Tag Archives: business to business website content

We’re all in the media business now

Whether you realize it or not, your company is a media company.

There’s a new media landscape emerging and no matter what industry you’re in, you’re a part of it. Slowly, but surely, more “businesses are becoming media companies,” according to Rick Burnes at Mashable.

While “most business blogs are still boring monologues about products,” many are changing with the tides and producing content that is less focused on the product and more about topics that interest their customers.

For example, the Whole Foods supermarket chain isn’t only providing their customers with the latest information on the food they carry. They’re also creating added value for the customer on their website by sharing recipes and cooking videos.

“Media production is simply becoming a skill that separates mediocre businesses from great ones. Companies that have the creative skills to attract an audience with quality, independent content are excelling.”

Businesses that take the traditional route (i.e. buying newspaper ads) are spending a lot of money on short-term exposure. By creating your own content, housed at your own site, is like putting money down on a long-term investment.

When you first create a blog, the lack of exposure you get at first may not seem like it’s worth the investment, but in time it will pay off. Produce articles, grow your content and keep working on adding more content and watch how your search traffic grows with it.

Content is king. If you provide added value for your customer, in more than just a product description, it will pay off in loyalty.

Read the full article here.

Monday marketing links: Feeling overwhelmed, website check-ups and the fear of reviews

My list of blog topic ideas is growing faster than I can write, so I’ve put them all in one post. Here’s some of the latest and greatest information covering topics from business to business marketing to social media, all wrapped up in one convenient little package:

Does your website have a clean bill of health? Improve your search engine traffic and give your website an SEO health check. PluginHQ’s list of 16 things to look for in a website health check is a great place to start.

Finding time to fit blogs, Twitter, Facebook and the 10 other social media sites you visit into your day can be tough. There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed, according to Adam Singer at The Future Buzz, because you have complete control.

Think about your favorite restaurant – delicious food, warm atmosphere, good company. Now ask yourself: “Is your website as good as your favorite bistro?” Read MarketingProfs’ post-holiday recipe for online success, developed with a few lessons from the restaurant industry.

Though text wears the online crown, video has its place and will continue to grow as a valuable medium, according to Darren Rowse at ProBlogger. Read why he thinks video is worth experimenting with on your blog.

Not everything written online about your company will be positive and how you deal with negative feedback can make or break your online reputation. But, what if that negative feedback is coming from members of your own staff? Read what Jacob Morgan thinks you should do when your staff turns against you with social media.

On a similar note, you shouldn’t be afraid of what customers have to say about your company online. The opportunities social media provides heavily outweigh the perceived harm that it could cause. Read this recent tip from BusinessWeek and don’t fear online customer reviews.

B2B websites top choice among business decision makers

Business websites are “a highly valued and indispensable source of information” in the eyes of business decision makers, according to a survey released late last year by the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) in the UK.

Their research showed that 97% of business decision makers choose B2B websites as the media most used for work.

Other key findings include:

  • 51% of business decision makers choose business websites as their preferred source of business information.
  • 60% ranked business websites as an “essential” source of information in their work.
  • 60% consider business websites as sources of information that they couldn’t get anywhere else.
  • 56% visit B2B websites first when researching/informing business decisions
  • 55% visit B2B websites first when researching/informing purchase decisions

The survey also revealed that 82% of all business decision makers use at least one business to business digital delivery mechanism for work, rising to 91% among regular B2B websites users. Email alerts/newsletters are the most popular (51%) form of delivery.

When it comes to advertising, 43% of business professionals are more likely to respond to ads on a business website than advertising in other media.

Of those surveyed, 70% reported that business to business websites offer more engaging content and advertising than other business information sources and considered them to:

  • Offer instant access to information (79%)
  • Save time (77%)
  • Offer innovative ways to access information (74%)
  • Allow business decision makers to interact with peers more efficiently (69%)

Visit AOP UK for additional details from the report.

Top free resources to improve your online writing

Whether you’re Tweeting, blogging or creating new content for your website, good writing skills are a key to your online success.

Improving your online writing skills doesn’t have to involve expensive courses or training seminars. In fact, you can find some of the best training for free online.

Check out some of these great free resources to improve your online writing:

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online – Formal college courses take time and money to complete, but luckily there are plenty of universities out there offering free writing courses online.

Copyblogger – Everyday the writers at Copyblogger deliver the latest best practices and tips for web writing. Improve your copywriting skills using resources ranging from “Copywriting 101” to “Writing Headlines.”

Problogger – Along with tips on writing for the web, Darren Rowse at ProBlogger offers daily tips on how to promote your blog, blog design and improve your search engine optimization.

Confident Writing – A blog by writing coach Johanna Young offering advice, encouragement and instruction on how to be a confident writer online and off.

Daily Writing Tips – Five talented professional writers offer exactly what the title of their blog states, daily tips on how to improve your writing.

Grammar Girl – Improve your writing skills with friendly and quick writing tips from Mignon Fogarty. Grammar Girl makes confusing grammar rules simple with memorable tricks.

Manage Your Writing – According to blog author Kenneth Davis, “writing is a process that can be managed, like any other business process.” Learn how to manage your writing in almost the same way you manage your people, money and time.

Fun with links: Social media predictions, business blogging, recession marketing and more

There’s just too much out there right now to write a post on just one, lonely topic. So, I decided to share five small snippets of the latest and greatest information for business to business marketing on the Web, and here it is:

  1. What does 2009 hold for the world of social media and content marketing? Nobody may know for sure, but many, 42 to be exact, have made their predictions. From getting cheap to a backlash against social media, read what the Junta42 Top 42 bloggers have to say about social media in 2009.
  2. Just because you build it, they won’t come. Social media has the potential to bring success to many businesses, but not every company is meant to blog. Read through the 5 musts of business blogging at Drew’s Marketing Minute to find out if blogging is a smart endeavor for your company.
  3. Are you on Twitter? Are you still trying to figure out why you’re there? Whether you’re there or not, people will be praising and complaining about your company with each other on Twitter. Learn how to engage with the Twitter community and win over the hearts of your audience in this post from TwiTip.
  4. Blog marketing could quite possibly be the cheapest form of marketing out there right now. With a blog, there’s no need for expensive print, radio or TV ads and the uncertainty of their effectiveness. Learn why blog marketing is cheap marketing and effective marketing in this recent post by Remarkablogger.
  5. We’re in a recession and things are changing, including how we get our products and services to market. Cutting marketing budgets during a recession may be the worst idea marketers can go through with when tough times hit. During a recession, learn how to market better instead of marketing less in this post from the Marketing Hive.

6 ways to work video into everyday marketing

With the release of their first Video Marketing Benchmark Guide, the gurus at Marketing Sherpa got to thinking about the increased role video will be playing future marketing.

When most B2B marketers decide to use video in a campaign, it usually comes to life in the form of a TV spot or viral video. Marketers are limiting themselves by only using video in these two areas, because video has proven to work in other types of campaigns, including lead generation, product launches, employee recruiting and raising brand and product awareness.

By looking to the past, the Sherpas were able to find proven video tactics that worked in past campaigns and will work in the foreseeable future. Here’s their list of six successful video tactics to work into your everyday marketing:

  1. Edutainment. The information in white papers and webinars can be very helpful to a lead generation campaign, but all the content and offers you present may be distracting your audience. Create videos that grab prospects’ attention by creating “edutainment” videos that deliver educational content in an entertaining context.
  2. Compliment live events. Don’t keep seminars and conferences a secret, share them with your online audience. Use streaming video to compliment a real-world event to reach a larger audience, acquire new leads or back a product launch.
  3. Email. Embed informational videos in email to support other campaigns. This one may take some extra time and testing, but marketers who have overcome the technical hurdles have had great success.
  4. Recruit. Create employee recruiting videos to attract the perfect job candidate. Recruiting videos give job candidates a clear picture of your company’s work environment and gives prospective employees more detail on what qualities an ideal worker would possess, improving the quality of job applications.
  5. Product tours. A video tour of your product or service can provide much more information to customers than a simple product page or FAQ. Walk customers through the features and functionality of your products to give customers a better picture.
  6. Organize. Put together a library of your company videos on a popular content-sharing site, such as YouTube or Blip.tv. Using third-party sites as your video archive can provide you with more valuable lead generation, brand marketing and search engine marketing.

It may take some time and a lot of testing, but working video into your everyday marketing is a proven way to boost the success of your campaigns. Read the full MarketingSherpa article for more information and links to case studies where each tactic was successful for businesses just like yours.

Time-saving search tool helps manage online reputations

There are lots of search tools out there that help you track what’s being said online about you or your business, but none may be as fun or comprehensive as Addictomatic. (And, who can resist that cute little robot?)

Addictomatic is a one-stop search shop that creates a customized page with all the latest buzz on any topic you have in mind. It brings information from every wonderful source on the web together, on one neat little page.

Addictomatic - Inhale the web

Addictomatic - Inhale the web

It’s like a social media dashboard that delivers the latest information from across the web on one organized page. Even better, after you perform your search, you can personalize the results page by moving the source boxes around. When the page is organized to your liking, bookmark it and return to your personalized results page at a later time.

Addictomatic is a quick and easy way to gather the latest buzz when you only have a minute or two to spare. Spend a few minutes today taking a snapshot of your online reputation with this addictive tool.