Content Marketing Takeaways from MarketingProfs B2B Forum

By Kari Rippetoe | Oct 8, 2012
More Articles by Kari

Last week I attended the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston and managed to live-blog one post on Thursday about trailblazing content marketing case studies. I then attended several content marketing sessions that I did not live-blog – simply because there was so much incredible information to consume and so little time. You’ve been there, right? Right?

But, so much of the information I learned during these sessions (like content marketing initiatives you shouldn’t be without and creating content worth sharing) went together and related in such an awesome way that I decided to put it all into one big blog post.

First, start with the basics.

I attended a session given by the Godfather of Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe), that covered what every marketer needed to know before jumping headlong into a content marketing program. Consider the following (from the Content Marketing Institute’s upcoming B2B content marketing report):

  • 91% of marketers are “doing” content marketing in some form.
  • 54% are increasing their budgets for content marketing.
  • 36% think content marketing is actually effective.
  • Marketers’ biggest content marketing challenge: creating enough content

So, an overwhelming majority of B2B marketers are “doing” content marketing (and over half are increasing their budgets), yet only 36% think it’s effective. Maybe because that 91% aren’t “doing” it the right way. They’re focused on producing enough quantity of content over producing quality content.

Joe talked about essential content marketing initiatives that every marketer shouldn’t be without – in other words, thinking of why you’re starting a content marketing program, who will be a part of that team, how you will create engaging content that tells compelling stories, and what/how you will measure for success of that program. As marketers, we’re so focused on channels that we lose sight of the story we’re trying to tell and how we’re going to help our customers. Storytelling is at the center of the channels.

Create Content Worth Sharing

If only 36% of B2B marketers think their content marketing programs are effective, then perhaps they need to read more cartoons. According to Tom Fishburne (@tomfishburne) of Marketoon Studios, “Everything I needed to know about content marketing, I learned from drawing cartoons.” His session at MarketingProfs B2B gave me a whole new perspective on creating shareable content.

We forget the importance of the content we put out on social media. All we know is we need to be on social media, but we don’t know what to do there.

Tom Fishburne social media cartoon

Tom shared 5 lessons he learned from drawing cartoons:

  • Publishing is a privilege: Just because we have the podium, doesn’t mean people want to listen to us. When many brands attempt content marketing, they end up selling. Technology isn’t going to save a boring idea, but it amplifies it.
  • It’s not all about you: Most content marketing doesn’t pass the bedtime story test. We have to let go of the microphone.
  • Preach to the choir: If we want to be a big brand, we have to talk to everybody. Your fans are the ones who show up every Sunday and sing about your brand.
  • Continuity trumps virality: You can’t control if something goes viral, you can only create quality content.
  • Make your audience awesome: It doesn’t matter how awesome your product is, it matters how you’re making your audience be more awesome.

Viral video quote Orabrush

Get visual with your content marketing

Speaking of cartoons, did you know 44% of a surveyed group of people said they are more likely to engage with a brand that posts photos? Using visual content, such as photos, will help you increase your Edgerank on Facebook, thereby increasing the likelihood of your content being seen in the Newsfeeds of the people who Like your brand. Mika Lofton of the Behr Process Corporation (the company that makes Behr Paint) shared some reasons why using visual content is important:

  • It evokes emotion
  • It tells a story
  • It can be consumed very quickly
  • It has viral value

According to Mika, “Mobile has become ubiquitous overall.” The mobile mindset means less words and more images for shorter attention spans. Plus, sites like Pinterest and YouTube drive traffic and can drive leads when used  in a way that tells stories while delivering the right information at the right time.

Were you at MarketingProfs B2B? What were the biggest content marketing lessons you learned? Comment below or share them with me on Twitter @karirippetoe.

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