How Business Customers Want Your Marketing Content in Seven Screen Sizes

Responsive web design

Not so long ago, discussions about business-to-business “integrated marketing” focused on how print, digital, events and, for some, broadcast, worked together. Today, the marketing opportunities have become so varied, the idea of “integrated marketing” can be applied to how just one channel, the Web for example, can be used for a wide variety of marketing opportunities.

Just think how many ways business customers can experience the same content delivered via the Web.

Anything posted on YouTube can be displayed on a massive HDTV or a customer’s 7″ smartphone screen. And if a short clip from the video is sent via a text message, a recipient wearing an Apple Watch can even see it on a screen less than an inch in size.

Continue reading this article


Too Many Options? How to Select the Right Mix of Media for Your Marketing Efforts

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Print magazines. Digital editions. Trade magazine websites. Social media channels. eNewsletters. Webinars. Trade shows and events. Email campaigns. Native advertising. Mobile apps.

The tools you have at your disposal to create an integrated media campaign are wide and varied, and each of them has something different to offer your potential customers. BNP Media conducted research into how business managers and executives use various types of media in their work and discovered that different kinds of media inspire different actions.

No matter the media, B2B consumers are likely to take some kind of action, whether it’s sharing information with a colleague or friend, investigating the services and products further, or ultimately making a purchase. In fact, more than 75 percent of respondents said they’d take an action of some kind after reading a print trade magazine, its digital edition or visiting a trade magazine website.

Continue reading this article


How Interactive Product Spotlights Adds Energy to eBooks, White Papers

As we share in the BNP eBook, The BNP Media Guide to B2B Custom Media & Content Marketing, the web provides a constant flow of innovative opportunities that can be used to find new customers and build long-term relationships with existing ones.

Here’s one example: BNP and its custom publishing and marketing agency, Orangetap, have recently started producing an engaging, animated and effective digital marketing tool called Interactive Product Spotlights. Instead of static content appearing on a screen, an Interactive Product Spotlight is animated and interactive, providing the user the ability not only to see the page, but to move about it in an engaging way. Continue reading this article


How B-to-B Content Marketing Can Add Value to a Business Product or Service

As we explain in the recently released BNP eBook, The BNP Media Guide to B2B Custom Media & Content Marketing, the term “content marketing” is associated with everything from SEO to lead generation. But often a company discovers that the best role for content isn’t just in how you market a product, but in how you make content a critical part of the product itself.

Content can make the difference between a product that is viewed as a commodity by a business-to-business customer and the same product that’s viewed as superior. A commodity widget, for example, can surpass its competitor by including better instructions or customer support. Continue reading this article


Five Tips for Starting a Company Podcast

Your company probably has a website, blog and social media presence, but do you have a podcast? If not, it may benefit you to consider creating one. A podcast is a digital audio file that’s available via internet for downloading or streaming. Research shows that 40 percent of Americans age 12 or older have listened to a podcast at some point.

Anyone with an iPhone has immediate access to a wealth of podcasts, making them a powerful marketing tool. Podcasts can help you reach a new audience for your business, or they can help familiarize your current customers with your products or services. Plus, they’re easy to create. Use these five tips to start.

Determine your purpose or message. What’s the theme or goal of your podcast? What you teach or discuss depends on your industry, but your message should align with your company’s overall marketing strategy. Continue reading this article


How to Use Business-Related Research as Compelling Content

For business-to-business (B2B) marketers, one of the most engaging types of content is industry research. The findings can be used across all communication platforms and channels a company might use. Working with an independent research company like BNP Media’s Clear Seas Research, can give your customers insight into an emerging issue while serving as a hook for blog posts, news stories, infographics, eBooks and more! Here are five ways to use the results of your research.

News coverage: Press releases and content marketing activities like infographics, guest blog posts on popular industry websites and interviews with industry influencers can spread the impact of a survey across several forms of media.

