oriented”. Those that encourage “high-energy or action” is at 27% while “aspirational” messages are t 24%.

The entertainment and pop culture industry, surprisingly, both scored very low in the survey. The bottom 5 types of marketing messages are ones that are “sports-themed”, “sexual”, “car-themed”, “celebrity endorsements” and “athlete endorsements”. 

Dissecting the results

Is it really shocking to find out that people like marketing messages that make them laugh? It’s the type of content that encourages sharing, and there are tons of evidence all over the social media world – memes, videos and funny photos. Of course, this also includes the blogging sector, where popular authors are usually the ones that know how to exhibit sense of humor without drifting away from the bottom line.

How about “real-life situations”?

Although it’s definitely a major influencer, but the score it garnered in the survey is a bit interesting. Apparently, people are drawn into content that dwells in the context of real events, such as news items and current affairs.

Family and health-oriented messages are a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, it should be interesting to see how marketers would react to the revelation that celebrity endorsements and popular icons really don’t put much weight on the impression left among people on the receiving end of advertising. It most certainly works in B2C (heard about Beyonce’s $50 million deal with Pepsi?) but it would be hard to imagine celebrities making a memorable connection with prospects in the B2B world.

Takeaways:

  • Make your content humorous (intelligently funny, not “har har” funny)
  • Make your content relevant and timely
  • Ditch celebrities