30 Actionable Content Marketing Tips You Can Use Now

2015 B2B Content Marketing TacticsDoes your 2015 content marketing strategy benefit from the use of a variety of B2B content marketing tactics?

Before you answer, let’s examine the tactics used by other content marketers according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends for North America to see how your efforts measure up against your peers.

In 2014, marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics. They plan to start 8 new content initiatives on average during the next 12 months. That translates to just under 2 content initiatives per month.

70% of marketers are creating more content than they did in 2013. Further, 42% of marketers publish NEW content multiple times a week or day.Change in B2B Content-2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks

Top 2015 B2B content marketing tactics2015 B2B Content Marketing Tactics

An effective content marketing strategy requires a mix of different content marketing tactics. To ensure your 2015 content marketing is on track to succeed, here’s the 24 top 2015 content marketing tactics with recommended actionable content marketing tactics.B2B Content Tactics Used-2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks

92% of B2B marketers use social media content (not including blogs).

To reach your target audience, place your content where they spend their time. Social media accounts for 67 minutes per day using both computers and mobile devices according to eMarketer. Time Spent with Social Media per Day - eMarketer

Social media is key to distributing your B2B content marketing effectively.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Tailor your content marketing for each social media platform. To increase your content marketing effectiveness, adapt and optimize it for each social media site.

83% of B2B marketers use email newsletters.

For many companies email is their communications lifeline. Use your housefile to deliver useful information on a regular schedule.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Format your email newsletters for smartphone use. Most email opens occur on a smartphone regardless of time or day. Email Opens By Time Of Day-2Q2014-Movable Ink

81% of B2B marketers use articles on their website.

Place quality content on your company website to rank on search.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Optimize your website content for people and search engines. Use short paragraphs and bolding as well as  keyword focused information and strong navigation.

80% of B2B marketers use blogs.

(Note: this compares with 55% of respondents who use blogs according to Social Media Examiner’s 2014 research.)

Blogs supplement your website’s information with the 5 basic types of content.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Integrate your blog into your company website. Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina made this recommendation at MarketingProfs 2014 Marketing B2B Forum. Clearly identify your blog in your navigation so visitors can find it easily.

77% of B2B marketers use in-person events.

From a content perspective, use a mix of producing, sponsoring, presenting at and/or attending live events. Your goal should be to create multiple pieces of content from each one.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Plan event activities in advance to maximize content creation opportunities. Lee Odden is known for creating the pre-conference ebook, a form of epic curated contentThe Future of B2B Marketing eBook - MPB2B Forum

77% of B2B marketers use case studies.

Case studies have been a B2B marketing staple for years. Showing how other companies use your offering helps prospects make the business case for selecting your firm.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Make case studies as specific as possible. Add details such as company name and results using numbers where possible. Get permission before publishing your case study!!!

76% of B2B marketers use videos.

While high production value videos can be expensive, consider using a smartphone or computer to create engaging content. For example, Spin Sucks’s Gini Dietrich answers 1 question a week on Facebook using a short video created on her laptop.

Actionable content marketing tips:

  • Take videos of your employees and customers. Video is a great way to create content without the obstacle of writing.
  • Use release forms. Get people’s permission to post the video.

69% of B2B marketers use illustrations and/or photos.

People take in visual information 60,000 times faster. They attract attention and simplify complex concepts.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Add images in the form of illustrations and photographs to text content to keep readers engaged longer. Skip the posed, stock images. Use photos of real people.

68% of B2B marketers use white papers.

Give your best information away to attract prospects. For example, Kelly Services converted 1 white paper into 3 SlideShares yielding 250 sales qualified leads.

Actionable content marketing tips:

  • Make white papers more engaging with visual appeal. Use images and bolding to facilitate content consumption.
  • Place your white papers on SlideShare to expand your reach. Your own website gets a small amount of traffic compared to this B2B social media site. Include a way for prospects to sign up for more information.

65% of B2B marketers use online presentations.

Intuitively this makes sense since it warms up sales leads by providing information prospects seek, especially those doing the initial purchase research.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Extend the value of each presentation. Repurpose the content for other venues and add digital asset management for findability.

62% of B2B marketers use infographics.

Infographic use has increased significantly. Neil Patel reinforces this point by reporting that his infographic has resulted in lower results over time. (Note: He still uses this tactic so it’s producing results for him.)

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Extend your infographic reach with specially tailored distribution. Use PR and influencer outreach.

61% of B2B marketers use webinars or webcasts.

Webinars are epic pieces of content so plan your reuse in advance to maximize your results and investment.

