DVB Selects 202 Communications to Manage Media Relations and Content Marketing

DVB, an industry consortium that develops open interoperable technical specifications for the delivery of digital media and broadcast services, today announced it has selected 202 Communications as its exclusive media relations and content marketing agency.

“DVB recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at IBC2018, and is now focusing on the challenges facing the digital media and broadcast industries in the future, including creating its DVB-I specification to support OTT content delivery, and how it can contribute to the upcoming 5G rollout,” said Eva Markvoort, head of the DVB Project Office. “Having 202 Communications in charge of media relations and marketing activities will help us gain momentum and maximize visibility as we push to simplify the delivery of high-quality content to every screen. One of the agency’s initial roles will be coordinating media partnerships for DVB World 2019 in Dublin, an annual event that always draws hundreds of key industry stakeholders.”

“DVB leads the digital broadcasting environment with thousands of broadcast services around the world using DVB specifications and more than a billion DVB receivers shipped globally,” said Neil Howman, managing director at 202 Communications. “We look forward to strengthening DVB’s relationships with the media and boosting overall global visibility of its activities.”

DVB specifications cover all aspects of digital television, from transmission through interfacing; conditional access; and interactivity for digital video, audio, and data. The group’s annual conference, DVB World 2019, will take place March 11-13 in Dublin’s iconic Croke Park, with presentations on hot topics such as 5G, OTT, DVB-I, and HbbTV.

More information on DVB World 2019 can be found at www.dvbworld.org.

More information on DVB can be found at www.dvb.org.

How to Use White Papers to Drive Sales (webinar replay)

More than ever, your customers are hungry for knowledge and solutions to their problems. They will find the answers somewhere, so you have an opportunity to help them find the answers from you. Here is the replay of “How to use white papers to drive sales.”

Resources:

Go ahead and download this worksheet now, we use it during this webinar.
https://www.202comms.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/White-paper-worksheet-202.pdf

Neil Howman’s contact info: neil@202comms.com or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-howman-6323579/

Cindy Zuelsdorf’s contact info: cindy@kokoroinc.com or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cindyzuelsdorf/

Transcript:

Neil Howman: For those of you who have just joined, there’s a link in the chat box where you can download our worksheet which will just provide you with a little bit of a guide. Feel free to make notes on it, any questions occur, put them in the chat box. We’ll do our best to get to them. If you’re watching this after this live broadcast, then you can also please email me at neil@202comms.com and Cindy at Cindy@Kokoroinc.com

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Correct and we’ll throw that contact info in the chat box, as well.

Neil Howman: We’ll do our best, obviously, to get to your questions, as many as possible. Welcome, everyone. My name is Neil Howman and I’m from 202 Communications and if I can also introduce, officially, my wonderful colleague, Cindy Zuelsdorf, from Kokoro Marketing. Thank you, Cindy.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Thank you.

Neil Howman: Yeah. It’s still a bit early where you are so thank you very much for that. I know you work all hours but, thanks you very much. Also, thanks Fallon, who I believe Cindy, correct me if I’m wrong, she will be fielding the questions.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Correct.

Neil Howman: In the chat box.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yes.

Neil Howman: Perfect. We thought that we would do a Webinar on how to use White Papers to drive sales. Really the reason why we thought this would be a really good thing to discuss is because, over the past two or three years especially, we’ve noticed the people we’ve worked with, have the desire to create White Papers, the requests for White Papers and that sort of more in-depth content has grown quite considerably.
We were thinking, why is this happening? We’ve got a few observations on how the industry is changing, the changing landscape of the industry. It used to be the case, in my experience, that companies could do a certain amount of marketing and maintain visibility and keep a presence in the trade media by attending the trade shows, doing a bit of activity around that time, press releases, etc. But, I think that year on year, it gets more competitive the marketplace and their customers are wanting more and more in-depth solutions before they make their purchasing decisions. Cindy, would you agree with that? Have you noticed anything similar?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Well, yeah. Customers have changed how they buy. It used to be, back in the day, somebody’s going to fax a price list and really the sales person was in control of everything and had the info. They were the folks giving everything out to prospects before they purchased. As we all know, it’s completely changed. We all research everything online. The long story short of that is the customer’s going to get some info online about the topic they care about. We know that for sure. Really, why shouldn’t you be the person to give it to them. You just have to change, we all have to change how we present that info and how we deliver it.

Neil Howman: I couldn’t agree more. They’re hungrier for knowledge year on year, I think, we’ve noticed. You’re right. If you’re not gonna provide them with the answers that they are looking for, the solutions to some of the issues they’re facing, they’re gonna find that answer somewhere. In a highly competitive industry, you want to give yourself as many advantages as possible. If you can demonstrate that you understand the challenges that your customers, or your potential customers, face and that you have the expertise, the solutions, the flexibility to help them solve their problems, I think that is what we’re talking about here. Why White Papers? I think, specifically, I’ve looked at some recent research and several surveys, industry surveys, and White Papers consistently come at the top of the type of content that people look at when they are making their purchasing decisions. Closely followed by things like case studies and things like that but, consistently, White Papers are at the top of their list. We might mention case studies a little bit in passing, as well, but this Webinar is mainly gonna focus on White Papers. I think we’ll get in and take a look at our worksheets. I hope you all have your worksheets downloaded and ready. One thing I should mention, to some lucky early downloaders of the worksheet … We are offering after this Webinar, over the next coming weeks or into the new year, whatever suits you, if you wish to continue having a strategy conversation with us, maybe a 10-minute strategy conversation, I think the lucky first five who downloaded this, Cindy?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, I believe if it works for folks … There’s a two-piece bonus here for folks who are on live. One is, you get a 12-minute call with Neil to finish up your worksheet.

