This year’s Content Marketing World Sydney was marked by conversations about success. What does it take to implement a content marketing strategy? What workflow processes are needed?
Here are the top 9 lessons Filtered Media’s team took away from Content Marketing World.
#1 Do you really know what content marketing means?
Arnie Kuenn, CEO at Vertical Measures, a content marketing agency in Phoenix, USA reminds us content marketing ISN’T about blatantly branding your company. It’s about providing relevant and useful content to your customers without interrupting or selling to them. You want to inform potential customers before they make a purchase. He adds that consistent and valuable information will be rewarded with business and customer loyalty. In addition, Kuenn insists embedding graphics and crafting your content aesthetic is of particular importance for getting attention and sending the right signals.
#2 There is no silver bullet for effective content marketing
Joe Pulizzi, founder, Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing says there’s no single winning formula for content marketing success. But there are signals that explain why your efforts may not be paying off:
- Producing lacklustre content in too many channels
- Not building a truly loyal audience in any of your chosen channels
- Targeting too many audiences with your content
Pulizzi’s research found some B2B marketers are creating a lot of content across too many channels without great results. His tip is to decide what you WON’T do: “Sometimes, to succeed in one area, you need to say no and pare back.”
If you’d like to dig in more, here’s a talk Joe gave back in 2013 titled “Good to Great Content Marketing.”
#3 Document your content marketing strategy to succeed
It’s fair to say many companies have long paid lip service to the notion of a documented content marketing strategy. But we were reminded again at Content Marketing World that there’s a direct correlation between a documented strategy and effective content marketing.
Check out last year’s research from the Content Marketing Institute. Just 44 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, yet 66 precent of those who do have a strategy rate their efforts “most effective.” As the old saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
#4 Email Marketing is highly effective, if you get it right
Jeff Bullas, blogger and social media fiend argues that personalising your email newsletter is the best way to increase the open rate. A handy trick: Send your eDM from a person, not a brand.
#5 Use influencers to build your subscriber base
Pulizzi says brands can build relationships with influencers by sharing content created by your influencer more often than your own content. In time, influencers notice. At this point, create, tag and aggregate content that includes content from your influencers. For B2B brands, sharing content through a platform like SlideShare allows you to integrate a subscription page on your platform. Ensure the call to action emulates a sense of urgency: “You need to read this white paper etc”. Watch your subscribers grow!
#6 Who is your content for?
Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping and speaker-at-large, says a smart approach is choosing an audience that’s not already owned. Look at your market, then divide it, subdivide it and continue on down the fractal pattern until you find an opportunity: the audience you didn’t know existed. Find a niche market, or as many as you can handle, and tailor content just for them. Here is the opportunity to introduce your brand to a new audience and grow sales. Use online tools such as Compete or Quantcast to help you find the untapped market.
#7 Find your voice
Bullas, Kuenn and Pulizzi unanimously agree your content must have a tone of voice that accurately reflects your brand. The tone may change depending on the subject matter and the channel, but always keep in mind what the content is designed to achieve. For instance, content aimed at entertaining people can find find its natural home on Facebook.
#8 Never underestimate the power of passionate people on your team
Matt Rowley from digital agency Thirteenth Floor shared tips for growing and sustaining engagement with your content from his experience founding the Green and Gold Rugby (G&GR) website. Harnessing the passion and focus of a group of fervent rugby followers and matching it with strategic thinking, this collective generates significant engagement with their content. Now Australia’s largest independent Rugby website in Australia, it’s the go-to site for die-hard followers to get their rugby news fix. Rowley outlined three pillars underpinning growth and sustained meaningful user engagement; analysis, humour and community. However, the key to G&GR’s success was a team of rugby lovers who understood the community. So, who’s creating your content? Are they passionate about it? It could be the x-factor needed to grow and sustain engagement.
#9 The 4 archetypes of content marketing
- The Promoter: content we create that facilitates the sale of a product or service.
- The Poet: content we create to bind our brand to our audience’s belief systems. We seek to connect emotionally in order to create affinity.
- The Professor: content we create to build trust, establish our differentiated approach and build relationships.
- The Preacher: content we create to drive awareness of our approach. We want to be found and evangelise our ideas.
Hear more on Robert Rose’s outlook on Content Marketing World and content marketing success on the CMO Show.
If you attended, what were your lessons? Tweet us @FilteredMedia