Did you know?  70% of respondents are spending more today on direct branded content than they did three years ago.

B2B Blogs: Category: Web Design and Development  

Ah, content, content, content. So much of what we B2B marketers do revolves around content. This week Dan Pacifico zooms in on Google’s new algorithm – Hummingbird – and how it will likely make search more intuitive and how marketers, meanwhile, need to remain focused on meeting the needs of web-property users. Leanne Terpak highlights a free, go-at-your-own-pace way to assess the value of your great content via Google’s new Analytics Academy. And getting straight to the heart of the matter, Jenn Vitello reviews the latest B2B content marketing report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (definitely worth a look). That’s our round-up. Thanks for checking it out.

This week Andy Hunt looks at the deployment of a technology through iOS7 that may hold great promise for B2B applications. Steve Graham joins our round-up with a post on understanding the native continuum in online advertising. Andy DeBrunner, who did an admirable job last week introducing our team blog, finds that LinkedIn has eliminated one complication of managing a company page on its platform. That’s our round-up as we glide into October and the last calendar quarter of 2014. 

This week our faithful CEO and introduction writer, Chuck, will be taking a much-deserved break from his intro writing responsibilities. He has (probably against his better judgment) allowed me to do the honors. In our roundup this week, Dan offers his views on Google's new view, Leanne continues to optimize how we approach optimization, and Jenn shows off some trends to help us marketers be more content with our content.

Amidst the hub-bub surrounding the introduction of new iPhones and Twitter’s IPO, we take a look this week at two developments happening with somewhat less fanfare that will likely have more direct impact on the B2B marketing environment.  Andy DeBrunner looks at the way Facebook has enabled auto-play user videos as a likely forerunner to auto-play ads, which would require a fresh approach for B2B marketers using Facebook as a paid media vehicle.  Google’s purchase of the file sharing app Bump has not escaped the notice of Andy Hunt, who imagines a number of real-world, B2B applications for the technology in a mobile operating system.  That’s our round-up this week as we reluctantly ponder kicking the flip-flops in the closet one last time and getting ready for fall. 

This week we move from a light-hearted anniversary look at the industry’s leading search engine, to a hard-to-stomach metaphor for making analytics results more, well, digestible and useful, to some no-nonsense advice on developing content for a global B2B audience. Dan Pacifico helps us mark the passing of Google’s 15th birthday, inviting us to learn some things about the company we probably didn’t know. Leanne Terpak introduces us to the appealing phrase “number vomit reporting” with important tips on how to avoid it and actually do something less regrettable and more valuable instead. Equally hard to swallow for some career writers may be the point of view Jenn Vitello shares on the necessity of writing not so much for a person but rather for a CMS (content management system) as the most effective and efficient way to develop content for an international base of customers, prospects and influencers. Just a little slice of the diverse topics making up the B2B marketing environment this week. Thanks for checking us out.

While it is easy – and necessary – to get caught up in the latest advances in marketing technology, we need to be mindful always of the human factor: how customers, prospects and influencers react, interact and engage; how we as marketers collaborate and perform. For example, in explaining the importance of keyword quality scores in Google PPC campaigns, Dan Pacifico finds the trail leads ultimately to (guess what?) relevant content for users. With the proliferation of videos posted to YouTube by top B2B brands, Leanne Terpak points us to a useful blog that outlines 7 important analytics reports which explains why they are important so we can be better marketers. Andy DeBrunner is thinking about enlisting the sales force in an intentional way with social marketing, and underscores the importance of truly understanding our sales colleagues before we attempt to engage them – sound advice. Jenn Vitello is also thinking about the human element of content development with a post on staffing the B2B content marketing department. The marketing technology at our disposal is awesome and pretty much useless without focused attention on the human factor at every step. That’s our roundup this week.  

This week we revisit some favorite B2B marketing discussions to see what’s new. Dan Pacifico highlights a handy guide to keyword targeting, a slippery issue for SEO experts that hasn’t gotten any simpler but has big payoffs. Leanne Terpak finds that data-driven marketing is increasing significantly (she’s got the numbers to prove it) and that marketers indicate this trend will continue. Jenn Vitello reminds us to regard content as a valuable asset and to treat it as such as we apply it to B2B buyers, often globally, usually across multiple platforms and devices. Andy DeBrunner challenges us to consider not only the current reality but the future implications of user behavior: does it matter to you, for example, that teenage enthusiasm for Facebook appears to be waning? 

