More than 400 B2B executives traveled to Scottsdale, Ariz. for the fourth annual B2B Content2Conversion Conference.
During the three-day event, industry experts and thought leaders outlined best practices to create compelling engagement strategies and campaigns that guide buyers throughout the researching and consideration journey.
Marketers rely on campaigns to move buyers through the funnel, but Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions, stated they can sometimes hinder the journey. “Campaigns are a company construct, not your buyer’s agenda,” she said. Throughout her presentation, Albee honed in on the importance of digital relevance. Because so many buyers begin their researching journey via search engines, organizations must strive to be present and engaging across a multitude of touch points. For example, she indicated that while all social networks may not be valuable to a company, marketers need to determine whether their target audience gravitates to specific sites and how to best engage them (Coverage of her session here).
For decades, marketers have related the buying journey to an even, steady path between awareness, education and, eventually, conversion. However, as buyers consult multiple channels to determine the optimal solution for them, the journey is becoming far more complex.
Erin Provey, Service Director for SiriusDecisions, outlined the disconnect between content and the buyer’s journey during her keynote session. Buyers are not going to follow a predetermined path, Provey noted: “The buyer’s journey is an untangled mess,” Provey said. “It’s a tool for us as marketers, not our buyers.” (Coverage of her session here).
Provey explained that there is a need to move from buyer-centric to buyer-specific content. “If someone asks you to build a content strategy for a generic buyer persona, ask them to be more specific,” she said. “You need to move past the idea of an asset driven content strategy. Buyer centricity is a philosophy. Buyer-specificity is a best practice.”
Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy at NewsCred, focused his keynote session at the conference on creating highly personalized content that resonates with the target audience. “Behind every share, and behind every impression, is a human being. It’s important to build your marketing campaigns targeted towards those humans. It’s not about engaging more people, it’s about engaging the right people.”
Brenner also shared a few recent examples of campaigns that impact buyers emotionally. For example, the “Like A Girl” commercial from P&G uses segments of video and interviews with real girls to drive their message home. (Coverage of his session here.)
Nearly all (90%) of B2B companies are using content marketing, and 82% of senior executives say content is driving their buying decisions. Demand is high, not for more content, but for more meaningful content. Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, told attendees that relevant content is obtainable through partnering with influential people in the industry.
“Buyers are overwhelmed by the amount of content out there, and content marketers are looking for new ways to create this meaningful content in a way that is valuable to their prospects,” Odden added. “Influencers can help bring value to your content that resonates with your target audience.”
But how can organizations determine which influencers have the most impact? Understanding core audiences, and the publications and analysts they turn to can help businesses develop an influencer foundation. Then, marketers need to develop a gradual and authentic relationship with these influencers, Odden explained. If marketers plan to just tap influencers for one-off campaigns, they won’t be successful in the long-term. (See coverage here).
Year over year, attendance for the Content2Conversion Conference increased by 30%. To keep pace with overall demand, the event is moving to an even larger venue next year!
Will you join us for #C2C16? The event will be held Feb. 15-17, 2016 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona. Click here to access more of the top moments from #C2C15.