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15 B2B case studies show how content marketing drives ROI 1

Posted on January 25, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

B2B Content Marketing Case Studies

  • 70% of content marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 35% say they have a documented content strategy (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI (source: Ad Age)

Content marketing is more important to B2B businesses. Who is succeeding and why? Below is a infographic that details B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015.

Here are 15 B2B case studies. They show how content marketing drives ROI with B2B businesses who:

  • Know their audience
  • Don’t create content for the sake of creating content
  • Use specific content solutions to impact different stages of the buying cycle
  • Integrate internally with their teams
  1. ADP: Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch.
  2. CISCO: Has long been engaged in social media activity, often running campaigns alongside its ongoing engagement strategy. To demonstrate the extent to which this has impacted the company, it launched a new router using only social channels and saved an estimated $100,000.
  3. CROWE HORWATH: the public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas, this campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle. Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. 778 contacts were engaged with a 70% open rate (vs. 10%), 2 engagement worth $250k in revenue.
  4. DEMANDBASEA B2B marketing cloud, helped B2B marketers make the right content technology investment by using a white paper, infographic, webinar, Slideshare and a live presentation to spotlight tools that can maximize the power of content. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare and $1 million in new business.
  5. FISHER TANK: Makes giant, above-ground welded steel tanks. With clients in the fuel industries, waste water, pulp & paper and other industrial and municipal areas, projects tend to be big (multi-million dollar) and take a long time to sell (12 months and longer). For more than 60 years, the company has made its sales primarily through cold calling and referrals from existing clients. So it took some moxy to launch a content marketing strategy online. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download. The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500% and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million.
  6. IBM: developed a social sales program for their inside sales team. They identified their target audience and monitored social media platforms for relevant topics and conversation. The company trained their sales team to nurture online relationships and drive prospects to team members’ websites. As a result of this focus on social sales and personnel training, IBM saw a 400% in sales.
  7. LINKEDIN:  Had to be converted to social selling. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. Ralf VonSosen, the company’s head of marketing for sales solutions notes, “We started seeing a 50% increase in leads to meeting conversion rates.”
  8. LOGICALL: A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, Logicalis developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospects interaction with the campaign. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed.
  9. MAERSK: Danish shipping company Maersk first began using social back in 2011 to raise brand awareness, gain insight into the market, increase employee satisfaction and get closer to its customers, It focuses on the stories that emerge from within the business, such as how it is helping fuel a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados and where its staff come from. Its presence on each network is tailored to that platform, so for example on LinkedIn it promotes job vacancies and publishes articles about the work culture within the business, while on Instagram it encourages followers to post photos of its ships using the hashtag #Maersk. Maersk now has more than 1.5m Facebook fans (of which around 15% are customers) and 12,000 Twitter followers, as well as active accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+ and
  10. OPENTEXT: A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide upsell, cross-sell opportunities. The campaign also included a two phase nurturing program. 1,700 new contacts were identified along with 31 new opportunities worth $1.8 million.
  11. OPTUM: A health services business, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales and build thought leadership. The content marketing mix included: advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail and a campaign website. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $ 1,000,000 invested.
  12. RS COMPONENTS: The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering. One of the centrepieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period.
  13. SAP: The global strategy was aimed at enabling cross-cultural information to be efficiently shared around the company. SAP Latin AmericaOne year after implementing this strategy SAP Latin America had more than 100,000 fans and followers (an increase of 900%) and achieved a 17% interaction rate across  the region, while a campaign featuring a social app targeting specific buying centers drove more than 12,000 visitors and a 15% engagement rate. has four Facebook pages, four Twitter feeds and two LinkedIn accounts. These profiles are split out by language (e.g. Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs. 80% of interesting, engaging content for its community.
  14. SHIPSERV: It’s difficult to imagine the maritime industry getting to grips with social media, but Shipserv one of the leading industry marketplaces, proves that in can be done very successfully.As part of a wider marketing strategy and customer engagement strategy, various social approaches were taken, resulting in greater site traffic, alongside increased brand awareness and lead opportunities.From an initial $30,000 social media marketing investment, it’s estimated the overall results achieved would have cost more than $150,000 through traditional media.
  15. XEROX: Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, added 20,000 new contacts, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.