Neil Howman: You lucky people.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Ton of expertise, right? To sign up for that, all you need to do is put in the chat box right now, put yes and your email address and that’s gonna get you a sign up for that 12 minute call. Not a sales call. No strings attached. Meet with Neil, finish up your sheet, get your strategy and tactic nailed down. What we said was, for the first five people who sign up for it, you said that you’re gonna talk with your writers, your company you’ve got pro-writers who really know what works and they will write your first post promoting your next White Paper, right? Get this expertise that usually costs a bunch of money to get writers to do it. They’re gonna do it for you.

Neil Howman: That will be a free social media or short blog post. We can talk about that later so, good luck with that. I think there are some questions coming in. Is everybody okay with downloading the worksheet? I hope you’ve been able to get that. There’s the link for you, perfect. That’s great. Thank you, Fallon, for working away in the background there.
Let’s get in with our worksheet, for lack of a better word. I think that in our industry, I think we would all agree that sometimes we get a little complacent about the terminology. What is a White Paper? What is a case study? Cindy, I’m gonna give you the first shot at this. I’m actually cheating here because I’ve got an official very brief definition of them. Just so that we make sure that we all know what we’re talking about here.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: All right. You want me to define White Paper?

Neil Howman: Yeah. No pressure, Cindy.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: No pressure. I’ll tell you how I think of it. I think of it as, especially in the technical industry, it can work for any industry but for our industry, it’s going over a technology specifically and maybe a little bit around the problem that technology solves. It’s not a data sheet. It’s not a checklist. It’s not a case study. It’s going over that technology. Over to you Neil, how do you define it?

Neil Howman: Yeah. In my experience, the White Papers that we’ve worked on over the past two or three years, they’ve usually been an in-depth piece of content that is looking at a specific issue or challenge, certainly, the most effective ones are. They are a presentation of whoever’s writing that White Paper, the company, the client, whoever, about their thoughts on that particular matter. Obviously, solving a complex issue or challenge. That’s certainly been the most successful ones. Case studies are, usually, in our experience the ones that we’ve worked on predominantly, a written account of some detailed information about a process, usually undertaken on behalf of a customer or working with a partner, again, to solve a particular issue. A step-by-step guide of how that was achieved, what the positive outcomes were of deploying certain solutions or certain approaches. We’re mainly gonna be talking about White Papers but, I think the case studies are the sort of junior partner to that, or the cousin, or another piece of content which have been extremely useful because, let’s say, if you can get a customer or a partner talking about the work you’ve done together, then it’s worth its weight in gold when convincing people to make sales purchasing decisions. Hopefully, they’ll be buying from you.
The first area is really about what, in our opinion or in our experiences, makes a good White Paper. I would suggest that it’s the relevance of the topic. Again, the most successful White Papers that we’ve worked on and worked with people on is one that they’ve been talking to their customers or their potential customers and they are getting a challenge, an issue that is recurring. If you can address a specific challenge that a lot of your customers are facing and, obviously, demonstrate that you’ve got the expertise and understanding of that challenge and therefore then help them solve it. I think that really is the first thing I would suggest. It builds your credibility. It positions your expertise in a particular area. Would you agree, Cindy? I know that you do a whole range of White Papers in a number of sectors, tech sectors.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, a lot in the tech area. It can actually work in different industries, as well. It’s not limited to tech but, the special thing about tech is everybody’s got so many challenges and they’re scrambling to keep up on the latest technology. It’s a special opportunity there. If you guys haven’t downloaded the worksheet yet, we do have this link here and really we just ticked the first box here is, making a good topic. Some ways that I look to find a good topic … When I work with different companies they’ll say, I don’t know what to do for a topic or, it’s too hard to write a White Paper, that kind of thing. I’m like, let’s look at your outbox. What are you answering? What are your customer service people answering repeatedly? That’s the thing that we wanna talk about. If I’m working with someone at a trade show, I’ll go in and go, hey, so what are the top questions that you’re getting at the show today? What’s everybody asking about? Oh, they’re asking about this. Boom, there’s your topic. That’s how to come up with a relevant topic.

Neil Howman: I think that’s really important because, we have on occasion come across companies who are fantastic but are a little keen to start dictating to their potential customers what they should be, rather than a response of a real-time, real life issue that their customers are dealing with.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: It’s true.

Neil Howman: It’s a bit of a listening activity, really, rather than a dictating to act, too. I think.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah. Can I jump in on this piece just with one other bit? A lot of times we feel like we know what our customers and prospects need, and we do. That said, a great tool is to do a little, quick survey and it can be something as easy as, hey, quick 30 seconds, can I ask you what your top challenges on an email? It can be really one or two questions. For people who wanna get into it in depth, there’s a book, maybe you’ve seen this one, Neil, called Ask, by Ryan Levesque, puts out a whole series of tactics on how you can use this type of questionnaire to come back to, what does my customer really need to know about? It’s just another way to do it. We’ve done a couple with people where we’re like, hey, what’s your top challenge? You get answers back right away and sometimes you know what they are and sometimes you’re like, wow, I didn’t think about that.

Neil Howman: Absolutely, yeah. They can be put together really quickly as you say. Real simple surveys just to make sure that you’re thinking along the right lines, as well. Make sure that you’re really listening. Everything we do starts with a conversation and I would suggest before your White Paper together and you invest all that time and resources. Have a conversation with the people who account most, which are your customers and your prospects. I would then suggest that White Papers, in-depth, lengthy pieces of content, often, they take a lot of work. Get all the preparation in to start with. Do the research. Really make sure that you are understanding the issues exactly. Whether that is commissioning some research, which can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be, there are ways of doing it, make sure that you’ve really got your facts and figures right, all of that. It will make the actual writing, putting together of the White Paper a lot easier. Would you agree, Cindy? I think, at times, even from your consulting with your prospects.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Definitely. One way to do it is to talk to, either, a design engineer, a salesperson, someone who really knows that particular problem or technology the best. For me, that’s a great starting point is to sit down with them or just jump on a 10-minute call ’cause people are busy. They’re like, oh, I don’t wanna do a big thing. Hey, just jump on a 10-minute call with me and give me the top two important things about this technology or this process. Once you get that, you’re like, boom, I know what to do next.

