7 Tactics to Create Actionable Marketing Content

Market Research Insights

Content marketing is pervasive.  90% of business use content marketing across an average of eight different formats including a variety of social media services (79% use social media, 51% use blogs, 41% use videos and 16% use podcasts) according to Junta42 / Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ just released B2B research.While most marketers can’t tell whether their social media efforts are effective or not, the bottom line is that there’s a lot of information to handle.

To help develop actionable marketing content that helps achieve your business goals, here are seven content-related recommendations.

  1. Relate memorable stories containing beginnings, middles, and ends. Tailor your narrative for a specific medium and provide users with options. Allow a video to be watched silently, for example, like the Dove Evolution campaign’s viral video. (Here’s further information regarding how to incorporate stories into your marketing.)
  2. Develop content in context of your target audience. Don’t assume that your prospects, customers, influencers, and the public are actively seeking out your information. Therefore engage them where they are and when they need you on social media platforms. Do the same with internally owned media like your website and blog. Old Spice, for example, used a variety of social media platforms while Xerox created Competipedia, an internal wiki to collect and share information about services, sales process, clients, and competitors.
  3. Provide content for different devices and related information consumption habits. Include these four major screen types:
    1. Computers, which are lean-in experiences;
    2. iPad and other e-readers, which are lean-back encounters;
    3. Cell phones (especially iPhones and Droids), which are used for content snacking;
    4. Televisions, which are traditionally for passive viewing but are beginning to integrate interactive information.
  4. Incorporate your brand consistently into your content. Consider all information conveyed including visual clues, and audio mentions and sounds as well as a visual or audio logo. For example, Old Spice’s video, while not scripted, portrayed a consistent brand message by using the same spokesperson and always including a brand mention with a visual of the product.
  5. Tailor content presentation to your target audience, goals and platform. Old Spice engaged with people on a number of social media platforms in real time.
  6. Use company resources to support your content strategies.
    1. Make one employee responsible for content across multiple platforms within your organization.
    2. Spend budget on outside resources and support where needed.
    3. Reward employees for content contribution and creation efforts.
  7. Monitor content quality to determine its contribution to marketing objectives. Assess the following metrics:
    1. Audience tracked based on reach, social graph, and media pickups. Are you reaching your target audience and their influencers?
    2. Content effectiveness measured by improved brand metrics  and success of your calls to action to drive inquiry or sales-related activity.
    3. Actions based on views, shares across social networks, and comments. Examine the sentiment of this input.
    4. Costs tracked for content development, creative, technology, workflow efficiencies, head count, and other resources.
    5. Revenues related to content can occur at various steps in the purchase process. Remember it may be necessary to monitor related marketing steps.

While content is an important component of your marketing mix, remember that it needs to be integrated into your overall plan to ensure that it works most effectively to drive and support sales. Consider using a variety of different formats and platforms to help reinforce your message. Before becoming overwhelmed with the amount of content marketing you need, remember that at its core much of marketing has always involved some form of information.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

For additional information about content marketing, read Why content marketing is sexy.

Photo credit: Fuyoh! via Flickr

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