There's been a lot of talk about content marketing lately—about how marketers are shifting away from the hard sell and focusing more on providing their audience with valuable information. The idea: Establish the company as a trusted authority and industry leader, and the sales will eventually follow. But there's more to effective content marketing than simply producing a white paper or creating an online video for the sake of having one.
The best content marketing provides the marketer's customers or prospects with useful insight about the challenges and opportunities facing their industry. Good content avoids an overtly promotional tone and instead puts the marketer's product, service, company or industry in context. It is also engaging; it's interesting enough to compete with all the articles, videos and publications created by other marketers and by traditional media companies. It's packaged in a way that compels the audience to read, view or listen to it. Ultimately, it helps the audience do their job better.
To acknowledge the best content created for marketing purposes, BtoB presents its inaugural Content Marketing Awards. BtoB editors chose winners in seven categories: integrated content marketing program; blog; microsite; video; digital publication; email newsletter; and branded journalism/sponsored content. Entries were judged primarily on quality of content, not campaign results.
Only content intended for a marketer's external audience was eligible (internal, or employee-targeted, campaigns were not considered). We considered only content created by or for a b-to-b marketer. Entries consisted of content that debuted between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.