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Webinar - Content Marketing: Why It Works & What You Need to Get Started

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Content marketing is still all the rage. And for good reason; it works. But not everyone is doing it right, because it’s not easy. Many organizations fall flat because they fail to define clear goals …

Content marketing is still all the rage. And for good reason; it works. But not everyone is doing it right, because it’s not easy. Many organizations fall flat because they fail to define clear goals and don’t know how to measure for success.

Producing great content and connecting with an audience is near to impossible if you don’t have customer behavioral data or a proven understanding of their interests.

When done right, however, content marketing can transform your business. It can bring you closer to that elusive trifecta of marketing: getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time.

In this webinar you'll learn:
why successful marketers are embracing inbound and content marketing
the fundamentals and frameworks to do content marketing
hear the 12 steps you need to take to start producing content that meets your organization's goals.

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  • By now you’ve heard about content marketing ad nauseam. It probably feels like everyone is doing content marketing. And you’re right. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the overwhelming majority of B2B and B2Cs marketers are using content marketing.
  • And it’s not just practicing it. Marketing teams are putting their money where their mouths are. A survey last year found that most marketers in both B2B and B2C are planning to increase their budgets for content in 2014.
  • But many organizations are jumping in without thinking it through. Every year, the content marketing institute finds that most brands don’t have a documented – key word being documented – strategy or unaware of it, the equivalent of not having one. This can doom your efforts from the start. It’s not just about making stuff. It’s about meeting key goals through educating your buyers.
  • The result of not having a documented strategy is what I call “content landfills.” 70% to 80% of of B2B goes unused according to SiriusDecisions. That’s because without a strategy, we have little visibility into goals, what we’re working on, and how it can be used to get the most value. Instead, we create one-offs and then stash it away.
  • First, you need a definition. There are far too many people “doing” content marketing without any clear understanding of what that means. This is the definition we use. Of course, you can tailor it.
  • But the number one rule – no exceptions – is that the content is about meeting buyers’ interests and concerns, not serving your product up. Obviously, everything a brand does is about selling. But if you can’t make this fundamental shift in your own brain, you won’t succeed in producing content.
  • Remember: you need a DOCUMENTED strategy. The great thing about content is it’s versatile. It can serve multiple goals. But when you have multiple goals, you get scattered reporting and unclear objectives. You need to clearly outline the goals at the start.
  • Another must is a structure that works for content marketing. Obviously, you’re not going to go out and hire an entire team first thing tomorrow. But you do need to prepare internally for structure that can set priorities and goals for something as unique as a content team. Many organizations are broken up into departments like this. That’s not awful, but content won’t work if it’s just another silo or a silo within a silo.
  • Content needs to stretch across all these functions, both a point of input and a point of output.
  • I’m not trying to add more layers to your hierarchy, but you need someone who “owns” content. The process of planning, making, distributing, promoting and planning content is multifaceted and will likely involve many different people and departments. You need someone to manage the process.
  • Next, you should form an editorial board. This should be a group of key stakeholders for your content, across departments, that can come together to set goals, objectives, and bring in the perspective of prospects, leads, and customers. I recommend a mix of department heads and on-the-ground staffers to get a mix. We only name two titles in our board, chairman and secretary. The chairman should be whoever owns your content process, and really the role is not about being in charge, but organizing the board. The other rule we set is every department representative must either produce content on a monthly basis or solicit it from their department. You can meet monthly or quarterly.
  • Before you get started producing any new piece of content, you should perform a content audit. Referring back to the content landfills, you want to get away from doing one-off content. Instead, you should think about building content pillars. And if you’re like us, you have content spread across the place (website, blog, slideshare, email, YouTube). You need to get a sense of what you’ve already created, where it lives, what buyer/sales stage it serves, and how it’s performed. This is not a one time process, either.
