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Here at McBru, we’re all about communication. But communicating clearly depends on having a shared vocabulary and sense of word meaning. And that’s not always something we can depend on.

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“If we had to pick one key theme that has emerged from this year’s B2B research, it would be this: If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your strategy.”

This introduction to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends report by Joe Pulizzi and Ann Handley nails it. B2B marketers know first-hand that the right content timed to the customer journey where and when they want to consume information is the path to engagement (a.k.a. affinity, demand gen, sales). But is it the starting point?

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One thing I've learned in B2B marketing is that content can make or break a program. Whether for a website, email nurturing or social media program, the availability of high-quality, relevant content can make all the difference. To break it down to the most basic terms: your client may have an extremely valuable product or service and tons of interesting insights, but to succeed in marketing, you must create content for your brand to be found online.

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As lead writer at a fast-paced tech B2B marketing agency like McBru, I have limited opportunities to be bored. Quite the opposite, in fact: I’m too busy writing blogs, articles and white papers to experience much ennui.

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After running across and reading this article regarding the benefits of white space and minimal design, I started thinking about how often I apply a similar minimalist approach to content messaging. Many of the principles of successful graphic design apply to copywriting as well and can make messaging more effective, engaging and easy to understand.

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Data-driven analytics make social media a powerful component to marketing plans. Optimize insights with closed loop social media marketing.

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McBru recently partnered with the fine folks over at Revolver Digital Media Studio on a video production project for our client Reaction Design (now part of ANSYS).

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Tech B2B email marketing is alive and well, and is still one of the best ways to reach certain audiences, such as C-suite executives (see my blog The Comeback of Email Marketing). But with business people receiving an average of 121 emails per day (according to The Radicati Group, Inc.), how can you help ensure that your promotional email gets opened, engages the reader, and drives a conversion or click through?  

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We all deal with a lot of email every day, given it’s one of the main communication vehicles we use in the work place. Sending and responding to emails can either set the stage for efficiency or frustration. Here are six tips to get the most out of each email correspondence:

  1. Be clear and direct in your subject line. Are you asking Bob to review a scope of work? Then tell him right up front. Subject: Bob Review: Scope of Work for [insert account]. Are you asking a reporter for a news briefing? Subject: [Name of Launch]: Advanced Briefing Opportunity. Remember that you should also edit the subject line if a conversation thread starts to shift to another topic.
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An article in Ad Age BtoB brought to light some interesting research by Forrester. The research firm recently published a new report about how business-to-business content flunks at customer engagement. The study reviewed 30 B2B websites in the technology, software, investing, medical products, manufacturing and services industries and reported that “the majority of b-to-b websites fail to engage users with content.”

Forrester identified 10 criteria to judge if the content was engaging, ranging from a customer-centric home page to innovative use of video. A perfect score was 30 and a passing score was 20. Only four companies passed and the average score was just 12.8.

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