Neil Howman: That’s the approach that we take when we sit down with White Papers, 10, 15-minute call, as you say. Sometimes, that design engineer can send over a few links and we can, then, carry on and do more research, as well. Once you have all your research in place, you understand what the topic is about, it’s very important that it is presented in a clear and logical way. There are many times you get a fantastically in-depth information but, they jump around from topic to topic. It’s very difficult to follow the logic of the narrative. It’s gotta have a narrative to it. You’ve gotta be able to follow it through.
What we would suggest is, when you have all your information collated, is to start breaking it down into chapters and then subheadings, and bullet points, just on a page, two pages maximum of what you’re gonna cover in each chapter and really, does it flow? Is it easy to follow, easy to understand? You might have the most incredible knowledge but, if people can’t get through this very dense text, it’s gonna be counterproductive, we would suggest. Let it have a very clear thing. One way to do that is to … One way to increase how engaging the content you’re putting over in your White Paper is to include graphics, relevant charts, relevant pieces of research put in an illustrative way.
That can really help break up the text and, yeah, engage the audience more. One important point, I think you’d agree with me Cindy, that if I have a fantastic piece of research which is easy to look schematic or graph, that becomes a piece of content on its own, doesn’t it? That is something else that you can use at a later date and we’ll come on to how we can then market this content but, I find that it really helps to see some really good illustrations and visuals.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: One thing to keep in mind is that people learn in different ways. We have visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. If we can incorporate those mediums into what we’re doing so the visual, obviously, we wanna have some blocked diagrams, especially if our end audience is in engineering. That can be really helpful to explain and spell it out quickly as you said, Neil. Auditory and the kinesthetic is really more about getting a feel for it, or if you can really have a little video and audio clip that you wanna reference in there as well. Maybe the White Paper, itself, is the piece with the information that’s written down and the drawings.
You maybe do a 15, 30 second or even longer clip with an expert on that. That lets you hit all the different learning styles and, in that White Paper, of course, you’re gonna tell them in the beginning what problem you’re gonna solve. Hey, if you’re interested in solving X, Y, Z, take a look at this. We’re gonna go over A, B, and C that do that. That’s a good way to organize it, as well.

Neil Howman: That’s a very important point about how people receive information. That ties into the easy to understand and the engaging aspect. If you can get that balance, then that can be a real plus point. I’m a little conscious of time. Thank you everyone, for taking time out to join us today. I wanna really move on to once you’ve created your White Paper. Then, what? You put a lot of time and effort into it. You, then, want that piece of content to work very hard for you. This, I suppose, goes to the heart of this Webinar, how you can use White Papers to drive sales.
You’ve done your creation of your White Paper, what are you gonna do now? Well, the first and very obvious thing is that you obviously promote it to the people you know and you promote to the people you don’t, or you don’t know yet. That’s the point. The first point of call is, obviously, to publicize this content on your social media platforms, on your website. You want to use all of your internal email communications with your database. Also, a great way of beginning to develop some buzz around your White Paper is, on your LinkedIn page, try and start a discussion group about certain aspects the White Paper covers.
What do you think about this? Who agrees with the conclusions we draw? Cindy, you have a lot of experience using LinkedIn and developing campaigns via LinkedIn and social media platforms. Anything you can share about how you can get that conversation started?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, for sure. You eluded to this earlier, once you have that White Paper it’s almost the pinnacle piece of a campaign if you will. You can take chunks and pieces of it and spin it out into literally 20, 40 different other pieces of content, whether that’s a LinkedIn article, a LinkedIn post, an email, another email, a Webinar. You get the idea where you can, no kidding, spin it out into 40 pieces. In each one of those snippets of it, one way to do it is to drive them back to that White Paper that you have and, if you wanna keep track of who’s reading it, that’s a really good idea, right?
You can give a piece of that and then, for the person who wants to read the whole White Paper, keep track of who’s reading it. If that’s in an email, like you mentioned, make sure your email system can track who clicked to the White Paper so that you know who did that.

Neil Howman: Cindy, you’d advocate being able to put your email address and then we’ll give you the whole White Paper?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: You can do that, too. Yeah. Make a sign-up sheet. So, hey you read the first chapter or you read the first page or, hey, you liked this infographic or diagram about it. If you’d like to read the whole thing, give us your email address in exchange for this White Paper. That’s what, of course, sales people want is to know who’s interested. That gave them a way to raise their hand to say, hey, I’m interested in this.

Neil Howman: In my experience, that is the start of the conversation. You have follow-up email campaigns which are then offering further pieces of interesting and useful content to deepen your engagement, potentially, with people who are wanting to learn more about your product solutions, et cetera. Email campaigns are certainly one of the things I think works really well with these.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: It can be also a call campaign. Anything can be happening in parallel with what the salespeople are doing anyway. This is a bit pre-sales but, if someone downloads something on a very technical topic or even not so technical, you can see that person’s a prospect because nobody else would download this. You could even just have someone in-house calling or sending a LinkedIn message. It could be an automated thing, but you can have someone picking up the phone and going, hey do you have any questions on that? If you do, we can answer them.

Neil Howman: Again, I think that probably ties into the more specific the topic of the White Paper and therefore the challenge that you are helping, the issue that you are helping someone solve, that you are talking about solving. When you get somebody wanting to download that, you know that they’ve at least come across the issue that you’re addressing somewhere along the line. It’s a good chance that they’re really very interested in what you are proposing and continue that conversation with them.
Of course, the other way then to really begin to get a lot of visibility is to try and engage with the trade publications. Now, the publications are obviously by their very nature, covering the world that we work in. They have substantial readership out there, a percentage of whom will probably have an interest in the sort of thing that you’re addressing. There are many trade publications who are willing to host and even promote White Papers. That usually comes into the commercial activity that they get involved in. There is often a cost involved there.
We have found that it’s very worthwhile engaging with trade publications on this level because the editor of that particular publication can take an interest in the content and suggest it further follow-up editorial opportunities from that. It’s a very often the case that they, oh, I read that White Paper. It was really interesting. We’re hosting it and can I have an interview with such and such to learn a bit more. We’re doing a feature coming up on the topic that your White Paper’s covered or something related to it.
Also, the other thing that you can do proactively as far as the trade press is concerned is, as Cindy was mentioning earlier, you can take elements of your White Paper and pitch it to that editor as the basis of future articles on a particular point.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: I had one like that this week.

