Content marketing isn't unique.
And you're hearing that from a company that eats, sleeps, and breathes content.
Most B2B companies have hopped on the content marketing train, so in order to break through the noise you have to do something unique. So what's your brand's secret sauce?
We spoke with 10 B2B marketing executives about the things they do to set their content strategy apart.
This is what they said.
When someone engages with the Kareo blog, they aren't approached with a generic opt-in. Kareo has a unique opt-in offer that allows readers to choose specific content they're interested in.
With that information, Kareo can intelligently nurture leads and pull them through the funnel with gated assets such as webinars, whitepapers, or demos. They also send them newsletters and suggestions based on their areas of interest.
This ecosystem helps build a machine that can deliver growth on a macro level.
All of Mabbly's content marketing centers around a brand's "why."
In order to truly understand a company's purpose, they spend time getting to know various marketing leaders around the country to extrapolate a story that is engaging and memorable.
What sets Mabbly apart is that they create videos and high-quality interviews with these top marketing leaders that they incorporate into their content.
One of the best practices at BravoSolution is that their global sales organization is a huge part of their content publishing engine.
Where most marketing people will put content through their corporate social channels, BravoSolution uses every individual in the organization to distribute their content.
Allen explained that Emarsys is executing a global, proprietary event strategy that they call Emarsys Live.
What's unique is that Emarsys is funding it, but the content is curated by the people who are organizing the event and speaking at it (the local communities), and the attendees are effectively voting on which content will be presented.
It's an organic strategy and hard to execute, but Allen believes it sets them apart.
Urban Airship gets content from around the company to provide many different points of view and expertise.
Perspectives may come from different stages of the sales cycle, nurture processes, or "how to" content on the technical side of things. It's incredibly valuable to have well-rounded content.
At Swrve, they implement account-based marketing (ABM) by creating custom websites for prospects.
These sites become something their buyers can show their teams. Martin said that they're fairly easy to set up, but the challenge is keeping them fresh with new content.
Brands are moving in this direction with ABM, but custom websites aren't a tactic that too many brands have embraced.
This puts Swrve ahead of the curve, and allows them to break through the noise as they engage with their potential buyers.
Robin and her team have implemented something called a buyer intent program.
This is a way to understand if either specific companies or certain types of companies are searching for content related to the problems Brainshark solves.
Robin said it helps identify not people, but accounts that seem to be looking to solve sales enablement challenges. It also de-prioritizes accounts that shouldn't be targets.
They are still in the beginning phases, but Robin believes it will yield strong results.
At Zyme, they view ex-employees of their customers as potential customers.
They send them information and stats like: "While you were at [company name] we helped you reduce inventory 43%. Would you like to do that at your new company?"
They've started to see success with open rates increasing by 3x.
TIBCO creatively leverages the voice of their customers.
Thomas and his team graduated from the traditional ways of sharing success stories (interviews, PDFs with metrics, etc) to tactics such as customer-led webinars. In these webinars, customers explain what they've done with the tool and the value it's brought them.
Thomas prioritizes customer relationships and believes that using the customer's voice is critically important to their content strategy.
Utpal says one thing they do that's unique is data journalism.
They use publicly available datasets to get themselves into important conversations.
For example, during the Ebola virus epidemic, Neo Technology had a data journalism project that covered influenza analysis. They came up with some recommendations for the CDC on how to educate people on the spread of the virus and preventative measures.
Utpal says this strategy sets Neo Technology apart in the database world.
A strong content strategy requires thinking outside the box.
What areas of your content are commonplace across your competitors? How can you take a new spin on that concept?
Scan your strategy for weak areas and brainstorm ways to add some of your own flavor.
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He's a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts the B2B Growth Show: a podcast dedicated to helping B2B marketers achieve explosive growth.