Do these case studies convince you of the value for content marketing for B2B businesses. Do the trends below help you with direction with your business? Does your B2B business need to learn how to use content marketing effectively?

B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015

35 data points show how content marketing works 0

Posted on January 12, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

How Content Marketig Works

  • 90% of marketers use content marketing (source: e-Strategy Trends)
  • 44% have a documented content marketing strategy (Source: Flip Creator)
  • 42% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers believe they are effective at it (source: e-Strategy Trends)

These statistics indicate content marketing has come of age but there is still room for improvement.

What makes it work? How should your business use it?

Here is some guidance. 35 data points that show how content marketing work.

CONTENT IS KING

  • 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing (source: Social Times)
  • 76% use articles (including internal and guest blog posts) (source: eMarketer)
  • 76% of B2B companies maintain blogs. (FlipCreator)
  • 70% of both B2B and B2C marketers plan to produce more content (source: e-Strategy Trends)
  • 62% use videos (source: eMarketer)
  • 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. (source: iMedia Connection)

PEOPLE LIKE TO DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THEY KNOW

  • 70%-90% of the “buying journey” for B2B buyers occurs before they reach out to a vendor (source: B2B Marketing)
  • 80% of the time spent researching is done online (source: B2B Marketing)
  • 54% of B2B buyers begin their buying process with informal research about business problems (source: B2B Marketing)
  • 46% of web users will look towards social media when making a purchase (source: Search Engine Journal)

KNOW WHO TO ATTRACT

  • 57% of discussion on Pinterest are about food (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • 56% of Americans have a profile on a social networking site (source: Edison Research)
  • The fastest-growing age cohort on Twitter is 55-to-64 year-olds, up 79% since 2012 (source: Fast Company)
  • 50% of marketers found customers on Facebook (source: Social Times)
  • 45-54 age bracket is the fastest-growing group on both Facebook and Google+ (source: Fast Company)
  • 40 percent of marketers found customers on LinkedIn (source: Social Times)
  • YouTube has over 1 billion unique visitors per month and reaches the coveted 18-34 year old demographic more than any cable network (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • The male vs. female ratio of social media users is as follows: Facebook – 60% female/40% male; Twitter – 60% female/40% male; Pinterest – 79% female/21% male; Google Plus – 29% female/71% male; LinkedIn – 55% female/45% male (source: Search Engine Journal)

HAVE A STRATEGY

  • 83% of B2B marketers invest in social media to increase brand exposure (source: (Social Media Today)
  • 69% to increase web traffic (source: Social Media Today)
  • 65% to gain market insights (source: Social Media Today)
  • 78 cents is the value in sales of a Pin on Pinterest (up 25% versus year ago) (source: TechCrunch)

MAKE YOUR CONTENT WORK AS HARD AS IT CAN

  • 4,300% is the ROI of email marketing (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • 80% of all Pinterest pins are actually Re-pins (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • 73% of reporters say that press releases should contain images. (Social Times)
  • 72% who complain on Twitter expect a response within 60 minutes (source: HubSpot)
  • 57% of U.S. online adults read blogs. And of that group, two-thirds “say a brand mention or promotion within context of the blog influences their purchasing decisions.” (source: New Media and Marketing)
  • 52% of people expect a response to an email within 12-24 hours (source: MediaPost)
  • 48% of consumers say email is their preferred form of communication with brands. (iMedia Connection)
  • 42% of people expect a response from brands on social media within 60 minutes; 32% within 30 minutes (source: Convince and Convert)
  • 23% of Facebook users check their account at least 5 times a day (source: Search Engine Journal)
  • YouTube has the highest engagement and lowest bounce of any social network (source: Shareaholic)

ADMIT WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

  • 79% of B2B marketing executives report noticeable skill gaps in the teams they manage. The top areas for skills gaps are:
    • Data analysis
    • Customer insight
    • Digital marketing techniques. (source: B2B Marketing)

Do these data point help you see what makes content marketing work? Could you be doing content marketing more effectivley?

