You can’t accuse B2B marketers of not practicing what they preach. For every content marketing recommendation that makes it into a client presentation, there’s an agency or independent consultant or news outlet with a blog to push. These sites can be invaluable resources for information and inspiration, but too frequently their content is more promotional than productive.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, DeSantis Breindel polled the office for our employees’ favorite sources for B2B branding and marketing content. While some of our selected resources do come from services providers, they all share a commitment to high-quality, unbiased, and informative writing. With these resources in your toolbox, you’re sure to feel more in tune with the latest and greatest in branding thought leadership and news.
Branding Magazine and Branding News
Since its founding several years ago, Branding Magazine has worked hard to grow its roster of writers, attracting many executive-level contributors from highly-respected agencies and industries. Although it publishes free, themed digital editions, you can also browse its content by date, writer, or subject—which ranges from data and design to strategy and social good. Branding Magazine offers something for everyone; you’ll find C-suite interviews, design interviews, strategy insights, and practical how-. Importantly, the magazine’s focus is broad enough to include many topics relevant not only to consumer goods marketers, but also to B2B audiences.
Branding Magazine has expanded its portfolio to also provide Branding News, a companion site that provides updates on recent launches and upcoming events.
Check out: Don’t Panic!, Dominik Prinz’s series of interviews with executives such as Lauren Bush, CEO of FEED, and Jeff Hansen, Manager at the Microsoft Brand Center.
Ragan, the publisher of PR Daily, provides fantastic content not only for PR professionals, but also anyone whose work involves corporate communications, internal branding, or social media. Its content is practical, relevant, and to-the-point—a perfect resource for the always-strapped-for-time corporate marketer. One of its most unique features is its strong emphasis on writing and editing skills. Ragan reminds us never to grow complacent about our content, offering quick style tips and compelling article thought starters.
Long a favorite among graphic designers, Brand New provides thoughtful commentary on recently launched logo and design language updates. Reviewer Armin Vit—loved and feared by the design community—gives context-rich explanations that help even design novices understand what makes or breaks a great logo (in Armin’s opinion). Somewhat uniquely for a creative blog, Brand New features a significant amount of B2B work. This makes it a great place for corporate marketers to learn current trends and best practices in the world of B2B design.
Check out: “Hash It Out,” Brand New’s largely positive review of the new Slack logo.
Branding Source’s concept is similar to that of Brand New: commentary on design, particularly corporate identity. However, it brings several unique features to the table. It is less critical, analyzing design more so than critiquing it. Its focus is more international, which means it catches redesigns that you might not see on the more North-American-oriented Brand New. Finally, it periodically revisits blasts from the past—analyzing “vintage” logos you may have forgotten. It’s a quick, fun read that will alert your attention to great corporate design that may have slipped through the cracks.
Although much of Gartner’s content requires a free registration, signing up is worth it because of the research company’s rich insights made at the intersection of marketing, technology, and business transformation. Gartner’s sterling reputation and its focus on metrics-driven marketing make this blog a great place to find the stats and white papers that will go over great in the board room. Make sure to pay extra attention to Gartner’s insights on customer experience; the firm has invested heavily in this area in recent years.
From the publisher of Chief Content Officer magazine, this frequently updated site is great for B2B marketers because of its unrelenting focus on content creation. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) offers advice for every step of your thought leadership campaigns: idea generation, writing, SEO, link building strategy, social media, and more. In B2B markets, where content is key to building reputation and loyalty, the tips from CMI are particularly resonant. Getting regular updates from their writers are a way to remind yourself of the small moves you can make to optimize your content’s effect.
These seven publications are just a start; they’re best when complemented with industry-specific and strategy-focused blogs as well. An easy way to keep a preponderance of sources organized is an RSS reader app, such as Feedly, which collects new articles from your favorite sources in a single place. A personalized branding digest, delivered straight to your desktop!
What blogs would you add to our list? We’d love to hear what we’re missing…contact us!
About the author Hannah Foltz is a Strategist at DeSantis Breindel. When she isn’t stuck on the L train, she is diving into research and helping develop positioning and messaging platforms for B2B companies.
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