They're everywhere. Holiday gift guides are now spread across the digital space, obviously trying to persuade clueless shoppers into buying their products. Grouping products to fit a "consumer persona", these holiday gift guides help people find the perfect special something for a specific personality based off their label as a man, woman, mom, dad, boyfriend, boss, etc.
We've created our own Holiday Gift Guide, but this one is for the beloved B2B content marketer. Looking at the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends Report published by The Content Marketing Institute in conjunction with MarketingProfs, we've put together a Holiday Gift Guide stemming from the wants and wishes of a B2B Content Marketer:
A Hearty Email List
Email has become a main distribution channel of curated content this year. According to Forrester, companies spent up to 20% of marketing budgets on email marketing in 2013 and are dedicating an additional 10% in the coming year. Although most B2B marketers are moving from a rented audience to an owned database, B2B marketers are still looking to expand their email audience pool. Make it a goal to produce more whitepapers, infographics, newsletters and other relevant downloadable material to build your audience list by requiring an email address to download such content, and ultimately engaging your B2B buyers wherever they are in the marketing funnel. These accumulating addresses will be perfect stocking stuffers for the content marketing director.
Related: Learn more about email and online marketing services.
A Good Story
42% of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing (Tweet This Stat!). While making strides, this number shows there is still some room for growth in creating resonating content. So what can you give this holiday season to increase the efficacy of produced content? The gift of storytelling. With so many different communication outlets- be it paper or digital media sources- it's essential to have the ability to tell a cohesive story of your product or service. Don't leave your audience attempting to piece together the disparate, scattered pieces of information they gather from across the web. Psychology has shown time and time again, that human beings (yes, even CEO's) can easily digest stories to pinpoint the main message. Marketing is fueled with content, but make sure your content has a story and sticks to it.
Ok, B2B digital content marketers aren't exactly asking for wax coloring utensils, but they are looking to engage their audience with optimally designed visual content. With 51% of B2B marketers designing infographics this year to engage buyers, these catchy little designs have seen the largest year-over-year increase in usage. Infographic downloads allow you to cut through the digital noise and further display your story in an appealing and captivating method.
Related: Infographic Marketing 101
The easy go-to gift found on everyone's wish list. Extra cash in the content marketing budget is the perfect gift. 58% of B2B CMOs are planning to spend more money on content marketing this year-with 30% of their budgets apportioned solely to content. 'Tis the season to be jolly, so allocate a little extra towards your content marketing strategy for 2014.
Another Social Platform
When taking a look at the least effective B2B marketers, only 4 social media platforms are being utilized. On the other end of the effective content marketing spectrum, the top-notch marketers are utilizing 6 or more platforms. Is your marketing department taking advantage of all available social media outlets? Research is showing that sites like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and other visually grounded social platforms are now being effectively utilized by B2B companies. Maybe it's time to give the gift of one additional social platform this year and watch your audience grow.
The potency of relevant, alluring, and timely content will soon go to waste if not properly measured. Get the team content marketer some proper tools to measure success this season. The top two measurement criteria among B2B content marketers are web traffic and sales lead quality, but if you have other KPI goals make sure your content performance is being measured appropriately. Be it Google Analytics data, the amount of email registrations, or revenue numbers- allow access to measure content performance.
Related: Clearing Up the Confusion About Content Marketing (Image: anankkml via freedigitalphotos.net)