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  • Three building blocks to an effective content marketing strategy | Grist
    would necessarily have to spread itself thinly to cover all services Yet structure it around the latter and you could focus on a single topic and everyone This should naturally lead on to your target audience your clients and prospects Client profiles are useful tools for some of the more basic data such as sector size geography and job title but the most useful information comes from interrogating those at the coal face the client relationship managers They will be able to provide insight into the actions that trigger a purchase of your services and highlight the real decision makers and the level of technical detail that will be needed Are you talking to technical folk with a detailed understanding of what you do Or an FD more focused on the impact of your services on the bottom line The focus of your content will obviously change depending on the audience And knowledge of how these people consume information will also help to influence your format including yourself Armed with this knowledge you should then analyse the business development pipeline and prioritise where content can help you the most If your problem is not enough prospects coming into the hopper then you may want to focus on blog posts or articles identifying the issues keeping your clients awake at night and where the kind of solution your firm provides can help If you have a lot of prospects coming into the pipeline but little success at conversion you may want to focus on content that differentiates your firm such as case studies partner biographies and service descriptions Fully exploring business objectives audience profiles and your business development pipeline should be enough to identify what you want to write about the type of content you should write and the business purpose

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2014/03/19/three-building-blocks-effective-content-marketing-/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Closing the loop between marketing and sales content | Grist
    of does not recognise or acknowledge its magnitude Marketers quote the number of visitors the time spent reading browsing or forwarding links on social media as good indicators of engagement But if the objective is to move beyond awareness and you want to close the loop between marketing and sales you need prospects to learn more about how you can help them So success would be the prospect viewing service descriptions product sheets or staff biographies of the relevant experts or even contacting them directly Think it through When you plan thought leadership content you should think through the campaign from the outset not when you re ready to publish Once your prospect has viewed your thought leadership and is aware of an issue they will want to ask questions research solutions compare suppliers and then make a decision Content needs to address each of these stages otherwise the campaign will fail If sales collateral does not exist for instance as can often be the case with an emerging business issue then you should also create that as part of the editorial development process remembering that this material should be as persuasive as the editorial copy When a thought leadership article really hits the spot with readers you could potentially see a 50 response rate to a call to action Understanding the journey and closing the loop will help you turn that into revenue Author Mark Wellings Mark Wellings is responsible for developing and implementing content marketing strategies that deliver measurable results for our clients Prior to co founding Grist he was director of custom publishing for the Economist Intelligence Unit in New York publisher for Financial Times Newsletters and Management Reports in Hong Kong and senior commissioning editor for Thomson Learning in London View bio Contact details 44 0

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2014/01/31/closing-loop-between-marketing-and-sales-content/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Repurposing content the key to maximising return on investment | Grist
    might use content and the skills to adapt it Articles should be crafted from the outset to be adaptable to blog posts requiring a more informal voice for instance or editorial columns requiring differing positioning at the planning and briefing stages And images should be scalable to a variety of sizes with options to crop to different shapes What does this look like in practice Blake Lapthorn one of the UK s leading full service law firms partnered with Grist to produce a compelling content marketing programme focused on its four key business markets personal business owner managed corporate and public sector and charities A subset of magazine stories were then pulled together in a bespoke publication designed specifically for the Farm Business Innovation 2013 show an event attended by land and farm owners who make up a large part of Blake Lapthorn s private clients A design refresh to reflect the subject matter and a specific story offering analysis of the most pressing issues for rural businesses helped position Blake Lapthorn as the go to law firm for this section of the market Grist s assistance did not end here Artwork from the magazine was used in a custom exhibition stand with Grist taking on everything from picture selection to design print and delivery Online presence was also added with Grist carefully repurposing the cover story from the magazine for the event blog and liaising with the event organisers to ensure timely publication This integrated approach encompassing print digital and stand graphics helped amplify the key marketing messages to everyone ranging from the digitally savvy to technophobes and from the already interested to passers by completely unaware of the firm reveals Emma Daly external communications manager at Blake Lapthorn Related Articles How to choose topics for B2B thought leadership

