Content Marketing and Demand Generation Tips from SIIA’s Deciphering Marketing Event
Earlier this week I was invited to participate in a content marketing panel at SIIA’s Deciphering Market event in Denver. It’s always fun to share best practices and get feedback from other B2B marketers. What is SIIA, you ask? The acronym stands for Software & Information Industry Association, a trade association for the software and digital content industry. It was a great opportunity to meet others in the industry, share thoughts and ideas, and learn from each other.
My panel was titled, “Content Dominates the Marketing World,” and featured the following cast of characters:
• Phil Nugent, Founder & Managing Director, NCG Strategic Marketing
• Joseph Cole, Head of Growth Marketing, TapInfluence
• Jim Malcolm, CEO, Xiality
• Stewart Maurer, Director of Global Marketing, Maptek
• Peg Miller, Founder, B2B Marketing Academy
A few key takeaways from our content marketing panel:
- Jim from Xiality shared great examples of how they’re harnessing photography enthusiasts to help create content. You don’t have to have a huge team of content creators to be prolific and effective at content marketing.
- If you’re in a technical market, it’s important to have SMEs (subject matter experts) on your team. If your team doesn’t understand your market, build a team who does. If you can’t afford to hold the SMEs on your payroll, make sure you build a strong and tightknit influencer community (so you can create an army of SMEs who behave on your behalf like they’re on your payroll even if they are a freelancer.)
- Even if you think you are late to the content marketing evolution, it’s never too late to get started or to improve your strategy. Start with a crawl-walk-run approach, and be careful not to over-commit to programs you can’t sustain.
- No matter the size of the organization or the size of the marketing team, there is no such thing as a company that has no content. The content may not exist in a market-facing format (yet), or it may not have been created by the marketing team, but every company has potentially marketable content floating around its hallways. The panel participants recommended marketers make friends with their sales teams, their product experts and especially their customers to find goldmines of content already in existence that could be repurposed for market-facing use.
The afternoon panel, “Scaling Your Demand Generation,” was moderated by Sandra Zoratti, CMO of The Marketer Network, and featured panelists Kimberly Odom, Director of Marketing (Software Vertical) at NetSuite, along with Gary Smith, Director of Marketing at Mindflash.
High points from the demand generation panel:
- Gary shared some great tips on how they’re using predictive lead scoring tool and love the results. It has allowed them to focus sales energy on the highest converting leads and move the other leads into marketing automation. Using a lead scoring tool has put a stop to the internal arguments about how to define MQLs because the data defines it, not the sales team and not the marketing team. The panel also discussed using lead scoring to help find good B2B ad sites to help generate leads at a reasonable cost by driving trials and demos. There are numerous predictive lead scoring tools on the market right now, including Infer, Lattice, 6Sense, Leadspace, Mintigo, Salesfusion. If you need help determining which tool makes sense for your organization, Jill Stanek of Sirius Decisions gives a nice overview in her post, Considering a Predictive Lead Scoring Vendor?
- Next Kim shared an example of taking an existing campaign, and moving it to the next level. She shared that she had a solid-performing content campaign which was beginning to show signs of fatigue; after months of solid performance the campaign results started to plateau. She re-evaluated the campaign, added a vertical twist and positioning to the content, and was able to re-invigorate the performance of this campaign simply by adding more granular information relevant to her targeted vertical.
I love being a part of the B2B marketing community, where people openly share ideas and help each other continue to amp up their marketing skills.
If you missed this week’s event, but would like to attend a future event, Rhianna Collier and her SIIA team travel around the country, hosting similar events in various US cities. The typical agenda is a 3 day event (one day for Customer Success, one for Marketing, and one for Finance). Chances are, there’s a SIIA event coming to your city soon.