Posted in September 17, 2014 - 11:23 Joseph App
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Are you smarter than the average content marketer?

services-lead-slider1-img1Our clients often ask us for best practices in the areas of customer references and content marketing. Here is a sampling of the choices our clients face, with the advice we typically give highlighted in red.

1. What’s the best way to get case study input from busy customers?

A. Request a 10-minute interview when they visit your trade show booth. At a busy trade show, you’re probably not going to want to keep your customer for more than 10 minutes. But that’s not nearly enough time to gather the information required for a compelling case study.
B. Email them a fill-in-the-blank questionnaire. While you intend to make things easy on the customer, in our experience, most interviewees would rather answer questions orally than to have to write out their answers.
C. Ask your sales rep to complete the questionnaire with the customer. It seems logical: The sales reps have a good relationship with the customer, and they will ease the customer’s burden by filling in the questionnaire. But, in reality, most sales reps we know don’t want this burden any more than their customers do.
D. Request a 60-minute telephone interview. Sixty minutes is just the right amount of time for an experienced case study writer to gather enough information to craft a compelling case study, as well as additional content assets, such as sales win summaries, testimonial quote sheets, presentations, etc.

2. True or false? The more products you can mention in a customer success story, the more useful it will be, and the greater impact it will have on sales.

False. If you have multiple product groups, the marketing and sales teams in each group will be clamoring for mentions in every possible success story—even if their product is not the main focus of the story. While trying to satisfy all of your internal stakeholders—and save money—don’t lose sight of the main target for the stories themselves: your valuable prospects. A clear, compelling story that increases sales for one product group is worth more than an all-inclusive piece that gets tossed.

3. What is the top challenge that B2B marketers face?

A. Producing enough content
B. Producing engaging content
C. Lack of time

According to recent survey, lack of time was the number one obstacle, followed by difficulty producing enough content and producing engaging content.[1] All three are reasons to engage with an experienced external resource.

Does your experience match the survey? What are the top qualities you look for in external content creators?


[1] 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

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