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Posts tagged ‘content’


Which Content is Most Relevant to Your Buyers?

yodaProviding enough relevant content to buyers is one of the biggest concerns of marketers today, according to a recent study of CMI.

But how do you know which content is relevant to your buyers?

Showing business value is not differentiating

Building buyer insight is an important activity of marketers, resulting in buyer persona descriptions, or buyer insight maps as I often call them. Based on that buyer insight, content is created that shows the business value of your products or services.

The problem is that your competitors are doing the exact same thing. Read more »


The Art and Science of Online Content Creation

the art and science of online content creation

da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, a diagram of the ideal proportions of a man’s body.

Knowing how to write for the online world is of strategic importance these days. If you know how to write for the web, your content will be found, and it will be read.

Your content might be fantastic, but if it is not written for the online world, you might as well not create that content.

But how do you create online content that actually gets read?

Read more »


Content Marketing is not the task of Marketing

i want youAdvertisement overload and content overload are causing buyers to be blind for outbound marketing. Marketers these days are turning to content marketing as a way to break through the blindness and information clutter.

Because of the abundance of information out there, buyer behavior is changing. As Michael Brenner, @B2BMKTGInsider, one of my favorite marketers likes to put it :

“Buyers wait until they have completed 60-80% of their research before reaching out to vendors”.

Buyers turn to their “circles of trust”, on and off-line. Vendor information, social Media and word of mouth remain the major sources of influence to buyers according to the Buyersphere 2012 report.

Source : Buyersphere 2012

Source : Buyersphere 2012

The millennial effect, which describes the way the generation born after 1980 who never knew a time without internet and mobile phones, turn to social media networks for information and advice. People from this generation are slowly becoming the decision-makers of the future.

The shift of power to buyers

All these changes are causing a major shift of power:

  • from site centric to user centric: buyers where informed where they go, today buyers have access to information on-line and through their networks, where-ever they are.
  • from brand image to transparency: companies can no longer hide imperfections or bad behavior. They need to be open, authentic and transparent. If not they get heavily punished by the public opinion (see this Toyota case).
  • from the sales guy to the buyer: buyers these days often know more then the sales guy, because they have lots of sources of information before they buy. Buyers have very detailed and specific questions, which sales people or organizations will need to able to answer.

Read more »


SEO and Search are useless

Image source: Flickr, @anthonylkdking

Imagine you are perfectly happy with your solution. Imagine that you have a business in which the solution is providing you with a descent return on investment.

There’s no need for you to change.

Now imagine that you are a vendor with a solution that will provide more return than any other existing solution on the market.

You are creating comparisons, providing ROI tools, and doing all the right things to attract buyers with your content.

They are not searching

SEO will not help you, because they are not searching.

When they do search, you are there. But unfortunately, they don’t search, because they don’t need you. They are happy with what they have.

He/She’ll be blind for everything you have to say.

So what do you do?

The perfect world

If they are not searching, they are exploiting their current situation.

They are not aware that there’s something better out there, because basically they don’t have a problem.

But then the day comes.

The day they start being slightly unhappy, and realize that the world they are in, is not perfect. That the solution they have is not perfect.

That day they become receptive. They are willing to listen. And when they are ready to listen, you must be speaking.

When the day has come

Your buyer realizes that there is more out there. He want’s to know more. That’s the day he starts being receptive to e-mails, conference invites, whitepapers and webinars. Read more »


How to listen, and show thought leadership in your industry?

After 2 weeks of publishing a thought leadership presentation on Slideshare, I was blown away with the effect it had.

In only 2 weeks, it had 1000 views. Today, it has close to 4500 views after 3 months. Although for some companies these numbers might not be impressive, for the company I work for and the market we are in, this is great.

Why is this presentation more successful than others?

I believe the real reason to this success is that it is valuable content for buyers because it fulfills a need. B2B companies want to see opinions, and companies that think about the future for them.

Why do you need thought leadership?

Providing thought leadership to your customers doesn’t make sense if they don’t consider it relevant to their business. Customers are faced with lots of questions during the complete buying cycle that need to be answered.

As I wrote before, first customers find answers “in the cloud”, before they turn to you as a vendor for the remaining answers: they visit reviewing sites, read whitepapers of several vendors, and go to conferences or tradeshow to find answers. Based on that they create their shortlist. If you are not giving the answers ‘in the cloud’, you are not going to be on their shortlist!

It is my strong believe that in order to create thought leadership, you first need to incorporate a process within your organisation that listens to the issues and information needs of your customers.

The process should not only allow listening during the buying cycle, but also during the customer life cycle.


Read more »


Thought leadership : How to become a thought leader in your industry?

Picture from

I know, I know this has become somewhat of a buzzword in marketing lately. But isn’t it every marketers “wet dream” to produce that kind of material?

In this post I help you to start building that kind of material.

What is thought leadership and how do you develop it?

The first thing to do is: put away your company head and think like your buyers. Especially in Thought Leadership, the content you create will be a solution to those buyers’ problems. Do NOT mention your company or products at all!

Thought Leadership is content that is seen by our buyers as insightful and providing them with unique information that helps them to better solve their personal professional problems. 

An example of an ICT company

As an example, some of the topics that would fit in the context of Thought Leadership for an ICT company:

  • What you need to know to fully optimize the potential of your ICT infrastructure?
  • What to think of when planning a network upgrade?

As you can see in this example, the ICT company is not in the business of running or implementing networks. But these topics certainly drive the kind of buyers to that Thought Leadership content.

As an effect, these buyers are more likely to consider the ICT company as their technology provider because the company shows that they understand the business issues of building and maintaining an ICT infrastructure. 

Read more »