content

Content Marketing in the B2B World

 

You can find anything you want on the internet these days, from how to make a tasty pie to shirts for dogs. That wealth of information comes with a price. You end up sorting through every little post and website that might have something to do with the keywords you typed in. If you’re at home, you might have the time to sort through all this “clutter”, but what about in the business world?
 

When was the last time you actually clicked a banner ad on a website? For that matter, when was the last time you even noticed an ad? Over time we’ve conditioned ourselves to ignore them. For small businesses digital advertising is becoming more difficult to justify. Even big companies struggle to get a return on their investment. This is where content marketing comes to the rescue.
 

Content marketing, as defined by The Content Marketing Institute, is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience,”. In a simpler sense, its about creating information that informs and/or entertains your prospective customers.
 

Creating worthy content is important but, to increase the effectiveness, a company must also extend itself onto social media networks. A social media presence works like a spider’s web, one snag on any line and you can come to assist and inform. Your community of connections read your content, and when they have problems, think of you to help resolve them.
 

Publishing original content on social networks positions your company and your employees as thought leaders. Take LinkedIn for example. Every time someone is endorsed for a skill, that endorsement is visible to others in their network. It validates the person in their area of expertise. They are now someone in the B2B world that other businesses can come to and ask questions.
 

Now wait, before you go to facebook, twitter or any other social media site and begin making posts and comments, think about your content. You need to say more than “we work with computers”, you need to make the reader stop their scrolling and click on you. Just as the definition says, content marketing is more engaging than a banner ad. Its about demonstrating that your company offers practices that are innovative for the field. When done correctly, it makes your audience want to go beyond what you’ve shared and learn even more about your company.
 

 

Crowdfunding from the Inside Out

 

At Crowd Hydrant we help startups and entrepreneurs leverage crowdfunding for financing and to market their products and services on consignment. We also help businesses use crowdsourcing to drive innovation and reduce the cost of labor-intensive processes. We work with our customers to develop the project, pitch and rewards for these initiatives. We also provide logistical support, helping our clients deliver on their promises.
 
I‘ve spent most of my 20+ year business career in or around commercial printing and lately, everywhere I look, I see an industry in decline. Nearly every application for print has been affected by digital technology. Need to read a manual for some device? Google it. Want to see your latest phone bill? Visit your carrier’s web site. Want to read a book or magazine? Grab your tablet. Need to advertise your business? Unless you’re sitting on a big budget, search engine optimization, email, online ads, and social media – all digital technologies – are the most effective tactics.
 
A few years ago, I became intensely interested in 3D printing and recently I came to two important conclusions:
1. 3D printing is like 2D printing (the production processes are similar and both are being sold and produced online, at retail, and in-home via desktop devices)
2. 2D printers could create a future for their businesses by offering 3D print
 
As I looked around I didn’t see many people talking about this idea, so I started a blog to help evangelize 3D print in the 2D print world. 3D4printers.com was launched about 3 months ago and has been an early success. The site has had a lot of traffic and one of the articles I wrote for the site was published on TechCrunch. With that validation and momentum, I felt this was the time to seek out even more opportunity with 3D printing, which brings me to the reason for this post.  
 

Crowd Hydrant On Video

Crowd Hydrant's John Hauer recently recently sat down with Michael C. Potter from Plum Street Productions to talk about crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, content marketing and social media.

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW TO SEE OUR ENTIRE INTERVIEW

 

New Content Marketing Benchmarks

Looking for more data on how B2B companies are using content marketing? A new report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs was recently released. The report entitled, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America, was based on a survey sent to a sample of B2B marketers at North American companies in August 2012, and summarizes the answers from 1,416 respondents.

From our vantage point, the key takeaways are as follows:

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