8 Content Marketing Trends for B2B

social media researchAre you wondering if content marketing can help your business?

If so, look no further.

In this article, I examine a recent study involving 1,416 B2B marketers from North America from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

You’ll discover how B2B marketers were leveraging content marketing in 2012 and where their focus will be next year.

#1: Producing Enough Content Is Top Challenge

In years past, the biggest challenge for content marketers has been creating engaging content. But this trend changed in 2012 with 64% of marketers saying that producing enough content was their number-one challenge.

challenge content marketers

Producing enough content is now the top challenge for content marketers.

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How to Master Content Marketing In a Month

social media reviewsDo you want to attract a steady stream of new customers?

Are you looking to create better content, but you need fresh ideas?

A lot of marketers are still unclear about what content marketing means.

This article will explore the benefits of content marketing and preview an exciting new opportunity from Social Media Examiner to help take your content marketing to the next level.

Smart Content, Big Rewards: An Example

Today, businesses of all sizes are using content marketing to slay the competition, attract large followings of loyal customers and explode their business’ growth.

But when tiny Magnolia Hi-Fi started using content, the Internet wasn’t even around. Did that stop them? Heck no!

magnolia entertainment

Magnolia used content marketing to grow from a small audio store to an $87 million brand.

Back then, they had just transitioned from a neighborhood greeting card and photography store to an audio specialty store. Competition was fierce and they didn’t even have a marketing plan. So they hired a salesman (who knew a lot about educating prospects with great information) to develop a solid profitable marketing plan.

The plan was to give prospective buyers something to focus on other than price – content.

They created a series of stereo buyer’s guides, which offered educational content that answered prospects’ questions about buying audio equipment. These were distributed as newspaper inserts (remember there was no Internet at the time!).

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4 Ways to Profit From LinkedIn

social media book reviewsAre you a LinkedIn newbie?

Do you struggle to network and show off your expertise?  Do you want to secure new business?

If so, the most important thing to know is that LinkedIn is not just a modern Rolodex or a glorified resume.

It contains more valuable information about a contact than you could imagine.

All this information can be used to start an interesting conversation that could lead to great business opportunities between you and him or her.

opportunity ahead sign

LinkedIn contains information that offers great business opportunities. Image source: iStockPhoto.

LinkedIn Relevance

Bill Waterhouse is a regional director for Technical Innovation, a company that provides audiovisual products, streaming media, videoconferencing and other services. He has a sales background and was the first person at his company to use LinkedIn.

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3 Easy Steps to Engaging Your Customers

social media book reviewsAre your customers spreading a good word about your business?

Are you happy with your volume of referral business?

If not, it could be that your “engagement marketing engine” is not revved up.

What is Engagement?

Engagement is not just about unending, feel-good conversations on your blog or Facebook page.

According to Gail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected Worldengagement is when people qualify themselves – when a prospect raises her hand and says, “Yes, I’m interested in your company. Help me to get to know you a little more.”

Invariably people who have engaged with you online become customers at higher rates, and they in turn tell their friends about you, revving up your marketing engine over and over again.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to strengthen engagement with existing customers, get more repeat sales and even more referrals, Engagement Marketing is exactly the book for you.

Here are a few things you should know about it.

Author’s Purpose

gail goodman

Gail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing.

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How to Attract Customers With Pinterest

social media book reviewsImagine your ideal clients.

Now think about what kind of pictures or visual images they would enjoy.

If you can create (or curate) visually compelling content, then Pinterest could be a great social platform for you.

When used the right way, Pinterest can drive massive traffic to your website, build loyal communities around your brand and convert fans into buyers.

Beyond the Pin

In February 2012, Pinterest bypassed Twitter in terms of referral traffic. But that’s not all.

A survey from PriceGrabber indicated that 21% of Pinterest users purchased something they saw on a pinboard! Suddenly the sound of ringing cash registers could be heard by marketers around the world.

Unlike Facebook where images of products are annoying or intrusive, Pinterest offers a beautiful and exciting new interface (much like a mall) where users actually expect and look forward to shopping!

In her new book, Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest, Beth Hayden gives business owners a lesson in visual marketing techniques that are bound to attract new customers and generate more revenue for their brands.

Here’s what you should know about the book.

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How Likeability Impacts Marketing Success

social media book reviewsDo you care about being liked at work?

Do you think likeability should even play a role in business decisions?

If you’re struggling to answer these questions, you might be confusing ‘likeability’ with being considered ‘nice.’ The two are not the same thing.

In his latest book, Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action, Rohit Bhargava explains that likeability has nothing to do with being nice, and everything to do with being believable.

Having sat through hundreds of pitch meetings, I can tell you one thing for sure… unlikeable entrepreneurs never get funded. ~ Guy Kawasaki

The Jobs Paradox

Steve Jobs was clearly a visionary with a brilliant mind. But he is often described as having been an egomaniac and ‘hard to work with.’

When Nike CEO Mark Parker was asked about the best advice he ever received, he recalls Jobs telling him some months before he died:

Nike makes some of the best products in the world—products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crap and focus on the good stuff.

Jobs didn’t play nice, but he had the type of honesty and clarity of vision that drew people to him, made him believable and even likeable, in his own way.

If you want to learn how to be more likeable and build a thriving career or business, Likeonomics is the best investment you’ll ever make. Here’s what you need to know about the book.

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4 Steps to Transform Your Brand Into a Social Business

social media book reviewsDo you listen to customer conversations about your brand online? If so, how do you respond to those conversations?

Listening on the social web isn’t hard to do.

What’s hard is creating an effective response system so that when something goes wrong (and it will!), a crisis can be averted, or at least resolved quickly and transparently.

The Johnson & Johnson “Motrin Moms” Crisis

Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson learned this the hard way.

In November 2008, the giant pharmaceutical company created a Motrin ad for moms who experienced regular back pain from carrying their babies in backpacks, slings, carriers and so on.

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Does Your Klout Score Determine Your Value?

social media book reviewsWhat makes Adele a better singer than Rebecca Black?

Is it her magical vocals or her higher Klout score?

And if Seth Godin (Klout score: 0) chooses not to interact on Twitter, does that mean he’s less influential than Uncle Pete, whose Klout score is 35?

These are some of the tricky questions that are being asked since the emergence of new systems that attempt to measure people’s online influence through social scoring.”

But the question is this: How exactly is “influence” measured? And how do those who make such personal yet inflammatory verdicts decide the scores?

seth godin twitter

Twitter would look very different if Seth Godin were on it.

You Have Become a Number

If you have a social media account, your value as an influencer is already being calculated based on how often you tweet, connect, share and comment.

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Facebook Marketing in 2012: How to Keep Up With Facebook

social media reviewsIs your business taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities of Facebook?

Are you looking for more fans, better engagement and more sales?

If so, Social Media Examiner has some important news to share…

But first, here’s something to consider.

Since Facebook made Timeline mandatory for business pages on March 30, a lot of updates and enhancements have been introduced.

Some of them include:

  • New layout
  • Enhanced Facebook apps
  • New Insights
  • Sponsored stories and promoted updates
  • Ability to schedule updates within Timeline itself

Today, businesses just like yours are using Facebook to create inspiring content that resonates with fans and converts them into customers and brand evangelists.

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