Building the Perfect Content Marketing Mix - Part II - Execution Tactics

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Building the Perfect Content Marketing Mix - Part II - Execution Tactics

Feel like it's time to mix up your marketing playlist? While there’s a lot you could be doing, sometimes it’s hard to know which tracks to start, stop, or pause. To help you find the right mix to meet your marketing goals, we consolidated responses from the 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research report section — “Which content marketing initiatives are you working on now, and in the next 12 months?” We broke out the results as follows:

• By priority
• By business type (B2B, B2C and nonprofit)
• By geography (North America, Australia, United Kingdom)

Part I covered two “playlists”: Internal Processes and Content Marketing Strategy Tactics (find that here on SlideShare as well). From channels to platforms to audience segmentation, we discussed how you can best establish your content marketing strategy and structure your team internally for more efficient processes.

Part II: Playlist 3 is where we show you how to mix things up a bit with different Execution Tactics. See how to create and deliver the best content to meet your business objectives. While some geographies and business types have similar priorities, others are finding their own unique beats — and the differences may surprise you.

We hope you find the following findings insightful and inspirational as you make your plans for the year ahead.

Enjoy!
Joe Pulizzi

Published in: Marketing

Building the Perfect Content Marketing Mix - Part II - Execution Tactics

  1. 1. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 1 of 16 BUILDING THE PERFECT CONTENT MARKETING MIX PART II Execution Tactics Now Playing
  2. 2. BUILDING THE PERFECT CONTENT MARKETING MIX Top Priorities for 2015 — Part II INTRODUCTION FEEL LIKE IT’S TIME TO MIX UP YOUR MARKETING PLAYLIST? While there’s a lot you could be doing, sometimes it’s hard to know which tracks to start, stop, or pause. To help you find the right mix to meet your marketing goals, we consolidated responses from the 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research report section — “Which content marketing initiatives are you working on now, and in the next 12 months?” We broke out the results as follows: • By priority • By business type (B2B, B2C and nonprofit) • By geography (North America, Australia, United Kingdom) Part I covered two “playlists”: Internal Processes and Content Marketing Strategy Tactics. From channels to platforms to audience segmentation, we discussed how you can best establish your content marketing strategy and structure your team internally for more efficient processes. Part II: Playlist 3 is where we show you how to mix things up a bit with different Execution Tactics. See how to create and deliver the best content to meet your business objectives. While some geographies and business types have similar priorities, others are finding their own unique beats — and the differences may surprise you. We hope you find the following findings insightful and inspirational as you make your plans for the year ahead. Enjoy! Joe Pulizzi
  3. 3. PLAYLISTS Creating more engaging/ higher-quality content....................................................4 Finding more/better ways to repurpose content............................................................6 Increasing website visitor conversions ......................8 Organizing website content........................................10 Becoming better storytellers......................................12 Creating visual content................................................14 Becoming stronger writers..........................................16 Optimizing content.......................................................18 Gaining a better understanding of what content is effective..............................................20 Creating a greater variety of content.......................22 Marketing automation/lead nurturing....................24 Curating content ...........................................................26 Personalizing content ..................................................28 Understanding/using paid content..........................30 Leveraging user- or fan-generated content...........32 Real-time content marketing.....................................34 PLAYLIST 3: EXECUTION TACTICS How you can create and deliver the best content that will meet your business obectives: BUILDING THE PERFECT CONTENT MARKETING MIX Top Priorities for 2015 — Part II
  4. 4. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 1 of 16 CREATING MORE ENGAGING/ HIGHER-QUALITY CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Creating better content is something most of the marketers we surveyed — regardless of location or business type — are focusing on this year. Over 80% of respondents in every group we surveyed indicated that they’re either focusing on this now or plan to in the next 12 months. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 69% 19% North America B2C 62% 27% North America Nonprofit 62% 22% Australia for-profit 67% 23% UK for-profit 69% 22% It’s no surprise that a top priority for most of the marketers we surveyed in this year’s report was creating better content for their audience, since creating engaging content was a top challenge. As more companies are entering the content marketing game (and producing high volumes of content as a result), it’s become vital for marketers to find ways to “stand out” amongst the clutter with unique, engaging methods. In addition, readers have the option to be selective about the content they consume, meaning the quality of your content needs to meet their higher expectations. TACTIC 13
  5. 5. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 1 of 16 From 5 Tips for Quality Content Creation and 6 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Stale Online Content Marketing: Before you start creating more and more content, take the time to examine your existing content’s quality. Here’s where a little advance planning can help. Take the time to catalog all of the content you’ve created, and measure how each piece has performed to see what to keep, revise, or remove. This will allow your team to take a close look at your current content rather than just continuing to create in a vacuum. For more engaging content, try a few of these simple tips: Don’t be afraid to change your focus if something is not working. How to Create More Engaging, Higher-Quality Content: Quick Tips13 TACTIC Focus on doing one thing exceptionally well. Put one person in charge of a content workstream (like your blog), and try not to over-manage him or her. Narrow your focus so you’re not trying to cover everything at once (resulting in muddy messaging).
