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Joe Pulizzi on Creating Engaging Content & The Latest B2B Technology Content Trends #MarketingNerds

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Joe Pulizzi on Creating Engaging Content & The Latest B2B Technology Content Trends #MarketingNerds

Visit our Marketing Nerds archive to listen to other Marketing Nerds podcasts!

This post is sponsored by SEJ Summit “A Day of Keynotes”—a unique conference experience tailored for SEOs, by SEOs. Events will take place in Santa Monica, Chicago, and New York City throughout 2016. Use discount code SEJNERD to save $50 on your ticket.

In this week’s episode of Marketing Nerds, Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi joins SEJ’s Features Editor Danielle Antosz to talk about CMI’s recent B2B Technology Content Marketing benchmark report. They also discussed how to create engaging content, why it’s important to track content marketing ROI, and the challenges of content marketing.

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Here are a few transcribed excerpts from their discussion, but make sure to listen to the podcast to hear everything:

Creating Engaging Content for B2B Industry

It’s always been a struggle (to create engaging content in the technology sector) because you’re using a different muscle. We’re used to talking about ourselves; we’re used to talking about our products and services, especially on the B2B side. Let’s get the sales, let’s close the deal.

The biggest challenge we see is the majority of the content that’s created by B2B organization specifically to this study, B2B tech companies, is it’s still focused heavily on the product and service. If you look at content coming from B2B tech companies,  even the stuff that you would say, “This is really good material.”, it’s still really a bait and switch going on: “Okay, here’s our white paper but no, really, we want you to buy this.”

So the challenge that I would give to a lot of the B2B listening to this is: let’s really focus on that target audience.

Why Content Marketing Requires Patience

If you want content marketing to be successful as an approach, you have to patient.

It takes a while to build a relationship. It takes a while to have an audience to start to know, like, and trust you for more than the products that you have. And you’re trying to build something some kind of value outside of the products and services that you offer.

That is extremely difficult to do.

To Track or Not to Track Your Content Marketing ROI?

You absolutely should be measuring this in some way because if you’re not, I can’t see you getting more budget.

This is marketing. The reason you’re doing content marketing is you’re ultimately trying to drive sales, save cost in comparison to something else that you’re doing, or drive more loyalty and retention.

It really comes back to revenues anyways. If you’re not doing one of those, you’re not doing content marketing; you’re just creating content, and that’s fine. Anybody can create content but it’s got, ultimately, to have a bottom line.

Now, there are many different ways you can measure; you can do it on a very small scale. So let’s just say you’re still focused on lead generation.

Let’s just say we’re looking at the core metric of the e-mail subscriber. I get somebody to my site, and they end up signing up to my weekly email newsletter update. Once I get that person to opt into my content, then I can follow that all the way through the buyers’ journey and I can look at the end of it, and you don’t actually need a lot of technology to do this.

You can take your email subscription database, and you can actually put that right up against your CRM database and you can look in at 9 or 12-month mark. You can see what do they do differently.

You’ll see that people who subscribe to my content and actually engage it on a regular basis show positive outcomes to the business. They buy more, they stay longer, they talk more favorably about our business, they market for us, in effect.

The challenge with that is it takes time. It generally takes about 15 to 18 months. You can go through an entire buyer’s cycle, get enough data so that you can say, “We’ve got enough subscribers, minimal viable audience that we can start looking at this against our customer database.”

What Lies Ahead for Content Marketing

It’s interesting if you look back—let’s say—in 2013 and 2014, where everybody was jumping on the content marketing bandwagon. Everyone was like, “More, more, more, we’re going to shove more into every channel we can possibly can.” And of course, now we learned that doesn’t work very well.

Now, you’re going really get into the haves and have-nots. I think that’s what you’re going to see.

The ones that really stick with it focus, for the most part, on one content type, one content platform, and consistently deliver over time. That is a very simple formula that most B2B technology companies don’t use but is absolutely the best way to start.

I think we’re starting to learn that activity doesn’t mean performance. So, we really have to start choosing our spots where we can actually have an impact on people’s lives.

To listen to this Marketing Nerds podcast with Danielle Antosz & Joe Pulizzi:

Think you have what it takes to be a Marketing Nerd? If so, message Kelsey Jones on Twitter, or email her at kelsey [at] searchenginejournal.com.

This post is sponsored by SEJ Summit “A Day of Keynotes”—a unique conference experience tailored for SEOs, by SEOs. Events will take place in Santa Monica, Chicago, and New York City throughout 2016. Use discount code SEJNERD to save $50 on your ticket.

Visit our Marketing Nerds archive to listen to other Marketing Nerds podcasts!

 

Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by Paulo Bobita. 
In-post Photo: TCmakephoto/Shutterstock.com

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Aki Libo-on

Aki Libo-on

Aki is a content strategist, marketing consultant, and former assistant editor of SEJ. When not at work, she is busy ... [Read full bio]

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