5 Content Marketing Tips To Beam Your Results Up In 2014

Content: Boldly Go Where No Marketer Has Gone Before 

Joe Pulizzi and William Shatner at Content Markeitng WorldContent Marketing World is one of the best marketing conferences on Planet Earth. Like Star Trek, they boldly go where no marketer has gone before. Take it from Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), whose keynote address closed the show, “Beam me up.”

From the captain’s log of Content Marketing World, here are 5 content marketing tips guaranteed to improve your content marketing results.

1. Need permission to fail

Joe Pulizzi talks about content marketing mission statements. It’s the guiding light that keeps your content marketing aligned with your business goals so you stay on track to succeed.

Beyond having strategic content marketing objectives, the reality is that if you don’t take risks and adapt to today’s dynamic business environment, your business won’t grow.

“If you don’t have a right to fail, you don’t have an opportunity to grow.” Jonathan Mildenhall of The Coca-Cola Company  Tweet This

Mildenhall gave an example of a Fanta campaign that failed yet provided the experience necessary to create a significantly more successful campaign. The business challenge is learning from your failures and turning them into future successes.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips: Answer these questions:

  • What is your content marketing mission statement?
  • What is the primary goal of your content marketing? This should be associated with lead generation and sales.
  • What will happen if you fail? Can you leverage the setback to create an even bigger success?

2. Know your customer

Think high consideration versus low consideration products, not B2C or B2B products.

“Your existing customers are a litmus test for what your prospects are looking for,” Ardath Albee  Tweet This

This is particularly important for organizations that have limited resources. Assume the prospects you’re looking for are similar to your current buyers.

“Amazing things happen when you listen to customers,” Jonathan Mildenhall of The Coca-Cola Company  Tweet This

 “You’re competing against everything until the prospect is focused on buying”. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert, author of Youtility  Tweet This

Adele Revella recommends creating a buyer profile based on 5 factors: consider the purchaser’s priorities, how does the buyer measure success, what are the customer’s perceived barriers, what is the prospect’s purchase journey, and what the buyer’s decision criteria.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips: Answer these questions:

  • Who is the customer expert in your organization based on real life dealings?
  • Are you listening to what your prospects are saying?
  • Are you speaking your prospects’ language since your content must resonate with their needs not yours?

3. Retain existing customers

Think additional sales of the same product, sales of related products or higher end products.

Existing customers are easier to market to and yield higher margins than new customers since you know who they are and you don’t need to pay for third party media to acquire them.

Increasing customer retention rate by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95% according to Bain & Company (via Ardath Albee.)  Tweet This

Customer retention is about helping customers get more value from you than they originally expected. To this end, engage your customers in dialogue to discover any issues or hurdles.

Customer retention conversion rates average 60% to 70% while new prospect conversion rates average between 5% and 20% according to Ardath Albee.  Tweet This

Actionable Content Marketing Tips: Answer these questions:

  • What are you customers trying to do now that wasn’t on their radar when they initially purchased from your business?
  • What challenges are they still struggling with that your products and services can help them overcome?
  • Are there new players in the market who can offer equivalent or better responses to your customers’ needs?

4. Use a combination of high, medium and low effort content

Use a mix of content formats and content creators to build a robust content marketing offering at every step of the purchase process. The objective is to create the type of content customers actively seek when they’re in purchase mode.

High effort content often created by professionals has 3.8% CTR, medium effort content often created by your employees has a 11.4% CTR, and low effort content, often created by your customers has a 9.1% CTR, compared with 1.6% average CTR according to WebTrends. Chris Baggott of Compendium (paraphrased)

Create an editorial calendar to plan your content creation. The key is providing editorial support so that employees and customers aren’t afraid of poor grammar or presentation.

“80% of visitors are first time visitors. They’re prospects.” Chris Baggott of Compendium  Tweet This

Actionable Content Marketing Tips: Answer these questions:

  • What pillar pieces of content do you need to position your business as a thought leader in your field? (High effort content)
  • How can you capture stories and questions from your employees to answer customer questions and provide how-tos? (Medium effort content)
  • How can you involve your customers in your content creation without seeming creepy? (Low effort content)

5. Test to improve results

As content marketing continues to be used more broadly, it’s critical to test every element of your content to ensure it yields optimal results. Improved results don’t require more content. You must determine what works best in each context for your specific audience.

“The way you design your content increases its impact and effectiveness.”  Chris Goward of Wider Funnel

Think white space. Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.” Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media.

According to Crestodina, their agency gets about 5 to 10 leads per day from their optimized content.

Don’t overlook optimization for both humans and robots. Bear in mind that 20% of Google searches are new.

Crestodina’s 3 criteria for using a search term are: do people search for it, is it not too competitive, and is it relevant to his audience? In his words, where there’s traffic there’s hope.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips: Answer these questions:

  • Is your content easy-to-consume?  Think bolding, outlining and chunks of information.
  • Have you included a call-to-action? Is it obvious to visitors who are new to your site?

As Star Trek taught us content marketers, there is power in creating content that continues to be relevant.

What other tips did you gather from Content Marketing World 2013 either in real life or via Twitter

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


 

 

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Photo Credit: (c) 2013 Heidi Cohen – All rights reserved

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