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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Customer Engagement

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It has been several years since we last reported on the growing use and popularity of content marketing as a core strategy among B2B marketers.  Back in 2012, the creation and use of compelling, relevant content was still in an experimental and learning stage for most B2B marketers.  At the same time it was starting to gain significant momentum and claiming a growing percentage of marketing budgets.

 

Fast forward to 2015 . . . according to the Content Marketing Institute's and Marketing Profs' fifth annual 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends survey, content marketing has grown from "just a creation and distribution of content tactic into a formal discipline," and the latest data reflects continued momentum.  

 

Key findings include:

 

  • 87% of B2B marketers are using a variety of content marketing tactics. ​47% indicate that they have a dedicated content marketing group and another 15% plan to create one. 
  • 70% are creating more content than they did a year ago, with 42% publishing content daily or multiple times per week. 

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Source:  Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.  2015 B2B Content

Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Survey. 

 

  • The average number of content marketing initiatives used to achieve marketing goals has increased to 13, up from 8 in 2012, with Infographics showing the biggest jump in usage year over year from 51% to 62%.  
  • 30% of the overall marketing budget, on average, is allocated to custom or branded content and 84% plan to increase their content marketing spending during the next 12 months, up from 60% in last year's survey.

Respondents use content marketing for a variety of purposes, but brand awareness, lead generation and customer engagement are the top three.  Social media content, and especially content delivered through LinkedIn, is the top content marketing tactic used by B2B marketers, followed by e-newsletters, articles on websites, blogs and various others such as case studies, white papers, videos, etc.

 

In spite of the growing momentum, challenges remain.  B2B marketers continue to struggle with creating enough engaging, high quality content and doing so consistently.  Plus they have difficulty finding enough trained content marketing professionals and struggle to measure the effectiveness and ROI of their content marketing efforts.

 

Finally, it is noteworthy that the survey findings show that those B2B marketers who have a documented content management strategy and follow this strategy closely are more effective with content marketing across the board.   For additional details and insights on these and other survey topics, a copy of the 2015 study is available via the Content Marketing Institute website.

 

As always, we welcome your comments and questions and the opportunity to dialogue with our readers.  

 

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In spite of early skepticism about the business value of online communities their popularity and adoption has been growing significantly in recent years.  Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest have been leading the way as digital technologies continue to transform our lives and businesses.  Today, digital business is an imperative and organizations without a digital transformation strategy in place are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their digitally savvy counterparts.

 

One of the key manifestations of the new digital reality is the way organizations engage, communicate with, and extend relationships with their customers, suppliers, partners and employees.   Increasingly organizations are moving away from one-way, portal-centric interactions and conversations to more socially engaging alternatives that facilitate brand advocacy and peer-to-peer collaboration to achieve business outcomes.  

 

 

Research from a variety of industry watchers such as Gartner Group and IDC shows that customers trust the opinions of other customers more than company sources or even industry opinion-leaders. Harnessing this power of people, with common interests connecting and engaging through customer and/or product reviews, word-of-mouth referrals and problem solving, can be a powerful force for companies.

 

Although early use cases and the return of investment for online communities centered primarily around customer service, the proliferation of digital technologies has led to the emergence of other viable use cases with robust value propositions, and most notably a customer engagement use case.  

 

Recent data from Perficient, a Salesforce.com cloud alliance partner, shows that clients who have implemented online communities are achieving a 48% increase in employee engagement, a 45%  increase in customer satisfaction, and a 43% increase in partner sales.  As a result of 48% faster case resolution, Perficient clients also continue to see substantial benefits from their customer service and support use case.

 

While companies should have a presence on the open social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, owned online communities provide more control and flexibility for engaging with customers, partners, employees and other target audiences aligned with organizational and brand strategy and objectives.  These branded, and typically closed or private communities, put the power of social communication and collaboration under your control, helping you compete more effectively in today's competitive marketplace.

 

If you are  ready to embrace online communities as the next big engagement opportunity for your business, or interested in learning more about the value and benefits of online communities, we would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your specific needs and share our thoughts as to next steps in your digital customer engagement journey.  

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