As the Super Bowl approaches, the single most important game in the National Football League and one of the most iconic sporting events in the world, we can see just how alike sports and marketing really are. How are these teams preparing for the biggest game of the year? They are using their data to develop a winning strategy that gives them their competitive edge. They are watching film and seeing which plays will be successful against their opponents. Content marketing, surprisingly to some, should be treated in the same fashion.
Somehow, the vast variety and scope of information created and published online has been condemned to reductive summary in the vacuous designation "content." We may be stuck with the word. Ubiquitous usage of the term has too deeply embedded itself into the culture and practices surrounding the production and consumption of online work.
The Value of Infographics in B2B Marketing
Infographics have emerged in status from powerful option to essential strategy. Consider the stats:
- According to Hubspot, "blog articles that included infographics generated an average of 178% more inbound links and 72% more views than all other posts."
- Demand for infographics has increased 800% in the past year.
- Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content. -MassPlanner
The most powerful infographics do more than simply present information; they can telegraph a complex story in simple visual terms to a broad range of audiences in creative and engaging ways.
"Don’t Make Your Sales Team Run Marathons on Milk Duds."
Let me explain. See, I had this kind of absurdly anxious nightmare. Our firm was in some kind of Olympic race—but not really The Olympics. (You know how dreams are.) Anyway, we were sending our sales team out to run a marathon. For some reason, I said, "they can't run on an empty stomach." Then the sales team looked at me. Somehow, I realized I was in charge of the food. Then I gave them each a Milk Dud. That’s right—a Milk Dud, the odd little chocolate-caramel candies in the yellow box. Except I didn’t give them a box of Milk Duds--just a Milk Dud, singular. They looked confused and disappointed. I felt guilty and anxious. Then we lost the marathon.
Stressed by the Demand to Create all that Content?
If the answer is "yes," you're not alone. Studies show that marketers are undergoing increased job stress. And it's no wonder, given the increased complexity of the work. Marketers face many challenges today: High growth expectations, hyper competition in crowded market places, and the digital and social-media revolution. What’s more, growing pressure from the C-suite to implement marketing return on investment measures as a way to track and evaluate marketing success is increasing the marketer’s workload. Studies show that stress rates for marketers are on the rise.
The How’s and Why’s of B2B Inbound Marketing
You're probably already blogging and sharing content on social media – key inbound tactics.
Still, inbound marketing’s true power comes from consistency: Align all your B2B marketing strategies with inbound and you'll unlock its full potential.
It helps you build deep, long-lasting relationships with customers, accelerate the sales cycle, and drive sales/marketing alignment. In effect, you win trust using Web content like blogs, whitepapers, and videos to answer prospects' questions and concerns.
Now I am a content marketer, by action if not job title. I get to put content marketing into action because I’ve been given the room to shape my own role and our companies’ marketing path… What helps to ease that challenge is our leadership is supportive and onboard. I couldn’t ask for more from them. I have the green light and their patience to keep letting this evolve. We all are thinking long term.