As I sat down yesterday with a couple members of the Right Source team for our check-in on our 2012 tactical plan, I was reminded how our marketing, like that of many of our clients, is heavily dependent on content. We use the term content marketing all the time in our industry, yet to many folks outside of the industry – and to many of our potential clients – it means very little. What I’ve realized is that a post Mike wrote nearly 2 years ago – What is Content Marketing and Why is it Hot? -is still incredibly relevant today and maybe even more so. Why?
Many People Still Need an Explanation of What Content Marketing Is
People in the industry don’t believe it, but it’s true – the term content marketing sounds great but many marketers, presidents, and CEOs have never heard it or don’t know what it means. A great example of this occurred yesterday. Mike and I looked at Google’s keyword research tool and see a term like “content marketing firm” has a very high level of competition – see how many sponsored listings come up when you search it – and yet only 170 or so searches a month worldwide. By comparison, the term “advertising firm” has 301,000 searches per month, huge difference.
So, it’s clear people aren’t out there asking for it by name, so the idea of effective content marketing takes some explaining and education.
Content Touches Almost Everything You Do
Take a look at your 2012 marketing plan and I’ll bet most all of your initiatives involve content in one form or another. Whether it’s webinars, blogging, website updates, social media or so many more initiatives, they all require well-planned and well-crafted content. Like Seymour the monster from Little Shop of Horrors, you need to continue to feed your marketing initiatives great content, or they’ll shrivel up and die.
Feed Me – Your Marketing Automation Tool is Hungry
One of the fastest growing markets right now is marketing automation software. We talk to many companies that are in the process of deploying or have deployed the latest and greatest marketing automation and lead nurturing tools like HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua and many others. What do they all need? You guessed it—a content strategy that takes into account the buyer’s needs and behaviors, and how to address each stage of the buying cycle. All too often companies invest heavily in licensing marketing automation software and then realize mid-way through deployment that they don’t have a content strategy and haven’t identified or created the right content. The landing pages you visit, the blog posts you read, the lead nurturing emails you receive, the webinars you sign-up to attend, the white papers you register to download, the eBook you get – all of these elements marketing automation tools need to thrive and they all fall apart without the right content.
Don’t let your 2012 marketing approach turn into a Little Shop of Horrors. Make sure you have your 2012 content plan in place and if you haven’t yet developed it, here’s 12 Questions That Should Guide Your Content Marketing Plan.
Agree? Disagree? Have a marketing automation story to share? Hungry for more (sorry couldn’t resist). Share your comments below.