Content Marketing: Four Cornerstones

Content Marketing Framework (16 Tactics Included)

Content Marketing Cornerstone Content marketing focuses on customers’ needs. Content marketing tells stories, offers useful purchase information, improves product usage, and entertains. Without being promotional, content marketing effectively achieves business goals by building brand reputation, persuading prospects to buy, and retaining customers.

To deliver measurable results against your business goals, develop your strategy around content marketing’s four cornerstones: context, channels, community and commerce.

Context

Provides a branded framework to convey your message. It enhances your information’s relevance helping to draw prospects in and engage them.

  1. Tells your story. Company and product stories are at the center of content marketing. Bear in mind that customers remember stories better than facts.
  2. Incorporates your 360° brand. Content brings your brand to life through the range of  branding factors including color, typography, voice, language, and graphic elements.
  3. Provides a structure for conveying your offering’s information consistently. How you format and present your content helps attract readers. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step.
  4. Is the location where content appears. Assess all online and offline options including your website, other third-party media, social media, search, mobile apps, ebooks, print media, direct mail,  customer communications, retail establishments, live events and conferences.

Channel

Communicates and distributes your content  one-to-many, one-to-one, and many-to-many.

  1. Includes a wide range of content formats. Use a variety of content types such as text, video, photographs and graphics, audio, presentations, ebooks, live events and comments.
  2. Uses various communications conduits. Include email, text messages, and feeds for content distribution. Additionally, chat can be used for business and personal communication.  Social media communicates via messaging on social networks and social sharing. Offline includes print, direct mail and postal letters. Lastly, don’t underestimate the human voice for phone, in-store and live event communications.
  3. Incorporates different platforms. Deliver content when and where participants want via a variety of devices. Think broadly to ensure you’re meeting your prospects’ needs including computers, smartphones, tablets, and in-store options.
  4. Cross promote marketing initiatives on other platforms and communications. Integrate non-promotional content to attract and maintain readers on other conduits like email and text messaging.

Community

Content marketing draws prospects, customers, fans, and the public in by attracting attention and engaging them. This enables marketers to build relationships over time.

  1. Place content on a mix of platforms to maximize reach and build relationships. Use the social media entities where your target audience is active. Also leverage your own events, retail establishments and other live events .
  2. Encourage participants to share your content. Create earned media by leveraging readers’ relationships.
  3. Lure participants in via other platforms. Support search optimization and findability, extend social media to attract participants, and attract attention at live events with content marketing.
  4. Engage with participants. Don’t just drive prospects to your content marketing. It’s important to be present and to interact.

Commerce

By offering useful information, answering customer questions, supplying recipes and patterns, showing how to use and style products, content builds customer trust and supports sales before, during and after purchase.

  1. Be present where prospects seek to fulfill their purchase needs. Allow prospects to  gather product information and/or purchase where they want. This means online via computer, smartphone or mobile as well as offline in a store (yours or your competitor’s.)
  2. Know it’s not just your information that matters. Think customer ratings and reviews as well as other input from family friends and social media. If you don’t offer it they’ll go elsewhere!
  3. Use a contextually relevant call-to-action.  Encourage shoppers to take the next step. Support purchasing by integrating a contextually relevant call-to-action and related unique promotional code, to easily track content marketing results.
  4. Let prospects buy the way they want to, where they want to, and when they want to. This includes at your retail store, online, via phone, or via mobile.

Integrate content marketing’s four cornerstones into your overall marketing strategy to attract prospects, build relationships with them, and persuade them to purchase. Incorporate links and calls-to-action to encourage interaction that you can track with the use of content metrics.

Is there anything else that you’d add to these four cornerstones of content marketing? Alternatively, is there anything that you’d change? If so, what would it be?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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Free Webcast!

Return on Authenticity:
Making Effective Storytelling and Content Performance Align

Return on Authenticity: Making Effective Storytelling and Content Performance AlignJoin the discussion on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT/ 1:00 PM ET with Nancy Slavin, SVP of Marketing, Macy's Merchandising Group, and Dan Kimball, CMO, Thismoment.

According to research by Nielsen, 70 percent of global consumers trust online consumer reviews and rate reviews as the second most trusted form of advertising. And according to BazaarVoice, when it comes to trust, marketers may as well eliminate their own brand websites as a fountain of customer trust as only 16 percent of US consumers said they trust the content on a brand's website compared to the 51 percent who trust content generated by other users.

Today's digital currency is arguably authenticity, and what attracts customers - especially the digitally dependent, savvy millennial - is not just content. It is the delivery of authentic, unvarnished content from their peers.

Join the CMO Council on Wednesday, October 29, at 10am PST/ 1pm EST for a one-hour webcast that will invite industry experts in content marketing and user-generated content who are effectively leveraging authentic storytelling as part of their content marketing strategies. We will also feature an interactive Q&A session at the conclusion of the speaker presentations.

Register for this Free Webcast today!


 

 

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  • Pam Sissons

    I like your surgical approach to content marketing in this article. Particularly the Community emphasis…this is one way to refrain from producing dry, SERP-only content that is just another version content “farm feed”. Lots of talk about “content clog” of late… thanks!