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In today’s episode of Triblo’s podcast we interview Demandbase’s Senior Content Marketing Manager: Rachel Balik

Rachel Balik manages the content marketing program at Demandbase, a B2B marketing software company that’s developing target account marketing and personalization. Rachel’s content marketing work and thought leadership articles have been featured in industry publications likes MarketingLand.com, Forbes and VentureBeat. She’s also a startup advisor and freelance content strategist.

Click here to listen to this interview 

 

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Why do businesses need to focus on content marketing?

Buying habits have changed, as much as 67 to 90 percent of the buying cycle is taking place online. The old model of prospects reaching out to salespeople right away has disappeared. Our buyers and our prospects are doing a lot of research on us online and seeking content when we don’t really know about it. If we don’t provide them with the type of content they’re seeking it’s likely that they’ll get it from the competitors and it’s even more likely that they’ll do business with them too.

Content is the virtual salesperson for the long B2B buying cycle” – Rachel Balik, Demandbase (CLICK TO TWEET)

It’s your first day as the Content Marketing Director for a brand new startup. Where do you start?

Start with information gathering. Talk to the top stakeholders, the executives and talk to the salespeople. Ask a lot of questions, get to know more about the roles, the products and most importantly the customers and prospects. Ask yourself “How do I become friends with my target audience and how do I create content that supports an appealing brand as we start to educate the market?” The last thing you want to do is talk about your products right away.

What are characteristics of top content marketers?

A top content marketers knows how to pull themselves out of the tactical arena to become really strategic.

Top content marketers know the business goals, the audience and after every piece of content produced ask themselves “What will have changed?” – Rachel Balik, Demandbase (CLICK TO TWEET)

Asking these questions upfront eliminates wasted time and efforts on channels that don’t make business sense.

How do you stay ahead of the content marketing curve?

The secret is to look beyond just content marketing.  Have a circle of “non-content marketing” friends, go to various events and conference that are not just content marketing focused and read…lots of reading but about stuff that’s not always content marketing focused. Also make time to always talk to the sales team and find out what they’ve been hearing with prospects.

How does a company get started with content personalization?

Successful content personalization starts with data and measurement first. Doing personalization is data heavy and if you don’t have the data it’s going to be really tough to do it well. You can also get started by rolling out slowly and doing lots of testing and optimizing along the way. Focus on prioritization first and personalization second.

What are your thoughts on content curation?

Content curation works when it’s narrow but not too narrow. Look for content that supports your brand’s message and still helps to support your brand’s thought leadership. Use content curation to start an intelligent dialogue, don’t use it to just randomly regurgitate stuff with little or no thought.

How important is SEO for your content marketing strategy?

Quality writing is above all. You should follow SEO best practices but only after you’ve written solid content first. Your content strategy should overlap with your SEO keywords naturally.

What tech companies would you consider B2B content marketing innovators?

New Relic

New Relic has really entertaining and overall great content. They’ve had a huge amount of success with promoted tweets and paid search.

DocuSign

DocuSign has really done an outstanding job of building a website that’s able to get the right content, to the right audience.

Concur

Concur has done a great job of breaking out content for their different business segments.

Rachel Balik mentions @newrelic @docusign @concur as examples of brands with innovative B2B marketing” – CLICK TO TWEET