Pagezii – Jillian, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Jillian – As a kid, I always loved creating my own stories. This translated into hours of drawing ridiculous comics or crafting complex “The Sims” neighborhoods. I guess that’s why I’m compelled to create content as a career today – albeit with less drama than my imaginary worlds.
I love flexing my creative muscles to solve business problems through content. I’ve been writing online even before I finished studying communications at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University.
My first full-time, “big girl” job was as an online editor for two trade beauty publications. It was fun, but after a few years, my favorite part of the role became working with advertisers on custom content. Maybe it’s because I like the creative challenge of meeting both reader and business needs, or I like the idea of being transparent when content is delivered by a business. Either way, I realized I wanted a role in content marketing.
Not too long after that epiphany, I found a position in content marketing at Influitive – the rest is history.
Pagezii – What is Influitive?
Jillian – Influitive is a customer advocacy platform that allows marketers to find and develop customer and employee advocates. When you’re making an important buying decision – whether for you that’s buying a new mattress or picking a date night restaurant – the biggest thing that influencing force is likely online reviews or something a person you trust recommended to you-not a vendor’s website or content.
Most marketers think they can’t influence word of mouth. But by engaging and motivating your customers in the right way, you can empower them to become vocal brand advocates for you on tons of channels – both online and off.
Pagezii – What has been a memorable marketing campaign for you?
Jillian – We’ve done some pretty fun video campaigns at Influitive. I find video is one of the best ways to generate top of funnel awareness for the problems your solution solves. When done right, video can quickly convey your key message better than a long, impassioned opinion piece.
When done right, video can quickly convey your key message
My favorite campaign is a video series called “Rachel The Referral Relationship Expert”. Rachel – my alter ego, is a fictional relationship expert who answers “Dear Abby” style questions about how marketers can get more referrals in her signature sassy way – all while sharing Influitive’s thought-leadership on the topic.
Pagezii – What’s the best strategy to create topic ideas for a B2B blog?
Jillian – I always poll our advocates or look in our advocate community for ideas on what our current customers want to know more about – it’s likely what our future customers want to learn about, too. Your fellow employees are also a treasure trove of ideas, so setting up an internal program to get them writing is a good strategy.
I’m also inspired by a lot of consumer publications. B2B buyers are people who also read BuzzFeed. So I often try to steal ideas from there.
It’s best to have your content schedule stick to some general campaign themes. It makes it easier to decide what to prioritize in your calendar. It’s also good to leave some wiggle room for news-jacking pieces or customer content that may come in.
Your fellow employees are also a treasure trove of ideas
Pagezii – How can B2B blogs increase their social footprint?
Jillian – I hate to sound like a broken record but I rely on our customer advocates to help us share our content. If you involve them in the process from the start they’re much more likely to share content once it’s done. And their networks are often full of your target audience.
Yes, you can focus on SEO and optimizing titles and social images, too. But people like to click on things shared by other humans, not brands. That’s why I think it’s so important to get real people sharing your content.
Pagezii – Thank you, Jillian, for an insightful view into content marketing for B2B blogs.