Good afternoon. Content marketing is all the rage these days. So I am here to shed light on what it’s all about. Before we get started, here is is where you can find us. I will be happy to follow you back if you want connect.
You may have heard about content marketing in the media. Research shows that virtually every size and type of business is devoting more of their budget to content marketing. But what exactly is it? Here’s how I define it. An approach to marketing that relies on information to advance a relationship with a customer or prospect throughout the buying cycle.
Today I’m going to look at why Content Marketing has grown, and specifically, provide you with some ideas for incorporating it into your CONEXPO-CON/AGG marketing plan.
This Google trends map shows the dramatic increase in searches for “content marketing.” Beginning in 2011, and then spiking even higher in 2013.
The funny thing about it is that content marketing is really not anything new. It’s been around a long time. In fact, one of the first examples of it came from the equipment industry. John Deere’s magazine “The Furrow” , first published in 1895, is cited as one of the first examples of content marketing. Or course, it was called custom publishing then, not content marketing. The fact that The Furrow is still growing strong is a testament to the resiliency of the idea that relevant and useful information can be used to attract, acquire and retain customers. Today the Furrow is distributed in 40 countries, and is now available on iPad as well print.
One of the best ways to learn what content marketing is about is to contrast it with traditional marketing and advertising. Content marketing is focused on the customer, while traditional advertising tends to be focused on the company or product. Traditional advertising pushes a sale, while content marketing focuses first on delivering what is relevant and valuable to the customer. Lastly, traditional advertising tends to be interruptive. Content marketing is usually sought out by the customer, so that it is conducive to building relationships.
So if content marketing is an old idea, why the resurgent interest in it? It starts with the Internet, which has fundamentally changed the way buyers find what they need, and how they share information. Are you going to circle a bingo care and wait six weeks for a catalog. No , you are going to look it up online. Consumers want information now.
Construction equipment dealers have commented to me many times about how customers today are better informed and that they do their research on the Internet before they ever talk to a salespersonThis research conducted by CEB, for their Marketing Leadership Council, in partnership with Google, was based on a survey of 1500 buyers for B2B organizations. It shows that on average, customers get nearly 60 percent of the way through the purchasing process before they ever contact a sales rep.
As buyers moved toward the Web, so did marketers. For marketers, it became more difficult to track leads from print advertising and to determine the ROI. The Internet also made it easier for everyone to become a publisher. Companies didn’t have to rely exclusively on the media to get their information out.Growth in social media, also made it really easy for buyers and companies to share information.
As companies sought out ways to come up at the top of search results, they learned what was important to Google: Fresh content, relevancy and authority, as determined by the number of sites linking in to your site. While Google’s algorithms have changed over the years. It is important to recognize that their business is delivering relevant search results. They have continued to reward original content and made decisions that have thwarted the efforts of SEO firms to beat the system.
Content Marketing itself, has been transformed by the Internet. In what I call the 2.0 era of Content Marketing. Marketers now enjoy two-way communication with customers. Customers generate content via social media sharing and ratings. Marketers have access to more data than ever before. They are also better able to measure their results and return on investment.
In this study from Hubspot, the cost inbound leads ( which are generated by utilizing content marketing, SEO and social media) cost 65% less than those generated by traditional outbound methods (such as trade shows and print advertising).
There has also been an explosion of new tactics available to marketers. Mobile apps, community websites, social media are just a few. It seems is something new created every day. The traditional are still relevant, it’s just that many marketers have transformed them to work online.
A new study by the Content Marketing Institute looked at usage of content marketing among all b2b marketers, but also split out the results for manufacturers. Manufacturers appear to be embracing content marketing. It’s important to note that the study wasn’t singling out only online content marketing methods, so this included traditional tactics such as print newsletters.
Manufacturers place less emphasis on Thought leadership and website traffic. Yet, they also site website traffic as a way to measure effectiveness.
These are the top ranked tactics among manufacturers. Video is No. 1 and was up from No. 7 just two years ago. E-newsletters and in-person events followed. The results paralleled all B2B with a couple of exceptions – less emphasis on blogging – 54% compared to 77% and greater emphasis on print magazines 60 percent vs. 31% for all B2B.So there is always a question as to whether the data is representative of construction equipment manufacturers. So, I am curious, could you raise your hand if your company has increased your use of video over the past two years?Thanks. Is anyone willing to share what their motivations were for using more video? Thanks.
Other fast growing content formats (among all B2B) include research reports, mobile content and virtual conferences.
According to the latest study from the Content Marketing Institute. Manufacturers are spending 22 percent of their budget on Content Marketing, less than 33 percent for all B2B marketers.
