Why Content Marketing is King

Amplify’d from www.entrepreneur.com

Why Content Marketing Is King

BY Mikal E. Belicove|
October 20, 2011|

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Why Content Marketing Is KingWhen it comes to marketing strategies, content marketing has just been crowned king, far surpassing search engine marketing, public relations and even print, television and radio advertising as the preferred marketing tool for today’s business-to-business entrepreneur.

Why Content Marketing Is King

Late this summer, HiveFire, a Cambridge, Mass.-based internet marketing software solutions company, surveyed nearly 400 marketing professionals about the state of the business-to-business, or B2B, market, and discovered that marketers are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing tool box. Fact is, according to HiveFire’s B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report, twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising, according to the survey.

So what exactly is content marketing? It’s the creation and publication of original content — including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos and photos — for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility, and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display. HiveFire’s researchers found that an impressive 82 percent of B2B marketers now employ content marketing as a strategy in their marketing programs. Coming in at a distant second place is search engine marketing at 70 percent, followed by events at 68 percent, public relations at 64 percent and print/TV/radio advertising at 32 percent.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said driving sales and leads was the top marketing goal of their organization, followed by boosting brand awareness and establishing or maintaining thought leadership (both at 35 percent). Another 28 percent said their primary goal was to increase web traffic and 24 percent said it was to improve search results.

Part of the popularity of content marketing is its ability to generate qualified leads while engaging prospects in a branded environment without busting the budget. Nearly half of the content marketers interviewed said they dedicate less than a third of their budgets to such marketing expenditures. In addition to frugality, B2B marketers also believe most of their customers and prospects are online, which is why they’re focusing their marketing efforts on the Internet.

Finally, the survey shows that “content curation” — which is defined as the process of finding, organizing and sharing content — continues to gain strength as a top marketing strategy, up 17 percent from six months ago. Seen as a way for marketers to fuel their marketing programs, content curation does have its problems. Nearly 70 percent of content curators say lack of time hinders their efforts, with 66 percent saying a lack of original and quality content is a major drawback. Another 38 percent say difficulty in measuring results is the stumbling block and 37 percent say lack of staff to do the work is the hindrance.

Despite these issues, the survey makes clear that content marketing is only going to become more important going forward, whether you market to other businesses or to the public at large.

Read more at www.entrepreneur.com

 

7 Social Media Trends for 2011

Great Article by Heidy Cohen!

Amplify’d from heidicohen.com

7 Social Media Trends for 2011

2010 was a tipping point for social media: it changed how we market, as shown by Pepsi’s Refresh Campaign and Old Spice’s viral videos; connected us during crises, notably in the Haitian earthquake and BP oil spill; and it left every firm feeling vulnerable to a PR flare up, regardless of how broad their engagement. In terms of sheer size, 2010 was notable in that Facebook overtook Google in the number of site visitors.

What does this mean for marketers as we enter 2011?

Marketers and, more importantly, senior management need to take social media seriously and to integrate it across their enterprises. It’s critical to understand that social media networks are where consumers and the public spend their time and engage. This is real life where your audience decides if they like your product and how you’re behaving as a company. Be warned that if they don’t like what your firm is doing, they have the megaphones and connections to get the message out quickly to like-minded individuals.

7 social media trends for 2011

Here are seven predictions for social media’s evolution in 2011.

  1. Think social media boy scouts: Be prepared to respond to your customers and the public. Regardless of how active your company is on social media platforms, you must be ready for a social media flare up. In 2010, a significant crisis for BP turned worse when the CEO talked about getting back to his personal life. To this end, build your social media tribe early and have a crisis management plan in place. Further, update it regularly to ensure that you’re able to contact people when you have to. In today’s world, upset customers express themselves to a broad audience, often when you’re least prepared.

  1. Get senior management on board for social media activities. Many members of senior management haven’t bought into social media. Now’s the time to get your team trained and engaged. Have them participate on social media platforms before you have to overcome an escalating social media issue. Ford avoided a social media crisis by participating as an active member of the community not just blasting out one-way messages. Management buy-in is critical to drive your social media activities towards your corporate goals. Don’t overlook the need to educate your senior management and others within your organization.

  1. Not for marketing only! Expand social media usage across the enterprise. Social media can be leveraged to cost efficiently extend the effectiveness of your organization. For example, social media can extend your customer service, human resources and investor relations by allowing a broader group of people to participate.

  1. Protect your firm, your employees and your customers with corporate guidelines. Social media guidelines can be short and to the point. While this may sound like a nuisance, it supports your employees by telling them what’s acceptable and what’s not. It takes away the guesswork. By doing this, you can enable a broader base of employees to participate in social media on your firm’s behalf and enrich your content offering.

  1. Integrate social media marketing into your overall marketing plan. To enhance the effectiveness of your social media marketing, it’s critical to integrate it into your overall marketing strategies. Well-executed social media marketing requires more than a few tweets a day and a Facebook page. Remember, social media is a multi-directional communications tool. You need to leverage other forms of marketing to let your prospects, customers and the public know about your social media efforts. Often this requires marketing and PR support. Further, bear in mind that advertising on social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Twitter, will gain traction and leverage internal information to generate revenue.

  1. Acknowledge that social media isn’t free. While many social media platforms allow users to interact without fees, from a corporate perspective, social media marketing isn’t free. It requires budget (read: money) and resources (read: employees or consultants). While companies are starting to hire social media experts, the real change occurs when they add internal headcount to manage the process and begin messaging from the inside.

Read more at heidicohen.com

 

Mobile and Social Marketing

It’s like Batman and Robin, an unstoppable force that’s only going to get bigger and stronger as the migration of content continues to flow into Mobile Devices.
Read this very interesting Q&A with Christina “CK” Kerley – Writer, Speaker and adjunct college professor at Rutgers University!

Amplify’d from www.btobonline.com
Mobile and social marketing: The dynamic duo
Paul Gillin
April 20, 2011 – 6:01 am EDT
Christina “CK” Kerley is a writer, speaker and adjunct college professor at Rutgers University who specializes in guiding b2b companies on using emerging media for marketing purposes. In her B2B Mobile-Marketing Guide, she makes a case for aggressively pursuing mobile platforms as a way to reach business customers. In this interview with BtoB columnist Paul Gillin, she summarizes several recommendations.
Paul Gillin

Read more at www.btobonline.com