January 25, 2015 by
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- DEMANDBASE: A 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
January 12, 2015 by
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)
- 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
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?
December 28, 2014 by
- 35% of Unilever’s advertising spending in the U.S. is in digital (up 40% versus year) (source: Deloitte)
- 33% of Procter & Gamble’s U.S advertising budget goes to digital media (source: Deloitte)
Trends indicate leading brand companies are moving ad spending to digital, but the question many still ask is: Does digital advertising really work for brand advertisers?
To answer this question definitively, the IAB through Peter Minnium, Head of Digital Initiatives, asked BarnRaisers to help them research this area and create the infographic featured at the bottom of this blog post.
So, if your company is asking, now you have an answer that has been researched, has proof-positive and an interesting visual.
Here are 8 studies that prove digital advertising works for brands.
- DRIVES SALES AND ROI: Nielsen completed more than 800 studies over the past seven years, collaborating with more than 300 CPG brands and 80 companies to measure the correlation between online advertising and offline consumer purchases.
- ENHANCES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NON-DIGITAL CHANNELS:An econometrics study [PDF] conducted by BrandScience and Microsoft shows that online advertising not only delivers excellent ROI efficiency itself, but it also makes other media spend work harder.When the researchers compared the difference in ROI performance between studies that have an online element and those that do not, the results were striking – adding online to the media mix has a positive impact on the campaign ROI for all media, from a delta of +4% for radio to +51% for outdoor and a whopping +70% for television
- EFFECTIVE ACROSS THE ENTIRE CUSTOMER JOURNEY: Automakers are sophisticated users of digital media, so McKinsey analyzed 24 customer touch-points for more than 9,000 new car buyers to better understand which points of engagement drive customers’ premium perceptions and purchase decisions.Not only did they find that digital is key to driving premium perception (second only to live experiences), they discovered that digital channels dominate the path-to-purchase (in this case, McKinsey’s automotive “consumer decision journey” [CDJ] framework).With traditional media, brands were constrained in their ability to influence prospects across the entire journey and to do so in a granular, discrete manner. Not so with digital media.
- DRIVES WORD OF MOUTH AT SCALE: According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family (“word of mouth”) over all forms of advertising, and there is little doubt that digital advertising turbo-charges this effective persuasion channel.ShareThis has a unique view of the word of mouth phenomenon; its ubiquitous sharing tools allow it to touch the lives of 95% of U.S. internet users across more than 2 million publisher sites and 120+ social media channels.In its quantitative study, “Return on a Share, Quantifying the Monetary Value of Social Sharing,” it found:
- Recommendations have more impact on a consumer’s purchase decision than both brand and price – 57% of decisions are based on this.
- Online shares are almost as valuable as in-person recommendations – a consumer is 9.5% more likely to buy a product with an excellent shared recommendation compared with 10.6% more likely via an excellent in-person recommendation. In contrast, a negative recommendation can reduce purchase intent by 11% for an online share and 11.2% for an in-person one.
- The specific value of a share can be determined by measuring how much more a consumer will pay for a product if they have had an excellent online recommendation (via sharing). ShareThis calculated a delta of +$3,708 for a family size car, +$24.91 for tablets, and +$0.92 for household goods, for example.
- DRIVES INTERACTION AND LIFTS BRANDS: It is well known that the quality of ad creative is the most important determinant of ad effectiveness. A seminal comScore ARS study showed that creative quality drives more than half of the sales changes for brands analyzed, four times higher than the impact of the specific media plan. Digital creative adds the dimension of interaction to sight, sound, and motion – and greater interaction has been shown to drive brand effectiveness. For example, IAB, comScore, and Vibrant Media partnered to study the effectiveness of mobile advertising for Oreo, Hellman’s, and Microsoft Windows Phone. Standard banners were compared to the IAB Rising Stars, which include interaction.Results across the three ad campaigns show that consumers are twice as likely to interact with a Mobile Rising Star ad as a standard mobile ad and have higher brand lift after interacting with a Mobile Rising Star ad (83% more likely to have an improved impression of the brand, 74% to recall the brand, 22% to recall the message, and 12% to recommend the brand).
- IS MORE EFFICIENT THAN TRADITIONAL MEDIA: While it is dangerous to generalize about media costs given the wide array of choices within each medium, digital advertising can generally be seen to be among the most efficient means of reaching an audience. Further, on a cost-per-conversion basis, the IAB estimates digital to be five to six times more efficient than direct mail.