  6. 6. TACTIC 14 EXECUTION TACTICS Track 2 of 16 WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Over half of all the marketers we surveyed, regardless of location, are focused on finding more or better ways to repurpose content right now, with even more choosing to focus more on this tactic in the year ahead. B2B marketers in North America had a notably higher percentage working on this now versus the other segments, but the numbers indicate that overall, almost all marketers — regardless of business type or location — will be working on this tactic within the next 12 months. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 63% 23% North America B2C 54% 30% North America Nonprofit 51% 26% Australia for-profit 56% 28% UK for-profit 56% 25% The challenge is to create enough content to keep your readers engaged, month after month. The solution is to repurpose the great content you’ve already created in new, exciting ways. This trick, used by content marketers everywhere, is one of the best solutions to the question, “How can we possibly create more, new content?” and is a tactic many marketers are adopting now, or plan to adopt in the near future. FINDING MORE/BETTER WAYS TO REPURPOSE CONTENT
  7. 7. From How Engineering Principles Can Revolutionize Your Content Strategy: Though we may want to create unique, groundbreaking content each and every time we write, the truth of the matter is that resources, time, and even inspiration can be hard to come by. Scott Abel, author of The Language of Content Strategy, argues that marketers are spending too much time and effort focused on creating content, rather than adopting more “efficient content product processes.” Scott emphasizes the importance of “content engineering,” or using technology and structured processes to automate your content distribution versus wasting your time manually trying to convert it for every distribution channel you use. The time spent setting up such a system will be paid back ten-fold once the programs you set up start repurposing your content in multiple formats faster than you ever could. Alternately, you may be able to get more mileage from the content your company has already created. Consider working with a content curator, who can refresh, repackage, and repurpose your content into different formats and for use on multiple content channels. (Additional details on content curation can be found in Tactic #24, below.) EXECUTION TACTICS Track 2 of 16 Learn more about the role of the content curator. How to Repurpose Your Content: Quick Tips14 TACTIC
  8. 8. TACTIC 15 WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Almost all of the marketers surveyed indicated that finding better ways to convert website visitors was a tactic they are working on now. For those not working on this now, the numbers show that they will likely be adding this to their content marketing mix within the next 12 months. Though North American nonprofit marketers may be focusing on this a bit less for the time being, their numbers indicate that they’ll be working to catch up with their for-profit peers in the year ahead. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 63% 23% North America B2C 65% 24% North America Nonprofit 52% 30% Australia for-profit 60% 27% UK for-profit 65% 23% Creating content that brings visitors to your website is important, but the real win comes when those visitors convert. That’s why finding the right content that converts is a significantly important tactic for many of the marketers we surveyed, whether it be now or in the near future. The reason for this prioritization is clear: Without a defined strategy for how content will be used to drive business results, even the most talented of marketers can fail to build a truly successful content marketing program. INCREASING WEBSITE VISITOR CONVERSIONS EXECUTION TACTICS Track 3 of 16
  9. 9. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 3 of 16 Adding urgency: The “fear of missing out” (FOMO) complex is real, and it’s something you can use to your benefit on your website. Incorporating limited- time offers, a free download to the first 100 people to register, or other similar strategies can help drive your visitors to action sooner. Eliminating distractions: Though you may want to fit everything possible on your website, keep it simple and make it easy for visitors to convert. This means limiting links that lead away from a landing page, or pop-ups when you’re trying to gather critical information. Adding other voices to your website: Including a testimonial, video, or other outside voice can help build credibility among your visitors, especially if they come from well-known industry influencers. From 10 Tips for Creating Content That Converts Like a Champ: In a 2014 CMI post, James Scherer outlines 10 ways marketers can create content that converts. Some highlights include: How to Convert Visitors on Your Website: Quick Tips15 TACTIC
