BMA Chicago Fly on the Wall Report: Content Marketing Essentials That Will Drive Your Business


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November 2012 Luncheon
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BMA Chicago Fly on the Wall Report: Content Marketing Essentials That Will Drive Your Business

  1. 1. We know you can’t make it to every event through the year, but that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the information! Welcome to Fly On The Wall, where you can catch up on the highlights and nuggets from our breakfast and luncheon presentations. Please visit our website for upcoming events and mark your calendars to attend future events and learn, connect and advance with the BMA!Content Marketing Essentials That Will Drive YourBusinessMarketing Innovators Luncheon SeminarThursday, November 1, 2012The way Joe Pulizzi—founder of the Content Marketing Institute (a division ofZ Squared Media, a 2012 Inc 500 Company)—sees the content marketinglandscape, things have come full circle since the late 1800s. That is, marketingdepartments need to get back to speaking with customers directly. Pulizzitraced the history of content marketing for the audience at the November BMAChicago Marketing Innovators Luncheon seminar and wound up in a farm field—figuratively speaking.Even though the term content marketing did not even exist five years ago, thevenerable John Deere company began practicing it around the Turn of theCentury, when horse-drawn plows gave way to mechanized tractors among other Joe Pulizzi Founder of the Contenttechnological advancements in farming. Farmers might have been overwhelmed Marketing Instituteby the impacts of the changes if Deere had not begun publishing its corporatemagazine, The Furrow, in 1896. “Deere said, ‘What is the farmer’s pain point? What keeps him up at night?We’re going to solve that with amazing content,’” Pulizzi said. Since then, The Furrow has provided farmerswith substantive advice on using technology to run successful farms and today is published in 40 countries andhas a print circulation of 1.5 million.Content marketing has taken a long layoff, Pulizzi contended. “We can go back and see cave paintings wheresome person was saying, ‘Six ways to hunt boar with spear’—that was content marketing—they were showingpictures of how to do it. Right now, we’re seeing a correction because we went so heavy into mass media, evenin B to B, and now we’re pulling back and saying that we do need to communicate directly with our custom-ers.”So while content marketing is not new, the barriers to entry to doing it effectively—acting like a mediacompany—are there for everyone. And the results across the marketing universe, whether business-to-consumer(B to C) or business-to-business (B to B), are not as positive as they could be, Pulizzi said. Marketers mustunderstand that the only difference between their companies and media companies is where the revenue comesfrom: higher product or service sales vs. paid content, subscriptions, and sponsored content, Pulizzi pointed out.“I’ve talked to so many marketers of all sizes that feel like they can’t create the kind of content that mediacompanies can create. I’m here to tell you that you have to,” he said. “Your content has to be as good as orbetter than anyone else in the niche you target for your B to B company or it’ll get ignored because people can
  2. 2. go somewhere else for that content.”According to the Content Marketing Institute’s third annual “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks,Budgets and Trends” study of 1,400 marketers, 91 percent said that they create original content. The mostpopular content marketing tactics were creating content for social media, Web articles, newsletters, and blogs.Tactics such as research, video, mobile content, and online conferences are becoming more popular and 54percent of respondents said they will increase their content marketing budgets next year.Keys to content marketing success appear to be spending more, using more tactics, using more social platformsand—most importantly—tailoring content to individual buyers, Pulizzi said.A statistic of major concern that emerged from the study was the fact that only 36 percent of respondents thinkthat their content is effective. The study also revealed that respondents’ two biggest challenges are generatingenough content as well as engaging content. Pulizzi argued that many Fortune 1000 firms are throwing contentat problems and that approach is not effective. What customers need is more solutions to problems, he said.The silo problem rears its ugly head in the area of content marketing, Pulizzi added. Almost all B to B compa-nies have multiple departments creating content and think they own it, making content marketing the mostpolitical thing going on in marketing right now, he said. To solve this problem, companies must have a chiefcontent officer who ensures that all content creation silos talk to each other, he said.Pulizzi focused on what B to B marketers need to do in order to get content marketing right. Rather than fallinginto the trap of starting with the tactical—e.g., focusing on getting content into channels such as Facebook andPinterest—marketers must focus get strategic, he said. “We need to ask, ‘What are our customers’ pain points,what’s keeping them up at night, and how can we solve those pain points with amazing, epic content?’” he said.