How B2B Brands Are Using Content Hubs

February 7, 2017 Sam Brennand

B2B Content Hub

It's a simple truth, but one still worth saying: great experiences matter. If your content experience doesn’t cut it, your content won’t either. It’s as simple as that. That’s why leading brands all over the world are starting to double down on their commitment to great content experiences. And they’re using content Hubs to deliver them.

Here at Uberflip, our Customer Success Team has the pleasure of working with some of the world’s smartest content marketers to build and optimize content Hubs. Over the last few years, we’ve seen first hand how powerful a great content Hubs can be and just how big an impact they can play in the success of an organization’s marketing programs.

Here are a few of the amazing ways the world’s leading brands use content Hubs.

Resource Centers

Resource centers are also known as the final destination of perfectly good content.

For years, whenever a blog post, presentation, eBook, white paper, webinar recording, or video had served its short-term purpose, it was put out to pasture in an unengaging, unfriendly, or downright awful company “resource center” and was never seen again.

Not a great way to treat the content that demands blood, sweat, and tears to create, is it?

I believe that resource centers will prolong a piece of content’s lifespan, thanks to the fact that content marketers are now taking a much smarter approach to this forgotten stepchild of the content marketing world.   

Dyn, a global leader in the provision of cloud-based Internet performance services, has succeeded in building the kind of content Hub that most marketers only dream of. Dyn’s Content Hub has become the engaging home for blog posts, research, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, infographics, webinars, and much more.

Dyn Content Hub

Sales Enablement

Would it surprise you to learn that 87% of the terms that sales and marketing teams use to describe each other are negative? Didn’t think so.

Ask a salesperson about a marketer and you’ll hear they’ve got their head in the clouds; artsy types who don’t know what it’s like on the ground. Ask a marketer about a salesperson, and you’ll likely hear that they’re lazy, stubborn, and uncreative.

The animosity between sales and marketing teams has existed for a long, long time now (certainly long before the advent of content marketing). That this animosity still exists is a real shame, since it’s been proven that companies with strong alignment between sales and marketing typically enjoy stronger growth in revenue than companies without. This focus on ‘SMarketing’ (or sales and marketing alignment, according to HubSpot) is unquestionably a valuable asset to companies that can make it work.

Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management with a presence in over 100 countries, has deployed a content Hub that proves just how effective a SMarketing partnership can be. Take, for example, this email I recently received from an Educational Specialist at Schneider Electric:

SMarketing

Where it excels is in how it identifies and previews the content Hub resource that’s been created to capture and hold my attention over time.

Clicking through led me to a stream of the full Schneider Electric Resource Hub that was branded to the Educational Specialist. It keeps the experience consistent for me as a user while still tailoring the content resources to my specific stated interests.

Schneider Electric Content Hub

Account-Based Marketing

In 2009, marketing automation burst onto the scene. In 2011, content marketing took off. 2014 saw the rise of advocate marketing.  Account-based marketing (ABM) is set to have its coming out party.

Jon Miller, CEO and Co-Founder of Engagio, a leading account-based outbound marketing platform, put together an amazing presentation outlining why ABM is the next big thing in B2B marketing. If you can spare 15 minutes, it’s certainly worth a read.

Embarking on an ABM strategy requires having a clear understanding of A) your organization’s ABM goals, B) sales and marketing alignment, and C) which accounts are high priority (which will also dictate how content must be prioritized to reach these accounts).

Marketing Streams allow Uberflip users to create a handpicked selection of content to present to a target account. Since personalization is essential for successful ABM, creating personalized streams can half your battle of personalizing content for an account. Given the option of either personalizing six assets for Target Account 1, or personalizing one stream for that same account, which would you chose?

Here at Uberflip, diving into ABM is one of our strategic priorities. Our marketing team is starting to build out specialized content Hubs entirely devoted to engaging, nurturing, and building relationships with key accounts.

According to Hana Abaza, Head of Marketing at Shopify Plus:

“Using a content Hub allows any marketing team to quickly and easily customize not only one piece of content, but an entire stream of content that can be used in ABM outreach, targeted campaigns, ads, and more.”

Account Based Marketing Content Hub

Targeting Specific Personas, Verticals, Industries, and Markets

Smart content marketers know that the more personalized and contextual they can make their content experiences, the more likely they will be to engage and convert an audience.

By using a content Hub to target content by persona, vertical, industry, or market, it’s easy to ensure that your content speaks to the right person in the right context, every single time.

Syspro, the global leader in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, does a phenomenal job of using its content Hub to break down content both for personas (CFOs, COOs, and CIOs) and according to the industries it serves (Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, Wholesale Distribution, Machine and Equipment, and Metal Fabrication). The result is a powerhouse content Hub that serves as a one-stop content shop, allowing each visitor to define their own contextual journey.

Syspro Content Hub

Knowledge Bases

In all likelihood, your customer support and customer success teams are creating more content than your marketing team is. However, in most organizations customer-focused content gets tossed into an awful Knowledge Base built on software developed in the ‘90s. And customer-focused content is just as deserving of a great content experience as your marketing content.

Avanti, Canada’s leading provider of Human Capital Management solutions, has used a content Hub to house and optimize its customer-focused educational content. The coolest part? Avanti’s Knowledge Base is protected from prying competitive eyes through the use of remote authentication, ensuring only Avanti’s customers have access.

“We wanted to create a destination where our clients could find all the resources they need to become Avanti Superheroes. Resources that are specific to the product, where they could find ways to better leverage our software and help them better contribute to their organization.”

