The All-Encompassing Nature of Content Marketing

October 25, 2012 •

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, and to participate in a panel on content marketing.  It was an excellent event – kudos to Capitol Communicator, Potomac Tech Wire, and everyone else that made it happen.  And a special thank you to the great people on our panel:

 

  • Moderator Andy Seibert – Chairman, Custom Content Council
  • Munish Gandhi – CEO, Hy.ly
  • Brian Williams – CEO/Co-Founder, Viget
  • Erin McCahill – VP, Brand & Creative Services, Vocus

What really struck me about the day was the way in which content marketing weaved itself into every session, panel and conversation. Many of the discussions throughout the day focused on topics like Facebook, mobile marketing, and marketing automation, but as I wrote earlier this year, all of these marketing tactics and channels need content to feed the beast. And if you’re addressing content without first developing a content marketing strategy and plan, you are unlikely to succeed.

A few other takeaways for marketers ready to integrate content marketing into their 2013 marketing plans:

Too many companies are looking at Facebook and video as holy grails, while not paying nearly enough attention to email marketing.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for marketers. The DMA projects email to drive $67.8 billion in sales in 2012 and $82.2 billion in sales in 2016.  A good content marketing plan incorporates social, video, email and a host of other channels.   Too many companies have allowed email—a proven driver of not only activity but transactions—to fade into the marketing abyss.

Companies are looking at individual social media properties in a silo.

We see a lot of talk about Facebook and YouTube strategies, but all too often they’re not connected to a company’s business strategies. Facebook and YouTube are individual properties, and while they may be very important to your business, it’s vital to look at them as pieces of your overall business strategy, marketing strategy, and content marketing strategy, rather than standing on their own.

The solution isn’t just creating more content, but creating better content.

When it comes to content marketing, more content is not necessarily better. Many companies are still making the mistake of trying to become factories that pump out content, or paying third parties to do so, with the thinking that content marketing is strictly a volume game.  You need better content, not just more content.
Companies need to focus on creating engaging content, tied to a buyer’s questions and objectives, and then focus on producing more of that.  Because every buyer has different needs, a different angle, and different perspectives, activate as many people as you can on your team that are willing to participate to personalize the brand.  Brian gave a great example of how his team at Viget creates and shares content in very specific communities for developers on GitHub, designers on Tribble, etc.

Everyone wants to measure marketing, but most are not sure what (or how) to measure.

For most marketers, showing concrete results has become a requirement, not just a nice to have.  However, most aren’t 100% sure what to measure, what to report, and how to frame those results.  When I am asked the measurability question, I typically respond in three parts:

1). Understand how the business is being measured, and align your measurements accordingly.  Your key metrics should feed up to how the CEO and the business are being measured; ultimately all the pieces need to work together so this is probably the only structure that makes sense.

2). Measure everything but report on only a few things that are really important.  Many people tend to get lost in the nitty-gritty of detailed analytics.  Keep your reporting limited to a few agreed-upon KPIs to ensure this is a top level report.  You can always drill into the details if necessary, but in most cases, the simpler the better.  Jay Baer talks consumption metrics, sharing metrics, lead metrics, and sales metrics in much more detail in this Content Marketing Institute interview.

3). Understand that there are other benefits of content marketing that you either need to work into your measurements. Learn more about these Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Content Marketing in Mike’s recent post.

Takeaway

Thanks again to everyone at the event – it was a rewarding day, full of vibrant conversations with clients, partners, and other marketers. It was fun to illustrate and share what has become an indisputable fact: content marketing touches just about every aspect of not just marketing, but your entire business.

More About Content Marketing

Get both easy-to-digest tips and more detailed content marketing approaches from Right Source and other industry experts in our free content marketing eBook: How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.

Learn even more about creating a successful content marketing approach in the webcast: What if You Build It and They Still Don’t Come?

And of course, feel free to drop a comment below or contact me directly with your questions or challenges.

 

About the Author

As Right Source’s chief marketing technology officer, Will Davis oversees the intersection of marketing strategy, consulting, execution and technology for our clients. He focuses first on business objectives and then on helping clients leverage marketing and technology to deliver against those objectives. A recognized leader in content marketing, Will has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in government and politics and broad experience developing marketing strategies that help organizations reach milestones and grow. You can find Will on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn, or read his other posts.

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