Welcome to August. Despite the new month’s reputation for being a slower-paced time – and we do hope you’re enjoying some of that – our experts find the pace of change unrelenting in the world of B2B marketing. Dan Pacifico warns that Google has flagged optimized press releases distributed broadly online as a signal for link schemes and a detriment to SEO. Leanne Terpak explains the expanded analytics available for company pages on LinkedIn and how B2B marketers can compare themselves to other companies. Andy DeBrunner brings us up to date on Twitter’s plans to use retargeting technology, apparently similar to what Facebook has been doing, and suggests ways to take advantage of the offer. Jenn Vitello finds evidence that two venerable tools – customer testimonials and case studies – are considered by B2B tech marketers as the most effective content marketing tactics. Andy Hunt considers the Leap Motion Controller and peers ahead at what it could mean for developers of B2B products.

This week we’re talkin’ mobile.  Dan Pacifico reveals one of the truths about Google’s push for Enhanced Campaigns and the ability to evaluate campaigns/ad groups on a device level:  the folks at the Googleplex want us to see the impact mobile, and mobile advertising, can have on our B2B marketing goals.  Leanne Terpak, meanwhile, finds a great source on the key similarities and differences between web and mobile analytics and why it’s important we understand them.  Andy DeBrunner brings us up to date on the growth of Facebook during the second quarter including a jump in mobile monthly active users from 751 to 819 million (that’s plus 68 million in three months).  Jenn Vitello reminds us of the importance of personas – the established UX technique – in also creating engaging B2B content.  (Jenn doesn’t mention this, but our B2B customers will be among those who, by the end of 2013, will be downloading an estimated 2 billion apps each week; a factor in building those personas).  To stretch the mobile theme further, Andy Hunt looks past the immediate gleam of Google’s Chromecast web TV device to the promise of its software developer’s kit that will allow apps to be optimized for the living-room sized screen, too; he thinks there are possibilities for B2B marketing and sales, how about you?

If you have wondered about the role of mobile ad clicks vs. organic search on keywords for which you already do well, Dan Pacifico reveals new research that shows they are complementary and can be strong traffic builders for some B2B segments. Leanne Terpak investigates the new Twitter analytics tool and shares one expert’s key metrics. A picture may be worth at least a thousand words, suggests Andy DeBrunner as he imagines how smart marketers may take advantage of the ability to post a photo as a comment on Facebook business pages. Jenn Vitello reminds us that LinkedIn is a preferred content distribution channel among B2B professionals and outlines important ways to leverage it. Andy Hunt sees B2B as leading the way on the Internet of Things (we’ve been at it for a while now). And that’s our roundup for this week.

On the heels of Microsoft’s strategy and re-org announcements last week, we get down to some digital B2B basics here.  Dan Pacifico reminds us that satisfying users is not only a good content strategy but also smart, and necessary, SEO practice.  Leanne Terpak highlights key social marketing stats for B2B marketers, while colleague Andy DeBrunner suggests the social media platform Tumblr, now owned by Yahoo, is worth watching.  Jenn Vitello shares a great post on how and why to integrate relationships and influencers into your content marketing program.  And rounding out this roundup, Andy Hunt reviews ambitious plans unveiled by Dropbox at its first developer’s conference. Enjoy.

This week Dan Pacifico notes the importance for B2B marketers of understanding semantic SEO, while colleague Jenn Vitello focuses on the necessity of SEO and content marketing working in harmony. Andy DeBrunner continues the “search” theme with thoughts on the rollout of Graph Search to U.S. users by Facebook. Of course it’s often the right search techniques that bring prospects to your website; Leanne Terpak uncovers steps to nurture them and grow business through marketing automation. If you are searching for a Digital Trend Watch post by Andy Hunt, he has this week off. Catch you next time.

