How do you conduct B2B content marketing when your competitors are already way ahead of you?
When the first-mover advantage is gone, what is your content marketing plan for competitive differentiation?
How do you deliver a content strategy to a client with unrealistic goals?
Mike has a real knack for helping others see the forrest through the trees and this interview, his answers form the basis of a veritable content marketing strategy template.
Mike is a former IBM distinguished engineer who serves as senior strategist to Converseon providing B2B content strategy services and social media marketing campaigns.
Before you write another blog post, do yourself a favor and listen to this.
The interview is part of a weekly show I do with Paul on the use of social media for business to business communications. We wrote a best selling book about B2B social media as well.
Here’s a rundown of this week’s For Immediate Release B2B Podcast:
NEWS & TRENDS
Is the future of marketing really all about data? Paul shares an anecdote about a millennial marketer he recently met who told him she chose the profession to avoid having to do math. But that may not be much of an option in the future as the analytics tidal wave sweeps over the industry. Eric sees some peril there, however. He thinks privacy concerns could spark a backlash against data-driven marketing, and that marketers should be careful not to get too nosy.
SPECIAL GUEST: MIKE MORAN, AUTHOR, CONTENT MARKETER AND FORMER IBM DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER
Mike MoranMike Moran has a rare combination of skills. An IBM Distinguished Engineer with 11 patents related to search and retrieval technology, he now teaches marketers how to use content to attract and retain customers. Mike launched his own content marketing consultancy in 2006, shortly after co-authoring the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its third edition). He is also the author of Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules. In addition to teaching and consulting worldwide, he’s also a senior strategist at digital media marketing consultancy Converseon.
Our discussion begins with search, an area in which Mike says marketers still spend too much time trying to game search engines instead of creating content that differentiates the company. He’s rather see them develop a content strategy that would still work even if all their competitors adopted it.
He says mobility is as much a game-changer for B2B as it is for B2C. His clients are seeing a marked increase in the use of mobile platforms for just about every purpose, including surprising areas like tech support. Assumptions that B2B professionals don’t use mobile devices to research and interact with the companies they do business with just aren’t supported by the data. His answer certainly changed my mind on this issue.
Rather than distinguishing B2B and B2C when it comes to mobility, he sees the distinction as being between high-consideration and low-consideration decisions. The way people approach such decisions is remarkably similar in both consumer and business markets.
As the content marketing landscape becomes more crowded, he thinks differentiation will be key. Ask who would be crazy not to buy from you and focus your content there. Think also about personalization. Differentiate your content so it’s more relevant to the person who visits your website. Once you understand what makes you different, you content strategy will fall into place.
Your engineers and technical experts can be great communication assets to you, but they often aren’t going to be good marketers. Moran thinks you need to apply classic media training tactics to your subject matter experts so they’ll be more comfortable in public engagement. For those who just can’t make that transition, tap into the huge population of unemployed journalists for help.