  10. 10. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 4 of 16 ORGANIZING WEBSITE CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Finding ways to better organize website content is a top priority for every marketer we surveyed, regardless of business type or location: Over half of marketers are working on this tactic now, with even more adding it to their list in the year ahead. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 62% 21% North America B2C 61% 23% North America Nonprofit 59% 26% Australia for-profit 65% 22% UK for-profit 65% 22% All the incredible content being created needs a home, and for many marketers that home is their website. So it’s no surprise that a lot of these websites can start to feel a little crowded, or even disorganized, as new content continues to be added. Finding the right ways to organize the content on a company website is a big priority for most marketers, and can be one of the most challenging, time- consuming projects tackled. TACTIC 16
  11. 11. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 4 of 16 From Orbit Media Studios’ Content Hubs: How to Beat the Big Boys in 7 Steps: Organizing content on your website takes a delicate balance of design, architecture, and copywriting skills. You want the right content to be made available to the right visitors exactly when they’re looking for it. For this reason, Andy Crestodina calls for a more focused approach to content on your website. He argues that too many marketers try to write about all sorts of topics instead of concentrating on being an expert in just one. To become an expert, he encourages marketers to build content hubs: web pages organized around a specific topic that create fewer pieces of high-quality content versus lots of smaller-sized, yet sometimes repetitive, pieces. To build a content hub: How to Organize Website Content: Quick Tips16 TACTIC See what your competitors are saying about it, and find a way to differentiate (if the topic is dominated by someone else, choose another one). Find the right influencers to help co-create content. Create simple, strong pieces of content. Pick a topic (yes, one topic).
  12. 12. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 5 of 16 BECOMING BETTER STORYTELLERS WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Most of the marketers surveyed this year indicated that they are working on becoming better storytellers now, with nonprofit marketers in North America leading the pack at 66%. Though Australian marketers had slightly lower percentages working on this now (56%), they had the highest number indicating they will work on this tactic in the next 12 months. Overall, over 80% of all marketers indicated this tactic is important enough for them to be focusing on within the year. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 61% 17% North America B2C 61% 19% North America Nonprofit 66% 15% Australia for-profit 56% 24% UK for-profit 61% 17% The “what” and the “who” of your content marketing are important, but never underestimate the importance of style. Becoming a better storyteller means you’re able to present your content in a way that breaks through to your target audience; it resonates with their needs and objectives and compels them to save, share, and utilize the content you’ve provided. Becoming a better storyteller is no small feat, but it’s more than worth the effort. TACTIC 17
  13. 13. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 5 of 16 From GE’s Executive Director of Global Brand Marketing, Linda Boff: Be human — aim for transparency and openness in your content marketing: As Boff states, “The more people know about us, the more interested they are in partnering with us, investing in us, and coming to work with us.” Share your passions: For GE, sharing stories about services beyond what they are typically known for was extremely effective in their content marketing. Boff shares: “Part of our job... is to make sure people know GE is a leader in these exciting high-growth industries like health care and energy,” and are using social media to share these stories on a broader scale. Give a peek behind the curtains: Why just tell people what you’re doing, when you can show them. GE Garages is a way to give people a hands-on experience in a GE lab, and as Boff states, “We had an insight, and we matched it with an opportunity. It’s been a great way to make the brand real.” How to Become Better Storytellers: Quick Tips17 TACTIC For more storytelling tips, visit CMI’s storytelling archives.