There is no escaping Google’s influence in B2B digital marketing, as evidenced in this week’s roundup. Dan Pacifico reports the search leader will update its mobile requirements this fall, placing more emphasis on responsive design techniques, content formatted for mobile, etc. Leanne Terpak finds Google’s new Analytics Attribution Model Comparison Tool is a far better way to evaluate site conversions and allocate budget. Andy DeBrunner looks at another essential – the customized Google Map – for every B2B event planner’s toolkit. Rounding up other topics as we begin the second half of the year, Jenn Vitello takes a close look at a new study of the way B2B executives use deep and broad content to help them make buying decisions. Finally, Andy Hunt looks at the inclusion of native print drivers for 3D printers plus APIs for including 3D printing in apps with Microsoft Windows 8.1.

Getting and keeping digital assets organized and accessible can raise productivity and security for B2B marketing organizations, suggests Andy Hunt in this week’s Digital Trend post. That’s timely advice considering the explosion of content – with 91% of B2B marketers now employing content marketing, reports Jenn Vitello. Much of that content is being developed as video, and this week Andy DeBrunner frames another short-form video platform now available on Facebook. If your upper management isn’t responsive to your data, Leanne Terpak points out that the problem might actually be you. To put a final and even finer point on content, Dan Pacifico enlightens us on Google’s latest update to enhanced campaigns – one that allows control of copy in site link ads. Be content out there and let us know how we’re doing! 

As summer officially approaches we take a look at what’s hot this week in digital marketing and what’s especially relevant to B2B. Google will make ranking changes to its mobile versions of Google Search, so Dan Pacifico advises we keep investing in mobile-ready websites and mobile SEO. Big Data analytics can improve B2B leads through a social scoring process, which Leanne Terpak thinks can also help us better understand and target audiences and lead to faster, better marketing decisions. Andy DeBrunner gives us the line on Line, the world’s fastest-growing social network – one that seems poised for a major presence in Asia with implications for B2B. Relevant content presented quickly and easily tops the list of essentials of a great web site, says Jenn Vitello, who offers more insights in her content blog. Speaking of essentials, Andy Hunt adds perspective for all who are implementing marketing automation systems or actively using them now: don’t be afraid to make hard choices between what’s really necessary and what’s just an option. Read on. And find us again right here next week. 

This week we discover the source of missing mobile data from Google Analytics, uncover a dozen ways to make social media data more actionable and welcome YouTube’s new “One Channel” design. We have tips on how B2B marketers can curate content – as we do here – as part of an effective lead nurturing program. And noteworthy in many markets: AT&T and the iPhone will step in with Push-To-Talk services as Sprint shuts down the previous PTT darling, the Nextel network. Read on for details, and post a comment to let us know what you’d like to see more of or less of in the weeks ahead.

This week we discover the source of missing mobile data from Google Analytics, uncover a dozen ways to make social media data more actionable and welcome YouTube’s new “One Channel” design. We have tips on how B2B marketers can curate content – as we do here – as part of an effective lead nurturing program. And noteworthy in many markets: AT&T and the iPhone will step in with Push-To-Talk services as Sprint shuts down the previous PTT darling, the Nextel network. Read on for details, and post a comment to let us know what you’d like to see more of or less of in the weeks ahead.

Penguin 2.0, a.k.a. “Penguin 4,” is the latest Google search algorithm update we now must consider. It appears that a keen focus on content, a hallmark of best B2B practice, rather than heavy reliance on external links satisfies this bird. Web analytics and the massive amount of data it can produce can be overwhelming. A savvy B2B marketer gets focused and avoids the irrelevant – below are some remarkable analytics guides to help. Vine, which we blogged about last week, is now available for Android devices, dramatically expanding its potential user base; keep considering the B2B possibilities of very short-form video integrated with Twitter and let us know what you think. Jenn Vitello notices that even B2B publishers, the kings of content, are optimizing for mobile. Maybe you should, too? Rounding things up this week, our director of marketing technology considers what makes a site highly interactive, engaging and easy to share – often qualities we want in B2B digital experience. 

Making web content accessible across screen sizes and mobile devices is a necessity for B2B marketers. But what do you do if the data isn't enough to convince stakeholders in the value?

This week we highlight the “conversational search” capability unveiled by Google as Dan Pacifico starts to ponder the changes ahead for B2B marketers with natural language processing applied to search. We knew mobile was claiming more traffic:  how about more than one-fifth of all content visits? Other stats from Uberflip document the rise of shareable content and the importance of video. Speaking of video, Andy DeBrunner looks at the B2B potential of Vine, Twitter’s 6-second video service -- talk about tightly crafting your message! Helping us simplify things this week is a primer on the four keys to success in marketing analytics. We wrap things up with a reminder that users – often accessing mobile devices in the field, or in less than ideal settings – deserve our consideration as we design and deliver the content they need. Enjoy.