Blog and social media posts: Generating news on your own blog posts and social media will get picked up by others if the findings of your survey are of interest to leaders in your industry. Each release of information about the research findings should be treated as a media campaign. Continue reading this article


How to Use B-to-B Content Marketing During each Stage of the Customer Journey

Sure, great website content can have a positive impact on a company’s search engine optimization and lead generation efforts. But sometimes marketers and C-suite executives limit content to those two goals, bypassing other creative ways content can strengthen a company’s marketing strategy. In fact, content marketing can play a role along all the steps of a customer’s journey.

But what kind of content is best at each stage? Think about when you’re considering buying a product—what details would help you make a better decision? Once you’re an owner, what knowledge would make that purchase even more fulfilling? And what would help you morph into a loyal and vocal fan of a product?

Consider these ideas for helpful content at the six stages of the customer journey, which we explore in more depth in our most recent Ebook, B2B Custom Media & Content Marketing. Continue reading this article


Custom Media: The New Marketing Strategy That’s Been Around for Centuries

For the last decade, the terms “content marketing” and “custom media” have become so prevalent among marketers, that a “content department” is now a staple on more and more corporate organizational charts. But as we describe in the new Ebook, The BNP Media Guide to B2B Custom Media & Content Marketing, “while the terms ‘custom media’ and ‘content marketing’ are new additions to the marketing lexicon, the history of companies creating media to communicate directly with their customers, supporters or members dates back centuries.”

For instance, in 1732, Benjamin Franklin issued Poor Richard’s Almanack as custom media, a free publication he used to promote his printing business.

Business-to-business marketers were also early users of direct-to-customer marketing.

In 1895, John Deere launched The Furrow, a magazine it distributed to farmers through its dealer network. It is still published today. Continue reading this article


B2B Marketers’ 8 Favorite Content Marketing Tools

In our most recent eBook, B2B Custom Media & Content Marketing, we explore how content marketing—a form of marketing that dates back centuries—is being transformed into a vital part of the marketing strategy in the digital age. Among the topics we highlight are the most popular content tactics and strategies used by marketers now. A great source of insight into the topic of content marketing tools is the Content Marketing Institute’s study, 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America. In it, marketers share their eight most-used content marketing tactics. These are the top eight, along with the percentage of total content marketers who use each one.

Social Media Content | 83% Social media content—posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms—is an critical facet of a content marketing strategy. Social media is a great way to engage with your customers, but it also presents opportunities to share content and build brand awareness.

Blogs | 83% Blogs are an important part of a content marketing strategy. Blogs can help drive traffic toward your company’s website, and the content featured can position you as an industry leader.

eNewsletters | 77% Email newsletters can help turn casual readers into engaged brand fans, according to the Content Marketing Institute. When implemented correctly, email newsletters can also motivate your customers to spread the word about your products or services. Continue reading this article


Five Tips for Helping Your Marketing Efforts Finish Strong in 2017 & Five More Hints to Prepare for 2018

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to start reviewing your 2017 marketing strategy and making adjustments as you plan for 2018. Here are five tips to finish strong this year and make 2018 your best year yet.

Make 2017 Count

Solidify your message. Make sure that every employee—from the receptionist to the CEO—understands your organization’s philosophy, message and brand. Craft your company’s message so that employees can tell prospective clients what sets you apart in under two minutes.

Review your goals. What did you hope to achieve this year? Review the goals you set in January 2017 and track your progress, accounting for anything that needs to be revised or changed now or in 2018.

Examine your analytics. How many people have opened your company-wide emails this year? How many views does your blog get each time you share a new post? Did one Facebook post have more interactions than another? Tracking these analytics can help you determine the type of content in which your customers are most interested. Continue reading this article


Five Rules to Improve Your Powerpoint Presentations

The web is littered with articles giving helpful advice for improving PowerPoint presentations. However, these presentations rarely improve. Why? The advice out there is helpful, but bland. improving your presentations involves turning those standard guidelines on their head.

