Posts Tagged ‘thought leadership’

Gaining thought leadership can lead to more invitations to tender, new survey finds

November 22, 2013

by Brian Oliver

Nearly three-quarters of UK businesses are more likely to invite tenders from companies that are recognised as experts and ‘thought leaders’ in their market – provided the content they publish is authoritative and genuinely informative and credible.

This is the key finding of a new survey of over 2,000 UK companies by consumer and business analyst MindMetre Research. The sample – broadly representative of UK business by sector – was conducted in order to identify the level of influence that the convergence of content marketing and thought leadership can play in buying and tendering decisions.

The presence of authoritative content on a company website was found to play a crucial role in helping firms to get a ‘foot in the door’ by providing validation of company expertise.

The MindMetre survey found:

  • When compiling a tender list for technology and equipment, 61% of companies research possible candidate suppliers on the web and will visit the company website to validate its expertise;
  • For companies looking for a business services supplier, the proportion rises to 70%;
  • 72% of UK businesses report that they are much more likely to invite a supplier to tender if their website not only describes the sales proposition, but also gives access to informative and relevant thought leadership material;
  • 80% of businesses warn that thought leadership must be based on credible, independent research and not simply a collection of personal opinions.

Paul Lindsell, managing director of MindMetre Research, says: “Companies other than management consultancies are increasingly recognising that they can gain tangible competitive advantage by demonstrating commercially valuable ‘thought leadership’ in their customer markets. By addressing issues in the customer’s market, the company shows that it is knowledgeable about these issues and can help find a solution.”

He adds: “Buyer organisations evidently consider the demonstration of thought-leadership by potential suppliers to be important and influential when deciding which supplier to use. So, while thought leadership confirms its key role in building a reputation for a new entrant into a market, established market players can also build their reputation further with customers, influencers, and stakeholders through the generation of interesting material.“

However, Lindsell warns that publishing “pseudo-statistics” that are wrong, or exaggerated to support a company’s commercial interests, can have an adverse effect on a company’s reputation.

He says: “2013 may be the year when content marketing converges with ‘thought leadership’ to provide a compelling combination of quality content and powerful distribution channel. But amateurism and commercial myopia are very real dangers when it comes to research.”

One company that puts a heavy emphasis on authoritative and credible content is Regus, the global workplace provider. It runs a twice-yearly research programme which provides thought leadership content for its communications in more than 90 countries.

“As the leading player in our industry, we believe that our communications should reflect our expertise through thought leadership,” says Andrew Brown, group communications director at Regus. “This type of content is produced to provide our prospect and client market places with timely, useful insights on issues that really concern them, and that they can use to build more successful businesses.”

You can obtain a copy of the new Mindmetre report by emailing Josephine Ornago at Josephine@mindmetre.com.

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Brian OliverAbout the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

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New LinkedIn ‘Follow’ button helping B2B content marketers

April 11, 2012

The recent rollout of LinkedIn’s new ‘Follow Company’ button is making it easier for content marketers to target and engage with B2B audiences that are already using LinkedIn.

This appears to support the view that, while Facebook is great for B2C marketing, LinkedIn can work better for B2B. LinkedIn claims to have over two million companies in its network, representing all industries and company sizes.

Just like Facebook’s ‘Like’ button and Twitter’s ‘Follow’ button, you can now add the LinkedIn ‘Follow’ badge to your company website – making it easier for businesses or individuals to begin following your company’s LinkedIn page with just one click. There is no need for them to navigate to the LinkedIn website.

As LinkedIn’s Mike Grishaver explains: “Companies can engage with people from their Company Page on LinkedIn and through status updates. It’s a great and easy way to gain insights and stay connected.”

According to LinkedIn, the ‘Follow’ button is already being used by companies such as Starbucks, AT&T, Sony Electronics and American Express.

HIGHER LEAD CONVERSION RATE

In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses, integrated marketing solutions company HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74% – almost three times higher than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).

This suggests that increasing your reach on LinkedIn through quality content is not only likely to boost your website’s LinkedIn referral traffic, but can also lead to an increase in sales leads because of the higher conversion rate of LinkedIn traffic.

NEW TARGETING FUNCTION

LinkedIn has also announced plans to roll out two new functions – ‘Targeted Updates’ and ‘Follower Statistics’ – which have been designed for companies that have followers on the network. Initial users will include AT&T, Samsung Mobile, Dell and Microsoft.

The ‘Targeted Updates’ function will allow companies to segment their followers by a range of variables such as industry, seniority, job function, company size, non-company employees, and geography. LinkedIn says this will enable companies to send different content and status updates to different groups of followers.

The ‘Follower Statistics’ product will be an analytics dashboard that allows companies to see how effective their updates have been.

According to LinkedIn, the new tools are all about “driving media efficiency” and helping marketers to create “direct and lasting relationships with their audience”.

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Here’s a video showing how businesses or individuals can follow a company on LinkedIn …

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Content marketing agencies set to replace traditional ad agencies?

February 2, 2012

by Brian Oliver

The content marketing agency is replacing the traditional ad agency for many companies, insists Jon Wuebben, CEO of ContentLaunch, in his latest book Content Is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile (Nicholas Brealey Publishing).

“In the process,” says Wuebben, “these firms are savings thousands of dollars and reaching thousands more as a result.

Content marketing is the lynchpin of all successful online business endeavours.”