Actionable content marketing tips:

  • Get influencers involved. Expand your reach by inviting key thought leaders to participate in your webinar. (Note: You should be ready to compensate them for their efforts.)
  • Create a targeted post-webinar email series. Since email address capture are a prime benefit of this tactic, leverage this opportunity by having your emails ready to send after your webinar is over.

48% of B2B marketers use research reports.

People love data. Include useful, attractive charts and analysis.

Actionable content marketing tips:

47% of B2B marketers use microsites.

Microsites provide targeted content to attract a special customer segment.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Use a tailored landing page. Keep the content and scent consistent to encourage visitors to read further.

38% of B2B marketers use branded content tools.

These are online applications that solve a simple problem. They answer to a specific question related to your product.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Assess where you can automate the answer to a question your audience has. Make use of the tool related to getting prospects further into your content as a sales lead.

37% of B2B marketers use ebooks.

Ebooks can vary widely in length and format. Often this is a form of content that marketers outsource. (I’m surprised that more marketers don’t use this tactic.) 

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Package existing content into attractive ebooks. Don’t jam a bunch of articles together. Instead curate useful information in an attractive new format.

32% of B2B marketers use print magazines.

Targeted print magazines have been a B2B marketing staple. Business professionals, like Content Marketing Institute‘s Chief Content Officer, have created targeted print magazines.

Actionable content marketing tips:

  • Place articles in your niche’s key print publications. Reach out to editors with targeted inquiries.
  • Take advantage of advertising relationships. Ask to publish related articles in the publications where you advertise.

30% of B2B marketers use print books.

While often an individual endeavor, it helps to have a company and related events supporting your efforts to get published. In turn, a published book helps get your executives speaking engagements.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Extend your print book’s reach with a targeted marketing campaign. Even top B2B marketers get behind the scenes support to maximize the reach and productivity of their print books.

30% of B2B marketers use mobile apps.

Mobile apps take work to create, promote downloads and encourage downloaders to use. Mobile apps work best if your audience has a reason to use them. For example, MarketingProfs 2014 Marketing B2B Forum used a mobile app to provide information and get attendees engaged during their recent conference.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Promote download and use regularly. This can be part of your on-going communications or specially targeted messages.

27% of B2B marketers use digital magazines.

Digital magazines take advantage of the ability to hyperlink and provide additional information.

Actionable content marketing tips:

  • Leverage third party platforms. Think Amazon and Apple.
  • Test curation alternatives. Scoop.it and Paper.li make regular publishing easy.

23% of B2B marketers use virtual events.

Virtual events are an online version of conferences.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Plan virtual event content before, during and after the event. Provide event-related information your prospects seek.

22% of B2B marketers use podcasts.

This audio content format is a content marketing opportunity. Follow top marketers like Mike Stelzner who’s been podcasting for a while. According to Pat Flynn, podcasting drove 20% of people to his blog via iTunes.

Actionable content marketing tips:

  • Be a guest on established podcasts. Dip your toe in the audio waters using someone else’s audience.
  • Promote your podcast on your owned media. In addition to third party and social media promotion, spotlight your podcast on your website, blog and emailings.

21% of B2B marketers use print newsletters.

Like other print formats, newsletter use has declined. A print newsletter can break through since people receive less postal mail.

Actionable content marketing tip:

  • Calculate the benefits and costs before implementing or continuing a print newsletter. Assess creation, printing and postage costs as well as the incremental benefits.

12% of B2B marketers use games or gamification.

Games and gamification tend to be more consumer-oriented making this tactic less attractive to B2B marketers.

Top ranked 2015 B2B content marketing tactics

Before you rush to add all 24 of these 2015 B2B content marketing tactics to your marketing plans, examine which rank top.B2B Content Tactic Effectiveness-2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks

Change in B2B Content Marketing Tactic Use-2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks

  1. In-person events are the top ranked B2B content marketing tactic for the fifth consecutive year. This makes sense since you have to get out and meet people to build a relationship.
  2. Webinars are the second ranked content marketing tactic. Like a live event, you provide useful information your target audience needs. Prospects self-select by registering for your webinar. You acquire an email address in return to continue to build the relationship with additional content.
  3. Videos are the third ranked B2B content marketing tactic. People love videos. Post them on YouTube to support search because it’s the second largest search engine and has massive reach.
  4. Blogs are the fourth ranked B2B content marketing tactic. They provide information that drives search traffic and answers customers’ questions.

 

Your content marketing strategy benefits from using a mix of 2015 B2B content marketing tactics.

When selecting a specific tactic, determine how it will help you to reach your target audience to achieve your business objectives. Also, assess the costs required to achieve the incremental benefits.

To be competitive, plan 1 to 2 content marketing initiatives per month and integrate them into your editorial calendar.

Which B2B content marketing tactics are at the top of your 2015 content marketing list and why?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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