30 hard facts on content marketing to drive ROI 0

Posted on July 06, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.

How important is content marketing to profitably running a business?

The marketing decisions any company on the internet has to make is how to invest between “owned,” (a website, video, CRM system), “earned,” (communications that commented, liked and/or shared) and “paid” (ads – search, display, banner, native) properties. Anything a company can do is going to fit in one of these areas.

What sort of return should your company expect from content marketing investments in these areas? Here are 30 hard facts about the content marketing to drive ROI.

OWNED

  • 93% of B2B marketers report to using content marketing in their marketing mix (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (Inbound Writer)
  • 86% of B2C marketers include content marketing in their marketing mix (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 81% create content for social media (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 73% of B2B organizations have a person dedicated to overseeing content marketing strategy (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council)
  • 58% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets on content marketing in the next 12 months (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 55% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets on content marketing in the next year (source: Custom Content Marketing Institute)
  • 40-40% are expecting to increase their output for web updates, SEO content and social content next year (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 30% of B2B budgets are currently allocated to content marketing (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 28% of B2C budgets are currently allocated to content marketing (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 43.9 billion was spent on custom content spending on production and distribution last year (up 9.2% versus the previous year) (source: Custom Content Council)

EARNED

  • 97% of websites with blogs see more indexed pages on search engines (source: Content+)
  • 82% of consumers trust a company more when the CEO/leadership team are active social media users (source: TopRank)
  • 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing (source: HubSpot)
  • 70% of people want to learn about product through content rather than traditional advertising (source: Business Intelligence)
  • 67% more leads per month on average are generated by B2B companies that blog than non-blogging firms  (Social Media B2B)
  • 50% of buying decisions are made because of word of mouth (source: Content+)
  • Roughly 50% of marketers struggle with producing enough content, and producing content that engages (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 23% of all time online is spent on social media and blogs (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 10-20% of website content drives 90% of it’s web traffic; 0.5% of that content drives over 50% of traffic (source: Inbound Writer)
  • 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day (AOL)
  • Top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media are interesting content (Content+)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links (Content+)

PAID

  • 79% of marketers report that their organizations are shifting to branded content (source: Forrester)
  • 77% of business buyers prefer different content at various stages of the product research process (source: SalesForce)
  • 72% of Marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements (source: Content Council)
  • 69% say it’s superior to direct mail and PR (source: Content Council)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads (source: Business Marketing Insider)
  • 62% of companies outsource their content marketing. (Mashable)
  • three content marketing tactics that deliver the highest ROI are featured articles (cited by 62% of marketers), video (52%) and white papers (46%) (source: eMarketer)

To understand the anatomy of content marketing, below is an infographic from Content+.

Do these facts convince you content marketing could change your ROI?

 

How content marketing improves the buyer journey. 7 ways 3

Posted on June 02, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

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  • 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content (source: Demand Metric)
  • 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally (source: Sirius Decisions)
  • 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it (source: Demand Metrics)

The facts show content has a major influence on buying behavior. And, when done effectively, content marketing  improves the journey.

How? Here are 7 ways content marketing improves the buyer journey.

DISCOVERY: Potential buyers are  likely to learn about your business from relevant content.