  1. Find your “solution story” and share that with your audience.

There are the three parts of a solution story:

Act I: The Problem

Act II: The Solution

Act III: Happily Ever After

Every good presentation has at least one cycle of a story in which a pressing problem was solved and everyone ended up joyful. If you are presenting several products or ideas, repeat the process for each one.

  1. Don’t confuse presentation slides with the story.

Slides are like costumes and props on a theatrical stage. They aren’t the characters or the story. They aren’t even the plot. They are tools that help the actor, or presenter, convey a story to the audience. Continue reading this article


BNP Media Named a Winner of The Top Workplaces in Michigan Award

BNP Media has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor by The Detroit Free Press. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by Energage, LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.  The most desirable places to work in Michigan were named and celebrated on November 2 at a ceremony held at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

In its first year of being nominated for the award, BNP Media placed 32nd in the midsize company category, out of 55 winners in the category for companies with 150 to 499 employees.   The Free Press Top Workplaces competition is open to public and private companies, as well as nonprofit organizations, with more than 50 employees. This year, 150 companies were recognized in the large, midsize and small workplace categories. Continue reading this article


How to Use Business-Related Research as Compelling Content

For business-to-business (B2B) marketers, one of the most engaging types of content is industry research. The findings can be used across all communication platforms and channels a company might use. Working with an independent research company like BNP Media’s Clear Seas Research, the research can give your customers insight into an emerging issue while serving as a hook for blog posts, news stories, infographics, eBooks and more. Here are five ways to use the results of your research.

News coverage: Press releases and content marketing activities like infographics, guest blog posts on popular industry websites and interviews with industry influencers can spread the impact of a survey across several forms of media.

Blog and social media posts: Generating news on your own blog posts and social media will get picked up by others if the findings of your survey are of interest to leaders in your industry. Each release of information about the research findings should be treated as a media campaign. Continue reading this article


Why Case Studies Are Critical in Business-to-Business Marketing

When it comes to ranking the most credible forms of advertising, word of mouth always comes out on top. That’s because we trust people we know more than experts we don’t know.

Why don’t customers believe the experts?

Americans have always been a little skeptical of experts and the theories (or facts) they espouse. In fact, there’s a theory called the “backfire effect” that suggests some people become even more convinced they are right when experts give them evidence disproving their beliefs.

For that reason, it’s often better to let your product’s story be told by a third party with whom a potential customer can identify. That third party may not be a university professor, but if he or she has worked in the trenches—perhaps just like your customer—then that person is granted automatic credibility.

Context and Credibility

Presenting your story in the form of a case study provides potential customers the ability to not only understand the product, but also redefine their expectations. Rather than believe a manufacturer’s claims, which could be seen as hype, prospective customers often find it easier to believe the claims of an independent third party. Continue reading this article


Why B-to-B Marketers Should be Concerned About Ad Blockers

Unlike business-to-business (B2B) online media, the business model of online consumer media is nearly 100 percent focused on generating traffic, clicks and views. (B2B online media uses a business model that is focused on who uses a site, not just how many clicks they generate.) Because consumer websites need to boost a lot of traffic, consumers who use the web are bombarded with click-bait pop-ups, automatic animation, audio and video, and slideshows featuring what child actors look like now that they are adults. Such blinking and screaming ads are annoying on a desktop or laptop computer, but they are even more obnoxious on the small screen of a smartphone—the largest and fastest growing segment of online usage.

The online audience is responding with outrage

Blinking pop-ups and instant video techniques have led a growing number of web users to download “ad-blocking” extensions to their computers’ web browsers.

In a 2016 report, Juniper Research predicted ad blocking could cost publishers $27 billion globally in lost ad revenue by 2020. Continue reading this article


How to Come Up With Content Ideas for Your Company Blog

When was the last time you posted an article on your company blog? If it was more than a few weeks ago, you are communicating to your customers and prospects that you put little emphasis on keeping them informed and up-to-date.

