Content/Content Marketing/How To/Writing

Demystifying Epic Content For B2B Marketing

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Demystifying Epic Content For B2B Marketing

One of Tom Douglas' new restaurants is the Dahlia Workshop Biscuit Bar where fresh pastries are made from scratch every day.

Sonia Thompson authored a great article last week, which was published on Jon Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic site.

It was called Demystifying Epic Content: How to Actually Create It (Not Just Jabber About How Important It Is)

The article was a whopping 5,200 words, but the basic outline went like this:

One of Tom Douglas' new restaurants is the Dahlia Workshop Biscuit Bar where fresh pastries are made from scratch every day.

Epic Content:
• Is valuable to the reader
• Includes specific details
• Is different and unique
• Taps into reader’s emotions
• Includes great design or visuals, or both

How to Achieve Epic Content

• Research the hell out of your subject
• Provide case studies that show people “how” to do something
• Break the rules – look for flaws in conventional thinking and find a better way
• Become a mind reader – know your customer and what they crave
• Get Naked in Public – share challenges you’ve faced or your company has conquered

Thompson did a great job of explaining the steps to create great content. Read her post if you want to learn more about what it takes to create Epic Content, a word choice stamped on content marketing’s conscious when Hubspot’s Joe Pulizzi used it to title his book, Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less.”

(Here’s an excerpt from the book Joe shared about Epic Content Marketing’s Six Principles.)

Epic Content for B2B Content Marketing

While her post pertained to blogging, I’d like to add a line item or two to the outlines for B2B Marketers.

Epic Content:

  • Motivates readers to take action beyond simply tweeting or bookmarking or Liking

Great content marketing should motivate readers to take action, such as digging deeper into your content well, forking over their email to sign up for a newsletter or white paper, or calling your company to learn more about your services or products. Bookmarking or Liking doesn’t move you a step closer to a conversation with you.

Additionally, To Achieve Epic Content in B2B Content Marketing, there are two steps that happen before you begin research:

  • Buyer persona development
  • Content marketing strategy

Epic Content isn’t a one and done. Marketers need to figure out where this content fits into their strategy and continuum of content and lead nurturing. To figure that out, you need to have a full understanding of who your buyers are, and what steps and decisions they go through as they move through the buying process.

Only with buyers in mind and a strategy in place can you begin to brainstorm what Epic Content will look like for your customers.

Where have you encountered “Epic B2B Marketing Content?” Please share your thoughts and links about who is doing great work in the comments below. Or, tell us how you are working towards producing Epic content.

Share
Content Marketing

9 B2B Content Marketing Sins to Stop Today

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
9 B2B Content Marketing Sins to Stop Today

Content is not king if it fails to ignite any interest or engagement from your customers. If it fails, your B2B content is noise and easily forgotten.

In her new book, Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content & Strategies that Drive Results, Ardath Albee outlines 8 ways (I added one ) your content practices are making your content, and thus your company, irrelevant and ineffective. Are you committing any of the following sins?

stopsign1

  • A website visitor fills out a form and you instantly send the lead to sales
  • Sales immediately contacts the website visitor, who isn’t a qualified prospect
  • You send emails to people who haven’t indicated they want them
  • You create content simply to keep your company top of mind
  • Company newsletters only tout company events, achievements, products and new hires
  • Your corporate Twitter profile only tweets company-focused blog posts and offers
  • Ditto for your corporate LinkedIn profile, with no discussion about or after your post
  • The most updated part of your website is the press release page, cluttered with self-promotion
  • The webinars you hold are simply product demos

If you are a B2B Marketer committing any of these sins, stop today. Realize that your organization is company-focused, not customer-focused. In today’s competitive world, company-focused content marketing doesn’t cut it. No one likes a blowhard.

Buyer Personas, Strategy before Content Creation

To reverse course, you need to change your mindset and figure out who your best customers are at a deep level, learn how they progress through the buying cycle, and learn what motivates them. You also need to create a strategy to engage prospects, turn them into buyers, and then into advocates. Only then can you create content that delights and engages prospects, turning them into customers. While it sounds simple, it’s not easy.

