Food for Thought on Content Marketing ROIWhat could happen if you united content, advertising, media, consumer engagement and consumer insight with an interdisciplinary content marketing strategy? We found out when Julie Fleischer, Director, Data + Content + Media at Kraft Foods delivered her opening keynote remarks earlier this month, The ROI on Content: How Kraft Learned the True Value of Their Content and Rebuilt Their Marketing Around It at Content Marketing World 2014. She shared how Kraft rebuilt marketing around content and transformed how they go to market. Kraft’s content is garnering four times better ROI than paid advertising and is capturing the equivalent of 1.1 billion annual ad impressions. (more…)


What Does Kevin Spacey Know About Content Marketing?Actually, more than you might think! The actor (Yes, that Kevin Spacey), director, producer and screenwriter, perhaps better known for his Oscar winning performances as Lester Burnham in American Beauty and Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint in The Usual Suspects—gave the closing keynote address at Content Marketing World 2014.

I’ll admit, I went in thinking, “nice high-profile celebrity, great headliner, but…”. Turns out, we were both thinking along the same lines! His opening remarks began: “Good afternoon. I know what you’re all thinking. What the hell am I doing here? What exactly am I doing at a Content Marketing Institute event?” I was expecting Spacey to be more entertaining rather than adding much substance to the content marketing conversation. Turns out, I was wrong. He is, as you might expect an articulate, entertaining and dynamic speaker—but his address was also relevant, insightful and engaging. (more…)


Perhaps It’s Not Your Industry That’s Boring!

Perhaps It’s Not Your Industry That’s Boring!

Many marketers feel that their industry calls for them to write on topics that won’t easily engage potential customers and index with the search engines. It’s an endless challenge for content marketers in B2B markets to present content in entertaining or engaging ways. But there are some good ways to create interesting content in any industry. Perhaps your industry isn’t what’s boring! (more…)


Brand ambassadors understand, live, and deliver the brand everyday.

Brand ambassadors understand, live, and deliver the brand everyday.

Some time ago, I took two of my young grandsons to a West Michigan Whitecaps baseball game. The Whitecaps are the Class A farm team for the Detroit Tigers that play ball in my hometown, Grand Rapids. Like many of the minor league venues, the ball game is just part of the entertainment experience. It’s fun. There’s funky food (like a “dietary disaster” 4800 calorie Frito burger—I’m not kidding), contests, door prizes, promotions, and the gamut of seating options—lawn, box, reserved, corporate suites and party decks for hosting private events. That’s where the brand ambassador comes in for Batteries Plus. (more…)


There are many ways for marketers to participate in today’s visual culture. Images have power, even when they are just a vehicle for text. We hope these 10 B2B marketing quotes from a few of the industry’s top experts will brighten your day and inspire you with new ways to establish your brand as a leader in your industry.



Visual Content: The Power of Images in Your Blog

A picture is worth a thousand words

We live in visual culture. This is difficult to overstate. Consider a statistic taken from a recent Jeff Bullas blog post. Get this: “Ten percent of photos taken in human history took place in the last 12 months.” Think about that. At first it sounds insane, but it’s not hard to believe when you consider that 208,300 photos are posted to Facebook every minute (statistic taken from a recent Content Marketing Institute webinar). Almost everyone walks around with a camera in his or her pocket. We’re very attached to images, and if you look around, you start to see just how attached. (more…)


Rise Above the Heavy Volume of Content by Adding Value

Tips for content creation that your customers will like and share

My inbox is full, and I’m willing to bet yours is too. For a while now the content marketing floodgates have been open. But customers, prospects, followers, and friends are opening their browsers and emails and realizing they’re done with “more”. We’re swamped. Newsjacking is an accepted practice because marketers are challenged to generate content with reasonable frequency, so customers see the same repurposed content over and over. The challenge to create more content sometimes overshadows the need for valuable content. It comes down to the classic idiom: quality over quantity. (more…)


Try to keep titles down to 55-60 characters.

By now, you’ve probably either noticed or read in various SEO blog posts and trade articles that title tags in search engine results appear to be a little shorter as of mid-March. Google increased the font size to 18 pixels without increasing space, resulting in fewer characters displayed before truncating titles.

