Author Archives: Erin Provey

About the Author

Erin Provey is Service Director, Strategic Communications Management, at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 10 years of experience in brand strategy, including positioning, identity, public relations, digital strategy, copywriting and account management. Follow Erin on Twitter @eeestep.

Content Marketing World: Recap of Day Two (Through the B-to-B Lens)

Erin Estep explains her top five takeaways from Wednesday’s Content Marketing World sessions, through the b-to-b lens, as always: 1. Content measurement is difficult. Not only that, but you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to content measurement, because content should behave differently depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Which leads me to…

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Content Marketing World: Recapping Day One Through the B-to-B Lens

Despite our keen interest in the role of content in all types of b-to-b marketing, we at SiriusDecisions (myself included) tend to lean away from the term “content marketing.” To me, the term is redundant and a little jargon-y. Content is the product created by marketers, and the act of marketing is about bringing great content to market for our target audiences. There is no marketing without content, and most bad marketing is a result of bad content. Both are usually a result of a lack of insight into buyer needs and interests. Despite some minor differences in terminology, I think we share this philosophy with the hosts, sponsors and attendees of this week’s Content Marketing World conference, which is currently underway in Cleveland. Here are my top five insights and takeaways from the first day of the event:

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Building a Case for Better Content

I work with a lot of talented and experienced digital and social media marketers, and if there’s one thing I hear from almost every one of them, it’s that they are in dire need of content. Most of them need more content, and almost all of them need better content. In large, complex b-to-b organizations, content expertise is inconveniently spread across functional silos. For example, portfolio (e.g. product, solution, industry, segment) marketers tend to be the resident subject-matter experts, but a different marketing resource usually needs to unlock and repackage that expertise into a compelling piece of content. Rarely do industry expertise and content expertise reside in a single function, never mind in a single individual. So, what can social media marketers do to contribute to the turning of the ship? Instead of just wishing for more, better content, conduct a research project using these five steps:

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Five Tips for Solving the Content Conundrum

SiriusDecisions research indicates that most content in enterprise-sized b-to-b organizations sits on the shelf, unused. Meanwhile, organizations are struggling to fuel key initiatives (e.g. social media marketing, inbound marketing, provocative selling) with effective content. There is an imbalance between content supply and content demand – frankly, organizations are spending tons of time and money generating content no one wants. Here are five tips for marketing leaders trying to rebalance their content generation efforts to ensure that key sales and marketing initiatives are fueled with the right kind of content:

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B2B Brand and the Revenue Imperative

Over the past year, I have met every Friday afternoon with my esteemed colleague Ross Graber – research director for our Marketing Operations Strategies service ­– every Friday afternoon for a sometimes painful, always thought-provoking discussion on b-to-b brand measurement. One result of these discussions was a new framework, introduced at last month’s SiriusDecisions Summit, that is designed to help organizations operationalize their approach to gathering brand insights. The framework took what is usually an expensive annual outsourced exercise and turned it into something that organizations can implement on their own as a sort of joint venture between brand managers and marketing operations.

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Top Three Reasons to Use Marketing Automation for Influencer Relations

Here are the top three reasons to use marketing automation for influencer relations.

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The Three A’s of Content

We get a lot of questions about content – from organizational structure and workflow process all the way down to “Which should we do – a white paper or a webinar?” That’s because you can’t market without content, which makes the whole idea of “content marketing” as something new a little absurd, but I get it – we need more content than ever before, and that content needs to be better. Many organizations are in the process of mapping existing content assets to the buyer’s journey and developing strategies for filling gaps, but how do we ensure that the new content we’re creating is of high quality? Low-quality content often lacks one of the following “Three A’s” of content.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Content

Raymond Carver's 1981 book of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a series of vignettes focusing on characters seeking to define and understand the true nature of love through conversation. The deeper the characters delve into attempts to articulate love, the more inarticulate they seem to become. The same seems to be happening for those of us in b-to-b marketing seeking to define (never mind solve!) the content conundrum. The deeper we get into the conversation, the more broad and complex the problem reveals itself to be. Often, we find clients trying to solve the “content problem” before coming to a shared understanding of the nature and scope of the problem in the organization.

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Buyers Don’t Want Your Content

Something struck me the other night as I was creating some new content for an upcoming event I’m facilitating. So, I’m building content, and actually thinking about content itself as a topic area we have been thinking and talking about a lot lately as a research team. And here’s what struck me: Buyers don’t want content. Buyers want information.

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Content Marketing and the New B-to-B

Content is to marketing as matter is to physics. How on earth can content marketing be a new concept? The truth of the matter (pun intended) is that it isn’t. Corporate and marketing communications functions have long engaged the market with high-value, high-interest content, unfettered by overt ties to the product price list or lead-generating registration forms. What has changed is the nature of b-to-b marketing and its escalating requirements for product and demand content, which has given rise to the “trend” of content marketing.

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