  14. 14. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 6 of 16 CREATING VISUAL CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Most of the marketers surveyed indicated that they were focusing on creating visual content now, with even more adding this tactic in the next 12 months. UK for-profit companies had a noticeably higher percentage working on this tactic now when compared with their peers, with U.S. companies (both B2B and B2C) having a higher percentage focusing on this tactic in the year ahead. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 60% 26% North America B2C 60% 26% North America Nonprofit 63% 23% Australia for-profit 61% 25% UK for-profit 70% 19% The content landscape is cluttered, and most people simply don’t have the time to sift through lengthy articles or white papers. That’s why visual content has been on the rise as a popular content marketing tactic. It’s a great way to get your target audience engaged in your content, since you’re presenting it in new, compelling ways. TACTIC 18
  15. 15. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 6 of 16 From the Visual Content Marketing Look Book: The CMI Visual Content Marketing Look Book shares nine tips and 25 best-in-class examples of how to create more captivating visual content for your audience. Some tips include: How to Create Visual Content: Quick Tips18 TACTIC Inspire your audience with new ideas on how to use your products, like how Callaway Golf creates instructional golf-tip videos on their YouTube channel. Tap into the creativity and passion of your consumers by encouraging them to share user-generated content. Providing a platform for those stories to be shared is an excellent way to drive engagement and interest as well. Be unique, and avoid stock photography if you can. Whether you use fan-sourced content or custom images, finding a unique way to present your content will help you really connect with your consumers.
  16. 16. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 7 of 16 BECOMING STRONGER WRITERS WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Regardless of business type or location, most of the marketers we surveyed are focused on becoming better writers now or in the next 12 months. In North America, the percentage of marketers focusing on this tactic in the next 12 months is lower than their international peers. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 60% 14% North America B2C 60% 14% North America Nonprofit 56% 16% Australia for-profit 51% 24% UK for-profit 60% 20% In order to create better, higher-quality content, there’s a critical skill marketers need to focus on: becoming better writers. While having content-development partners is always a plus, at the end of the day you need solid, talented writers in-house to help improve the effectiveness of the content you’re creating. This will not only help your content stand out in a cluttered landscape, but it also improves your reputation as a credible leader in your industry. TACTIC 19
  17. 17. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 7 of 16 From 3 Strategies to Stand Out From the Content Creation Crowd: If you’re like most marketers, you may feel it’s becoming increasingly difficult for your voice to be heard, so as a result you may be creating more and more content while trying to distribute it more broadly. James Scherer argues that you may be focusing on the wrong things. He recommends looking for ways to make your content truly stand out from the crowd. One way to accomplish this is by strengthening your writing skills and habits; in his article, James offers a few tips to help get you started: How to Become Stronger Writers: Quick Tips19 TACTIC Rather than focusing on everything, find your “thing” that makes your content unique and identifiable to you (like a certain persona, niche topic, or unique POV) and stick it. Look for ways to not only write better, but also differently than your peers. This can mean adding a bit more “flavor” to your tone of voice or approaching a new topic that hasn’t been covered before. Don’t shy away from adding your honest opinion. Consider a little “training,” such as taking a class in writing essays or short stories at your local community college, or taking a typing course to make your writing process go more smoothly.
  18. 18. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 8 of 16 OPTIMIZING CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... The majority of survey respondents, across all business types and locations, are focusing on content optimization as a top tactic. Over half of marketers in most categories stated that this is something they are working on now, with a strong number saying that they’ll be focusing more on this tactic in the next 12 months. Nonprofit marketers — who are generally still working to ramp up their content marketing efforts — had a slightly lower percentage working on this tactic now, but like their peers are planning to add this to the mix in the year ahead. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 58% 26% North America B2C 61% 24% North America Nonprofit 45% 32% Australia for-profit 55% 33% UK for-profit 60% 28% Content optimization is an important component of any content marketing program. If you aren’t thinking critically about how your content can be found and shared, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new audiences and rank highly on search engines. Think of content optimization as the “engine” of your content marketing machine: You may have all the bells and whistles to make your content “look” effective, but it’s what’s under the hood that really drives your content’s success. TACTIC 20
  19. 19. How to Optimize Your Content: Quick Tips20 TACTIC EXECUTION TACTICS Track 8 of 16 From Optimize Your Online Content: Quick Tips You Haven’t Thought of Yet: In addition to making sure you have the right infrastructure to optimize your content (i.e., meta descriptions, keywords, optimized images, title tags, and other things to help your content get noticed by search engines), you should also consider how easy it is to share your content. By optimizing this process, you can ensure that anyone who comes across your content can help promote it quickly and easily. Here are a few tips: For more suggestions, check out the full transcript from our #CMWorld Twitter chat on optimization with guest Ian Cleary. Include sharing buttons for all social sites — not just the “big ones.” Consider offering a minimum of five options to help maximize the chances that your content will be shared. Use counters to show how your content is being shared. These add credibility to your content and will encourage others to share it as their peers have done. Don’t ignore that people often share your content by copying and pasting text. Adding a customized “read more” attribution link when a piece of your content gets copied and pasted can help drive users back to your website and give you credit where credit is due.