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/12/13/repurposing-content-key-maximising-return-investme/ (2016-02-15)
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  • A hard-working website | Grist
    broad client bases which includes corporates SMEs entrepreneurs and private clients This was not a full brand redesign but gave us an opportunity to refresh elements of our brand including streamlining our logo and updating our look and feel We considered a number of options from stock photography bespoke photography to illustrations It was important to convey the firm s personality in whatever we produced and this meant that stock photography wasn t going to be an option for us We considered bespoke photography and illustrations and felt that illustrations gave us the option to deliver a very creative solution without breaking the bank We selected artist and paper engineer Helen Friel to work with us Helen has a background in book publishing and with clients as diverse as Harrods TIME magazine Boodles and Tatler S he was able to provide a completely fresh perspective clear white space a muted urban colour palette and a fresh modern typeface created a unique look and feel which was neither overtly fashionable nor too contemporary A clear and consistent structure Detailed user profiles were created to allow the development team to better understand audience needs and business goals The main target segments of clients prospects graduates and intermediaries were identified together with their particular journeys through the site The goal was to take each segment through a journey from lack of awareness through to becoming an advocate of the firm We wanted a clear and consistent structure to lead users efficiently to the information they are looking for To do this the development team focused on the magic triangle of sectors services and people Categorising content consistently allowed sector and service groups to have their own hubs within the main structure with individual easy to remember urls It also improved the search functionality enabling search results to be filtered by sector service or article type Be techno savvy It was important that we avoided costly licensing or technical lock in so at the core of the solution was a modular publishing platform built on open source technology We did not want to see our investment go out of date and with this solution functionality is continually updated and rolled out We manage the CMS in house using a streamlined publishing tool which allows us to update the site very easily There are separate modules for newsletter automation and for event sign up and billing which may be considered in the future Be ruthless One of the most important tasks was to carry out a detailed content audit With over 1 700 pages of content and articles dating back over ten years our site had become a monster which was impossible to manage effectively and efficiently Each page was reviewed documented and evaluated We had nearly 700 articles on the old site and each one was assessed to see whether the content was still valid the article well written and the content user friendly Articles that were transferred to the new site were updated

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/09/12/hard-working-website/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Nine questions to ask before producing B2B content | Grist
    niche you will not grab the attention of a time poor audience overwhelmed by marketing messages Is it consistent with other material Content that sticks out from your other collateral will give your marketing efforts an uneven feel and compromise the audience s trust Ensure that any content produced carries a consistent brand message What do you want your audience to do Offering insight is essential but will not guarantee your aims are achieved Your content must include a clear and compelling call to action That is not an email address as the end of the story it is the story itself How will success be measured To paraphrase John Wanamaker if you don t want to be left in the dark about which half of your marketing budget is wasted you need to decide on sensible measures of success This might include quantitative goals around views clicks or read time or qualitative feedback like contact from clients or increased interest in areas included in the content Can the content be repurposed Good content should offer valuable thought leadership that can be repurposed to reach new audiences or reinforce a message through different mediums A print article can highlight a website which showcases video which leads to social media all working together to reinforce your key messages Is your organisation ready Setting a budget and establishing a clear schedule to launch will keep you on track But even the best content will sink without trace unless it is used properly Ensuring you have an effective strategy for priming staff and the media as well as your clients and prospects will help content achieve its potential Author Matthew Broomfield Matthew has over 10 years experience as a specialist risk and insurance journalist He has edited insurance magazines whitepapers in depth reports