Just over half of the manufacturers surveyed said they planned to increase their content marketing budget. I am curious if that is the case with the people in this room. Could you raise your hand if you plan to increase your content marketing budget?Thanks.
So you’ve jumped into content marketing. That’s great. But like everything, it has its challenges. According to the survey, the number one challenge is producing enough content. From my experience, what we see is that a lot of people jump into social media or jump into creating a blog, without thinking it through. They get overwhelmed because they started with “what” instead of “why”, and they didn’t have a good content plan. I mean its not enough to have a twitter account. You have to fill it with something.
Another challenge can be described by this quote which is from the CEB Study.Content still seems to be everyone’s job and no one’s job. You have product line managers and subject matter experts, outside partners such as agencies, freelance writers and designers, you have IT and corporate communications and even community managers. Marketing is in the middle. Companies are finding that it’s beneficial to have coordination between all of these groups. In larger companies you are starting to see positions such as Chief Content Officers.
So looking specifically at CONEXPOCON/AGG, how can we come up with a good content marketing plan. Let’s first look at some of the whys: All the possible objectives for the show. Driving booth traffic is probably the primary objective for most exhibitors. But your content marketing efforts can have multiple objectives. This should drive your use of content marketing tactics.
Keep in mind that you have different audiences for your content. In some cases you may be targeting the media, in other cases, end-users. In general the more targeted your audience, the easier it will be to rank and convert. Writing to the needs of specific audience will always be more effective than writing something that fits everyone
Whatever type of content you create, you need to ensure it is findable online, if you want to use it to generate leads and drive traffic to your site. This begins with extensive keyword research that goes far beyond product category or brand searches. You want to come up when people search for CONEXPO-CON/AGG, so tie your content to those keywords. You might want to create keywords around specific problems/solutions., such as machines for working in tight spaces, or skid-steers for landscaping contractors.
In terms of trade shows, it is helpful to think about content in terms of what you will do before, during and after the show, because what you can say or not say about products, typically drives the content.
Here are some tips for breaking out of the sales/marketing mindset and into a content marketing mindset. You need to think like an editor. Avoid sales jargon and stick to the facts. Interview managers, sales and customer to get fresh perspectives.. Listen to how the products are talked about in real conversation. Photos and videos generate response, and need to be an important part of your content marketing efforts. Video plays especially well in this market.. Thinking visually is an important skill.
John Deere’s Emissions Hub Blog is a good example of customer-focused content. The blog establishes Deere as a thought leader on emissions, helping answer customer questions
Here’s how traditional messaging might compare to a content marketing message. A traditional headline would say XYZ Company plans to introduce five new products at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. A content marketing message might say something like Learn how to Green Your Fleet at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.CONEXPO-CON/AGG machines offer improved fuel economy.
Social media is a great way to get your content out. Keep it focused on customers. Generate excitement by publicizing contests, and give aways. Share insider Knowledge. Reward, respond to customer comments and share . It should not be all about you. Las Vegas is a great destination, share your favorite restaurants, hotels, etc.
Here’s an example of an exhibitor who smartly included conexpo conagg in her title and ended up on page 1 for a Google search for the show.
Here’s an opportunity from the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Facebook page that could be shared with your customers.
Include your CONEXPO location and build excitement on your company website. Don’t neglect your press section, where editors may be looking for information.
Online press releases should be optimized for the CONEXPO-CONAGG as well as other keywords. Make it easy for editors by providing suggested tweets and links to your social media channels.Email marketing is another way to provide customer-focused content out to readers in advance of the show. You might want to provide some inside scoops or incentives to your loyal subscribers. Engage readers with surveys, video and other interactive components.
We all love the show trinkets (or maybe not). But think about creating an experience that’s shareable.
At the show you will have demonstrations, subject matter experts, key customers. Plan to video in advance for content that can last well beyond the show. Plan your social media in advance because you know you will be busy at the show. Designate someone to listen and respond in real time to your fans and followers. Promote your social media connections at the show. Have a QR code to take people right to where they need to go on their websites. An RFID code can connect people automatically to your social sites. Again, it shouldn’t all be about you. Promotions can successfully support charities that are alignment with your corporate values. Share what you like and mention others.
It’s important to keep the momentum going after the show. Continue with social media, but also use email, blogs and video to share the big events of the show. Promote discounts and financing specials to close the deals.