“We’re asking the wrong question—it’s not about what, it’s about why. It’s about understanding that ourcustomers don’t care about our products or services or anything else about us; they care about their painpoints.”Developing a content marketing strategy means developing an editorial or content vision for your entire market-ing team, Pulizzi said. Doing this means identifying a buyer persona—there might be more than one—and yourvision of how to address the buyer’s pain points.Pulizzi added that there has never been a better time to be a storyteller or journalist. “But the people gettinghired have to come over to the dark side and they’re going to have to work with brands because brands reallyneed to tell better stories,” he said. “We are just at the start of seeing the evolution of the marketing department,look, feel and act like a media company. I’m excited about where we’re going because we’re getting back totelling stories and communicating directly with our customers.”Pulizzi first cited consumer examples when discussing which firms are succeeding at content marketing. Jona-than Mildenhall, vice president of global advertising strategy and creative excellence at Coca-Cola, developedthe “Coca-Cola Content 2020” initiative to tell better stories, rather than just be creative. Two videos provide anoverview of the philosophy. The best content marketing company, though, is Red Bull, according to Pulizzi.“Red Bull is a media company that just happens to sell energy drinks—I believe that in my heart,” he said,referring to the company’s Red Bull Media House, which owns a huge library of video content that other mediacompanies purchase; the Red Bull Records label; digital and print magazines; and radio and TV stations.A couple of Procter & Gamble portals are great examples of defining a content marketing mission statementand executing it.’s stated mission is “Enabling Women to Have More Quality Time withtheir Families.” Since 2003, more than 10 million people have signed up for email updates.’s
  3. 3. stated mission is “Enabling Teen Girls to be More Confident with their Sexuality” and ManoftheHouse wasdeveloped with the idea of “Helping Men Become Better Men.”On the B to B side, industrial soldering company Indium Corp. defined a mission to “Help Engineers Solve theMost Challenging Industrial Solder Questions.” Since launching a content marketing initiative designed to getthe organization’s expertise out to the public directly, Indium has seen a 600 percent jump in leads. Technologyventure capital company OpenView Venture Partners developed its OpenView Labs content platform with ideasto help startup companies grow.Kelly Outsourcing Group, which provides HR, procurement and operations services, uses a “story explosion”approach. Despite having a small staff, Pulizzi said the platform looks like it is from a media company. Thecompany uses hundreds of keywords and makes sure it gets at least 20 separate pieces of content out of everystory idea.Pulizzi described how a content marketing function should be structured for maximum effectiveness. The chiefcontent officer is “the chief storyteller.” The managing editor serves the most important role as half projectmanager, half storyteller. Content producers format content. The chief listening officer serves as the content “airtraffic controller,” directing feedback to other areas of the company, e.g., customer service and sales. Contentcreators could be staff, freelancers, agencies, and even customers.He concluded with a few tips on achieving customer engagement through content marketing: • Develop an “Influencer Hit List” and promote your contributors in the eyes of the influencers, getting them to share content. • Use pop-up ads on your Web site inviting visitors to sign up for content such as e-newsletters and send gifts to those who sign up. • Out of every six pieces of content, plug yourself in one. A second piece should be your own original piece of educational content. The remaining four pieces should be from your influencer hit list; this approach helps you to build relationships by building content. • Use SlideShare, a “sleeping giant” for every B to B firm because it draws millions of visitors, for posting content such as your presentations. “At least get your PowerPoints up there,” he said. • Finally, “Get Uncomfortable: If you don’t feel like you are going to run off the road, you are not driving fast enough.” Think like a publisher, not a marketer. Strategize by identifying pain points and do a pilot project. Content Don Talend provided by: