Ginger Conlon

Ginger Conlon

In an interactive session at the ASBPE’s B2B Media Success Conference on May 10, Ginger Conlon, ASBPE-NY’s co-present and chief editor of MKTGinsight, will discuss how B2B editors can apply content marketers’ best practices to engage and retain readers, build audiences, drive revenue and measure success. In the following Q&A, Ginger offers a sneak preview of session highlights.

Q: What role can analytics play in helping B2B editors build audiences and drive revenue?

A: Using data to understand what’s working and what isn’t is essential to attracting and retaining readers, thus driving revenue. Using data, you can track activities such as what content readers view most, spend the most time reading or watching, and share the most. You should combine that data with your own knowledge — for example, certain topics may always get significantly more viewership than others because they’re your readers’ hottest topics — to make decisions on how you might want to adjust your coverage.

Unfortunately, not all editors get access to analytics tools. But if you don’t (sometimes it’s a cost issue), be sure to request reports. Understanding and using data to inform your editorial decisions isn’t just important to your current role, it’s essential to your career growth.

Q: What analytics tools are available to B2B editors? When researching the marketplace, what should they look for in best-of-breed tools?

A: Google Analytics is the tool most companies use. Another popular tool is Chartbeat. The key is to find tools that are right for your operation and team that answers the questions you have. Don’t just use a tool because other media companies do.

Start by determining what questions you want answers to — what data you want to track, who should have access to the tools and how often, and what your goals are for using analytics. Then you can find a tool that meets the criteria you’ve set.

Before you dash off to purchase and implement technology, check not only with IT, but also with marketing. Your organization may already have tools you can use to get the data you need.

Q: Describe real-time social repartee. How can B2B editors best leverage the technique to engage and retain readers?

A: There are numerous ways to engage with readers in real time on social, but not all of them may be right or necessary for your publication and its audience. Here’s another area where it’s essential to set measurable goals, test options, track results and optimize.

You may, for instance, want to try hosting a Twitter chat to build real-time customer engagement. Do you have enough readers and followers on Twitter to do so? How will you promote it? How will you define success?

Once you determine whether it’s worth a test, try it. If it’s wildly successful, it may be something you can co-host with a sponsor next time. If it’s a flop, try a different topic or approach — or walk away. You only have so much time and resources, so spend them wisely.

You may also want to use analytics to determine when your readers are active on social channels and allot time to start or participate in discussions during those times. Again, track results. Sometimes you can have a “discussion” on social that meets your engagement goals but doesn’t have to happen in real time.

Q: Turning to another session topic, multi-platform techniques, what do you plan to share with conference attendees?

A: Editors today should be thinking about how to tell a story across platforms: print, online, video, audio, social. Not every piece of content needs to be a fit for all of those, but every planning session should include discussions about how to get the most from each piece of content.

Q: What additional marketing techniques should B2B editors use to best leverage published content? Can you cite real-world examples?

A: Marketers are masters at using quizzes and assessments to pull in audiences. Those tools typically have an element of fun and learning and are excellent tools to help convert a casual visitor into an engaged one. Hubspot’s Website Grader is one of the best examples out there. The marketing automation vendor has been using it for years to educate marketers, determine which of its users are prospective customers, and draw visitors in to learn more.