Dan works with tech companies to shorten sales cycles and win more red-hot leads with engaging content at B2BLeadGuy.com. We had a chance to sit down with Dan and chat about business-to-business marketing techniques like case studies, thought leadership content, and drip email marketing.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you gravitate toward B2B marketing?
My first degree (an associate's) was in computer networking; the second and third were a BS and MS in social work.
I discovered I enjoy thinking about complex subjects and excel at communicating them in simple and fun ways. B2B software relates closely to my love for technology. Talking about it in meaningful ways to win the hearts and minds of buyers connects me with my desire to help (evidenced by the social work degrees). It's an unexpected and beautiful match.
How is B2B marketing in the tech space different from B2B marketing in other industries?
It's intensely competitive, changes fast, and gets far more sophisticated. I don't find all three present in other industries to the high degree I see in tech.
Finish this sentence: "When it comes to blog posts, the main difference between B2B content and B2C content is..."
B2B blogs must offer much more rational evidence to get prospects to change their behavior.
What type of B2B content is the most underutilized by companies today?
Eccolo Media survey data shows buyers love case studies. But B2B marketers don't make them often enough, according to MarketingCharts data.
What type of B2B content generally works best for businesses who want to get on other companies' radar?
"Thought leadership" content.
But you can't just write content that sounds "smart." That might get you some leads, but to really get what you want, thought leadership content must:
1) Teach prospects something new about their business
2) Give them a compelling business case for change
Is the key to getting a large number of hot B2B leads more about persistence or timing (or both)?
No. Persistence and timing are important. No doubt! But it's imperative to have a new, unique, and differentiated message that gives a clear business case for change.
If someone were to say to you, "I believe that drip email marketing is just a fancy term for pestering someone with annoying unwanted messages," how would you respond?
Your messaging focuses too much on what's in it for you. Companies who have tried drip emails and failed make that statement.
I've seen this dozens of times. Most businesses are well-intended. They simply don't realize how their messaging sounds in their prospect's heads.
Without even seeing them, I can tell you that your drip emails do this:
1) Talk mostly about your company, products, and services
2) Ask for a conversation
3) Ask for it again and again
Basically, that approach works like this:
1) You say,"We do this." [No response]
2) You ask,"Ready to chat about it?" [No response]
3) You become a pest: "Awww. Come on. Pretty please. Can we talk?" [No response. Prospect's gone.]
4) You do follow-up attempts 4-8 or whatever sales stats say you should do. But you've really been tuned out for some time already.
- Show your prospects you "get" their problem by describing it in gruesome detail
- Describe the business and personal benefits they get with your solution
- Ideally, have a unique solution (not always under the marketer's control)
- Add credibility to indicate that you have done this before for other customers like your prospect
- Consistently give your prospects content that solves their business problems
What do you think will be the main challenges in the future for B2B companies who are trying to obtain hot leads?
Companies who master:
- Predictive analytics
- Marketing automation
- Getting sales and marketing to cooperate
...will learn their markets' worst fears, greatest hopes, and biggest dreams. The ones who master these the fastest will develop the tightest messaging around their prospects' fears and concerns. This effect will be most pronounced in tech and software marketing, but will be applicable across all industries.
Need more tips on B2B content marketing? Check out our blog.