  20. 20. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 9 of 16 GAINING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT CONTENT IS EFFECTIVE WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Over half of the marketers we surveyed are focusing on this tactic right now, with more choosing to take on this tactic in the next 12 months. There’s not a lot of distinction in these results over geography or business; regardless of whether a marketer was in the U.S., overseas, in for-profit, B2B, or B2C, they indicated that this tactic was a big focus for them in the very near future. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 55% 31% North America B2C 54% 35% North America Nonprofit 52% 32% Australia for-profit 58% 33% UK for-profit 60% 27% Any successful content marketing strategy should have “checkpoints” in place — a pre-established process that encourages your team to stop, review your content’s performance, and find ways to optimize based on the results. All too often, though, we can create content in a vacuum, following a strategy that six months ago may have made a lot of sense based on what you knew about members of your audience and their goals at that time. However, a lot can change in six months (or even less), so taking the time to understand what’s working, and what’s not, can help save you from wasting your already limited time creating ineffective content. TACTIC 21
  21. 21. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 9 of 16 From Effective Content Marketing: 5 Steps to Track Your Efforts: Rather than just “throwing your content out there and hoping for good results,” take the time to periodically take a look at your content marketing’s performance to understand what’s working, and what you can ditch. This might take some time away from creating new content, but the good news is it’ll save you from wasting your time creating content that no one cares about. Understanding your content’s effectiveness is different than tracking KPIs (though it’s also important to measure and monitor those frequently). To understand effectiveness, you need to dig deeper and look at each and every piece of content you create. Here’s how: How to Understand Your Content’s Effectiveness: Quick Tips21 TACTIC • Audit all the content you have by platform: Document each piece, arranging by title or type (i.e., you could start by just analyzing blog posts). • Decide what information you want to collect from each piece of content, such as authors, format, topic, and type (like “brick” vs. “feather”). This can help you start to identify patterns for what might be contributing to some pieces of content performing better, or worse, than others. • Identify some key metrics to analyze for each post, like number of subscribers gained, shares, etc. • Calculate a baseline: Once you’ve started tracking your key metrics, figure out what your average performance number is for each, so that you can see which content performs above, or below, that indicator going forward. • Update on a regular basis: Add regular reminders to your calendar to update this spreadsheet; a good time might be while you’re doing your content planning for the month ahead. And don’t forget to update your team on performance so everyone is aligned with your metrics and goals, and understands what content should be created to help drive efficiency going forward.
