Why Content Curation is an Important Marketing Tool to Reach the Professional Tradesman

July 16, 2014

What is Content Curation?

Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging and publishing information.

Why is it important to Manufacturers who want to reach the Professional Tradesman?

Chances are you have lots of bits and pieces of information on your products/services. They are scattered all over from catalog, tech sheets installations sheets, presentations, etc. We as marketers are so focused on creating content, and in most cases, your first priority is to consolidate all relevant info on a product or service in one place. Once you see what you have, it will be easier to identify the pieces that are missing and need to be created.

Professional tradesman are always looking for help in solving problems, and it benefits both you and them if they can go to one source and get all their questions answered.

Wouldn’t it make sense for a potential customer who is interested in left-handed widgets to find one source that could:

  • help evaluate your situation and options available
  • give you an independent industry perspective on possible solutions
  • give you guidelines on what products to consider for the project at hand
  • give you tips on installation
  • give you troubleshooting suggestions
  • give you tips on maintenance

So if the number-one challenge to marketers is lack of time, doesn’t it make sense to organize first, then prioritize how you’re going to fill the holes?

Heidi Cohen wrote an interesting article recently, The Top 10 Reasons You Need Content Curation in Your Content Marketing Mix where she outlines her reasons to use content curation.

Here are a few that caught my attention:

  • it provides a variety of perspectives which helps increase its credibility
  • positions you as a thought leader in your field
  • good content will be shared leveraging other people’s audiences
  • builds your brand
  • content can be segmented for social media and drive folks to your curated site with more information that they requested

So don’t take the ready-fire-aim approach to developing content.  Take an inventory of current assets before developing new ones. Also don’t try to do everything at once. If you have products that serve several markets, pick one, do it well, document results and then plan the next one.

 

 


How Does Social Media Impact a B-to-B Purchase?

April 8, 2014

B-to-B purchases are usually more complex and the selling cycles are longer with multiple decision makers in the mix.

I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, B2B Purchase Process 2014: What You Need to Know, that highlights findings from the DemandGen’s 2014 B2B buyers behavior survey.

Use of Social Media in B2B Purchase Process 2014

Here are some points of interest that would relate to Manufacturers:

  • Purchasing process teamwork – 55% include 1-3 people and 37% include 4-7 people.
  • 72% use social for research – they are looking for recommendations, expert advice and connecting with potential suppliers.
  • They’re not looking for information, but quality content.
  • 46% of buyers use search engines to start their purchasing process.
  • 37% ranked white papers and infographics on manufacturers’ websites to be the most important info.

So based on these stats, what are you doing to make sure you’re being found and considered?


Smaller Companies Doing a Better Job with Content Marketing

December 10, 2013

Smaller B-to-B companies (under 100 employees) seem to be doing a better job maximizing their content marketing efforts according to Content Marketing and Marketing Prof’s B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmark, Budgets and Trends Research.

Heidi Cohen does a good job highlighting important nuggets from the report. Among them:

  • Over 90% of B2B marketers are using some sort of content marketing.
  • 42% of marketers think their content is effective and 20% thinks theirs isn’t.
  • 48% of smaller B2B organizations have a documented content strategy compared to 41% of bigger organizations.
  • 78% of smaller companies have someone specific overseeing content marketing as opposed to 58% of larger companies.

More people are planning on spending more of their budget on content marketing. If you’re like the rest of us, budgets aren’t getting any larger next year and we have to do more with less. Heidi suggests looking in other people’s budgets to help the cause.

The biggest challenge still is producing good relevant content no matter what your budget is. That’s why a content marketing strategy is the most important thing you can do to ensure  good content on a regular basis.

Are these findings consistent with what’s happening in your world?


Is Your B2B Blog Your Top Marketing Tool?

November 12, 2013

B2B prospects tend to be well on their way through the buying process before they even identify a company. Don’t you want to be one of those they contact?

In the 3 years that I’ve been doing a blog, I’ve seen more and more interest and yes, business that has originated because of what folks read on my blog. In many cases, by the time they identified themselves, we’re already talking strategy and have won the business. It’s a nice position to be in.

I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, How to Make Your B2B Blog Your Content Marketing Tool that outlines 10 steps that will help you get there.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Understand your audience.
  • Do an editorial calendar that ties in with your other promotional activities/events.
  • Optimize content for findability via search engines.
  • Distribute content by building regular readership either by RSS or e-newsletters.
  • Use other social platforms to promote your content.

Blogs are time-consuming to do,but if you’re going to do it, then do it right. It’s a great way to stay in front of prospects on an ongoing basis, builds your credibility in the space you’re in and ultimately generates new business.

If you like this post, you may want to read:

Blogs that Reach the Professional Tradesman

B2B Blogs Can Help Increase Marketing Efforts to the Professional Tradesman


Do You Have a Mobile App? Are You Promoting It?

October 23, 2013

I think everyone realizes by now that mobile is the fastest growing segment of the business. While the biggest impact is on the retail markets, B-to-B usage continues to grow. So should you have an app? The answer to that is, will your app give value and help your targeted user with practical things? If yes, then you’d better get rolling.

comScore data shows that 63% of mobile commerce happens via a smartphone. Don’t take these retail numbers for granted. From a B-to-B perspective, giants like Amazon are leading the way in this category. That means that a consumer can buy a book as easily as a hydraulic fitting using a smartphone.

So the questions you have to ask yourself are this: do I have a mobile website, and if I do, is it optimized for smartphones and tablets? If not, you need to get a responsive designed site sooner than later. But just because you’ve built an app doesn’t mean people will come.

I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, 21 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App that gives you quick ideas on how to promote. Here are some highlights:

  • Promote your app on your website
  • Promote your app on your mobile site
  • Get your app in iOS and Android app stores
  • Use it in self promotion from emails to QR codes in print and digital ads
  • Promote it on your business cards and email signature

Let’s not waste an opportunity.

If you like this post, you may want to read:

Mobile Marketing to the Professional Tradesman – What are you Doing?

Things to Consider When Using Mobile to Reach the Professional Tradesman.

Is Your Website Mobile Ready for the Professional Tradesman?


Manufacturers: What are you Trying to Accomplish With Your Content Marketing?

July 2, 2013

So you’re creating content and are using both traditional as well as social media to get the word out. The key question is, what are you trying to accomplish? Have you set goals and identified the appropriate target market you want to go after?

A recent article by Heidi Cohen, 53 Actionable Content Marketing Metrics caught my eye. Her metrics support your content marketing goals.

  • Build your brand
  • Attract new  prospects
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Improve search
  • Build thought leadership
  • Increase leads
  • Drive sales
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Reduce costs

She gives clear action items we all can use. Hopefully these will help all of us get more out of content marketing.


What Are You Doing to Ensure Social Media will be Successful?

August 14, 2012

Social media is no different from any other marketing tool. In order for it to be successful, you need to have a specific plan with action items that can not only be attained but measured. Once you have a plan, get the C suite to buy into your goals and objectives and keep them in the loop as things move forward.

Once you get approval, make sure you integrate social media programs into your other marketing  plans. It can’t and shouldn’t stand alone.

I recently read a good article by Heidi Cohen that outlines seven social media goals. Here are some highlights:

  • Build brand awareness – a great way to engage directly with prospects.
  • Protect your reputation - you need to know what folks are saying about your brand.
  • Learn more about your customers - use social as a kind of market research.
  • Increase customers or prospects - based on your content you can engage new potentials.

What are you doing to ensure your social media program is a success?


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