Even Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest marketer, seems to have finally woken up to the growing power of content-led marketing.

According to Jim Edwards of BusinessInsider.com, P&G’s CEO Robert McDonald recently told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” the company’s $10 billion advertising budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually account for the lion’s share of P&G’s ad spend.

In Content Is Currency, Jon Wuebben explains why … and how.

He describes the fine art of content development and shows how customer-grabbing content can tell the story of a product or a business.

He looks at how to optimise content for search and social media so that it gets noticed, and provides an insider’s view on the ever-expanding technology and content marketing landscape. The book also includes a suggested “road map to online marketing success”.

Content Is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile is available on Amazon in all major formats.

More information is available at http://www.contentiscurrency.com where Chapter 1 can be downloaded for free. 

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Google updates are making quality content the dominant factor in SEO

February 2, 2012

by Brian Oliver

More marketers are finding that Google’s recent changes and updates to its ranking system are now making quality content the key driver in search engine optimisation (SEO).

At the same time, the changes are shrinking the importance of technical SEO tactics led by mathematicians rather than genuine information providers.

This dramatic change in SEO presents an enormous opportunity for content marketers to gain a competitive advantage over rival brands – especially if their competitors are not yet using content-led solutions, such as customer-focused blogs, social media, targeted eNewsletters, videos, eBooks, white papers and eGuides.

MARKETING OPPORTUNITY

Now more than ever, the consistent use of high-quality, keyword-driven content, such as that provided by Focus Content Marketing, can elevate your website to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) … and keep you there.

That’s why content marketing is now seen as one of the most effective online marketing techniques available to marketing managers – and why many observers are tipping content-led marketing to explode in 2012.

IMPACT OF GOOGLE CHANGES

Last year saw some of the biggest and most important changes to Google’s algorithm, including the controversial Panda update which reportedly knocked the wind out of the sails of several high-ranking sites.

Ever conscious of the need to keep improving its service to users, Google introduced these algorithm changes because it recognised that some websites with top Google rankings were simply high-traffic, low-quality content sites stuffed with keywords.

It set out to limit the visibility of poorly-written filler material created by content ‘farmers’ in favour of sites boasting better-quality authoritative content.

HIGHER RANKINGS

Google now uses quantifiable social engagement metrics and recorded data (such as the length of time people spend on a page) to determine how valuable a page is to everyone who lands there.

When people spend longer browsing certain pages, Google assumes the content has been read and the user obtained the information they were looking for. The search engines consequently give those pages a higher ranking.

If your content is well-written, informative and puts the reader first, it is more likely to keep your potential customer on the page – and Google will recognise this. In other words, if you publish content that keeps your readers happy, Google will be happy too.

Similarly, quality content with higher incoming links will also be displayed at the top of the search results.

MORE CUSTOMERS

Most importantly, though, delivering trustworthy, problem-solving content will not only elevate you in the search rankings, it will also show potential customers or clients how you can help them. It will enable you to gain their trust … and potentially lead to a positive purchasing decision!

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About the author:

Brian Oliver is a business journalist and the MD and founder of UK strategic communications consultancy Focus Marketing Communications

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

Focus Content Marketing offers customer-focused blogs, eNewsletters, eBooks, digital magazines, videos, social media … and more

January 23, 2012

 

Focus Content Marketing is a London-based online news and content agency that provides integrated content marketing services – and helps companies of all sizes to implement a customer-focused content strategy.

Our keyword-driven content marketing solutions include the strategic planning, creation, distribution and curation of:

Customer-focused blogs

Social media content

 Website content

Tightly-targeted eNewsletters

Interactive digital magazines

Videos

eBooks

White papers

eGuides

 

Journalist-led

We provide tailor-made original content – written by experienced journalists – that provides an efficient, low-cost method of ‘educating’ customers and building awareness of your products or services.

We cost effectively connect companies to customers at all stages of the buying process by telling engaging, relevant, informative and entertaining stories that audiences want to hear.

As a sister company to Focus Marketing Communications, we combine many years of experience in business journalism with a B2B communications consultancy that has been providing creative solutions and strategic advice for more than 25 years.

Customers need objective advice

A 2011 McKinsey & Co. report* highlighted customers’ growing “thirst for objective advice” and showed how a premium is now being placed on problem-solving and strategic-thinking skills.

That’s why we create trustworthy content designed to show your customers or clients how you can help solve their problems.

By giving them the information they’re seeking, you can interact with them on a much more personal level … building trust, and keeping you front-of-mind.

 

Communicating with customers is changing

In today’s ‘opt-in’ culture, telling interesting well-written stories is a more cost-effective way of attracting attention than traditional ‘interruption marketing’, such as advertising or direct mail.

As a result, more companies are now putting journalistic-quality content at the heart of their SEO and social media marketing strategies.

Customers who opt-in to your content are, in effect, giving you permission to market to them.

 

Google updates have pushed content to the fore

Google’s recent updates to its ranking system have pushed quality content to the forefront, while shrinking the importance of technical SEO tactics.

Now more than ever, the consistent use of high-quality, keyword-driven content can elevate your website to the top of search results … and keep you there.

 

Interested in working with us?

We’d like to hear about what you’re doing and how we can help. Just give us a call on 020 8641 8614, or email us at Focus Content Marketing.  

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*We’re All Marketers Now, McKinsey & Company, July 2011

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing.