Lessons from #mpb2b

Lessons from #mpb2b

B2B marketers, I went to MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum in Boston last week, and I came back with a message for you:

Take a deep breath.

Slow down. Start small. Get better at what you do. Build to last.

Those were the overarching themes of the week, and if you’re a marketer who’s feeling overwhelmed, I’d bet that message makes you feel downright zen.

What I kept hearing at #MPB2B: If your to-do list is making you feel overwhelmed, if your list of marketing channels is too long, if you have too many content deadlines and you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water, you’re not alone! Every other marketer feels the same way.

Lessons from @marketingprofs #mpb2b: Slow down. Start small. Get better at what you do. Build to last. Click To Tweet

Being in a room with hundreds of smart, creative, friendly B2B marketers was extremely energizing. Hearing that we’re all facing the same challenges was comforting. And my conversations with other marketers (and the messages I heard from the conference stages) gave me some new tools to take into Q4 and the year ahead.

Here are my favorite lessons and ideas from MPB2B:

Instead of promoting everything everywhere, get strategic about WHEN you distribute content.

Most marketers follow a predictable content loop: Work hard creating a content asset (an ebook, infographic, research report, etc.). Launch it. PUT IT EVERYWHERE. Step back and start all over again.

Keynoter Andrew Davis presented a different idea: Be more intentional about WHEN and to WHOM you distribute your content.

His method: Start with the people who are already in your “loyalty loop” — your loyal email subscribers. Give them the best stuff first. Find out what about your message is interesting. THEN take the asset out into the world. When he takes something beyond the loyalty loop, he starts with a broader social audience, then does paid promotion, and he finally invests in some PR and earned media. He learns lessons at each stage that he can apply to his next step and takes advantage of “marketing momentum,” instead of pushing the content out everywhere at once.

 If that timeline is new to you, I think it’s worth considering. I know it made me rethink how I promote new content.

Here’s his full slide deck for more good ideas on content promotion and connecting to what your audience cares about the most.

Focus on the ‘marketing slices’ that thrust you forward.

One of Davis’ other rallying cries was “kill it on one channel at a time.” We all feel overwhelmed by all of the “slices” that are carved out of our marketing pie. Who has time to do a great job on every channel? Answer: No one.

So Davis encouraged marketers to do everything possible to own a single channel instead of trying to be everywhere: “What planet closest to the center of my audience’s experience can we own?”

Look for new ways to turn internal expertise into content.

I heard this idea from several speakers, including Michael Brenner: Use your email outbox as a content source. Chances are that you (and your sales staff, and your company leaders) are answering a lot of common customer questions in your email.

Brenner says the secret of content marketing is simple: The buyer journey is just a series of questions that must be answered. Smart marketers do their best to answer those questions.

One way to get that insight out of your outbox and onto your blog: Create a blog email address that you can BCC on good emails. Gather that content and use it to write easy blog posts.

Remember your content marketing mission statement.

Another tip I heard from multiple experts at the event: Refine your content marketing mission statement. People get overwhelmed by the term “strategy,” but it doesn’t need to be a 40-page document. A good mission statement can be as simple as one sentence.

Creating your content mission statement calls for answering three questions:

  • Who are we trying to help?
  • With what?
  • What outcome do we want to bring to our audience?

For the Rep Cap blog, I’d say our mission statement is:

To help B2B marketers create excellent content and connect with their audience.

 

Thanks to MarketingProfs for hosting a fun week! I’ll be sharing more ideas and interviews with #mpb2b speakers over the next few weeks.

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Rep Cap is a B2B content marketing agency. We help B2B marketers power their content strategies through professionally written, edited and designed e-books, blogs, infographics, emails and other digital media. Get in touch to boost your content.