  • KEYWORDS ARE THE CURRENCY OF THE INTERNET: 54% of people find websites through natural search results according to Forrester. This means, when people type in their unmet need in the query box of a search engine, relevant content is likely to begin the brand relationship. A good tool to use to find the right keywords with the most search volume for your business is the Google Keyword Planner.
  • BUYER NEEDS CHANGE; CONTENT MARKETING QUICKLY ADAPTS: Buyers’ needs change but content marketing can maintain relevance. To illustrate, here’s how consumer needs in pajamas have changed using Google Trends. But content marketing could easily be adapted to changing needs, tastes and seasonality.

CONSIDERATION: There are different Buyer Personas and stages to the Buying Cycle. Content Marketing builds 1-to-1 reach relationships with all of them to facilitate their journey.

  • BUYERS GO THROUGH FIXED STAGES IN BRAND CONSIDERATION: There are three stages to our buying behavior on the internet based on three personalities: Researchers, Shoppers and Buyers. Researchers expect the business to educate them. Shoppers expect comparisons to other products. When ready to buy, Buyers want an experience that is clear, easy and fast. Content marketing is one of the most practical and thorough ways of appealing to all of them.
  • CONTENT TAKES A LOT OF FORMS: They include:
    • Articles
    • Blog posts
    • Advertorials
    • White papers
    • Email campaigns
    • Newsletters
    • Web content
    • Infographics
    • Illustrations
    • Photos
    • Videos
    • Tutorials
    • FAQs
    • Webinars
    • Case Studies
    • E-books
  • LINKS CREATE AUTHORITY, INFLUENCE AND ADVOCACY: One of the most effective ways to be recognized as an expert in your area. It might seem like a paradox but if you extol competitors you admire, you elevate your brand to that competitive set. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is to link with other authorities. Content marketing  is an effective ways of incorporating links. They raise authority and search rank.

SELECTION: Content marketing is one of the most measurable means to find the audience you want to attract, find more just them, get them to take the actions you what and prove effectiveness. So, you can repeat this process over and over again.

  • ANALYTICS GIVE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD: Every piece of content can be measured to see who visited, spent time, opened, shared, commented and their behavior flow. Whether through Google Analytics on a websites, short links like Bit.ly on social media or a download, everything can be measured. It shows what worked, what to keep doing and what to improve.
  • RELEVANT CONTENT CREATES COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATION: After the product, relevant content is a brand’s most relevant asset. All things being equal, a brand that produces relevant content, vs. a similar brand that doesn’t,  has significant competitive differentiation.

 
For more facts on content marketing and buying behavior, check out the infographic below.

Did this convince you content marketing improves the buyer journey? Are you ready to do something about it?

beginners-guide-to-content-marketing-infographic

How 15 brands create great content marketing that works 0

Posted on January 19, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

My Starbucks Idea

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. The objective is to drive and sustain positive and profitable customer actions.

What companies do content marketing well? Where is is found? How do they keep it going? What are results? Why does it work?

Here’s how 15 brands create great content marketing that works.

Charmin Mobile App

  • CHARMIN (MOBILE APP): From P&G, Charmin has a mobile app that helps people find clean public toilets in any city they are at any time.

  • DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB (VIDEO): Spent $4,500 on a video that got 9.5 million views, 23,000 followers on Twitter and 76,000 Facebook Fans. Most important, they got 12,000 new customers in 2 days.

GE Ecomagination

  • GENERAL ELECTRIC (ONLINE MAGAZINE): General Electric uses a content tactic called Ecomagination  to tell its story of the 132-year-old brand through different content channels.. It is set up as a magazine forum with an experienced managing editor, editor-a-large and editorial staff of writers and journalists. The key metric used to determine the success of this content marketing initiative is sharing.

General Mills Tablespoon.com

  • GENERAL MILLS (COOKING COMMUNITY):  For Tablespoon.com, an online resource of cooking and recipes for all levels, General Mills watches numbers on social sites like Pinterest and Facebook. They considered it a success to move from 15 followers on Pinterest to close to 8,000 in about a year.

wpid-Good-Greens

  • GOOD GREENS (BLOGGER RELATIONS): Good Greens, gluten free, dairy free, natural super bars with 40 antioxidants and 3 probiotics, was founded by Keith Pabley in 2011. Pabley didn’t have a large marketing budget. Instead, he build relationships with local bloggers to increase the number of reviews, mentions and search engine results for Good Greens. Sales jumped 50% in 4 months.

