How to Make Your Content Marketing Best-in-Class [Research]

Best-in-class content marketers don’t just have great creative teams. Their content marketing planning and approach is better. How’s yours?

Three factors distinguish the best in class content marketers from their least effective peers based on Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ 2012 research.

  1. Content marketing requires marketing investment. The most effective marketers dedicate three out of every ten marketing dollars to content marketing, about 70% more than their least effective content marketers.
  2. Content marketing must be aligned with marketing goals. The most effective content marketers are 55% more likely than the least effective content marketers to create content based on the buying cycle.
  3. Content marketing needs senior management support. The most effective content marketers have executive backing that facilitates content marketing usage and implementation. They have half the issues with senior management buy-in compared to the least effective content marketers.

Want to make your content marketing best-in-class?

Then, regardless of business type, B2C, B2B, not-for-profit or solopreneur, you must address any shortcomings with these three factors. Here’s how to create an equivalent situation for each of these attributes.

  1. Find resources for content marketing. While content marketing isn’t free, you can hide your content marketing budget. Among the obvious choices are your website, social media or search optimization spending, since content marketing supports these functions. Alternatively, you can use other people’s budgets by getting support from your manufacturers, suppliers and/or distributors. The challenge with outside organizations is getting targeted content that’s effective for your audience. Lastly, you can crowd source relevant information from customers and the public in the form of reviews, photographs using your product, blog posts and articles, and social media engagement.
  2. Coordinate content marketing with marketing objectives. Provide information customers want, need and search for. It’s helpful to create marketing personas and an editorial calendar to help your content marketing creation process. Ensure your content’s findable, this means easy-to-consume on a variety of devices. The content must have contextually relevant calls-to-action and trackable promotion codes where appropriate so that you can assess your marketing results.
  3. Persuade senior management to support content marketing. For most senior executives, this translates into “show them the money” by tracking a variety of different content marketing metrics. Show that you’re reducing the risk by creating content marketing as a test. (Of course, you need to have the metrics in place to show results!) Another option is to camouflage content marketing as another well established form of marketing or collateral.

Once you create the environment for best-in-class content marketing, you must track how well your efforts yield results aligned with your corporate goals. If they don’t, you need to reassess your content marketing strategies and adjust them.

Do you have any other suggestions for making your content marketing best-in-class?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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