Neil Howman: Exactly.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: We had put together a White Paper with the company that we work with. Actually, it was Broadcast Bridge, came back and said, hey, this is really interesting and ended up putting it out this week. We’re able to use that and promote it and that was really a happy day.

Neil Howman: You’ve just reminded me of another client I know who put out a White Paper and an editor of a publication just took a section of this and pretty much ran it as an article, as well, almost as was. We needed to repurpose it slightly but not an awful. There is a great advantage in doing that and, again, an endless possibility by engaging with the trade press. I guess, we now move on, really, to one of the things that we hear a lot of and one of the most important things. We talk to a lot of sales teams. We deal with marketing communications teams a lot. We speak to a lot of sales teams and they are often crying out for really, really good, well researched, well presented, in-depth pieces of content to use as part of their sales engagement, their presentations to potential prospects.
It’s a fantastic piece of engaging sales collateral for want of a better word. They are really happy when a really good White Paper is produced. It can be printed into hard copy, Pdf, and they use it as their sort of sales engagement. We’ve noticed that’s really appreciated by, hard done by sales teams around. Would that be fair, Cindy? I see a lot of guys saying, look I need something to give a hook to this particular-

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, I spent a lot of years selling equipment to TV stations and bringing in a suitcase with stuff and hooking it up and selling it. Anytime I could have some technical information about how this product worked or what the technology behind it or, I don’t know, sampling, just the different details. I love that. I totally needed. Yes, absolutely.

Neil Howman: Yeah, there was a slight look of … They were a bit down in the mouth if it was just a product sheet, which people can read for themselves. What the customers want or the prospects want is more in-depth information and knowledge-
Yeah, as a salesperson, whenever I could do something that isn’t a sales pitch, that’s being genuinely helpful, that’s really how I roll anyway. I know a lot of people like that. You wanna walk in with something useful because then you’re working together and you’re giving them something they need. Absolutely.
I think it’s worth mentioning, obviously, on this topic, case studies, as well because, you’re then getting, what you’ve done with a partner or customer. You’re getting the customer to talk for you and that is gold to a sales guy to say, look, don’t take my word for it… Here’s some proof, some proof of a customer using our technology and really finding it helped them solve their problem. I think the final thing we would suggest in this Webinar, as far as how you can drive sales, get your content to work harder for you is, you can take elements of your White Paper or case study and use it to base presentations on.
There’s increasing opportunities, speaking opportunities at trade shows around the world and conferences, where, again, attendees are hungry for knowledge. They’re hungry for answers. They want problems to be solved. We’ve had endless occasions where an element of a White Paper has been packaged and we can go to a conference and say, we’d really like to deliver a speech on this and the conference producers are really, really interested. They want real-world solutions to genuine problems people have. Cindy, would you go with that?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, I think you nailed it on that. I don’t have a ton to add to that. We do have a question, though.

Neil Howman: Yeah, I was gonna say, questions. I see some questions coming.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah. One of the questions and it goes along with what you were just saying is really about the length of the White Paper. What’s your experience in the successful ones?

Neil Howman: Yes. It’s an interesting one because, of course, how complex is the topic? How complex is the issue? There’s nothing worse than just padding a White Paper but, in my experience a White Paper with, we’re touching on really engaging graphics, as well, that are obviously relevant to it. I would say between six and ten pages in my experience. I’ve seen longer ones which have held the attention. I’ve seen shorter ones which have done the job as well. Again, I think all the points we made earlier about what goes toward making a good White Paper is the most important thing. In my experience, about six to 10 pages, 10 pages is a very good maximum figure I would think.
Case studies tend to be a bit shorter, again, depending on the complexity. We had a client, once, who were working with eight other partners and asked us to do a case study for them. Eight other partners, obviously, it was a very substantial document but, again, the sales team couldn’t be happier when it was delivered.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: I think that there are sometimes smaller companies that feel like, oh, it’s so hard to put that together and it’s a lot to do. I wanted to just say, White Papers are great and, also, it can be that you can use sometimes to get effect a checklist and a guide where it can feel like a little bit easier in terms of putting that helpful content together.

Neil Howman: Absolutely. On this survey of the most effective content, checklist and guides were also very near the top. You have White Papers up there. White Papers, yes, they do take a lot of work but, if you’re gonna put that work in then, there’s a myriad of ways to really make it work for you once it’s created.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Nothing makes me sadder than to see someone’s awesome, amazing White Paper and they just sort of post it on their website and they’re done. Okay, we did our White Paper, we’re done and have not taken advantage of this awesome stuff that we’re busting out here. Really, if you’re gonna do a White Paper, be sure you go through all the different steps and then work it, a before sale, a post sale, put it to work.

Neil Howman: Absolutely. Do we have any more questions? Sorry, I haven’t been looking at the chat.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah. Bring on your questions, what else do you have?

Neil Howman: If you have to go, it’s been great. Thank you so much for joining us. We’ve gone on a little bit long but, I hope it’s been helpful.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Fallon’s tracking who’s signed up. I know that there’s private messaging you can send into just the panellist, too. I’m not sure where we’re at, if we’ve hit our five yet but, if you wanna do a call with Neil afterwards, not a sales call but a call to finish up your tactics in terms of putting your next White Paper together, just put a yes and your email address in the chat box. Again, you can send it just to panellists if you don’t want everyone to see. For the first five of those, you get a bonus to where some of Neil’s colleagues are, obviously, professional writers who work specifically in this industry and the first five people who sign up for that, it may have already happened. I don’t know.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Also, get a special social media post to promote your White Paper. A lot of bonus there, it’s really good.

Neil Howman: I see a question from Bregt. Sorry to interrupt, Cindy. How technical should your White Paper be? Can it be high-level? I would … Thank you for the question, Bregt. Every White Paper is a different animal to an extent. Again, I would suggest that it would be … It’s dependent on its subject matter and dependent on the conversations you’ve been having with your potential target audience. If the White Paper is dealing with a topic that’s gonna be for the CTO of the company then, naturally, a more technical level of understanding. If it is really, the challenge you are trying to help a potential client, customer, prospect achieve is a little bit on a business model but, through a more efficient use of a technology or deployment of a solution. Then, I would suggest that it could be a slightly higher level thing.
I think it would be very dependent on the specific topic involved. If it is going to be very technical, just be sure of the audience that you’re going for. It’s usually the more specific, CTOs especially, the head engineers. You’ve always gotta be trying to speak the language of your target. Okay, I can take one more question. Yeah, do we need to change the toning of the content as per target audience while writing White Papers.
Well, thank you very much for that question. I think, in a way, what I’ve just said previously is probably applicable to that question, as well, in my opinion.
It’s an understanding of the people you’re trying to reach, always. If you are specifically doing something which is gonna play best with your sales team being able to use that and you’re talking to the CFO or somebody like that then, I think the tone is obviously gonna be different too, as I said, a more technical conversation with the CTO of the company, who is gonna have some buying influence on new technology, whatever.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Neil, can I jump in on that one?

Neil Howman: Yeah, please Cindy. Go ahead.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: One thing you can do is, in your White Paper, be sure that of course, you’re hitting, in sales speak I call it above the line and below the line issues. We’re gonna hit the budget and everything like that and how it’s gonna save time, save money. It needs to talk about that there. Then, the actual, how does integrate with this? How does the day-to-day applications work? How do I install it? Whatever those actual integration or application pieces, right? That White Paper might be the same and your messaging can hit different personas.
The messaging that you’re doing in LinkedIn, if you’re doing Facebook, email marketing, at a trade show, all those things, on the phone. We know, as salespeople, our messaging on the phone is different depending on the persona or type of person we’re talking to. Your promotion, if you will, of that White Paper, if you’re headed to a CTO is gonna talk about are you having X, Y, Z technical problem. Whereas, your promotion of that exact same White Paper that’s going to the CFO is maybe, did you find your staff is spending a lot of time on this and do you wanna help them be more efficient?
Your messaging can be different depending on the different persona. We can still all drive them to the same document if you will.

Neil Howman: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. I think this goes back to our initial point of having that conversation and really getting an understanding of the pain points of the people you’re talking to and that specific piece of content, that specific White Paper is looking to address. There’s always room to do more, which we’ll address perhaps another aspect of that customer’s concern or whatever it may be. I’m just looking through some of the other questions. Fred, thank you. Some of the best ways to distinguish your White Paper and stand out from the crowd.
Again, I would go back to some of the earlier points that we made, Fred, about really understanding the relevance of the issue that people are facing and do your research would be … You’ve really gotta be very honest with yourself. Do we have the expertise, understanding, and solution to help this particular problem? Cindy, would you agree with that? That’s in my experience, you’ve just gotta be very clear that you’ve got what it takes to help them.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Make sure the title of it actually addresses the problem or the technology specifically. It needs to talk about that and, when someone reads it goes, oh, I would wanna know that. If you’ve done any surveying or conversation with your customer and you heard someone say, gosh, I wish I could get a little bit more info about X then, you’re gonna have that in your White Paper title. That’s gonna help it stand out immediately, just so we’re really sure we’re using the language of the people that we’re talking to.

Neil Howman: This next question from Barbara, thank you, Barbara, as well for, it’s probably a bit more for Cindy, really. If you’ve got some time Cindy, sorry to keep bombarding you but, I think this plays very much … How would you recommend to proceed with prospects once the White Paper has been downloaded? This is totally your expertise. I know certain ways we’ve done that but, would you offer them a free trial, a demo, or do you suggest something else?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: If it’s okay, I’ve got a couple of samples that are cued up and we’ll put the links to them in the chat here. You can actually see some real-life examples of what we’re doing with opt-ins with actual customers right now and a sales funnel. I put that together, in case someone had this question. To answer your question, I think about the sales funnel. This is my sales funnel here. If we’re using the White Paper more at the top of the funnel to get people interested in us, just to know about us, then maybe think about your buyer’s journey. What happens next? What do they need to do next? Do they need to, I don’t know, get a data sheet? Do they need to, closer to the bottom of the funnel, get a demo? Do you have some software they can demo?
Eventually, do they need to talk to a salesperson or can they just buy right away? Pick two or three points in the buyer’s journey and then, you’re gonna line up everything with that. One successful one that we just put into the chat here, does just that. Hey, here’s a guide on this technology. Here’s a White Paper. Then, after they download it, we say, hey, would you like to download our trial? Here’s some more helpful info and would you like to download our trial? Hey, would you like to jump on this Webinar? Now, would you like to talk to a sales person? If that sounds like a reasonable buyer’s journey for you, put it together. Some people are gonna do something different and color outside the lines. It’s okay.
Put a path for ’em. If they take it awesome and, if not, you still have something in place that will help them along the way. Does that answer the question and, if you have more questions about that, you can put them in the chat. You’re welcome to hit us up later. We’ve got our contact info here in the chat box for you, as well.

Neil Howman: I noticed a couple of people did come to the conversation late. Email addresses and contact details, as Cindy said, are in that chat box and please feel free to continue the conversation after this Webinar has finished. We’ll be bringing it to site.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: I have a question.
Did you guys find this useful? Will you be using it? Were you able to fill it out during the Webinar? Just curious and if you have time to chat that in, great, or just let us know later. We’d love to know.

