Achieve Premium Pricing, B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Expert Marketing, Increase Conversions

The Expert Marketing Formula – findings from 7 years of battling for B2B content marketing relevance (part 2)

Missed out on part 1 of this article? Click here to read it.

My area not only became the fastest growing product portfolio across the entire business but clients actively started seeking advice from myself and my team in their planning process. 

We were able to be part of strategy discussions earlier rather than joining the conversations once decisions were already made. 

What followed is history: In 2015 I decided to leave Fairfax Media to start a business offering the benefits of this approach to B2B brands. 

Andrew Birmingham, Paul Van Wensveen and I turned Which-50, a blog run by a single person, into a 7-figure media business with 12 employees that enables brands to share the expertise of their internal experts with decision-maker audiences. 

Over the last 3 years, Which-50 Media has been able to work with some of the largest B2B brands in the world while constantly iterating and improving the effectiveness of expert content.

This year I have started a new business, the Krueger Consultancy. What we do is embed this approach into marketing departments of B2B brands operating in highly competitive markets.

For the first time, we’ve given the approach a name: Expert Marketing. 

Let me break it down for you...

Expert Marketing definition

Expert Marketing is a content marketing strategy that enables B2B organisations to leverage the professional expertise of their staff to educate the industry, engage potential customers, drive revenue, and increase client retention. 

Brands that previously were able to differentiate themselves through their products now have to shift the focus to their second biggest asset, the knowledge of their internal experts helping clients to use the products they offer successfully. 

Expert Marketing enables B2B marketing departments to share this knowledge effectively as part of their existing marketing activity.

Who it is for

Expert Marketing is designed to help any B2B organisation that features a service component and at least one internal expert. The existence of internal experts is crucial since Expert Marketing can only amplify existing expertise. 

Expert Marketing is particularly suitable for organisations with limited local marketing resource attempting to gain more traction in the APAC region. 

How content is created

The beauty of the expert marketing approach is that it requires minimal involvement of the experts while maximising the market impact of their knowledge. 

Article and video content are the two key content formats in Expert Marketing. Both of them are created based on interviews. The aim is to ensure that internal experts continue doing what they are best at (delivering value to clients) rather than being distracted by content production. 

The difference between Expert Marketing, Content Marketing, and PR

Expert Marketing has a laser-sharp focus on maximising the expertise of internal talent in B2B marketing activity. Where content marketing might do this on occasion, expert marketing makes it the norm. 

PR agencies can support some of the aspects of Expert Marketing but where they regularly fall short is the integration with other marketing activity (such as ABM) and ROI measurement. 

How Expert Marketing is measured

Experts nominated by their organisation are assessed through our benchmarking tool. The questionnaire looks at 6 areas relevant to the expert status of the person taking the survey as well as the supporting marketing infrastructure. 

  • Industry profile
  • Expertise
  • Exposure
  • Business development
  • Marketing infrastructure 
  • Effectiveness 

This assessment then allows us to rank the nominated experts according to the 6 levels of expertise. The goal is to improve the ranking over time in order to improve the impact of associated marketing activity. 

To allow for ongoing optimisation of the program, KPI’s that are closely associated with the existing marketing funnel are put in place. 

Additionally, the Expert Marketing program can be used to attract and retain top talent. This will particularly resonate with young talent since they often are hungry for market exposure. 

Success on this front can be measured by monitoring the average tenure of experts part of the program vs other employees. 

Why Expert Marketing makes sense in the APAC region

Australia is not only one of the most competitive markets in the APAC region but in the world. The advertising spend per capita was only second to the USA in 2018 according to an IPG Mediabrands study. In such an incredibly competitive market environment, the ability to increase marketing impact determines who can claim the largest market share. Expert Marketing increases content marketing effectiveness while utilising experts as a differentiator. 

The other dynamic that makes Expert Marketing particularly suitable for the APAC region is the number of overseas brands entering the market. From my experience, many overseas market entrants assume that their generic existing content will suffice in the Asia-Pacific region. 

What they don’t understand that this content doesn’t deliver the results they are after. Localised content has a greater appeal and B2B decision-makers can smell repurposed overseas content from a mile away. Local relevance cannot be achieved by simply changing “z” to “s” but requires insight and context local buyers can relate to. 

What’s next for Expert Marketing

After having formalised the concept of Expert Marketing in collaboration with my industry network, we’re officially launching the program in September 2019. The number of launch partners will be limited to 3 as we want to ensure early success and the high service standards Krueger Consultancy is known for. If you are interested in exploring Expert Marketing for your organisation, please feel free to book in a time for a call.

Have you previously engaged internal experts in your content marketing activity? What has your experience been? Let me know in the comments below.

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Achieve Premium Pricing, B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Expert Marketing, Increase Client Retention, Increase Conversions

The Expert Marketing Formula – findings from 7 years of battling for B2B content marketing relevance (part 1)

The year is 2012 and B2B content marketing is in its infancy... Back then any B2B organisation that managed to produce high-quality content was able to differentiate itself in the market and drive tangible business outcomes. 

At the time I was a video product specialist at Fairfax Digital. Ad networks had not gained a lot of traction at that stage, Google and Facebook weren’t as dominant as they are today. 

Our clients were interested in what we had to say simply for the fact that there weren't a lot of expert sources providing them with advice and market intelligence. 

Only three years later the landscape had completely changed. Not only did the number of competitors increase exponentially but also the volume of content they published to attract, educate and convert clients.

Welcome to the new world

I found this out the hard way. While we still maintained previously successful communication channels to engage clients, the impact was notably reduced. The revenue of my product portfolio grew but it was well behind the market growth rate. 

My team did extensive analysis to understand what the issue was. Was it the audience? The products we offered? The sales team? 

We were able to eliminate all of these factors after speaking to clients that we had long-term relationships with. 

It crystallised that as the media landscape grew more complex, there was an over-supply of channels and products that achieved the same outcomes that we delivered. 

What became the differentiator in the marketplace was expert knowledge communicated through content explaining trends, operational stumbling blocks, and ways to make the most out of the solutions we offered. 

It’s safe to say that this realisation blew my mind. What a wasted opportunity! The people I worked with were some of the most knowledgeable people in the Australian media landscape. Yet we didn’t manage to capitalise on this expertise.

"68% of B2B buyers value specialised skill and experience the most when engaging vendors" - Inside the Buyer’s Brain (2019)

Pressure creates diamonds

Of course, changing the ways of the entire organisation at a flick of a button wasn’t realistic. We had to start small.

The only way forward was to change our approach and give the market what it wanted, preferably delivered at scale through content. 

At this point in time, our senior executive leadership were still dominating most of the content that was created to address the marketplace. While I knew what we had to do to engage the market more effectively, it was a challenge to change the ways of a large organisation like Fairfax Media. 

After a lot of conversations with our marketing team and ultimately the senior leadership team, we started making incremental improvements to the level of specialised knowledge (and value) we were able to engage the market with. 

We went from engaging market stakeholders infrequently with high-level information to a laser-sharp focus on content value and scale.

We created more educational content that we shared through presentations to larger audiences, started speaking at niche conferences, actively sought out media interviews, and started producing educational on-demand video content. 

The results of this focused approach to sharing highly specialised knowledge were astonishing... 

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