  • This is nothing new. Most of you will already have these. But buyer personas play an important role in developing content marketing. They help determine the content subject matter, types, the channel you’ll deliver to, etc. Bottom line, you need to have buyer personas at the front of your mind for every piece of content you make.
  • This comes as no surprise, but ideas are the backbone of all content. For some, this is less of a problem. But many organizations struggle with this issue.
  • In fact, the Aberdeen Group did a study and found that most marketers highly valued producing quality content and producing enough of it, but far fewer agreed they were executing well on those fronts. If you’re going to succeed in content, generating ideas is crucial. There are places to go: social and search. Definitely your internal team and colleagues. But you need a process not only for coming up with and collecting these ideas, but delivering on them. Which leads to…
  • …process. Things to have to click with content. If you’re going to turn ideas into actual content, you’ll need a process. If you’re going to maximum value, you need a process. What do I mean by process? I mean putting the people, the tasks, the approvals, the publishing, promotion and tracking together in a documented way. You should know what it takes to come up with goals, generate ideas, and various stages you need to go through to put your content out in the world.
  • Workflows the physical, bendable manifestation of your overall process. It brings together the tasks, people and timelines for the construction and delivery of your content. In other words, it answers the question: What, Who and When. This doesn’t mean every form of content will have the exact same workflow, but you need at least the outline of a workflow so you’re not reinventing the wheel every single time you have a new piece of content to create, repurpose, or distribute.
  • I know organizations that have no editorial calendar. I know of others that have had more than 30, which is bad as none. An editorial calendar is essential. It provides visibility across the organization as they plan out campaigns and individual content pieces throughout the week, month, quarter and year. It’s how everyone stays on track.
  • Lastly, you need reporting. The first couple times, this is going to be a test. But you need to consider which metrics tack most closely to your overall and individual goals, then report on those metrics on a minimum of a monthly basis. After a month (and a quarter) you’re going to want to benchmark against that.
  • No process, workflow, or reporting is going to be perfect from the start. The goal is to get a structure in place and refine by doing. Identify not only content that performed well or performed badly, but the chokepoints in your process. The more you practice, the better it will get.
  • Lastly, you need reporting. The first couple times, this is going to be a test. But you need to consider which metrics tack most closely to your overall and individual goals, then report on those metrics on a minimum of a monthly basis. After a month (and a quarter) you’re going to want to benchmark against that.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Chris Wofford Video Content and Webinar Manager, eCornell YouTube.com/eCornellOnline blog.ecornell.com cwofford@ecornell.com
    • 2. Jesse Noyes Senior Director of Content Marketing, Kapost https://twitter.com/noyesjesse http://marketeer.kapost.com/
    • 3. Content Marketing: Everybody’s Doing it Source: Content Marketing Institute
    • 4. Spending Is On the Rise Source: Webmarketing123
    • 5. Buyers Don’t Need You Source: CBE
    • 6. Moving Marketing from Push to Pull Our craft needs to evolve from primarily pushing product to pulling people towards our brand, people, products and services.
    • 7. Leaping Without Looking?
    • 8. Content Landfills Source: SiriusDecisions
    • 9. 1. A Definition Content marketing is the practice of producing and distributing content to educate, inform and/or entertain buyers.
    • 10. 2. A Strategy Brand Awareness Customer… Lead Generation Retention Thought Leadership Engagement Web Traffic Nurturing Sales 10% 2013 2012 2011 30% 50% 70% 90%
    • 11. 3. A Structure PRODUCT MARKETING MARCOM WEB/SOCIAL MARKETING OPS SALES CUSTOMER SUCCESS
    • 12. CONTENT PRODUCT MARKETING MARCOM WEB/SOCIAL MARKETING OPS SALES CUSTOMER SUCCESS
    • 13. 4. A Content Boss
    • 14. 5. An Editorial Board
    • 15. 6. A Content Audit
    • 16. 7. Buyer Personas
    • 17. 8. Ideas
    • 18. 9. A Process
    • 19. 10. Clear Workflows WHAT WHO WHEN
    • 20. 11. An Editorial Calendar
    • 21. 12. Intelligent Reporting
    • 22. Rinse and Repeat
    • 23. A Word on Tools
    • 24. Q&A Session
    • 25. Thanks everyone, and stay in touch. Please fill out the survey you’ll receive via email. ecornell.com/redshift cwofford@ecornell.com