  • GUITAR CENTER (YOUTUBE CHANNEL):  Their innovative, fun and unique videos speak to a very targeted audience in the ways they want to converse: Through music. The Guitar Center TV Channel on YouTube also seamlessly integrates with the company’s website, provides an open forum for discussions from passionate players and features company promotions.

IBM CityOne

  • IBM (GAMIFICATION): IBM has long been a leader in gaming-as-content, breaking new ground with its business simulation game, called “CityOne.” In this game, players solve problems in four key areas – banking, retail, energy and water. To date, “CityOne” has racked up to 18,000 players from more than 130 countries since its launch in 2010, proving simulation gaming may be a powerful new content initiative that can engage, educate and influence.

Indium Corporation Blogs

  • INDIUM (BLOG SERIES): Sixteen engineers from Indium have discovered content gold with their “From One Engineer to Another” blog. Through it, they produce valuable content, videos and answer questions about a variety of engineering topics (e.g., how to set up and operate the Indium sulfamate plating bath). Even if you don’t know what that means, you can appreciate what they are striving for: to bring ideas to life through interactive conversations.

Magnolia Content Marketing

  • MAGNOLIA (MINI-MAGAZINE): The family opened Magnolia in 1954 as a photography store. Then they started selling electronics. A fellow named Roger Parker had an idea. With his help, they launched the “Buyer’s Guide Place,” a mini-magazine that educated shoppers on electronics. It transformed their business. Magnolia sold to Best Buy for $87 million.

Nike Better World

  • NIKE (MICROSITE): The Nike Better World microsite uses HTML5 to present content in a hip storyboard-style that amasses all the goodness of the brand and delivers it in an unusual, scrolling format. Best of all? The attention-grabbing “Better World” video is made from “100% recycled advertising.” How green is that?”

  • ORALBRUSH (VIDEO):  Oralbrush had been around for 10 years, begging dentists and retailers to carry their products with limited success – they took off after they launched a $500 video around a “Bad Breath Test.” The Orabrush channel has had over 40,000,000 views, 340,000+ Facebook Fans and 5,000+ Twitter Followers.

Red Bull Red Bulletin

  • RED BULL (MAGAZINE APP): What do you think about when you hear the word “Red Bull?” Energy? Extremism? Excitement? Red Bull has done an excellent job building its brand on a few consistent themes that permeate every aspect of the company, from goofy cartoon ads to rockin’ live events.

My Starbucks Idea

  • STARBUCKS (USER GENERATED CONTENT): Starbucks launched an online community – mystarbucksidea.com to promote communication between the company and it’s customers. The community is used by Starbucks to review and promote ideas. With 3 million visitors and 60,000 ideas from customers,  “we used to launch a new product and it cost millions of dollars. Now, when we launch a new product, we already have millions of fans,” say Chris Bruzzo, Vice President Brand, Content and Online at Starbucks.

Target Coupon Mailer

  •  TARGET (COUPON MAILERS): These mailers, called “Haiku-pons,” contained discounts and coupons served up with brief, creative Haiku poems. This is a great example of how to use humor and a unique approach to an otherwise traditional marketing medium – print – to make your content marketing initiatives stand out. Spicing up the home mailersgave Target a bit of an edge, offering up a dose of personality to brighten up mailboxes.

William Sonoma Taste Blog

Many of these examples have been going for years. It proves, when there is relevant content that your audience gets involved with and shares, content marketing is one of your productive, profitable and long standing business assets.

Do these examples help you see what content marketing can do for a business? How it can work for yours?

 

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