- IS ESSENTIAL TO REACHING AN AUDIENCE: In 2013, time spent with digital media among U.S. adults surpassed time spent with TV, and this gap will likely continue to widen.U.S. adults are estimated to spend 4 hours, 28 minutes per day in front of their TV. Combining online and mobile devices, however, U.S. adults are expected to spend 5 hours, 46 minutes with digital media daily this year, increasing digital’s lead over television to well over one hour per day.In 2013, time spent with digital media among U.S. adults surpassed time spent with TV, and this gap will likely continue to widen.U.S. adults are estimated to spend 4 hours, 28 minutes per day in front of their TV. Combining online and mobile devices, however, U.S. adults are expected to spend 5 hours, 46 minutes with digital media daily this year, increasing digital’s lead over television to well over one hour per day.
- IS EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE THAN WE KNOW: It is highly likely that the tools used to measure return on investment for media today undervalue digital media. A consortium consisting mainly of leading CPG companies undertook a study together with Nielsen to better understand media attribution. Consortium members, which include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft Foods, Mondelez, Kimberly-Clark, and Kellogg, found marketing-mix models undervalued digital ads.For example, the ROI from Facebook ads were underestimated by as much as 48% and Google search ads by as much as 39%.
We appreciate the IAB getting to a definitive answer on this subject. And their use of our infographic below.
Do these studies convince you of the effectiveness of digital advertising for brands?
December 09, 2014 by
- 90% of CMOs say social data has impacted at least some of their decisions; only 47% use data to make predictions or forecast sales. (source: Bazaarvoice)
- 87% of marketers want to know how to measure their return on investment for social media activities (source: Social Media Examiner)
- 85% use social networks in some way; only 14% tie financial metrics to it (source: AdAge)
These facts indicate most companies use social media but don’t measure it. Yet, virtually all agree they would make better business decisions, possibly determine their return of investment, if they did.
Social media measurement is the use of tools to monitor what is being said on the internet. It also is called Social Listening, Online Analytics, Buzz Analysis, Social Media Measurement, Social Media Intelligence.
Admittedly, it’s a hard area to get your hands around. There are hundreds of social media measurement tools. Costs range from free to upwards of $20,000/year and, as with any tool, they have specific strengths and weaknesses.
What to do? You’ll never know until you get started. The risk of doing nothing may be greater
To help you get going, here are the Top 7 free social media measurement tools from 7 experts.
- GOOGLE ANALYTICS: Has Social Visitors Flow. It is a visual presentation of how visitors from social properties are navigating your website. Assuming the goal of your social media campaign is to get more traffic to your website, this report quickly gives you insight into which social platforms are sending the most traffic to your site and what your social visitors are doing once they get there. – Lisa Peyton, Social Media Examiner
- HOOTSUITE: Is one of the best free social media management tools available, and covers multiple social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+. The weekly analytics reports and the excellent team management facility (delegating tasks, sending private messages) can be very useful when there’s more than one person handling the social media accounts. – Ruxandra Mindruta, Brandwatch
- MARKETING GRADER: Has been modified over the past few years to focus on your social media presence. Scoring low in these areas is a far greater problem than say, not having alternate text tags for your images. Marketing Grader makes recommendations on how to perform better keyword searches and to ‘power up’ your site’s engine. – Nader Mahmoudi, Business2Community
- SOCIAL MENTION: Is a social media search engine that searches for keywords on social media platforms — including blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos and microblogging services — and provides metrics around keywords and “sentiment.” It also provides graphic illustrations or charts showing mentions per day or week. - JD Lasica, Socialbrite
- SOCIAL SEARCHER: Is a social search engine with strong social analytics and excellent dashboards for a free tool. Enter a brand, topic or keyword and the analytics display mentions by social networks. They also have sentiment analysis. There are pie-charts showing type of posts (e.g. status, link, video) for social networks . The dashboards look good for presentation purposes too. – Rob Petersen, BarnRaisers
- SPROUT SOCIAL: Is the perfect social monitoring tool for small-to-medium sized franchises, local businesses with a handful of locations and smaller companies on a limited budget. I can imagine restaurants monitoring their reviews and tips on Foursquare using Sprout Social. The integration of Klout scores of authors also helps brands to identify influential mentions. I highly recommend Sprout Social for business owners. – Diedre Drewess, DragonSearch
- TOPSY: One part virality tool, one part tracking mechanism, one part social listening post, Topsy is becoming one of new favorites. I’ve moved from Tweetmeme to Topsy on my embedded tweeting, due to improved metrics, and Topsy’s competitive intelligence capabilities are impressive. Find a tweet your competitor sent, and see how many times it was retweeted, by whom, which among them are influencers. – Jay Baer, Convince and Convert
These tools are also mostly intuitive to use.
If your business is in social media, what do you do to measure it? If you don’t, do these social medial measurement tool help you get going?
November 23, 2014 by
TV and Digital are the two media channels that now receive the most ad spending. They are the only two media channels where ad spending is increasing as opposed to Print, Radio and Outdoor where it is decreasing. If current trends continue, Digital is expected to overtake TV by 2018.
Marketers spend more in Digital but many companies ask: Show me the ROI!
To better understand Digital Marketing ROI and this trend, we recently published 11 Studies Prove the ROI of Digital Marketing. Below is an Infographic of our findings from Piktochart, a company that offers an all-in-one online infographic application where anyone can create custom infographics, banners, reports and presentations online utilizing an easy interface that everyone can use.
11 studies is a significant number. If you need more convincing, here are 6 more studies that prove Digital Marketing ROI.
- ADAGE: (WHERE DO WE SPENT OUR TIME?) At 3.9 hours daily, TV viewing remains the most time-consuming media activity, followed closely by going on the internet with a computer, not for work, at 3.8 hours. 95% of respondents go online at home; plus, 57% go online using their mobile phone, and 16% do so for at least 3 hours daily. If computer and mobile are added for internet usage, consumers now spend more of their leisure time on the internet than TV,
- HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW (HOW DO WE BUY?): In Branding in the Digital Age, You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places, HBR reports the internet has changed the way we buy: Once, a shopper would systematically winnow his brand choices to arrive at a final selection. Now, relying heavily on digital interactions, he or she evaluates a shifting array of options and remains engaged with the brand through social media after a purchase. Consumers today connect with brands in fundamentally new ways through the internet and social channels.
- INTERACTIVE ADVERTISING BUREAU (IAB) (WHAT CAN WE MEASURE?): The IAB, 4 A’s and ANA concluded that brand engagement was not a single event; rather, it was a continuum of activities that were cognitive, behavior and emotional. They then demonstrated by detailing every possible touch point of the consumer journey how the engagement “journey” could be measured for digital through survey, eye tracking, web analytics, social listening and social analytics more effectively than any other media channel.
- MCKINSEY (WHY DOES IT WORK?): McKinsey analyzed 24 customer touch points for more than 9,000 new car buyers to better understand which touch points drive customers’ premium perceptions and willingness to pay. Among their conclusions: 1) Digital channels dominate the purchasing “journey,” 2) digital customers demand seamless integration, 3) digital products secure loyalty and 4) digital sales are bigger than expected.
- SEORCHERS (HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?): To reach 1,000 viewers, it costs between $1-$3 for Online (Search) and $5-$10 for Online (Display). This compares to $10 for Cable TV, $24-$30 for Prime Time TV, $40 for Radio and $100 for Magazine. Plus, 90% of all purchase decisions begin online.
- SYNCAPSE (WHAT IS THE ROI OF WORD OF MOUTH?): Sharing, comments, Likes, reviews and ratings are prevalent on the internet. Do they influence buying behavior? What is their value? Syncapse has been measuring word of mouth since 2010 to understand the value of a Facebook Fan. They measure Fans for over 20 major brands including BMW, Coca-Cola, Disney, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart. In the latest year (2013), the average value of a Brand Fan increased 28% to $174.17. This is because Facebook Brand Fans are: 1) 85% more likely to advocate their brand versus 60% for non-Fan users, 2) Spend 42% more in respective categories than non-Fans, despite no income difference and 3) 11% more likely to continue using their brands than non-fan users.
Newer media channels always have more to prove. If your company requires proof points, 17 studies that cover a wide range of industries and media properties should satisfy those who need convincing.
Do these studies prove Digital Marketing ROI to you?