The Holy Grail of B2B Content Marketing
Jul 13, 2012
Let’s say you sell technology. The companies that buy your technology likely use it to build a product or service they sell to their own customers. This is one of the overlooked curiosities of B2B: your customer’s customers. That’s why I think the Holy Grail of B2B marketing is this: Make content your customers will use to show off their own value to their customers.
This is something that Centerline has been doing for a long time. But I didn’t think about writing about it until this week, after a meeting with our client (and kindred marketing spirit) Graeme Noseworthy.
In particular, we were talking about this infographic about big data in digital media that he created (with another agency). He mentioned that some of his clients listed at the bottom of the graphic were using it to explain their own value. The results of using Netezza were proof of the value those brands (MediaMath, et al) could provide to their clients. That’s pretty cool.
It means you’ve created more than a piece of marketing content for yourself. It means you’ve created a useful tool for your clients as well.
Another example of achieving the Holy Grail is this animation — Alameda County Social Services customer reference for IBM. The story is told in a way that shows the power of IBM’s solution, but it is more about the value Alameda Social Services provides… so they use it themselves to talk to their funders, supporters and clients.
Achieving the Grail, then, is possible. But it’s not necessarily easy. As a B2B marketer, you have to think beyond the immediate value you provide to customers. You have to show your value by helping customers demonstrate theirs.
Watching TV as a kid, I used to run to the bathroom during the shows so I could make it back for the commercials. Those days launched me down a path that included layout and writing for the college paper; communications strategy for political campaigns; marketing strategy and graphic design for Gensler (a global design and architecture firm); and the implementation of new programming, animation and design techniques for Centerline. Today I specialize in content marketing strategy and building digital deliverables to execute those strategies. But it’s about more than just creating killer digital content. At Centerline, we help clients succeed in the digital marketplace using a three-pronged approach: strategic (message creation, brand strategy), tactical (design, development), and analytical (measurement and adaptation). This experience-tested approach allows me to build campaigns that are both well-designed and effective for clients like IBM, GE and National Instruments.