Neil Howman: Yeah, it’s just a handy guide to help you structure how you might approach this and, of course, just reminding you again that we’d be very happy to have further conversations. We can revisit the worksheet or talk about some other aspect of your strategy. Very happy to do that afterwards, you’ve got our contact details there. Maybe just one more, sorry, I saw one. Aditia, yeah that was a great question there. Is it a good idea to promote White Papers through a Webinar? Absolutely, I would say.

Cindy Zuelsdorf: You could, or the other way around. It depends what you feel is more, again, what your buyer’s journey like. It’s kind of a what’s an easier ask of the customer if that’s gonna be at the top of the funnel.

Neil Howman: It’s all to do with getting that piece of content you worked very hard to create, to get it to work. The more, the different ways that you can use that to maximize the amount of targets of people you wanna reach.
If you want to have a call with Neil to finish up your worksheet, I saw some people filled theirs in and we’ve got some comments saying you didn’t get ’em filled in yet, which makes sense ’cause we’re all talking and stuff. If you wanna have a 12-minute call with Neil that’s just a tactics call to get this filled in for you, put a yes in the chat and we’ll take note of it. You can chat it directly to the panellists or to everybody, either way. The bonus was, and I think it’s taken by now, the bonus is you get some writing, as well.
I’ll probably be following up in the next couple of days and we can … It doesn’t have to be before the holiday period. It can be after, it can be whenever you want. We’ll make that work. Can I thank Cindy very much?

Cindy Zuelsdorf: Thank you, Neil.

Neil Howman: Thank you, Fallon, for all the work behind the scenes and thank you, everyone, for making the time to join. I hope it’s been helpful. Please, let’s this be the beginning of the conversation. Let’s not end it here. You’ve got our contact details. It’d be great to engage with all of you further. If you have any questions, you wanna continue to look through the worksheet, talk a bit more about case studies, whatever it is, please drop us a line. Thank you very much indeed and see you soon.

‘Tis the Season . . . to Plan for Next Year’s Marketing Strategy

The New Year is upon us, and the absolute best thing you can do for your company right now is to start working on next year’s marketing strategy, if you haven’t been already. Recently, I was speaking with a prospective client, and our conversation naturally turned to 2019 planning. We explored a range of topics, which I’ve summed up in this post. Here are four key areas that every company’s marketing department should be focusing on for annual planning:

  • Have a clear set of objectives: Whether you plan to launch a new product or service, embark on a major growth or acquisition strategy, or diversify into a new market, it’s important to have a clear focus on what you’re aiming to achieve.
  • Know your customers and your competitors: Listen carefully to what your customers are asking you for. Are you fully meeting their requirements? What are your competitors doing better than you? Think about the last time you lost out to a competitor and also the last time you won a contract — why did you fail or succeed? Examining both experiences can help you improve your offering.
  • Create a content roadmap: Once your objectives are in place, think about what content you can produce to achieve those goals. You might want to create a pipeline of news announcements covering product launches, produce a series of thought leadership editorials for key trade publications, and maybe even write a series of case studies and white papers. And remember, once you’ve created a piece of content, you can repurpose it in numerous ways, including social media or blog posts, email campaigns, advertising, and speaking presentations…the possibilities are endless!
  • Start scheduling your events calendar: It’s time to consider what trade shows and industry events will provide the best platform for your company to demonstrate its products and expertise, plus engage with prospective customers. Once you’ve decided, start putting together specific trade show campaigns to ensure maximum exposure before, during, and after the show.

202 Communications can help you execute all of your 2019 content marketing planning. To give you an example, one of our prospective clients is planning to exhibit at the 2019 NAB Show in April for the first time and developed a clearly defined set of goals for the show. I recently submitted a proposal to her, outlining how we can help her meet all NAB preview deadlines, build visibility and interest in her company’s products ahead of the show, and finally, help maximize her opportunities to brief the trade press and present to prospects at the show itself.

If you are planning to exhibit at the 2019 NAB Show, 202 Communications is offering a limited number of discounted NAB projects on a first-come, first-served basis. (This offer ends Friday, Jan. 11)

If you would like to discuss your content creation, marketing communications or media relations requirements for 2019, please drop me a line at neil@202comms.com.

Don’t wait too long! 2019 is almost here and the pre-NAB work starts in early January!

We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, Happy Holidays from everyone at 202, and here’s wishing you a safe and successful 2019.

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

How to Keep the Buzz Going – Post-Trade Show

One conversation we frequently have, especially with new clients, is about how they can keep the news pipeline full and flowing in the weeks following a major industry event.

With IBC2018 just ending, this seems a good time to recap how you can remain in the news spotlight long after the show is over.

When it comes to news announcements, you naturally want to make noise around a major show such as IBC. However, during the stretch leading up to the show, major publications are literally swamped with press releases, invitations, and other show-related requests and information.

If you have several pieces of news or content to share, think about which ones might have an equal impact if they were released after the show or event. It is often in the post-show period that many publications are hungry for news. The chances of your news being lost in the noise are greatly reduced.

The post-show period is an excellent time to both produce and promote more detailed pieces of thought leadership content, such as white papers and case studies.

Of course, it is vital that you follow up on promising sales leads after  a trade show. But if you’re able to dedicate some time to producing a white paper or case study, the benefits can be significant. Once the content is created, you can promote it in numerous ways, including via your website and social media platforms, through a newsletter, or by your sales team at future trade shows and other industry events. You can also look to repurpose key aspects of the content for editorial placement in the trade press or to form the basis of a presentation.

If you would like to discuss how you can better manage your news pipeline, or if you don’t have time to create your own white papers or case studies, get in touch.

202 Communications is experienced in helping companies create compelling content. Our in-house account management and writing teams understand what our clients are looking to achieve and are skilled in advising them on the best approach to take.

Drop me a line at neil@202comms.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

IBC Is 6 Weeks Away… Once It’s Over, Then What?

With IBC2018 now only about six weeks away — crazy but true — I want to share our list of top tips to help maximise visibility for your company and products at the show (you can find the list at the bottom of this post). Remember, this checklist is not just for IBC; you can apply it to any trade show or industry event.