Welcome, or welcome back as the case may be, to The B2B Weekly Roundup, where we offer our take on some of the key developments affecting B2B marketing in bite-size form. Google’s I/O conference gave us all a glimpse into the firm’s integration plans; Godfrey’s Andy Hunt assesses the impact on B2B.  Separately, we note the opportunity to highlight your company’s deep expertise via web content for improved search results. Leanne Terpak poses a few key questions for marketers on the use of Big Data and suggests the most important thing is to turn insights gleaned into useful actions.  We share the inspiring story of a 17-year-old girl who won a Twitter hackathon as an example of the creativity that awaits B2B marketers in the social media space.  And finally, in case you missed BtoB Magazine’s Media Power 50 report, it’s worth a look; after The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com, Google and LinkedIn occupy the #2 and #3 positions in the B2B media landscape.  No further comment on that one here, for now.  Enjoy and let us know how we’re doing.

May 16, 2013

Google's I/O conference kicked off yesterday. While the conference is billed as a developer's event, it really is a showcase for all things Google. During a massive 3 hour presentation various presenters showed all kinds of things we'll be seeing in the near future pertaining to mobile, search, education, maps and on and on. I've taken a quick look to see how it might affect B2B.

As a B2B marketing pro, you have a lot to keep up with. We’re right there with you. Now we’re right here with you, too, offering our take on some of the week’s most interesting news and powerful insights in the world of business-to-business marketing and communications. As we work out the schedule and topics I hope you’ll leave comments to let us know how to improve. Out of the gate, we’re committed to covering Search, Analytics, Social Media and Content Marketing and providing an anchor Digital Trend Watch. We know you’re busy. We hope this helps by giving you a quick handle on the relevant trends. Your feedback will help us do that better. Thanks, and welcome.

Making web content accessible across screen sizes and mobile devices is a necessity for b2b marketers. But what if there's a stakeholder you need to convince?

What does it cost to build a mobile app? It depends. Get the quick answers to common cost questions.

As the myriad of interface displays and mobile devices grows, responsive web design can help design a website for the future---but it means you have to let go of how you approached the design process in the past.

May 10, 2012

It's been hard to miss all the co-mingling of marketing and IT that has been taking place over the past few years. As the volume of work shared between the groups increases and the pace accelerates here are a few things to keep in mind to ease the integration.

May 9, 2012

There are plenty of statistics and information available on the growing trend of smartphone use. But some of the more recent moves from Google in the mobile space put a greater emphasis on its importance, particularly in the Search and SEO world. Here are five Google announcements worth noting.

Email marketing includes mobile email users. Are you meeting their needs or making these common email mobile marketing mistakes?

A visit to a large B2B company’s headquarters inspired the above question. Find out if your company has their headquarters on straight.

When writing website content for your global audience, consider the language you’re using. Make it easy to understand and translate by the international users. Here are some things to consider.

Mar 20, 2012

I was pretty blown away by South by Southwest. While it would be foolish to try and cram a week's worth of discovery into one blog post there are a couple of quick observations to be made. 

Feb 28, 2012

Training for and completing an Ironman triathlon bares a lot of resemblance to the development and execution of a website project.

Why are you investing in a mobile app? Will this one offering make a difference with your target audience? Maybe you are expecting too much.

Jan 9, 2012

Who is winning the smartphone wars? Apple? Android? Blackberry? With all the conflicting news about market shares of smartphones, what matters to marketers is what your customers and prospects are using and what they experience on your digital properties on their platform(s) of choice.

Jan 6, 2012

2011 was a whirlwind year for the world of digital marketing and communications. And through it all, B2B Insights was reporting live on the scene.

Dec 19, 2011

You need a business website with a content management system (CMS). Where do you start?

You can't create a custom digital solution for every new mobile device. But you can create one design that will respond to them all. Could responsive web design work for your B2B website?

Dec 5, 2011

Web page speed and performance is very important when it comes to user experience and search results, and should be part of your search engine optimization strategy.

What does it cost to build a mobile app? It depends. Get the quick answers to common cost questions.

