B2B companies need more than one device to succeed
My name is Meryl, and I’m a tech-aholic.
I have a lot of tech toys. And to think all I had in the late ‘90s was a computer, Palm handheld PDA, a regular camera that required film and a digital camera that could only hold nine pictures. That digital camera took lousy quality photos like this one.
I had to connect the digital camera to my computer every time I filled it up to transfer the photos and make room for new ones.
Today … well … you might want to get a drink, as this could take awhile.
I have a desktop computer for work, Windows laptop for away-from-desktop work, Macbook for Apple-related work, iPad that I received as a gift, iPhone for all my texting and portable communications needs, Kindle for reading books, digital camera for taking better quality pictures than my phone can (actually, I need to get rid of it, as it takes disappointing quality pics), Chromebook that I received as a reviewer and an Android tablet for client-related work.
Every single one of those items gets used on a daily or weekly basis.
Lessons from a surprising tech toy
The thought of owning a Chromebook never entered my mind. When a reviewing opportunity came up, I took it. It surprised me, and now I use it every day.
It’s better than the laptop, because it’s almost as light as the iPad with a case. But I cannot run Microsoft Office on it, something I need for work. Sure, I could use Google Docs or Office 365, but I prefer Microsoft Office for PC for a lot of reasons. That’s why I still have the too-heavy, slow-processing Windows laptop.
It has a far better keyboard than the iPad’s onscreen AND an attachable keyboard. Typing on the attachable keyboard feels like being squeezed into a small space. That’s not the case with the Chromebook’s keyboard. I type on it as well as I do on my laptop and desktop minus the mouse.
Because it sits up on its own, viewing videos is more comfortable on the Chromebook. The iPad has a case that can make it stand up in four different positions, mostly at an awkward angle, and it falls over on the bed. The Chromebook stays put.
Why bother with an iPad when the Chromebook has more advantages? The iPad’s touchscreen makes it a better tool for searching and browsing.
Tactics: The multi-devices of content marketing
Clearly, each device has its strengths. And I use each one for a specific purpose.
The same goes for content marketing tactics. You have many options:
- Social media.
- Case studies.
- Email newsletters.
- White papers.
- Webinars and webcasts.
- Online articles.
- In-person events.
That’s not the full list. According to B2B Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the average number of tactics used is 13.
Are you using social media as your sole device for content marketing?
Some companies mistakenly say social media is a strategy. It’s not.
Although social media has received greater acceptance, it’s still being viewed as a strategy and the cure-all for a company’s content marketing challenges.
It isn’t. It shouldn’t be.
Social media is a tactic that contributes to an integrated content marketing strategy.
Like each of my tech toys has a purpose, social media has a purpose. Companies successful in their content marketing efforts don’t go willy-nilly with their social media activities. They plan those activities with a documented content marketing strategy supported by an editorial calendar.
Social marketing can be awesome for doing inbound marketing, building client relationships, providing customer support and more. But magic doesn’t happen in social media without planning.
Some companies just jump into LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, because they’re the hottest. A smarter approach would be to start with the ones where your target market goes. Don’t let the average of 13 tactics pressure you into picking that many. It’s OK to start small. Master a couple of things first, and then add a couple more.
In-person events, blogs, webinars and email newsletters are still effective according to the CMI and MarketingProf’s report. Having a variety of tactics pays off. Just like each of my devices fulfills a role, people prefer to get certain types of information in certain ways.
Your target market won’t necessarily have the same preference for their top five tactics. But you want to choose the ones where you’re most likely to have the greatest success in reaching your market and fulfilling its needs.
Let’s say 75 percent of your audience is on Facebook. On closer inspection, they’re not interested in business there. So it may not be a good idea to spend a lot of time on a Facebook page. However, a Facebook ad could be a possibility.
Where to now?
The B2B Content Marketing 2016 report and other studies have consistently shown that companies that achieve their goals have a documented content marketing strategy. These eight habits for B2B content marketing help, too.
You may be feeling overwhelmed about creating a content marketing plan. To help you get started, try this simple six-step content marketing plan.
Yes, it’s nuts how many tech toys I have. But I didn’t get them all at once. It started with an Apple ][+ and grew from there. I’d use one device. When it no longer served its purpose, I’d recycle it and replace it with one that did.
Then I’d discover a new tech toy that could prove valuable for something the other tech toys couldn’t accomplish. Add a couple of decades, and you get to where I am today.
Will someone please shield my eyes from the iPad Air?
About the author
Meryl K. Evans is senior editor at InternetViZ and the content maven behind the Organizational Excellence Journal and Professional Services Journal. Contact her or connect with her on Twitter @merylkevans or elsewhere.