  22. 22. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 10 of 16 CREATING A GREATER VARIETY OF CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... Over half of the marketers we surveyed stated that they’re working to incorporate more variety with their content right now, with even more adding this tactic in the year ahead. The UK for-profit segment skewed slightly higher than their peers, with over 90% of respondents stating they are either working on this now, or plan to in the next 12 months. WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 54% 28% North America B2C 53% 29% North America Nonprofit 50% 27% Australia for-profit 54% 29% UK for-profit 60% 31% If you want to avoid reader fatigue, the best thing to do is mix your content up a bit, right? Experimenting with different types of content can be a fun exercise for your content marketing team and may seem like the best way to capture your audience’s attention; however, you may run the risk of alienating your most loyal readers. That’s why finding the right ways to incorporate variety in your content calendar is so important, and must be thought of as a strategic plan versus an experimental undertaking. TACTIC 22
  23. 23. From A Guide to Creating Content in the Formats Your Audience Loves: The key to creating more content variety is an understanding of which content types are more flexible when it comes to format. As Michele Linn writes, “While all content marketing programs need to be consistent, there are certain content tactics that work best if you can deliver new content frequently and on an expected schedule.” She further outlines which content pieces are more open to experimentation, versus which ones have more stringent expectations on them among readers. How to Create a Greater Variety of Content: Quick Tips22 TACTIC CONSISTENCY IS EXPECTED: • Blogs • Newsletter (print and digital) • Magazines (print and digital) • Podcasts CONSISTENCY IS HELPFUL BUT NOT REQUIRED: • Videos • White papers • eBooks • Online presentations • Webinars • Infographics CONSISTENCY IS NOT CRITICAL: • In-person events • Games •Branded content tools • Guest posting • Research reports • Books • Apps EXECUTION TACTICS Track 10 of 16
  24. 24. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 11 of 16 MARKETING AUTOMATION/ LEAD NURTURING WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 45% 27% North America B2C 33% 38% North America Nonprofit 18% 26% Australia for-profit 42% 31% UK for-profit 40% 24% Understanding what content your audience needs at what point during your sales cycle is an important part of any content marketing strategy. However, making this determination can be extremely time-consuming, which is why using marketing automation and finding other ways to effectively nurture leads is rising in importance with marketers around the world. TACTIC 23 Over half of the marketers we surveyed, with the exception of the nonprofit segment, are implementing marketing automation/lead nurturing tactics this year. While only a small portion of nonprofit marketers (18%) said they are working on this tactic now, there was an increase in those who stated they will start working on this tactic in the next 12 months.
  25. 25. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 11 of 16 How to Optimize Your Marketing Automation/Lead Generation Efforts23 TACTIC From the Demand Generation Users Guide: The best way to drive better results from your lead generation efforts is simple: Build the demand for your content. In an article in CCO Magazine, Jay Hidalgo identifies one of the biggest challenges when it comes to building a demand generation strategy: lack of focus on your buyer. Clarifying that focus will not only help you create better content, but will improve your marketing automation and lead nurturing efforts as well, as they will all be structured around the core needs of your consumers. He states that marketers need to focus on three processes when looking to boost effectiveness: • Develop a buyer persona: The first step in building a demand generation strategy is understanding who your different buyer groups are. Put all this information in a matrix. • Define the buying process: What are the specific steps or decisions a buyer will go through when looking for your solution? Keep asking these questions until all these steps have been identified, and validate them with actual buyers to make sure it resonates. • Develop a content framework: Identify what information your buyers need, and at what point during the sales cycle they need it (this will help you build your marketing automation plan by identifying different content types for each buyer group). Make sure you’re thinking through all the questions they might ask, and know how your content can respond to those needs. Learn more about how marketing automation can be used to support lead generation efforts.
  26. 26. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 12 of 16 CURATING CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 38% 32% North America B2C 33% 34% North America Nonprofit 28% 31% Australia for-profit 33% 40% UK for-profit 39% 28% When you can’t create, curate! One of the best tricks in any content marketer’s toolbox, content curation has quickly become a go-to strategy for those who lack the time, budget, or resources to consistently create new content. Not only is this strategy a time-saver, but it can be a very effective tool as well. It’s so effective, in fact, that 2014 Curata research indicates that curated content should account for one-quarter of the content marketing your business produces. TACTIC 24 The results are mixed when it comes to how marketers are focusing on curation strategies this year. Approximately one-third of marketers (in all business types and locations) are focusing on this tactic now, with another one-third stating that they will be working on this in the next 12 months. Marketers in Australia seem to be focusing on this tactic a bit more in the year ahead, but only at levels slightly above their peers.