— Wes Quintin, Marketing Manager, Avanti

Avanti Content Hub

Supporting Events

Even in a world of digital content, in-person events are still a key part of many a great content marketing strategies. In fact, research from CMI, MarketingProfs, and Brightcove has found that marketers have rated in-person events as the most effective B2B marketing tactic for 6 years running.

Smart marketers are starting to use content Hubs to make amazing in-person experiences even better.

ThoughtWorks, a group of passionate technologists who  provide software delivery, pioneering tools and consulting for organizations, are using content Hubs to provide an incredible level of  support around their annual Paradigm Shift conferences. Their content Hub includes full-length talks, curated content from event speakers, and social media posts that help to highlight great moments from their event.

ParadigmSHIFT Content Hub

Thought Leadership

Regardless of the end goal of your content marketing, the quest for thought leadership should be a constant. By using a content Hub to deliver your brand's unique take on the world, you can ensure that your audience will receive the knowledge, experience, and expertise they crave in your content. 

Taulia, a leading enterprise fintech provider, has done a terrific job of using its content Hub to keep its audience abreast of the latest trends and developments in a young and quickly evolving industry. 

Pushing our thought leadership content out through Uberflip allows us to  track engagement via Marketo and treat each lead differently based on the content they've consumed. We've seen a significant increase in conversions from the ability to add targeted content and custom CTAs."

— Bhaji Illuminati, Director of Marketing, Taulia

Curating Amazing Content

Whether you’re stuck in a content creation crunch or are just looking to leverage content from industry thought leaders as part of your marketing strategy, curating relevant, useful, and interesting content could be the answer.

Grivy, Southeast Asia’s original travel and leisure activity auction deal site, does an incredible job of curating a mix of third-party blog posts from industry websites, as well as social content from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to create a content experience that illustrates the incredible services they offer.

Grivy Content Hub

Social Showcases  

According to recent research from Content Marketing Institute, social media content is the most widely used content marketing tactic, with 93% of brands saying they’re active on social platforms. It’s also been estimated that the average brand is active on 6 separate social platforms.

Obviously, social media marketing hasn’t lessened in importance over the last few years as content marketers have grown more sophisticated.

However, because content marketers are placing increasing importance on investing in content tactics that drive real value, it’s becoming more and more important for social content to contribute more than just ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ to the bottom line. B2B marketers need to focus on creating experiences that bring together social content under a single highly productive roof.

The city of Roanoke, the largest municipality in Southwest Virginia, had used a content Hub to build a thriving and heavily trafficked social media Hub, winning awards for creativity and innovation along the way. The city now uses its Social Hub to aggregate posts from over 40 unique social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, making it dramatically easier for citizens to find and share information.

Roanoke Social Media Hub

Create and Power Marketing Campaigns

Modern marketers need tools that let them operate with flexibility and agility. In this regard, content Hubs help to keep oh-so-adorable kittens alive by making it super easy for marketers to quickly launch new campaigns — content, CTAs, branding and all.  

Microsoft, a company that needs no introduction, has started using content Hubs to quickly build creative marketing campaigns. A recent example was Microsoft’s holiday-themed “Tech the Halls” content Hub that rewarded registrants with free gifts, such as a printables and eBooks.

Microsoft Content Hub

News & Press Rooms

If your brand is being talked about in the media and online, it’s important to incorporate these pieces of content into your content marketing strategy to help your audience understand how you fit into the bigger picture.

Distil Networks, the leader in bot detection and mitigation, is using a content Hub to create a dynamite resources center full of blogs, eBooks, white papers, case studies, presentations, videos, and more. But a key highlight of these efforts are the sections of the resource center that help to surface coverage in well-known industry publications like IDG Connect, CMSWire, AdWeek, eMarketer, VentureBeat, Advertising Age, and Inc.

The result is an immediate injection of social proof, making it immediately clear to visitors the level of excitement and buzz surrounding the brand.

Distil Networks Content Hub

Partner Enablement

While it’s important to ensure that your customers, prospects, fans, and followers have easy access to your content, it’s just as important to look after your partners, colleagues, employees, and stakeholders.

Convince & Convert, an incredible group of digital marketing advisors led by Jay Baer, has succeeded in building a content Hub for its partners that provides a weekly update of great marketing resources such as podcasts, presentations, blog posts, and videos — and all with the personal touch of a trusted advisor.

Convince & Convert Content Hub

Are You Ready for a Content Hub?

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a content marketer, especially a B2B content marketer.

Whether you're using a content Hub for your resource center, for account-based marketing,  for sales enablement, to host a knowledge base, to run an event, to showcase social media, for curation, for quick and creative campaigns, or for dynamic partner resources, content experience management platforms like Uberflip have put marketers back in the driver's seat, giving them control over their content experiences like never before.

So, how are you planning to build a content Hub?

Learn how a content marketing company does content marketing in our free webinar. Watch it now!

About the Author

Sam Brennand

As Uberflip's VP of Customer Success, Sam is focused on helping customers amplify their content marketing to tell better stories and generate more leads.

Follow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Sam Brennand
Previous Article
How to Create an Interactive Quiz for Your B2B Marketing Strategy
How to Create an Interactive Quiz for Your B2B Marketing Strategy

Follow these steps to create quizzes that will engage your audience and generate quality leads in line with...

Next Video
How a Content Marketing Company Does Content Marketing
How a Content Marketing Company Does Content Marketing

Get an inside look at Uberflip's content marketing strategy.