To spread valuable content we need to connect with various audiences. Employees are one of the most underutilized audiences. Customers have relationships with people, not brands. Content marketing provides an opportunity profile customer-facing staff members who understand what makes their company unique
Many dealers are active on social media and would welcome the opportunity to connect with you and share your information. Combined, this could be a powerful way to spread the
CONEXPO-CON/AGG has an active social media presence and they welcome manufacturer participation on their social media pages. According to Krist Drager, digital marketing manager for AEM, one Facebook post of an iced over machine went viral and garnered 30,000 views and 400 shares. On Facebook, they would love to see testimonials from both attendees and exhibitors. Share your videos of new products, Her advice “keep it engaging” The Twitter channel is a place for news. ..When tweeting, be sure to use the official hashtag, which includes no dashes or hyphens.
I would be remiss without mentioning media partners with established audiences for their print magazines and websites. They are trying to fill their content channels also. I am sure they will have many opportunities before during and after the show for getting your content distributed. Keep editors them well informed of your press events at the show as their calendar’s fill up fast and make it easy for editors to upload information immediately from a press conference to an iPad. Provide social content as well as full press release, high res photos for print and low-res images for web. Include video links. In general documents that can be easily edited are preferred. Anything that is customer oriented (not a commercial) will play better. If you don’t have a new product, think of creative ways to package information that could be used in helpful article that might feature your photos.
Once You know the Why, Who and What about your CONEXPO-CON/AGG content, determine the channels that are the best fit for what you want to accomplish. Tip: Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s better to not be involved on a channel at all than to be represented poorly
Now the hard part. ROI. It is always hard to measure when sales actually happen somewhere else, but there are many useful measures that can be used to show your management it’s investment is worthwhile. There are 4 types of content marketing metrics to measure.
Consumption metrics look at things like how many people viewed your content. They help you measure website traffic and brand awareness. You might want to track how many people type in your brand vs. conduct a generic search. There are also tools to measure mentions on social media
Measuring how your content is shared impacts brand awareness and engagement. Keep track of these on your social sites and look for additional insight on Google Analytics . Tools like SEOMOZ or OpenSiteExplorer measure how many sites are linking to yours, as well as their authority.
Lead generation is a critical goal for b2b content marketing. It’s important to entice visitors with content that compels them to provide an email address in exchange for information. Compare your overall conversion rate to the content rate for individual pieces of content. Marketing Automation software helps marketers more efficiently manage and nurture leads over time.
Sales. What we are all want to know is did content contribute to the sale. This is much easier track for online sales, more difficult for offline sales. CRM systems can help track it. In the end, the process is still imperfect, as salespeople often don’t want to give credit to marketing for generating leads.
That’s a lot to cover. Thanks for your patience. Any questions? I surely don’t have all the answers but I will do my best to find out for you if I don’t know. Marketing today is always changing.
1. @contentforbizThe Buzz AboutContent MarketingFOLLOW US @contentforbizBLOG contentforbiz.com/blog
2. @contentforbizWhat They’re SayingContent marketing remains thebright, shiny object du jour for marketers.Advertising Age, Jan.14, 2013““““When it comes to marketing strategies,content marketing has just been crowned kingInc. Magazine, Oct. 2012
3. @contentforbizWhat I’llCover Today:How to incorporate content marketing intoCONEXPO-CON/AGG plansWhy has content marketing grown
4. @contentforbizInterest in Content Marketing
5. @contentforbizJohn Deere Magazine The Furrow,launched in 1895STILL PUBLISHED TODAY1.5 million copies distributed in40 countriesSomething Old orSomething New?
6. @contentforbizCONTENT MARKETING TRADITIONAL MARKETINGVSContent vs.Traditional MarketingCustomer FocusedRelevant and ValuableRelationship BuildingCompany/Product FocusedSales OrientedInterruptive
7. @contentforbizThe Internet has fundamentallychanged the way people find, share,shop and connect.
8. @contentforbizWhy the Sudden Interestin Content MarketingOn average, B2B customers progress nearly60% of the way through the purchasedecision-making process before engaginga sales rep.Source: The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing, CEB Marketing Leadership Council
9. @contentforbizMarketers MoveToward the WebExplosion in social media provides an easy wayto share information.Everyone can be a publisher.The tools are readily available.Traditional advertising is less effective for leadgeneration. Its more difficult to show ROI.