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/08/14/nine-key-questions-ask-producing-b2b-marketing-con/ (2016-02-15)
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  • The cost of content marketing | Grist
    required it is important to think through the publishing process in its entirety and the roles involved To produce a client magazine on or offline for example a professional content marketing agency might start with an account manager editor specialist journalists sub editor proofreader creative director designer picture editor and production manager An account director will guide the project define the best solution marketing strategy and KPIs An editor will help you shape the publication and create briefs for the writers Sub editors and proofreaders ensure fit and accuracy Then there are the creatives to add the all important wow factor and the production manager to get it live on time In reality budget constraints often dictate that in house marketing personnel wear many hats but it is important to understand which you are wearing at any one time And what you might be missing along the way How effective it will be We all understand the phrase You get what you pay for and the same is true of content If the content does not achieve your marketing objectives then the budget however little you may have allocated will have been wasted And you should remember that the real cost should include the time and resources of your internal team Some B2B marketing teams see newsletters blogs and social media as a potential training ground for junior staff and interns with predictably patchy results At the other end of the scale many B2B marketers are reliant on their firms senior staff to write the core of the content for specialist articles and reports But even for those that can be persuaded to contribute specialist or technical knowledge rarely translates to the sort of story telling prowess that will light the candle for your target audience And substantial rewrites risk bruised egos not to mention schedule creep Outsource options So where can you turn If you do decide to outsource be sure you know what you re paying for Hiring a generic copywriter to ghostwrite a blog for example won t be as effective as having a professional editor and subject specialist journalist work on the same project Nor will the process be as informative for your senior staff the former will listen and write what they hear the latter will bring ideas insight and contacts to the table The same is true of areas like design hiring ad hoc or in silos means the final result will lack some of the coherence and added value of an end to end joined up approach Many agencies including SEO advertising PR and social media claim to be content marketing specialists But if you want value rather than cost choose a content marketing agency with a professional publishing pedigree one that has worked with similar organisations that can cope with a full range of formats and that can demonstrate results and that you can get along with There are many variables that affect cost but there s usually a solution to fit

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/07/31/cost-content-marketing/ (2016-02-15)
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  • B2B content marketing champions | Grist
    Senior decision makers are a sophisticated and demanding audience They not only do not respond to rehashed marketing material but actually find it a discouragement Effective business journalism is needed to get under their skin and really grab their attention Respecting clients is paramount they can and will revert to other sources if they find yours self centered boring or irrelevant Only a magazine that takes careful consideration of these factors can reinforce your position as a trusted partner Achieving business objectives Understanding the obstacles is just the first step to publishing great content Next you must define what specifically you are trying to achieve Building brand awareness communicating competitive differentiation and broadening the client s understanding of the range of services you provide are common objectives client magazines can deliver outstanding results Holman Fenwick Willan is another UK law firm taking advantage of the medium Its client magazine demonstrates the full breadth of its service offering convincing clients that they are much more than shipping specialists And it works in a recent reader survey 75 said that it addresses important issues affecting their business and 47 of readers said they are more likely to do business with the firm after reading its magazine Cross platform Delivering these results is about great editorial great design great navigation all bound together to form an effective editorial journey for the reader on and offline Good content should bridge the gap between platforms a print article can highlight related content on a website which connects to video case studies and links to social media dialogue building a positive feedback loop that reinforces the messages And delivering content across two to three touch points increases brand recognition by 55 according to Econsultancy a community of marketing professionals The global thought leadership magazine for Willis

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/07/15/turning-page-effective-content-marketing-b2b-firms/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Effective techniques for B2B research programmes | Grist
    the bottom line benefits of your approach or uncover important trends to support the growing need for your product or service For example if you are trying to establish credibility with a new client base say to support the launch of your service into a new sector you might want to consider a large scale study of their behaviours and changing needs This will allow you to speak knowledgeably about their challenges and share insights into future opportunities from an analytical perspective Strength in depth Qualitative research or interviews help you delve deeper into how individual companies have addressed the problem in the past and how they solved it These case studies provide the flavour that brings complex business issues to light DAC Beachcroft s research into the introduction of the electronic portal and pre action protocol for low value motor personal injury claims in April 2010 focused on interviews with ten of the UK s leading insurance companies All were ranked in the ABI s top 20 commercial motor insurers of 2010 and accounted for a significant portion of the target market that we wanted a dialogue with says Claire Wright head of marketing and communications Without the goal of quantifying trends sample sizes can be smaller Qualitative research explores the how and why of a business problem through open ended questions It is used to dig down further into specific issues to uncover the stories behind an idea or a solution Questions probe for depth and subtleties and enable the researcher to delve beyond the more obvious response and incorporate the learning in the next series of questions This iterative approach is useful for extracting insights pulling out new or provocative ideas and giving executives a different perspective For example if you want to educate clients on new

    Original URL path: http://www.gristonline.com/insight/blog/2013/06/24/effective-techniques-b2b-research-programmes/ (2016-02-15)
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