Oct 6, 2011

One of the things I truly love about what I do is that what I do is never the same. As an art director, I have to remember all my training—not forget it, and then put that all aside. If you can’t do this, you can’t keep up with all the changes in technology, and you will box yourself in, becoming stagnant.

Have you been considering the need for a mobile app, or better yet, a mobile website? Here are some thoughts and statistics that could change the way you look at your audience and their interactions with mobile devices.

Aug 10, 2011

How I learned to stop delaying and love the Chrome.

Users' comments provide the insight you need to succeed, now how do you address the issues that could make your design fail?
Jul 19, 2011

Content strategy — perhaps the latest buzzword — has taken the marketing world by storm. So what’s with all the hype?

Jul 14, 2011

A recent study by the Pew Research Center reinforces the idea that for a growing number of people, there is no such thing as a mobile Internet.

Jul 11, 2011

Do you own,  operate or plan on browsing a web site in the next 12 months? If you answered yes then there are some new privacy regulations coming out of the European Union which will affect you. We're still in the early stages of this but there are a few basic things you can do now to start preparing.

When your company CEO tells you to build an iPad app and your best customers want a web app, what's a B2B marketer to do?

Jun 13, 2011

If “B2B Branding” was a company, it would have a branding problem. Too many business-to-business marketers and senior managements think branding means logos, taglines, business cards and letterhead. It’s a lot more than that today.

Jun 9, 2011

Help visitors find and understand your content with semantic tagging. With just a little bit of extra effort and added support from all the major search engines you have another tool to make sure your content is getting out in front of your audience.

Understanding your target audience and their goals is the first part of designing B2B mobile experiences. But even when users are at the center of your design, assumptions can weaken your approach.

You know you need to optimize your B2B website for mobile, but what exactly does that mean? And how do you start?

These statistics will convince you--and your B2B marketing stakeholders--that designing experiences for mobile is a must.

Mar 28, 2011

Of course there is Wikipedia, the all-knowing Britannica killer whose crowd-sourced volumes we all cautiously adore. But clever developments in social media have opened the flood gates to the namesake of a humble Honolulu shuttle bus.

Mar 14, 2011

The iPad 2 is here and Apple apps are hotter than ever. Now B2B marketers are starting to want their own custom apps and are making room for these gems in their budgets. There are lots of facets to this issue. Here are five ways to rethink the iPad.

Mar 11, 2011

Ever have a salesperson talk your ear off, but never quite answer your questions? Don’t you hate that? So does Google.

Mar 10, 2011

A Regular Roundup of Social Media Musings
by Anna Gerz & Mike Wilt

This month’s collection of all things Social Media speaks to when the biz’s big names break, the B2B marketing version of Terminator and a unique approach to targeting you and I as B2B professionals.

Feb 11, 2011

I got an e-news alert the other day informing me that a reputable consulting and research firm was identifying the four technologies that  B2B CMOs should be watching. I am not a CMO but I deal with them so I believe I should be paying attention to what they are watching.

B2B marketers know mobile matters. But how do you start creating mobile experiences as part of a B2B strategy? There's one thing you must know.

Jan 4, 2011

Based on what I think I know today, here’s what we can expect to see in the year ahead:

B2B marketers often fail at successfully executing an effective online content strategy.  Avoid these common content missteps.

You just released your b2b iPhone app, and now you’re ready to charge ahead with the iPad. You're excited, but first consider these tips on how designing for the iPad is different from the iPhone.

Aug 18, 2010

I love analyzing user behavior on websites and looking at outcomes through analytics. I think regularly about what does the user want to do when they get to a page on your site? And did they complete the task that they intended to do? Or more importantly, did they complete the task that YOU wanted them to do?

Whether you have been blogging for years or are just getting started, these writing tips can instantly improve your B2B blog.

Based on smartphone market growth it’s clear that B2B marketing needs to include mobile. You may be thinking about a mobile web site, app, or both. But with limited budgets and resources, maybe you are feeling pressure to pick one. But which?

BtoB Magazine reported that the popularity of B-to-B corporate blogging was waning, drawing on new information from Forrester Research’s report "How to Derive Value from B2B Blogging.”  53% of marketers surveyed said that blogs were irrelevant or marginal in their current marketing strategy.

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