Believe it or not, 2012 is winding down, and that means it’s end-of-the-year roundup time (the most wonderful time of the year)!
Sites all across the internet are publishing their best-of lists and taking a look back on the year in review. I’m doing my part by contributing four quick reviews of the B2B content marketing blogs I enjoyed most (and that you should start reading now).
Presumably, at some point, Michael Brenner has to sleep. When he finds time, though, I have no idea.
In addition to being the author of B2B Marketing Insider, Brenner is the co-founder of the social news site Business 2 Community and the Senior Director of Global Integrated Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP, where he started and continues to manage Business Innovation, a SAP-branded content hub devoted to providing curated and original business solution content. Of course, he blogs regularly for that site, as well.
While Business Innovation is certainly worth checking out, B2B Marketing Insider is where you’ll find Brenner really opening up and talking shop, offering his insights on the latest trends in content marketing (based on no lack of firsthand experience).
What more can I say? The guy’s prolific and he’s definitely worth following. He eats and breathes content marketing. And if he does ever sleep, I’m sure he dreams content marketing, too.
Ardath Albee is on a mission. I don’t think there’s a stronger advocate out there calling for marketers to cut the crap and make it about the buyer. Sure, plenty of experts out there are talking about the shift from traditional push marketing to inbound and content-focused approaches, but very few (if any) are able to break it down on both a conceptual anda functional level quite like Albee. She challenges marketers to get real. Case in point: the terrific series she devoted to debunking marketing buzzwords.
Marketing Interactions is a blog I routinely count on to put things into perspective and bring content marketing theory down to a practical level. Albee can speak authoritatively on essentially any B2B marketing topic, but she’s absolutely the go-to resource for anyone seeking help in developing effective buyer personas and mapping their messaging to their buyers’ journey.
You really can’t talk very long about B2B online marketing without Lee Odden’s name cropping up. For over a decade Odden’s TopRank Online Marketing has been consulting companies on how to increase traffic, sales, and brand awareness, and the TopRank Online Marketing Blog has become a go-to, one-stop-shopping resource for marketers looking for the latest content marketing, social media, and SEO tips, tactics, and advice.
One of the things I love about Odden is that he’s not just a content marketing advocate, he’s also a seasoned practitioner who’s been doing it every day for years. He’s able to give such amazing blogging advice because he’s written over 2,500 posts, himself. Whatever online marketing issue you’re currently struggling with or even just curious about he’s been through, and his eagerness and dedication to sharing all that he’s picked up along the way has earned him and his team a loyal and growing following.
Speaking of loyal following, social guru and best-selling author Chris Brogan certainly knows a thing or two about developing one of those, as well. Brogan has become widely known as an influential social media and online community expert, and I think a big part of his appeal is his openness and emphasis on being genuine. At the risk of using a buzzword, it’s all about authenticity — if you want something to be discovered and shared, make sure it’s worth discovering and sharing.
Those searching for nuts-and-bolts how-to advice may often find themselves looking elsewhere, but for high-level insights on some of the key concepts behind content marketing, there are few better.
Ex: One of Brogan’s tenets is that your focus should be on what you and your buyers are passionate about, and that you should tell stories that matter. Say what you will, but there’s something undeniably appealing about the simple straightforwardness of that approach.
What marketing blogs did you love reading in 2012? What others should I add to this list?
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