It is About Time Content Marketing was Brought to the Table
This past week I decided to go hear a speaker on content marketing at a Cleveland American Marketing Association event. The topic initially struck me as something likely beyond my knowledge base and interesting as seemingly everything we create these days is considered content. It would be difficult to sit and count how many times the suggestion “become a resource for your industry” has been made to a client.
The guest speaker was Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe), founder of the Content Marketing Institute in Cleveland, published author and one of the original industry players to use the term content marketing. The title of his discussion was Your Brand as Publisher – Should Content be the Center of Your Marketing.
The following eight bullet points are in Joe’s words Things That I Would Be Doing Right Now If I Were You:
- Tackle one big goal, fix something broken or make something better with content. For many brands the opportunities to create content could seem endless. The most effective way to implement a content marketing strategy is to tackle one goal at a time. Ideally the first goal should be the one that fills the biggest need or has the greatest impact on consumers. The most important question should be - what do we truly do for the buyer community?
- 10 to 1 content. Re-imagine. Since recent Google updates, social media sharing has become more important for being found in search engines. Customers are also in complete control with how they engage in content. These are forcing markets to re-imagine how content will be shared and interacted with in 10 different ways, 10 to 1.
- Take the visual content audit. How often do the people behind the brand actually step back, lay all of the marketing materials out on a table and take a look at the broad perspective? It is likely that most will find that their current content is all about them. The customer is not nearly as concerned with you, you, you as they are with me, me, me. Focus on the consumer.
- Clearly identify roles. Clearly define content creation roles within the organization. A typical content marketing team will have roles like content creator, managing editor, content producer, chief listening officer and chief content officer. Anyone who commits to a content marketing strategy should have someone internal who listens to externals conversations about the brand.
- Test a niche to become the leading resource for your customers in that area. Joe made the statement, “Anyone can dominate a niche market by creating the best content in that niche.” Take advantage of content opportunities in niche related to the brand’s industry.
- Partner if you have to. Do not try and do everything internally with staff that is not trained or capable of executing a content marketing strategy. Content creation is about the writing. Think journalism, not advertising. Which is something that marketers are said to have trouble with. It is also better to look outwards for help than expecting even the best of marketing departments to go from 0-60 on a full-fledged content campaign in addition to previous marketing tasks.
- Or buy the leading trade media company. Primarily intended for medium to large companies, it could be a better solution to purchase and incorporate a trade media company with the desired content capabilities than attempt to create them internally with inexperienced marketing staff.
- Reach out to content creators and influencers. Thinking about the point of socially shared content becoming more searchable, focus on referral traffic and relationships with outside influencers that can boost the attention on the brand’s content. There are also two types of sites that can be beneficial – an influencer content site based on an unfulfilled topic and a site putting the consumers in the spotlight, leveraging the power of larger communities.
The goal of Joe’s eight points is to get marketers thinking like a publisher. The keys to changing frame of thought are knowing what the audience really needs to know, sharing better stuff than anyone else, always making the story about the customer and understanding roles in creating the content.