Thanksgiving week in the States is never very productive for the B2B work world, and that appears equally true for B2B bloggers. While some tried to ignore the elephantine turkey in the room, others attempted, mostly in vain, to make the holiday pertinent to their usual subject matter. By mid-week, it was clear that we all just wanted to start chowing down. Nonetheless, a few notable posts stood out.
The Convergence of Content Marketing and B2B Publishing?: “Creating Interest vs Providing Solutions,” Dan Blank, Publishing, Innovation, and the Web, 11/22/09.
The estimable Dan Blank of the archetypal B2B publisher RBI, né Cahners, has made what I believe is a Radical Suggestion, if I’m interpreting him correctly. It’s an impressively argued piece, but at such a high level of abstraction that one longs for a concrete example or two.
In the absence of specifics, I have to read a certain amount into what Blank is saying. But his argument appears to be that the dissemination of content, no matter how interesting or popular, isn’t enough—publishers also need to sell solutions that go beyond content. In other words, just as content marketers (i.e., advertisers) are now competing with traditional publishers, publishers should be competing with them (or, in some cases, partnering with them) by selling similar products or services. What once would have been heresy is now innovative thinking.
Or do I have it wrong? I suggest that you judge for yourself—if his web host hasn’t accidentally deleted his blog again.
You Didn’t Have to Be There, Quite: “Highlights from SIPA’s Online Marketing and Publishing Summit last week,” Rory Brown, Rory Brown’s Blog, 11/23/09.
While it sounds like an event not to be missed, those of us who did should thank Rory Brown for a concise summary of the publishing and marketing summit put on by the UK branch of the Specialized Information Publishers Association. (The November 19 event in London was also covered by Neil Thackray here and here. )
Of particular note, evidently, was a presentation by David Cushman on “A New Era for Specialist Media” explaining how “the internet-powered long tail of demand is a disaster for traditional broad mass-media models but a huge opportunity for specialists.” (Cushman’s presentation was also cited in Dan Blank’s post.)
It Really Works, Maybe: “Companies Engaging in Social Media Have Higher Financial Performance,” Morgan Polotan, HubSpot, 11/25/09.
If the report Polotan cites is to believed, there is indeed ROI for companies heavily involved in social media. But maybe not because of the social media. The point, he says, is “simply that those companies who are highly engaged in social media also have superior financial performance when compared to their peers.”
Hug Your Followers: “Are your arms too long?,” Brian Courtney, B2B Marketing Blog, 11/25/09.
Last week I noted that “Increasingly, B2B means P2P (person-to-person).” To be more accurate, B2B has always been about personal relationships, as Brian Courtney points out in his post. The value of social media is that it can enhance that element of B2B commerce and communications—if you use it appropriately.
Courtney makes the case that bloggers for B2B companies need to loosen up when it comes to social media if they want to make the most of it.
“Social media demands not only transparency, but authenticity. And while guidelines for blogging and other social media activities are fine – in fact, needed – I’ve never seen regulations that excluded personality.”
As Courtney concludes, an arm’s length approach to social media just won’t work.