It’s been said that if there is such a thing as an “information economy,” there is enough glut in the marketplace to render information valueless. Surely, there is no want of information. What is needed, however, is analysis and curation of all this information, so we can actually use it.
This problem is at the core of “big data.” How do we take all this info available and digest it, so it can offer the insights it surely must hold. As many a B2B marketer knows, Bizo has the data on business folks, and they distribute insights that build businesses.
The Bizo Marketing Platform has proprietary demographic data on 100 million business people worldwide, including 80% of the U.S. business population. But more than just vaults of data to swim in like Scrooge McDuck and his money, Bizo then helps marketers target their online programs using this data, as well as get a handle on the business profiles of their website traffic. And Bizo uses content marketing to present itself as a B2B authority.
In August, Bizo hired Sean Callahan, formerly editor of both Media Business and BtoB Magazine at Crain Communications, a business media behemoth. In October, he launched Digital Marketing Remix, a separately branded blog powered by Bizo, as well as an e-newsletter.
The blog has already attracted impressive traffic. Using Bizo tracking tools, Callahan knows exactly who is visiting the blog, like a surprising number of CIOs. Callahan’s primary focus, an insight from an editor and reporter of 20 years, is to “give the marketers a voice to discuss with each other what’s working and what’s not.”
The Content Marketeer caught up with Callahan and he shared with us what blogs he admires, content marketing mistakes that drive him nuts, and what his must-reads are.
Consuming: What, or who, is essential to your personal information diet?
I try to read as much as I can. The industry magazines remain great sources, especially “Advertising Age,” “Adweek” and “BtoB.” MediaPost is also good. I also get a variety of SmartBrief e-newsletters. I read a lot of content created by companies in the tech marketing space: Eloqua, Hubspot and Marketo do a nice job with their blogs. I have a couple of Twitter accounts that keep me abreast of what people in the marketing industry are talking about. I’m a big fan of Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish blog. I think what he does on a daily basis can serve as a pretty good model for how companies might approach their own content creation.
Creating: Which content are you most proud of creating at Remix, and why?
I like two regular features that we do. The first is “Remix Campaigns,” where we review B2B online display advertising and shine a spotlight on excellent examples of the form. It’s a challenge to design an excellent banner, given the small size of the canvas, but there are many more examples of really great online display ads than you might think. And we’re trying to celebrate them. The second regular feature I’m particularly proud of is our Remix Video Q&As. These are brief video interviews with thought leaders and leading practitioners in B2B digital marketing. I like the format, and I love the idea of building a catalog of all of these smart people offering advice on the ways that digital marketing is working and transforming B2B.
Geeking: What’s your favorite software or app to use professionally or personally, and why?
I use Zite a lot. It introduces me to a lot of stories that otherwise I’d never see.
Listening: Where, or to whom, do you look for creative inspiration and/or content ideas? Why?
As I mentioned above, I’ve borrowed some of my approach to the Digital Marketing Remix from Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish. He’s almost never boring; he has a point-of-view; and the blog is a mix of media formats and a mix of aggregated and original content.
Mentoring: What advice would you offer to other professionals based on your experience in content marketing?
Take the plunge, and don’t forget to use all of your skills as a communicator to market your own content.
Critiquing: What’s the most common mistake brands make with their content marketing?
I think the most common mistake is giving in to the temptation to make the content about you and your company when it really needs to be about your audience and their issues and problems and successes.