  27. 27. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 12 of 16 From 9 Content Curation Ideas for Bulking Up Your Editorial Calendar: While curating content isn’t always a quick or free tactic, it can still be much more effective than starting from scratch every time you have a content need. Here are a few ways you can get more mileage from your content: How to Curate Your Content: Quick Tips24 TACTIC Share on social media, highlighting different statistics, key points from the piece, or other commentary. Create new content by adding your own commentary to relevant third-party content; by associating yourself with outside resources, you’re improving your credibility as well. Ask for expert opinions and ask your community to help create social content. Aggregate curated lists featuring content pieces that are about similar topics (content should be from a variety of resources). Create a gallery for your top pieces of visual content.
  28. 28. PERSONALIZING CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 30% 34% North America B2C 38% 32% North America Nonprofit 32% 33% Australia for-profit 34% 35% UK for-profit 35% 34% The ability to target content to specific consumers can be an extremely effective content marketing tactic. Otherwise known as content personalization, this practice allows marketers to understand who certain individuals are, where they are accessing your content, when, and why. Knowing this information will ensure you are serving up the right content, in the right formats, based on their needs and preferences, and is truly the next phase in content marketing efficiency. TACTIC 25 Over half of the marketers we surveyed, regardless of location or business type, are looking to incorporate more content personalization tactics into their marketing mix this year. The numbers remain extremely consistent across all the groups we surveyed, with a fairly even number focusing on this now, versus in the next 12 months. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 13 of 16
  29. 29. From Content Marketing Personalization: When and How to Use It: While still a newer practice, there are some best practices when it comes to using personalization effectively with your content marketing. A few of these tips include: How to Incorporate Content Personalization: Quick Tips25 TACTIC EXECUTION TACTICS Track 13 of 16 • Secure information about individuals: Go beyond an audience persona and systematically get to know more about your actual site visitors. • Monitor what your audience is interested in, and continue to deliver it: Seeing what web pages a person visited or links a reader clicked on from a newsletter can help you gather valuable insights about what additional information that visitor may find useful. • Start small: Before you try to adopt a massive personalization technology, try it with your audience to see how it resonates. This may mean writing some (OK, a lot) of personalized emails, but it’s worth knowing how your audience will respond to such an effort going forward. • Be human: Don’t overwhelm with too much information, but rather consider that you’re trying to build a long-lasting relationship. Provide helpful content based on the goals of members of your audience, showing that you’ve actually listened to their needs and are interested in helping them.
  30. 30. UNDERSTANDING/USING PAID CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 26% 26% North America B2C 29% 29% North America Nonprofit 19% 19% Australia for-profit 30% 31% UK for-profit 25% 32% As a marketer, you spend a lot of time and effort producing high quality content for your readers. But with so many competing resources available out there, it’s challenging to find ways to break through the noise and ensure that your messages are getting into the hands of your target audience. That’s why many marketers are leveraging paid content opportunities to amplify distribution — and, when the efforts are targeted to the right groups, they are seeing a lot of success. TACTIC 26 Almost half of the marketers we surveyed are looking to better use paid strategies in their content marketing plans within the next year. Australia and B2C North America marketers had slightly higher results than their peers, with nonprofit North America marketers having the lowest percentages working on this tactic. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 14 of 16
  31. 31. How to Optimize Your Paid Content Strategy26 TACTIC From How to Amplify Your Content Strategy with Social Media Advertising: Dan Stasiewski, Technology Director at Kino Creative, shares a helpful process flow for utilizing advertising in a content marketing ecosystem. He explains that with this new flow, social media isn’t just a content distribution tool, but also a way to funnel potential buyers to your website. Here’s how the process works: Dan also says that you can support this process with your traditional PPC efforts to further boost traffic to your site. One final word of wisdom: Have KPIs in place before you start your advertising efforts to help justify your spend after the fact. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 14 of 16 Create valuable content (Like you’re already doing!). Share the content on your social channels (Already have that one down, too, right?). Determine which content is most popular based on interactions (“likes,” shares, clicks). Promote the most popular content using the appropriate ad units for the platform. Capture new visitors and leads that engage with your content via social advertising. 1 2 3 4 5
