Last week, professionals from across Northeast Ohio gathered at a pub in the heart of downtown Cleveland to share a few laughs, apps and experiences. Conversation focused on one of our favorite topics: finding solutions to some of modern marketing’s common challenges.
The Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) welcomed Secure State (@SecureState) marketers, Genna Carbone (@CarboneG) and Courtney Satink (@courtneysatink), to share their knowledge and expertise of marketing in the B2B space. As Carbone and Satink detailed their experiences at Secure State, you could see nods and sentiments of agreement among the marketers in the room.
Discussion centered on several core marketing challenges, including how to:
- Successfully market services, rather than a concrete product
- Speak to, and effectively engage, drastically different buyer personas—i.e. IT specialists and CEOs.
- Find the brand’s voice, spread awareness and earn recognition.
While many B2B marketing challenges were presented and discussed, the following three topics were distinctly noted as our top three.
1. Content Farm: Grow a Steady Supply of (Quality) Content
You’ve probably heard the phrase before: content is king.
And while setting up a blog is relatively easy, the hard part comes when you must maintain momentum. The pressure mounts. It’s not just preferred, but strongly recommended, that your company consistently publish high-quality content. Why?
- SEO Benefits. If you continuously publish new content, search engines will crawl and index your site more frequently. This, in turn, gives your business a greater chance of being found in search by target audiences.
- Fresh Content. When you regularly add new content, site/blog visitors will see you are an active publisher and dedicated to keeping content up to date.
- Showcase Expertise. A blog enables you to showcase employees’ expertise to external audiences—current and prospective customers, industry influencers, experts and analysts, etc. Through creation of valuable and informative content, you can speak to customer pain points and earn authority.
But how do companies keep the content river flowing?
- Make it a team effort. Enlist multiple, internal subject matter experts who are willing to contribute content that speaks to skills/topics in their wheelhouse. You know who really rocks at your company. Seek them out, and ask them if they’d be willing to share their thoughts on a relevant industry topic of his or her choosing.
- Show writers how it’s done. Develop a style guide that details exactly what you’re looking for in each post. This is particularly important if you will have multiple contributors. Think about preferred length, spelling, capitalization, as well as formatting of subheads, fonts and font sizes. This will cut down on both editing and publishing time later.
- Manage an editorial calendar. Create an easily accessible editorial calendar that enables collaboration and organization, such as a shared Google Doc. Encourage writers to contribute ideas as they come, submitting topics to content sandbox. This stream of ideas can then be used for determining the monthly calendar.
2. The Brand Battle: Find Your Space
Leverage content assets to help solve another one of marketing’s greatest challenges—building a brand and establishing awareness for its mission.
Finding your place in the online world can be tough. Companies compete against others in their space for prowess and placement in results. Your goal is to deliver greater value, and rank higher.
- Find and optimize around your niche. What differentiates your company? Take this concept and define keywords around it. Publicize what makes you special, and have it define you.
- Find your brand ambassadors—form partnerships. Are your customers or peers talking about your brand? As a marketer tapped into brand monitoring, you should know the answer to this question. Seek out those with similar missions, and look for opportunities to share each others’ stories. Brandscape.
3. Google Monster Attacks: Learn How to Fight Back
Anyone in the search game knows it’s a constant battle, with rules subject to change at any second.
As search evolves, you never know when the next Panda or Penguin will strike. While algorithms are designed to provide more focused, authentic results, they also crack down on site elements and practices once praised.
How can your business keep a competitive edge and prepare for the next attack?
- Subscribe to search trend blogs, and keep updated on the latest. Live and breathe search trends, or assign a person on your team to do so. Subscribe to sites like Search Engine Land, Moz and Matt Cutts’ blog (@MattCutts) for the latest key takeaways.
- Actively monitor analytics. Watch site statistics on a weekly basis. Note sharp rises or drops, and always question why. Dive into the details, and look for insights unexplainable that may lend you to believe an animal attack has occurred. If you saw a rise—congratulations! If you saw a drop, you need discover its cause.
- Audit and update. Conduct regular SEO audits of your website, and see how it’s performing. Identify areas of improvement, and update for search success.
Did you attend the Cleveland HUG presentation from Secure State? What common marketing challenges does your business face? Share with us in the comment section below.