This week, I was invited to speak at a Content Marketing Webinar with BrightTalk (https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/21775 ) – Other than learning to turn off the mute button when speaking (gulp!) it was a good discussion. In preparing for the meeting, I was asked to consider best practices and thought I would offer a few from my perspective here.
Is Content Marketing over-hyped?
My answer is yes- but I think it is still critical to an effective online presence. By embracing some solid practices, content marketing is an effective and a critical component of a marketing strategy, sales strategy and revenue architecture.
Today businesses need to attract and engage audiences with content – the trick is to make sure you focus on relevance! There is a proliferation of content as businesses are scrambling for search visibility and placement and it is easy to get caught in the noise. This article may be hard to find through search unless I pack it with the right key words that are relevant to the searching audience. For broad topics like this, I recognize that the article may get a little lost among the noise – but at least I am engaged in the conversation and offering a perspective, perhaps maintaining a level of credibility. If a potential client is considering Revenue Architects, they will at least see that we are engaged in these important revenue architecture topics.
I advise my clients to really think long-tail and relevance if the content goal is visibility and awareness through search marketing. With so much content on the web, what can you add to the conversation? For Revenue Architects, we will start to write more about how integrated sales and marketing is applied in different industries we work with – these articles will increase relevance for our target segments.
What were these best practices we were talking about? Here are a few from our perspective:
1) Relevance – as just discussed, try to ADD to the conversation by bringing in new relevant content to your audience. Repeating and repurposing what is already out there is not “digital native” and also not helping differentiate.
2) Integrated Programs: Think about the mix. More digital video combined with blog posts, white papers and briefs. Webinars and video together? Connected into a trackable program with tools like Marketo or Eloqua and applying personalization.
3) Audience Aligned – obvious but we often forget. Are we writing for the CIO? CTO? CEO? VP of Sales?
4) Pipeline Aligned: What content works to generate interest? Educate? Facilitate decisions? Modular content will help your audience get just what they need and not be forced to navigate through your entire story.
5) Top-down: Use persuasive communications to drive your message forward.
6) Peanut Butter: Make your content sticky and spreadable: These are Amy Hunt’s words. Make your content sticky “I want to check this out” and spreadable “I want to share this with Jim”
7) More Free: We all think we have premium content and that we deserve your personal information in order to share our great insight. Increasingly your content will need to be more distinctive and value-add before you should expect to get people to register for it – or hand over extensive demographic information. Permission marketing suggests a value exchange – make sure you have one. Premium content should be valuable enough to collect profiling information from your audience – and the more relevant the questions are to the content, the better.
These are a few thoughts on content marketing, there are many more. What do you think? Good luck and good selling…