  32. 32. LEVERAGING USER- OR FAN-GENERATED CONTENT WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 19% 30% North America B2C 34% 35% North America Nonprofit 28% 31% Australia for-profit 24% 34% UK for-profit 18% 35% If this year’s survey results told us anything, it’s that many marketers are challenged with creating enough quality content to fill their growing number of channels. One powerful solution that’s rising in popularity is sourcing user- generated content to help drive content creation, helping amplify your brand’s messaging without overwhelming people with too many branded messages. The key is to find the right balance between your (and your users’) content — and to find the right ways to encourage others to share their stories with you for broader distribution. TACTIC 27 Leveraging user- or-fan-generated content is not a large focus for many of the marketers we surveyed. With the exception of B2C marketers in North America, about 20% of the marketers we surveyed indicated they are working on this tactic right now (nonprofit North America was slightly higher at 28%). However, the results do show an increased interest in this tactic for the year ahead: Over 30% of the marketers surveyed indicated that they will be working on this in the next 12 months, with, again, the numbers skewing higher in the B2C North America group. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 15 of 16
  33. 33. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 15 of 16 From CCO Magazine’s Community Content: While sharing fan photos or quotes can be a quick, easy way to share user-generated content on your platforms, many brands have more content-heavy objectives. Here are a few examples of brands using user-generated content to develop more high-quality editorial content: Learn more about turning customers into loyal brand fans. Forbes created a digital channel for reader contributions, and as a result has expanded its reach, while spending far less than the cost of hiring a staff of in-house writers. Lucky Magazine created a community-driven content section on its website, where bloggers and influencers share advice and style tips. Pepsi aggregates photos and blog posts from summer music festival attendees (and music influencers) on its Tumblr. How to Leverage User-Generated Content: Quick Tips27 TACTIC One thing to watch out for: Have a solid review/approval plan in place if you’re working with outside content contributors. This can help keep any “surprises” at bay.
  34. 34. REAL-TIME CONTENT MARKETING WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY... WORKING ON THIS NOW WORKING ON THIS IN NEXT 12 MONTHS North America B2B 19% 28% North America B2C 24% 34% North America Nonprofit 21% 26% Australia for-profit 24% 30% UK for-profit 26% 31% One of the top buzzwords for 2014, real-time marketing, can often be dismissed as a fad or frivolous endeavor. However, real-time marketing means more than just jumping on a trending hashtag or writing about popular events topics. It means that you’ve adopted an “always on” approach to your content; you’re ready and willing to listen and respond to what’s happening real-time in the world of your consumers. TACTIC 28 The practice of real-time marketing is still growing according to the results from this year’s survey. Approximately 50% of marketers across all locations and business types are either working on this tactic now, or planning to in the next 12 months. B2C companies in North America seem to be adopting this slightly more quickly than their peers, but overall the numbers remain consistent across the board. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 16 of 16
  35. 35. How to Adopt Real-Time Content Marketing28 TACTIC From 25+ Tools for Real-Time Marketing: One of the most challenging parts of any marketer’s job is trying to keep up with what’s happening real-time while also trying to complete their regularly scheduled duties. Taking the time to sift through data and find out what topics are trending and what consumers are saying about your content can become a rabbit hole, stealing precious hours from your workday that you need to focus on other priorities. Having the right tools can help. Here’s a list of the types of tools to consider as you build your real-time marketing activities: Website analytics tools: Learn which pages on your website are attracting the most visitors and what content is helping boost conversions. Social media tools: Monitor what your fans and followers are saying and identify potential topics that seem top-of-mind to your target audience in that moment. Big data aggregation: Data management platforms (DMPs) help you make sense of the data from your various content sources and identify the personas and interests of the people interacting with your content. EXECUTION TACTICS Track 16 of 16 The key here is to go beyond what’s trending for the entire universe, and tap into what’s really relevant for your target audience at any given point in time.
  36. 36. About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September, and Content Marketing World Sydney, every March. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Inc. 500 company. To see all of CMI’s original content marketing research, visit our Research Page. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness. In case you missed it, read Part 1 of Building the Perfect Content Marketing Playlist: Top Priorities for 2015. If you would like to learn more about how to tackle the top content marketing priorities, sign up for CMI’s weekly newsletter, or join us for our weekly #CMWorld Twitter chats.

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