Many B2B marketers commit the sins above because they simply create content skipping the buyer persona and strategy work. Yes, it’s difficult, but very necessary.

Ardaths book jacketLuckily, Ardath shows B2B marketers how it’s done. Her principles not only work for enterprise companies with complex sales but any company that wants to become customer focused. Buy the book – I’m only through the first chapter, but I will devour the rest.

If you aren’t familiar with Ardath, you might want to check out her Marketing Interactions website, which is stuffed with great content.

 

(Full Disclosure: I’ve worked with Ardath. But I purchased the book, and she did not solicit a review or this post.)

Tell me: What problems have you had changing the mindset at your company? Please share any tips or resources that could make it easier for others. Or, if you like this post, please share it using the buttons below.

Share
Journalism/Storytelling/Writing

My Latest Freelance Articles in Horizon Airlines, Other Magazines

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
My Latest Freelance Articles in Horizon Airlines, Other Magazines

In addition to writing B2B content for corporate clients, I continue to flex my journalism muscles from time to time.

Redefining Retirement photo

I wrote a fun article about what Baby Boomers are doing in their retirements for Horizon Airlines, which published in its December issue.

From moving to Mexico, to landing patents and starting a business, to becoming an artist, this story covers a lot of ground.

I posted Redefining Retirement here for you to read.

 

 

Another ArticleComfort &Value at Home

I’ve been remiss in posting a previous article I wrote for Horizon called Comfort and Value @ Home, which I’m including here as well.

The story is about how homeowners are renovating their homes for sale or to better match their lifestyle needs.

Click to Read: Comfort at Home Horizon Story.

 

 

Flying the Friendly Skies in 2015

I’m happy to report I’m writing two more articles:

  • Being Financially Fit in 2015 for Alaska Airlines
  • How homeowners are adding green items to their homes, for Horizon

 

My story for Seattle Business on Evluma, a fast growing Seattle firm you probably haven’t heard of, was recently published as well.

Check out Evluma Shines with Streetlight Retrofits here.

 

Share
Writing

Marketers: What Writers Charge for Ghostwriting a Book

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Marketers: What Writers Charge for Ghostwriting a Book

Several sales and marketing people I know are writing or publishing a book, or thinking about it. For example:Ardaths book jacket

Everyone Writes bookjacket Some are writing books for marketing reasons while others felt a strong desire to share their knowledge. (These aren’t eBooks; they are books from 100 to 300 pages or more.) All of the authors above wrote or are writing their own books.

But many times, people are too busy or lack the confidence and expertise to dump the millions of ideas swirling in their heads onto paper, organize them in a logical way, and tell a compelling story. So they look for ghostwriters. I was approached last year by two prospects wishing to write a book, one went with another writer while the other is still pondering whether he wants to tackle such a project or not.

What does it cost to Ghostwrite a Book?

A great unknown for many wishing to write a book but knowing they need help is how much writers charge for ghostwriting a book. Many are unrealistic and often don’t know it will cost thousands of dollars.

How much it costs really depends upon the length of the book, how much collaboration there will be, how much research needs to be done, whether you have a publisher on the hook or whether you’ll be self-publishing it yourself, and so much more.

This morning, Ed Gandia of High Income Business Writing, posted an interview with veteran ghostwriter Derek Lewis, who is coming out with his own book: The Business Book Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Write a Good Business Book. In the podcast, Derek revealed going rates for ghost writing books:

  • Newer ghostwriters charge about $25,000 for a full-length manuscript.The business book bible
  • Professionals start somewhere between $35,000 to $55,000.
  • Publishers tend to pay ghostwriters between $50,000 to $80,000
  • Veteran ghostwriters charge $75,000 to more than $100,000
  • Those writing for celebrities charge $120,000 and up.

Derek shared many tips for writing business books. You can listen to the podcast on Ed’s site. You can also learn more about professional ghostwriting fees in Derek’s book, publishing soon, or in a post Derek wrote on his website.

Share