Content Marketing Your Boss Will Love
Content marketing doesn’t just happen nor is it a silo off on the side of your business. Content marketing must be an integral part of your organization’s corporate strategy, allocated appropriate resources, both human and financial, because it creates strategic corporate assets that in turn help build your revenue stream.
7 Content Marketing Gems Every Business Can Use
Content marketing’s strategic role in an organization was the core message of Demand Gen Report’s B2B Content2Conversion Conference in New York. While targeted at a B2B audience, the lessons of these B2B rockstar presenters apply to B2C and Not-For-Profit (NFP) organizations as well. Here are the top seven content marketing gems.
1. Keep content marketing in-house because it’s a strategic function. Content marketing is on-going promise for the long term. Like social media, it’s a commitment to your customers, not a one-time campaign. Content marketing must be seamless from marketing through sales. According to Aberdeen Group research, 65% of leading companies align their content marketing efforts well with their sales methodology compared with 41% of followers who don’t.
2. Create your content marketing mission statement. According to Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi, author of Managing Content Marketing, your mission statement is your litmus test for developing content. Even more important, using a content marketing mission statement saves resources by ensuring your content creation is on track to yield results. A content marketing mission statement contains these three attributes.
- Who is your core audience? Develop a marketing persona to know your target market better and address your content to meet their needs and desires for information.
- What information will you deliver? Define the topics you plan to cover.
- What do you want your audience to do as a result of reading your content? Determine the outcomes you desire that help move prospects and customers along the purchase process.
3. See the world through your customers’ eyes when you produce content. Ann Handley of Marketing Profs and co-author of Content Rules recommended. Consider the content that your prospects, customers and their networks would thank you for giving them. Remember, your story isn’t about you but rather about the value you bring your target audience by fulfilling their wants and/or needs. Think in terms of supplying the resources that solve their problems.
4. Curate content to select the best, most relevant elements for your audience. Since most consumers are bombarded with too much content, Curata’s Pawan Deshpande advocates supplementing your own content marketing with curation. As a content curator, marketers discover, organize and add commentary to other people’s information focused on a specific topic. By doing so, marketers provide a valuable service for their target audience.
- Attract. How does your audience discover new content?
- Engage. How do your prospects prefer to connect with you?
- Convert. How to you give your readers a reason to act at every step of the purchase process?
6. Build your content marketing department. Think like a publisher. The biggest difference is that journalists tend to be audience focused while MarCom departments tend to be corporate focused. Michael Brenner of SAP positioned the challenge this way: “How do we get people to stop doing things that aren’t working and do the things that are working?” Among the resources needed are:
- Editor. Manage the content process.
- Editorial board. Provide corporate and management support.
- Brand journalist (or native content creators). Develop necessary content to meet audience’s needs.
- Graphic artists. Enhance your content offering through the use of images including photographs to lure readers in.
- Copy editor. Edit the raw information into usable content.
7. Measure content marketing results to business goals. The Aberdeen Group’s Trip Kucera cited that it took ten touches between the prospect’s first action through his purchase. Therefore, use content to nurture prospects at each step of the sales process to convert prospects. Here are ten of the most salient metrics discussed to track your content marketing.
- Website conversion – The number of people who visit your website and take another action.
- Unique site traffic – the number of unique visitors who find their way to your content.
- Subscription rate – The percent of visitors who are interested in your content. This is often an early step in the sales process.
- Social sharing – What resonates on social networks (soft metric.)
- Shorter sales cycles – You want more sales faster, often with less cost.
- Increased order size or quantity –look for larger orders, more orders or both.
- More referrals – This means more people at the top of the sales funnel.
- Improved retention – Keeps existing customers buying, either more or different products from your organization.
- Lower marketing costs – Reduced marketing expenses due to redeploying and/or more efficient use of employees and budgets.
- Increased revenues and profits – Measure marketing’s contribution to the bottom line.
Like gems, the best content marketing emerges from your business’ raw information when it’s cut into contextually relevant facets and polished into highly effective pieces that attract attention.
What other content marketing tactics would you recommend other marketers use and why?
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2015 is going to be a great year for social marketers, but to make the most of it you'll need a fine-tuned social strategy. This guide is your countdown to the New Year with ten fresh tactics based on the 2014 trends expected to shape the coming year, and ways you can refine your brand's social strategy for success.
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