While title tag best practices long held 70 characters in length to be the threshold before titles were truncated, the larger font size now reduces that count to the 55- to 60-character range. But it’s not quite that simple. Google actually uses pixels, not character count in truncation. In fact, that didn’t change. Google also uses Arial, a font with thin and wide characters. Wider characters, capitalization and bold text will consume more title space than thin characters, thus the range. While you probably don’t bold text in title tags, Google does in results for content keywords and search query exact matches. So now, much of what you’ll read suggests limiting title tag width to fewer than 512 pixels—which translates into 55 to 60 viewable characters including spaces. (more…)


A B2B Webinar About B2B Webinars

Richard Hatch | May 7, 2014 · 0 comments | B2B Marketing

It was an interesting online presentation last week—a webinar on webinars. I attended Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) “The Webinar Benchmark Throwdown, You vs. Your Industry Peers.” CMI Founder Joe Pulizzi moderated and Mark Bornstein, Sr. Director of Content Marketing at ON24, spoke at the hour-long interactive presentation that included quiz questions throughout the webinar to test attendees “webinar smarts.” The session centered on results from ON24’s Annual Webinar Benchmark Report 2013, a pretty extensive study of webinar utilization and performance metrics. I hadn’t read the report prior to the webinar, and I’ll give myself a B+ for correctly answering most of the multiple-choice quiz questions—based solely on my personal webinar attendance experience and behaviors. (more…)


Face time still matters. Include it in your communications mix.

Met with Barry a few months ago, a prospective vendor from a Milwaukee-area based company. Actually, it’s the third time in the past couple years he’s made a point to call a week ahead and asked for 15 or 20 minutes of my time. He swung by the office for a few minutes of face time to show me some of their latest B2B work that might have relevance to our clients’ needs—with a promise to be respectful of my time. I’ve never actually bought anything—as in awarded a project to him. Yet. But when the right one comes along, he’ll definitely get a shot.

There are at least a dozen local companies and probably more, that provide the same type of business services in our local market, Grand Rapids. Most of them are no more than 15 to 20 minutes away from our office, and yet most I’ve never actually met in person and none have ever actually paid a visit. Even when we’ve put a couple projects out for local bids, communication has been entirely by email and phone—with suggestions that I look at their work on their websites. (News flash. I already did. Before you ever knew I was looking. It’s why you got a call from us in the first place.) (more…)


You don't need a Hollywood production to make a good video!

Perhaps you’ve already watched this video about the Ghirardi Compton Oak. It made the rounds on the Internet a while ago. I think it makes a powerful B2B testimonial—for CAT Heavy Equipment and the Hess Landscaping Company. But that’s not what it’s really about. This simple but moving (pun intended) video on the City of League, Texas YouTube Channel documents the relocation and preservation of an iconic century-old oak tree. The massive 518,000 lb., 56 ft. tall tree was moved more than a quarter of a mile to make way for a road-widening project. It’s pretty cool. Yes, I suppose you could give Madison Ave. a million bucks and they’d polish it up—make it slick. But I’m not so sure they‘d do any better capturing the genuine authenticity and credibility that this video does with a few stills, some video clips, graphic titles, a stock music track and, most importantly, a great story to tell (and they did without an announcer).

What I love about this video (besides the story) is what it tells us—and B2B marketers about online video and what you do and don’t need to create good, compelling video content for online presentation today. (more…)


Mapping and Effectively Using Twitter Hashtags for Business

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | September 21, 2010 · 9 comments | B2B Social Media

How to effectively use Twitter hashtags in B2B marketingIncluding hashtags in your tweets is a powerful way to extend the reach of your activity on Twitter. While people can follow other Twitter users, they can also follow hashtags. Tools like TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, and HootSuite are great for monitoring hashtag streams.

When you include a hashtag in your tweet, your tweet will get seen not only by those who follow you, but also by those who follow the hashtag you include.

But which hashtags should you use? What’s your hashtag strategy? Do you have one? (more…)


Huge Update to the List of Top B2B Blogs

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | August 22, 2010 · 7 comments | B2B Social Media

The big list of top B2B marketing and sales blogsThanks to all the B2B marketing and sales experts who continually blog, sharing your insights and adding to the collective knowledge or the broader B2B community.

Since we originally posted the list on our site, we’ve continued to update it periodically. Now, we’ve completed a comprehensive revision to The List of Top B2B Blogs. (more…)


Image of business trying to determine its positioning strategyIn today’s economy, no one wants to turn away business. But smart marketers are positioning themselves to do just that.

