Earlier this month, we attended the 2012 Online Marketing Summit (OMS) and sat in on some fascinating presentations from leaders in the web marketing sphere. There was a lot of talk throughout the four-day event about content marketing and the ways that blogs, webinars, white papers and email can engage and intrigue customers.
If your company hasn’t looked into content marketing, it’s definitely time to get with the program and consider its effectiveness in marketing campaigns. Content Marketing Institute, a marketing educator and consultant, surveyed a group of marketers in 2011 and 2010 and found that marketers are becoming increasingly confident about the effectiveness of their content marketing strategies.
Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi spoke during OMS about the differences between good content marketing and great content marketing.
Pulizzi stressed that storytelling is essential to great marketing and highlighted six tips to help you build a story that will keep the public interested and involved in your brand:
1. Content should be focused and driven: Create the best content by going broad in a super niche, becoming the leading expert in your field and avoiding overt sales pitches. Content should be customer centric, not sales-focused.
2. Open up new content and media markets: Experiment with different types of content to find what your audience finds most beneficial.
3. Clearly define the chief storyteller: Someone on your team needs to own your content marketing process. Hiring a managing editor or content producer will improve your brand’s story.
4. Leverage employees in content creation: When employees are encouraged to create content, they become more educated about your industry, advocate your brand and establish your team as an informed resource.
5. Remove the brand from the story: The less you mention your brand, the farther your story will travel. Readers will share quality content and information and your brand will reap the benefits, even without conspicuous branding.
6. Build the influencer or customer community: Focus on referral traffic and tap into the resources of influencers and thought leaders in your industry.
Pulizzi also gave kudos to companies that have utilized content marketing successfully, including Coca-Cola, Google, American Express, Sherwin Williams and OpenView. OpenView’s blog has been particularly noteworthy, as the company has grown to average 24 blog posts a week with 90 percent participation from employees. The OpenView newsletter boasts over 10,000 subscribers.
Some additional tips from Pulizzi:
· Think like a publisher
· Choose a niche you can lead
· Develop the best multi-channel content on the planet
· Remove you from the story as much as possible
One of the most important things to remember when embarking on a content marketing endeavor is that although content creation may seem time consuming at first, it really is worth the effort. Take the time to craft your story, establish your market and regularly develop quality content.
For more information, check out Content Marketing Institute’s research report on 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends here: http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/12/2012-b2b-content-marketing-research/