A blog can be a marketing tool that separates you from your competition. It can also be a go-to source for information about your industry. It can teach customers how to better use your products.

It shouldn’t be seen as a burden or the last thing on your to-do list. If that’s why it’s been a few months since you’ve posted something, here are some suggestions to help break through your blogging writer’s block. Continue reading this article


Six Ways to Improve the Quality of the Photos on Your Company Blog

Graphics—whether professional photography, infographics or stock photography—have the power to grab an audience’s attention. Approximately 65 percent of people say they are visual learners, so chances are, the first thing people will notice when they visit your company’s blog are its images. That’s why it’s critical to take quality photographs or use high-quality stock photography.

Follow these tips to enhance the quality of photos on your company’s blog.

 

Head shots

When you post employee head shots on your company’s blog or website, make sure you’re putting the representatives of your business in the best light. Be sure to:

·  Shoot in natural light, not fluorescent or other artificial light.

·  Avoid harsh shadows and objects behind the subject’s head.

·  Pick a uncluttered background. You don’t have to use a flat white background, but make sure whatever background you use isn’t busy or cluttered—or detracts from the real focus of the photo.

·  Take the shot face on, not sideways! Profile shots have their place, but for this type of photo, you want to see the subject’s face. Continue reading this article


BNP Media Sponsors Wish Party in Partnership with Make-A-Wish® America

Terrien, a 13-year-old Southfield, Mich. boy, is living with a life-threatening renal disease.  Thanks to Make-a-Wish® America and the help of the people at BNP Media, Terrien will experience his wish of visiting Spain.

The Buen Viaje (“Have a good trip!”) for Terrien to celebrate his upcoming trip will be held Monday, July 31 at Troy’s Somerset Inn. Joining Terrien will be members of his family and staff from BNP Media and Make-A-Wish® Michigan, who are helping to coordinate the wish party.

Terrien is scheduled to visit Spain the second week in August.  Activities planned for Terrien include the Barcelona Football, Camp Nou Experience, visiting one of the most emblematic stadiums in the world, and an expansive Barcelona Highlights Tour.

The wish party for Terrien marks the first time in the three years as a supporter of Make-A-Wish that BNP Media has participated in the Adopt-A-Wish program. The involvement in Adopt-A-Wish builds upon the $10,000 donation that BNP Media has gifted to the wish granting organization for the past three years. BNP Media has also made a three-year commitment as a Gold Level Sponsor for the Make-A-Wish Michigan Wish Ball, donating $15,000 each year. Continue reading this article


The Power of a B2B Handwritten Note

When was the last time you sent a handwritten note to an employee or customer, thanking them for their work or business?

In today’s world of instant communication, it’s easier than ever to send a brief text message or email. It’s quick, painless and requires little effort. But the next time you think about sending an email or text message to a customer or employee, consider sending a handwritten card or note instead. Why? A handwritten note is more personal than a quick email sent from your smartphone. People like to feel valued, and taking the time to write a note, address an envelope and stick it in the mailbox communicates that you care for and appreciate that individual.

When writing handwritten notes, consider the following tips: Continue reading this article


Think Ahead: Ideas For Your 2018 Marketing Calendar and Budget

If you haven’t started planning for 2018, here are a few suggestions to consider when you begin. (And if you haven’t started, start soon, because your competitors are.)

 1. Check in with industry experts

Listening to those you trust can help you become aware of a trend you may have missed or had not considered correctly. Industry analysts are great sources of what’s happening; so are other marketers who are not working for a direct competitor. And when it comes to providing neutral, non-proprietary information, your BNP representative is available with information about new marketing opportunities.

 2. Preview the 2018 live event calendar

BNP research indicate marketers and customers have tried-and-true events they attend annually, but they are always open to something new if the criteria fits.

 https://www.bnpsolutions.com/events/ Continue reading this article


 
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