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June 13, 2008

Content Delivery Methods Matter

mobile_rewvised.jpgAs the digital world changes to incorporate social communities, mobile devices, rich media, and user-generated content into the mainstream, marketers must evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of their users. While many B2B marketers have already heard this call and responded - consider how many podcasts, webinars, eSeminars and even Virtual Tradeshows exist that were unthinkable several years ago - there are advances that still need to be made, especially in how content is created and delivered.

1. Think Niche. Instead of reaching out to mammoth groups of users who may be interested in the topics you're presenting, give your users the change to sort themselves into small, category-specific groups that can be targeted with highly relevant content. Instead of letting users select from a few general categories related to your offerings, give them sub-choices within those categories. Once you know that a user is interested in learning about highly specific solutions within a larger category, they become highly qualified prospects when it's time to really promote your solutions. Users want to personalize their online experience, and offering them the option to define their interests in-depth allows them do this while giving you insight into their needs.

2. Mobile devices will as important as computers for content delivery. As it already stands, 64% of IT decision makers use their mobile devices to access electronic content. This number is only expected to go up as mobile networks become faster and are able to deliver content quickly and to a range of devices. If you're not already developing mobile versions of your website, landing page and marketing materials (enewsletters, email marketing messages), you need to start doing so now. When users try to access your website or open your enewsletter on their mobile devices, do you really want to lose them as a lead because their platform doesn't support your message?

3. Content needs to be convertible. Buzz Marketing (also known as word-of-mouth marketing or viral marketing) is how people are increasingly finding out about your content. People gather data from trusted sources, and their friends and co-workers fall into that category. Because of this, content needs to be packaged so it can be easily passed from person-to-person, regardless of the device they're using. While forwarding a white paper or emailing a URL that points to a video is easy, users will eventually need to be able to pass webinars, podcasts and product demos from device to device without considering that the file won't transfer. If you want your podcasts, webinars and other rich media to play, regardless of the device it's being accessed from, you need to develop these kinds of content with that goal in mind.

As a B2B marketer, one of your goals should be to make content as accessible to as many people, and with as little ease on their part as is humanly possible. This may mean re-tooling your product offerings to include mobile content delivery options, offering instant updates via micro-blog messages, or developing content that is accessible regardless of the device on which it's played. You may need to refine your focus when it comes to building eNewsletters, and consider sending more newsletters to fewer people so you get a smaller pool of more highly-qualified leads at the end of the day.

Developing new strategies for delivering content is challenging, but is essential to staying current in this evolving digital marketplace. When you do develop new products, you'll be better suited to meet your users needs and you may even attract new users when they see the cutting-edge content-delivery options that your company offers.

March 25, 2008

Have You Visited a Virtual Tradeshow Yet?

exhib_hall_225x147.jpg Ziff Davis Enterprise Virtual Tradeshows are 1-2 day live events that bring analysts, consultants, research firms, business decision-makers and vendors together in a virtual environment where they can learn about and discuss enterprise technology. In addition to expert speakers, live presentations and virtual "booths" staffed with vendor representatives, attendees have access to a full-service virtual environment packed with social networking and research tools.

Part of what makes these events so compelling - for both vendors and IT buyers - is the interactive nature of Virtual Tradeshows. When signing up for a show, you can create a personalized profile, upload an avatar and have your data transfered to a "Vcard" (a virtual business card). Once inside the event, you can reach out to vendors through their booths, network with other attendees in the Virtual Lounge, and chat with Ziff Davis Enterprise representatives at the Help Desk.

Each VTS is packed with resources to help you learn more about the specific topics being presented. You can add research materials to your virtual Briefcase, view live or archived webinars, or watch keynote addresses by industry experts. Because the focus of these events is on educating users, there are links to vendor websites and forums where you can further discuss the technologies being presented.

By presenting so much information via this virtual platform, Ziff Davis Enterprise has placed the user at the center of an educational, interactive experience. And with so many ways to reach out to vendors, industry experts and other interested users, you are given a chance to truly investigate new technologies in these pressure-free, collaborative learning environments.

To see the full list of Ziff Davis Enterprise Virtual Tradeshows, click here.

August 15, 2007

A New Company, New Partners and New Programs

I’m pleased to announce that we have a new partner at the Web Buyer's Guide. In the past few months, the Web Buyer’s Guide's parent company – Ziff Davis Media, sold its enterprise group – consisting of the WBG, eWEEK, Baseline, and other enterprise publications to Insight Venture Partners. In doing so, we established a new organization called Ziff Davis Enterprise. The sale was finalized on August 1.

Our new business venture is an exciting and positive change for the Web Buyer’s Guide. We keep our enterprise partners at Ziff Davis, while gaining the resources (and potential new partners) who are aligned with Insight Venture Partners.

In addition to all of the organizational changes, Q3 and Q4 are gearing up to be our most dynamic quarters to date. Our Lead Generation programs have expanded, and the we now offer Video and Content Syndication programs in addition to our well-established Branded Landing Zone and Microsite promotions. And as usual, the Web Buyer’s Guide has other new programs in the pipeline –stay tuned for more information on our upcoming plans.

-BH