Making a big impact at a major industry show like IBC is a vital component of your marketing strategy. With current and future customers and partners, not to mention the global trade press, all convening at the same location, the opportunities are significant. In the month or two leading up to a major industry event, we spend countless hours with our clients finessing their messaging, putting out press releases, and securing editorial opportunities. But what happens next? At 202 Communication, we know how critical it is that your post-show message doesn’t get lost during in the noise of a major industry event. All of that work put in to achieve visibility before and during a show is only the start of the story.

Once the show is over, building on the initial coverage is equally, if not more, important. To add to the momentum you achieved in the short term, start thinking about a strategy for your post-IBC content.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • What product announcements can you make after IBC to keep the news pipeline flowing?
  • Can any of the announcements that are made in the build-up to or at the show be repurposed into an article, case study, or white paper?
  • Can you promote any video interviews you did at the show via your website and social media platforms?

As you look forward to another IBC, make sure you keep looking beyond it too!

If you have any questions about planning for IBC, or any major event, please contact me at neil@202comms.com. We can help you maintain your marketing momentum before, during, and after every trade show.

Check out our trade show check list here.

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

No Rest for the Prepared

Now that BroadcastAsia and CommunicAsia are over for another year, you could argue that the next month will be a relatively quiet period, as far as major industry events are concerned.

But you’d be wrong! Initial preparations for IBC in September are already well underway. I want to share some ideas about how you can maximise your visibility. One thing you should be thinking about now is producing an IBC preview. This preview of the products and demos you’ll show at IBC will be sent out to all of the trade press covering the exhibition. Many publications are already putting together their IBC preview editions and will need your preview ASAP. It’s also important to get in touch with your customers and sales prospects. Let them know your plans for IBC, while of course making sure any email communications you send out are GDPR-compliant. (See last month’s Multiscreen Buzz for more info about this or drop me an email if you have any GDPR questions).

I’ll be providing additional IBC-related content in next month’s newsletter. In the meantime, July and early August are a perfect opportunity to focus on projects you haven’t had the time to get to earlier in the year. Put together a compelling case study or white paper, work on updating your website, or produce an engaging blog or newsletter to keep your customers and prospects updated on news and product announcements.

Producing such a piece of content certainly takes time and effort, but once created, it will aid greatly in promoting your products and company. A case study, for example, can be promoted via your website, social media and newsletters, as well as handed out to booth visitors at future trade shows and events. What’s more, it can be used by your sales team for prospecting. Later down the road, we highly recommend repurposing your case study into a trade press article or  a presentation. There are numerous ways you can re-spin an engaging and informative piece of content — so it’s worth the initial effort.

202 Communications is experienced in helping companies create compelling content. Our in-house account and writing teams understand what clients are looking to achieve and skilled at advising them on the best route to take. Working with you, we can produce an exciting case study, white paper or other content that will help you to reach the right crowd.

To learn more, please drop me a line at neil@202comms.com.

And if you are interested in finding out more about preparing for a trade show, organising a press conference, or participating in a speaking opportunity, click on the related links.

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

GDPR: Challenges and Opportunities

On May 25, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. Over the last 20 years, this is the most important change in data privacy laws in Europe. It is designed to both protect and strengthen EU citizens’ data privacy rights and also reshape the way organizations approach their data privacy policies.

Of course, these new regulations don’t just affect companies and individuals in the EU. Any organization, irrespective of its location, that offers goods or services, or holds data on EU citizens, must comply with GDPR.

I recently had the privilege of chairing a GDPR panel session, and during the event was shown some very interesting survey results suggesting that there is a degree of confusion amongst both companies and individuals surrounding issues of data privacy, its management, and who is ultimately responsible for any regulation breaches or abuses. We don’t have to look much further than the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica affair to see an illustration of the current problems within the data landscape and why reform and regulation is needed.

While achieving compliance, and remaining compliant, is undoubtedly a major headache for many businesses and organizations, especially in these early stages, we must not lose sight of the opportunities these new regulations will bring. GDPR is forcing companies to completely revise their data management processes. As a result, the industry is hopeful companies will become more efficient and effective data managers, beyond enhancing their reputations for business competence.

GDPR is expected to transform the entire digital commerce landscape for the better, and it is no surprise other countries and regions are considering introducing their own GDPR-style regulations.

If you have any questions about GDPR, implementation or compliancy, please feel free to contact me at neil@202comms.com.

Since we’re on the subject of GDPR: You should have received an email from 202 Communications asking whether you’d like to continue receiving Multiscreen Buzz and other relevant mailings from us.

If you haven’t yet opted in, please do so here:

http://ow.ly/hNxn30kawrK.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

Three Ways to Keep Your NAB Content Fresh

It was great to see so many of you at NAB recently. I hope the show was productive for you and your sales team.

Throughout my conversations at NAB, I was really pleased to hear that the speaking appearance checklist videos made by 202 Communications (please find the links below) and our recent webinar on video interviews were helpful for pre-show preparations. Thank you so much for watching! We’ll soon be starting work on more video content. Stay tuned!

Though the actual NAB Show is over for another year (Save the date: 2019 NAB Show is April 8-11), you can still reap the benefits from the amazing work you did both before and during the show, especially if you produced a white paper, case study, e-book, or video.

As you follow up on the leads you generated at the show, here are three ideas on how you can maximize your NAB content.

1. Promote the content via email, social media, and your website
The first step is to circulate your NAB content to your own database and prospects from the show*. Next, you can partner with a relevant industry publication and send an e-blast to its distribution list inviting people to download your piece of content. Use an automated system to capture their contact details into your CRM. Don’t forget to also post your content via our social media outlets, it’s a great (free!) way to ensure your message is being seen in the weeks ahead.

*Please be aware of the new GDPR regulations, governing data privacy and data protection being introduced by the European Union on 25 May 2018. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in a substantial financial penalty, so it is very important to be aware of what is required. We’ll be talking more about this in next month’s Multiscreen Buzz. but in the meantime, here’s a link to learn more: www.eugdpr.org.

