Last night, I did a one hour webinar for CIM's Practical insights series. I talked about why content marketing is so important and gave some tips on developing engaging content marketing programmes.
I thought it would be useful, to summarise some of the key points here. So, here are my top tips for content marketing:
1) Content marketing can be curated or created. You don't have to produce all of the content yourselves - it is OK to share content from industry experts, influencers or your customers.
2) Focus on pull, not push. Most consumers will research before they buy and are typically 70% of the way through their buying journey before they speak to a possible vendor. So, make sure your content can be found in Google and social media.
3) Focus on earned, rather than paid media. Your campaign may need some paid media to boost awareness initially, but consider how and why your readers would share your content with their peers.
4) The best creative ideas tell stories. How do you humanise your proposition by telling engaging stories to bring your message to life. In B2B that could be case studies, in B2C it could be about the customer experience
5) You need to set objectives and measure customer engagement as well as revenue and sales. I use the 4 step model of Acquire, Participate, Engage and Share to measure engagement. Focus on acquiring their attention, then getting them to respond to your owned media (participate), where you get their permission to continue to engage through social media, mobile apps, blogs, events or email. Finally, consider how you will get engaged consumers to share your content with their peers, which should start the acquisition cycle again
6) How will you influence the influencers. Your content will reach a much wider audience if you can get celebrities, industry experts, bloggers or consumers sharing your content. What is in it for them? Why do people share? Normally, they do it to make themselves look good (smart, funny, caring, expert etc)
7) Treat different customers differently. Segment your customers using their behaviours and develop engaging propositions based on customer insights for each group. Behaviours are typically much more predictive and definitive than demographics (or business demographics)
8) Develop a content calendar, leaving space for evergreen, topical and event related content. Evergreen content will be searched for today and into the longer term. Topical content gets you noticed and gets your content shared. Event related content allows you to promote your launches, events and at key times of the year such as Christmas, Father's Day, Back to School or the key industry conference.
9) Make sure you use social listening tools to search and then reply to customer comments about your content. There are free tools like www.socialmention.com and more expensive tools like Sysomos and Radian6, that provide a more comprehensive service.
10) Treat different comments differently. Do you have a process for dealing with comments from simple positive comments to a lone complainer to a social media crisis? Make sure you are not making up your process when you are in a crisis!
I hope you found these tips useful. I'd be interested in your tips too, if you'd like to share them. Or if you are interested in learning more about Content marketing or need some consulting services, you can talk to me directly or book a course through CIM.