You know that BtoB publishing is changing dramatically—but one thing isn’t: at the core of your success is strong content. Yet, these days, what you do is probably a lot more than content management. It’s about giving your customers a complete experience that lifts them up and inspires them.
Sounds easy, right? We know it’s not. You’ve got to create stellar content. You’ve got to use your data to your advantage, in order to provide that content in context. You’ve got to build engagement and relationships; deliver via web, mobile, email, social tools and multimedia. And you’ve got to be adaptive, responsive, agile and swift. All this to expand your reach, grow your brand and drive demand.
But this is the way of the world. You are not alone. The experience you provide has a lot of moving parts. Here are a few of the critical components for shifting from simple content management to experience management via engagement:
We’ve talked a lot about how to leverage social sharing in your strategy, and it continues to grow in potential. It’s not just about creating and managing relationships anymore; it’s also a tool for gathering data about your community. It’s another way of identifying the appropriate context. You can ask questions. You can listen easily. You just need to know how.
Want an example of where to start? Look at GRBJ.com. Their integrated approach to social media helped them to achieve a 500% increase in traffic when they relaunched their website. Multiple social media feeds, house ads and a strong, diverse presence were all part of the formula.
Quick Tip: Watch how other publishers are using the Twitter Q&A and Facebook questions to simultaneously engage readers and gather information about them.
Interaction: Polls, Comments, Reviews
Today’s digital consumers like to interact in a variety of ways. With a solid CMS, you can support individual preferences for interaction: polls, surveys, comments and reviews give your community a powerful voice—one they didn’t have before. Providing these opportunities can boost activity on your site, but your tactics need to follow a deliberate strategy.
Two BtoC publications provide great ideas that are transferable to many BtoB business models:
IBJ.com made their comments searchable, to increase page views and time on site. They also learned that they receive more comments on opinion pieces than breaking news, so they adjusted their strategy accordingly.
Premier Guitar offers gear reviews, video and audio to encourage extensive commenting and social media sharing—and bring rich engagement to their site.
Check out the vibrant communities on these sites for a few ideas.
Media: Video, Galleries
Multimedia is a no-brainer for engagement. Strong images and video are proven tools for capturing and holding the attention of your readers. But there is an art to how you use them.
GRBJ.com presents a stunning image gallery to build interest and glean sponsorships for its key events and publications. The galleries are managed from an easy dashboard. Full-size, crisp images are tagged, labeled and inserted to introduce features and special content. Their 40 Under 40 slideshow provides a beautiful example, with an added bonus: viewers control the speed and easily keep track of where they are.
Grandview Outdoors offers one of the latest examples of effective engagement using video. How-to videos transport viewers to the place they want to be and updates from Angie give them interaction to increase time on site. Videos include pre and post-roll ads as well as social sharing opportunities.
We’ll talk about Context, Search and What’s next in our upcoming installment. Stay tuned!