Content Marketing Case Study: Optimized B2B Marketing Innovation eBook Spurs Conversation and Social Shares

B2B Content Marketing Case StudyThe need for an optimized, integrated approach to online marketing has never been greater. In the age of the hyperconnectivity and “always on” media, the competition for audience attention is great. B2B Marketing Innovation eBook from TopRank Marketing and MarketingProfs brought the integrated marketing advice and perspective of industry leaders to over 69,000 people who viewed the content object on SlideShare.

In addition to actual views, this remarkable content object inspired over 800 readers to download and more than 2,000 to interact with it on SlideShare through social shares or comments. A respected resource for marketers, it was also embedded on 106 external websites.

Brands are realizing the power in content marketing as the means of connecting with prospects in a meaningful way. In the B2B space, marketers have learnt to nurture prospects through the funnel using content tailored to their audience needs at the time, on the platform or device they’re using, in a format they appreciate.

Recent insights from CMI and MarketingProfs show that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, employing an average of 12 content marketing tactics. According to their research, 55% of B2B marketers find ebooks the most effective content marketing tactic. It was with this in mind that we chose an ebook content format for our B2B Marketing Innovation project, designed to build authority and establish thought leadership.

Having already experienced success on the TopRank SlideShare account, our decision to use this platform for the launch of the ebook was reinforced by the incredible rise of SlideShare as a content hosting and amplification tool. With over 51.6 million unique visitors each month and growing, Slideshare is a hot spot for B2B marketers to connect with useful resources – a perfect distribution channel for a B2B Marketing eBook.

The benefits of using SlideShare to launch a helpful, original resource for marketers was clear; our next step was to plan for social amplification and incredible value for readers. Our strategy to involve industry thought leaders as contributors ensured their buy-in in promoting the project at launch, as well as greater variety and incentive to share for readers.

We polled some of the top B2B brands including IBM, Cisco, Salesforce, Silverpop and Eloqua as well as industry influencers Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, CC Chapman, Amber Naslund, Amanda Maksymiw and many others for their best tips on how to bring innovation into the B2B marketing mix.

Our approach to creating the book was multi-faceted. In addition to optimizing for social promotion by tapping into thought leaders, we also associated the ebook with an event, to add value to event attendees and optimize for search on event queries.

As the ebook was in production, we began repurposing the content and releasing teasers, both to offer value to our blog and social communities and build anticipation for the ebook launch. The B2B Innovation interview series featured longer interviews with Mack Collier, Alan Belniak, Tim Washer, Paul Gillin, Amber Naslund and other ebook contributors, while another promotional post earned hundreds of interactions.

At its launch, B2B Marketing Innovation was announced to the audiences of both TopRank and MarketingProfs blogs, subsequently vaulting to its position as the top SlideShare of the day. It was featured on the SlideShare homepage and tweeted to SlideShare’s 80,000+ following, then earned SlideShare of the Week and Month designations.

Social activity on the two announcement blog posts, each with the ebook embedded, surpassed 2,200 interactions; the announcement at Online Marketing Blog alone saw a 26% engagement rate. The MarketingProfs blog post contained a link to a content download on, which resulted in an additional 2,800 ebook views and 574 downloads.

As other publications picked up the feature and shared the B2B Marketing Innovation ebook with their own audiences, social interactions and amplification grew exponentially. ClickZ, V3, Unbounce and Inspiration Feed offered another 1,500 social interactions from their content embeds.

Syndication opportunities meant publications as substantial as Bloomberg’s Business Exchange, Content Marketing Association and Adobe’s all carried the news of this fantastic content object for B2B marketers.

In all, tens of thousands of marketers have been exposed to B2B Marketing Innovation, many of whom were inspired to interact with or share the content across their own communities. It lives on as evergreen content, continuing to earn interactions, downloads and shares. This content object is a source of thought leader quotes and insight we continue to refer to in blog posts on B2B social media and SlideShare best practices, for example.

Putting audience needs first and baking social promotion into our concept allowed TopRank Online Marketing and MarketingProfs to create a remarkable content object. It not only served its purpose at the time, but lives on and offers utility to readers today.

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