As B2B buyers rely more on personal stories and brand advocates to help make their purchasing decisions, knowledgeable peers who can provide insights into the best choices are even more valuable, says Cassandra Jowett, content marketing manager for Influitive. She would know — Influitive is a leader in advocate marketing and develops advocate marketing software to help B2B marketers identify and mobilize people who can help support marketing campaigns, refer new clients and close deals more quickly.
Advocates are a key part of the company’s own content marketing, Jowett says. Their approach includes soliciting ideas from clients and partners, as well as featuring their success stories and thought leadership. “We consider ourselves experts, but the collective knowledge of our advocates is absolutely massive and, besides, buyers trust their peers way more than vendors.”
Here’s how they harness that knowledge for everyone’s benefit.
Know Who You're Talking To
Influitive builds out the personas it’s targeting by determining the priorities, pain points, challenges, opportunities and interests of each one. “Each major theme or content asset we produce is targeted at one and only one persona, but we often revisit and repurpose content for other personas later on using messaging that appeals specifically to them,” Jowett says.
The marketing team revisits its approach to content every quarter, Jowett says. They ask themselves and their advocates about the themes and ideas that will be important for the business in the short and long term. “Once we’ve identified and prioritized a few of those key themes, we break them down into smaller, more manageable topics and determine the best ways to bring them to our audience. In most cases, it’s not either a blog post or an e-book; it’s both and probably more.”
Pay Attention to What Resonates
Jowett says following these ideas helped produce some great content. “The Rise of the Customer Marketer is my favorite piece of Influitive content,” she says. “I had the opportunity to interview more than 20 customer marketers, listen to what they care about, and then package up their collective knowledge into a series of resources for them, including an e-book, benchmark research report and webinar.”
The B2B Marketer’s Field Guide To Customer Engagement was the company’s single most successful piece of content last year. “It has influenced 17 closed-won deals and more than $250,000 in revenue to date, and it’s still going. I think it has been so effective because it’s about a relatively broad topic that everyone cares about — customer engagement — and it features industry influencers, analysts and practitioners.”
Give Credit Where It’s Due
Putting their partners and clients in the spotlight and treating the relationship as a symbiotic one helps Influitive achieve its goals and gives advocates the public recognition they deserve. Advocates also serve as a built-in distribution strategy that primes the pump and provides social proof for content as soon as it’s published, Jowett says.
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