10. @contentforbizFresh ContentRelevancyAuthority (Inbound Links)What Google Rewards
18. @contentforbizShare ofTotal Marketing BudgetManufacturing22%78%ContentMarketing OtherAll B2B1833%67%ContentMarketing Other
19. @contentforbizManufacturing All B2B19Increase Stay the Same Increase Stay the SamePlanning toIncrease CM Spend
20. @contentforbiz20No. 1B2B CM ChallengeStarting with “What”Rather than “Why”BIGGEST REASON FOR STALLED EFFORTS:Producing Enough Content
21. @contentforbizContentChallengesContent still seems tobe everyone’s joband no one’s job.21Source: The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing,CEB Marketing Leadership CouncilMARKETINGBUSINESSLINESSALESTHE MARKETPARTNERSI T/WEB“ “C O R P O R A T EC O M M U N I C A T I O N S
22. @contentforbiz22CONEXPO-CON/AGGContent Strategy –The WhyAttract more attendeesIncrease press coverageBuild awarenessBe a thought leader$$$ Sales
23. @contentforbiz23The WhoEquipment end users– Segment by size and industryDistributorsMediaThe more targeted your audience,the easier it will be to rank and convert.
24. @contentforbizContent Needsto be FindableConduct keyword researchOptimize content using keywordsSearch engine ranking dependent on competition24Align your company withCONEXPO-CON/AGG.
25. @contentforbiz25What to SayPre-ShowDuringPost Show
26. @contentforbizContent CreationTipsAsk the right questions of sales, product managers,and customers.Eliminate sales and industry jargon.Resist the urge to sell.Think visually.26.Think like an editor.
28. @contentforbizPre-ShowABC to Introduce FiveNew Products atCONEXPO-CON/AGGCONEXPO-CON/AGGMachines Improve FuelEconomyA Guide to GreeningYour FleetRent or Buy? What’sRight for You28TRADITIONAL MESSAGING CM MESSAGING
29. @contentforbiz29Pre-Show CM FormatsSOCIAL MEDIAInitiate a customer-focused discussion of productson display.Build excitement leading up to the show withcontests, giveaways and insider knowledge.Reward, respond and share.
30. @contentforbiz30This blog postappears onpage 1 of aGoogle Search forCONEXPO-CON/AGG.PRE-SHOW
31. @contentforbiz31Here is an opportunityfrom the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Facebookpage that could be anopportunity for one ofyour customers.PRE-SHOW
32. @contentforbiz32Pre-Show CM FormatsWEBSITELet visitors know you will be attendingand where to find your exhibit.Highlight the new products that will be on display.Keep your press section up-to-date.
33. @contentforbiz33Pre-Show CM FormatsONLINE PRESS RELEASESOptimize press releases for CONEXPO-CON/AGGand other keywords.Include social media handles and suggested tweets.Reward loyalty.E-MAIL MARKETING
34. @contentforbiz34TRADITIONALAt-the-ShowCONTENT MARKETINGTrinket Giveaway Take a photoInstantly shareable
35. @contentforbiz35At-The-Show FormatsVIDEOSOCIAL MEDIAPRInterviews with experts and customer testimonials, demos.Plan in advance what you are going to do.Have news content ready for distribution.
36. @contentforbiz36Post-Show FormatsVIDEOSOCIAL MEDIABLOGS.EMAIL MARKETINGPost videos taken at the show.Report on contest winners, talk about financing.Explain new technologies, customer stories.
37. @contentforbizEngage Your EmployeesEmployeesSubject Matter Experts37Content Distribution
38. @contentforbizEngage Your PartnersDealer NetworkSuppliers38Content Distribution
39. @contentforbizCONEXPO-CON/AGGFacebookTwitter-Use the Twitter Hashtag#conexpoconagg39Content Distribution
40. @contentforbizEngage Your PartnersNational Ready Mix Concrete AssociationNational Stone, Sand & Gravel AssociationIFPE40Content Distribution
41. @contentforbizEngage Your PartnersB2B MagazinesAudiences already establishedMany opportunities around CONEXPO-CON/AGG, both in print and onlineSocial Media41Content Distribution
42. @contentforbizTwitterFacebookYouTubeLinkedIn GroupsBlogWebsiteEmail Marketing42Find Your Channels
43. @contentforbizCONSUMPTION METRICSSHARING METRICSLEAD GENERATION METRICSSALES434 Types of ContentMarketing Metrics
44. @contentforbiz44CONSUMPTION METRICSPage ViewsVideo ViewsDownloadsSearches by BrandTOOL: Google Analytics
45. @contentforbiz45SHARING METRICSLikes, +1SharesRetweetsForwardsInbound LinksPRIMARY TOOL: Google AnalyticsTOOLS: Social Sites, Google Analytics,Open Site Explorer, SEO Moz
46. @contentforbiz46LEAD GENERATION METRICSForm Completion or DownloadSubscriptions: Email and BlogConversion Rate: How often do visitors who consumecontent become leads?TOOL: Google Analytics