2. Follow up email campaign
If your prospects have recently downloaded your white paper, case study, and/or e-book, you may now be asking, “What’s next?” Now is the perfect time to follow up with an email featuring a call to action. Offer your prospects something more, perhaps an additional piece of content that will be of interest to them, or a personal invite for a product demo. You’ll soon begin to identify which NAB Show prospects are seriously interested in finding out more about your company and its solutions.

3. Arrange a personal call or meeting
Once your prospects have agreed to see a demo or downloaded additional content you’ve offered them, it’s time to focus on arranging a date for a personal demo, a meeting, or a phone call. Good luck!

If you’d like to further discuss how to ensure the content you created for a major trade show can keep working for you long after the show is over, please get in touch: neil@202comms.com.

Watch our NAB checklist videos here:

Speaking appearance checklist 1

Speaking appearance checklist 2

Speaking appearance checklist 3

Speaking appearance checklist 4

Speaking appearance checklist 5

Speaking appearance checklist 6

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

Getting the Most Out of Your Video Interview

I recently had the pleasure of joining Cindy Zuelsdorf from Kokoro Marketing on a webinar to discuss how to get the most out of video interviews.

We covered a lot of ground during our conversation, which I’d like to summarize for you. Let’s take the forthcoming 2018 NAB Show as an example of an opportunity where you’ve managed to arrange a couple of video interviews on your booth. There are a few important questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What should I talk about? It’s best to concentrate on what’s new (i.e., a new product or solution). Because the final video will typically last no more than 2-3 minutes in length, you need to have a plan for what to say.
  • What is the main objective? What do I want the viewer to do after watching the interview? Should they contact me for more information, or request a demo?
  • What are the three key points about my product that I most want to communicate? For example, how will your product help solve challenges for customers? It’s tempting to list all of your product’s benefits and features, but you risk overloading your audience, and the message is weakened as a result.
  • Finally, avoid making your presentation an overt sales pitch. People will switch off very quickly. Be concise, clear, and engaging.

Once you’ve decided what to say, it’s time to move on to the very important preparation and practice phase. Here are a few tips:

  • See if you can find out in advance whether there will be an interviewer asking the questions or if you will be directly addressing the camera. It’s a good idea to practice both scenarios.
  • Get used to introducing yourself, including name, job title, and company name. Also, rehearse delivering a 10-second company overview. Most interviews will also end with a sign off where you’ll be invited to give your web address or other contact details.
  • Practice (that word again!) your three key messages so you can deliver them, confidently and clearly.

There’s a few ways you can practice. Use your phone camera or a small camera to record yourself. This is particularly useful for the straight to camera situation where you don’t have an interviewer to engage with. Bonus: If you produce a good practice video, you can post it on your website and social media feeds. Another idea is to ask colleagues to help you. Have them to play the part of the interviewer and/or audience and provide you with constructive feedback on how you’re coming across. The more comfortable you can get talking on camera, the more clearly your message will be conveyed.

Advanced preparation can help you take more control of the interview. Talk with the film crew and interviewer in advance. They will appreciate your interest in getting everything set up and done as quickly as possible, as they often have several interviews to do in a short span of time. Have an idea of how you want the shot to look? If you can stand in front of the product you’re talking about with the relevant signage or a company logo in the background, then great! On that note: Always check what’s behind you before the interview starts. Avoid inadvertently allowing a competitor’s logo or a partially displayed product name into the shot.

It’s also a great idea to have some suggested cut away shots in mind. These can be edited in to the final piece to provide points of interest for viewers. And speaking of editing — if you can remember to allow a few seconds at the end of the interview (a slow count of three in your head should be fine) this will make it much easier for the editor to add your web address and company logo.

With a little preparation and some practice, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you hear the word “Action!”

For additional tips on how to prep for video interviews and all things related to trade shows, please drop me a line at neil@202comms.com.

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman

A Different Approach to Lead Generation

Are you sitting over there dreaming up new ways to generate sales leads? I’d like to share with you a recent success story we had. One of our clients wanted a new approach to attracting prospects and achieving greater visibility in their target markets. In the past, the company had relied solely on trade shows for lead generation, but it was now ready to explore other ways of engaging with potential customers.

We began by asking the client about some of its recent sales. We wanted to know: What product did you sell? Why did the prospect buy it? Gathering this info helped us build a more detailed picture of the client’s products, customers, and sales prospect profile.

Finally, we asked the most important question: What did your prospect need to understand before buying from you? The answer: The prospect needed to understand the new technology and its various applications. Our client expertly addressed these issues, and the sale went ahead.

Since our client’s prospects needed to understand our client’s new technology, we suggested that the client create a white paper. A white paper would be an excellent way of promoting our client’s knowledge and expertise to more prospects in the future. Our team got to work producing the white paper and, within a couple of weeks, we had an engaging, informative piece of content to use in educating prospects.

202 Communications white paper generation

We began marketing the white paper by sending out an e-blast to the client’s existing database. It got a great response. The client was especially pleased that the white paper had been downloaded by a number of contacts who hadn’t been in touch for a while.

We then produced a series of follow-up of emails, with a call to action to receive a further piece of informative content (i.e., a new product data sheet). Everyone who responded to this offer was then presented with the choice of a demo, consultation, or quote.

With the first phase of the campaign successfully up and running, we moved onto phase two. Using a third-party service, we promoted the white paper to potential prospects outside of the client’s own database. In this case, we used an industry magazine with approximately 25,000 audited subscribers.

This was highly successful, as hundreds of brand-new opt-ins were soon added to the client’s database! These new contacts immediately went into the follow-up email sequence mentioned previously. The result: A significant increase in requests for demos and quotes.

This is just one example of how we can help create and then market a piece of content for our clients.

If you have a great white paper, case study, or user story, but you’re not sure how best to promote it — or you simply don’t have the time — then please get in touch with me at neil@202comms.com or info@202comms.com.

 

 

Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

neil howman