Most companies fall into the trap of positioning the company as broadly as possible, trying to be relevant to the broadest number of potential purchasers. That way, any lead or inquiry has opportunity. But this approach creates a broad range of lead quality and makes you chase nearly every lead, eating up large amounts of time and money. And as you try to close that business, you’ll be competing as a generalist. You’ll fight hard to get on the short list; you’ll be competing with other generalists and with specialists. (more…)

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Steer Clear of Price-Only Positioning

Richard Hatch | June 23, 2010 · 1 comment | Positioning

Lack of positioning means destructive price-only competition

In another life, I worked in automotive marketing. A domestic brand. Every time the market tanked, the client, along with their domestic rivals, would predictably do the inevitable. Slap on rebates, trump one another’s incentives, slash prices, sweeten the deal, give away the store, compromise the brand and train customers already accustomed to never paying the asking price to never pay anything close-ever again. (I know. There’s a history of other complex dynamics at work here as well.) Nevertheless, any bump in the road and they squandered what brand integrity they had left to chase market share at almost any cost-and we all know what the painful outcome has been.

But you’d never do that, right? Let’s get real. (more…)

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Content SEO: Best Practices and What to Avoid

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | May 4, 2010 · 3 comments | B2B Search Marketing

B2B Forum Boston Logo

Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Jiyan Wei, Product Manager, Vocus,

At the start of the presentation, Lee cited several stats:
60% of marketers plan to take money away from traditional marketing and spend it on interactive instead, and 59% of that interactive spend will go towards SE and PPC (Forrester Search Engine Marketing Model, 4/09 US)

48% of senior marketing executives considered the most effective online marketing tactic for Generating Conversions (Forbes 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey)

62% of B2B Marketers plan to increase SEM budgets in 2010.


B2B Forum Boston Logo

Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.

Christina “CK” Kerley, B2B Marketing Specialist, CKb2b Marketing
Deirdre Walsh, Community & Social Media Manager, National Instruments
Mike Travis, President, Equation Research
Ron Casalotti, Social Media PR, Bloomberg LP
Kirsten Watson, Dir. Corporate Marketing, Kinaxis

Key Takeaways from the Session:
Be tolerant and accepting of users’ desire to discuss or point to other content that may be from competing sources or issues. People are going to have those conversations somewhere anyway; it’s a question of whether you want to part of those conversations.

Not every social media ROI metric is going to be a hard, financial one; you need to identify what concrete metrics matter for your particular situation.


Measuring Marketing Effectiveness Against Business Goals

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | May 4, 2010 · 0 comments | Events

B2B Forum Boston Logo

Live Blogging from MarketingProfs B2B Forum.
A series of posts covering selected sessions at this year’s conference in Boston.

Dennis J Chapman, Sr. President & CEO, The Chapman Group
John Mueting, VP Distribution & 3rd Party Relationships, Allstate Distributors, LLC

First up is Dennis. Here are some of his comments.

It didn’t used to be complicated. It used to be we measured success dashboard of revenue against targeted sales. The role of marketing is changing in the new economy.

Decision making has changed in corporate America. Used to be 20 percent facts and 80 percent intuition. This is now the opposite. Why? The former is too risky.

Marketing needs effective dashboards that provide “predictive analytics.”

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Measure what you and your company requires/expects.

Three questions executives are asking Marketing:
How much revenue and profits are coming from our marketing efforts (investments)?
How can we optimize the results from our marketing investment?
How can you prove your positive financial impact to the organization?



Meaningful Metrics for B2B Blogging

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | April 20, 2010 · 8 comments | B2B Social Media

Image of graph for B2B blogging metrics

Whether you’re just starting a B2B blog or have been blogging for a long time, you should be hungry to see results. After all, a lot of time and effort is going into creating new content, and it’s hard to continually feed the content marketing dragon. But if you’re looking to traditional consumer blog metrics to evaluate your success and impact, you might be disappointed. (more…)


Don’t Miss MarketingProfs B2B Forum: May 3-5, Boston

Galen De Young ( @GalenDY ) | April 15, 2010 · 1 comment | Events

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2010It’s only a few weeks away now, and it’s sure to be one of the best 2010 conferences exclusively focused on B2B Marketing.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to register for MarketingProfs Business-to Business Forum 2010. It’s in Boston on May 3-5. There are more than seventy speakers. 35 individual sessions. Four concurrent session tracks. Plenty of breaks and social events for networking. For updates on the event, tune into #mpb2b on Twitter.

Use Promo Code “Blog” and Save $200 on Your Registration


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