In H2 2019 IBA has been ‘on tour’, running a series of breakfast briefings charting the changes we’ve seen in digital B2B communications. We brought together B2B marketers in Lincoln, Cambridge, Nottingham, Reading and Oxford – it has been a journey full of knowledge exchange.
Every session provided different talking points for start-ups, medium-sized business and international enterprises alike. But all the marketing managers and C-level executives we met had one key question on their minds: how can I use PR – blogs, social, digital – to boost my lead generation activities and nurture sales leads? In every session we concentrated on how PR can produce a powerful content stack to dovetail and drive lead generation campaigns.
1. Building and delivering a content stack that drives sales leads
The definition of lead generation success differs across organizations based on individual sales strategy, marketing direction and company maturity.
For example, one large multi-national B2B organization which attended our event has hugely active in-house marketing and design teams producing great blog, multimedia and white paper copy. These assets were being posted to the company website with the intention of being used as gated content – but were mostly just sitting and gathering dust.
Having discussed the organization’s challenges with the group, the IBA team were on hand to recommend how this content repository could be used to form the basis of a media-facing campaign, tweaking existing copy to pitch to key trade and technology outlets in their target industries and geographies. This ‘stack’ of content could also be used as part of a social media campaign and even fed into an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.
On the flip side of this, some attendees were starting content marketing from scratch, with new solutions to launch but no in-house expertise. This is why these briefings are so valuable, providing a free platform for marketers to gauge whether their organization is on the right track with current best practices. Some attendees just needed re-assurance on what they were doing and confidence to take up new ideas – others have realized they needed to change their tactics.
2. A forum for group-help and networking
When we embarked on our latest tour, we could be forgiven for thinking the sessions would contain a lot of 1:1 work, with marketing managers keen to keep their pain-points between us and them. What we found was the complete opposite – some of the best insights came from group debate and discussion.
It transpired a lot of attendees were experiencing similar paint-points – paid vs earned media was a particularly hot topic, as was the value of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from a B2B marketing perspective. With a room full of marketing experts sharing their experiences, it wasn’t just the IBA team leading the conversation!
3. It produces results!
But it’s not a case of all talk. The principles discussed at the Digital B2B Communications breakfast briefings are already being put into place to great effect.
One attendee has just run a campaign using re-purposed thought leadership to drive attendance to an inaugural industry-wide event on the global healthcare sensing market. Working with IBA, they took their research on healthcare sensing & wearables and adapted it into bylined content and press releases to be placed in leading medical publications.
One of these articles achieved coverage in six key titles with a combined readership of over 600,000 UVPM. Valuable publicity, SEO and website backlinks leading up to a sold-out and very successful event – without astronomical advertising costs!
IBA will be ‘on tour’ in 2020
It’s very rare in the marketing world to get an intimate and relaxed forum for debate between fellow professionals. We’ve attended events such as the B2B Marketing Expo at the London ExCeL and it’s really difficult to get a two-way conversation going when speaking to a marketing technology salesperson or joining 50 others in a speaking session which is standing room only.
Our B2B marketing breakfast briefings provide a perfect forum for marketers to learn and network.
Watch this space in 2020 as we go back on the road to deliver more briefings in a city near you. Keep an eye on our IBA on Tour webpage to track upcoming events.
Jamie Kightley is Head of Client Services at IBA International.