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Conquering
Content
Marketing
THE ULTIMATE
GUIDE TO
Interactivity. Visual appeal. Immersive
experiences.
Withsomanyelementsofvideogames
becomingkeyfocalpointsfortoday’scontent
marketers,thethemeonlyfeltnaturalforthis
year’s#CMWorldextravaganza.
Nocommonalityismoreimportantthanthis:Justlikegaming,
contentmarketingisfun!Andmuchoftheenjoymentliesinthe
challenge:developingtacticstoreachthenextstage,learningfrom
failure,andeventuallymasteringthecraft.Andlet’snotforget...
buildingrelationshipsalongtheway.
Whiletrial-and-errorcertainlyhasitsplaceinvideogames,wecanall
benefitfromtheknowledgeofthosewho’ve comebeforeus.Almost
everygamerhasdiscoveredasecretshortcutfromhisolderbrother,
orpickedupacrucialtechniquefromherhandystrategyguide.
Inthisspirit,weenlistedsomeofthetopplayersincontent
marketingtohelpusputtogetherthiscollectionof indispensable
tips and tricks to accelerate your progress.
Video games have grown vastly more complex since Atari
and Pong debuted back in the early 1970s. Compare one of
this generation’s top titles to the blocky 8-bit renderings of
yesteryear, and it’s easy to see how far the bar has been raised.
In a much shorter timeframe, content marketing has
experienced an even more dramatic evolution. Just as new
technologies and innovations have raised the expectations of
gamers everywhere, audiences won’t settle for the same old
digital content. We need to level up.
So, grab your controller, press start, and let’s conquer this
game together.
Game on!
Cathy McPhillips
VP of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute
“The obvious objective of video games is to entertain people by
surprising them with new experiences.”
— Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary video game designer and producer
Let the Games Begin!
Strategy
When video games made the transition from 2D to 3D, players were
forced to start approaching gaming in entirely new ways. Meanwhile, the
abundance of emerging digital channels and tools are pushing content
marketers to rethink our strategies and find new ways to advance. Here’s
how some of the field’s brightest minds are adapting.
ROBERT ROSE.......... The Content Advisory
NICHOLE KELLY........ The Conscious Marketing
	Institute
TIM WASHER........... Ridiculous Media
ELLIE MIRMAN......... Crayon
PETER KRMPOTIC....... Adobe
TAMSEN WEBSTER....... Find the Red Thread
High Content
Strategy Scores
Become a Proactive
Editorial Strategist
To the extent you can, take a pause and flip your strategy from
being the on-demand creator of content, to the proactive editorial
strategist. If you’re like most content marketers who are struggling,
it is because you are creating content as a service to other parts of
the business. Thus, the strategy is simply to fulfill orders.
Instead, successful content marketers are offering up a menu of
content - through a strategic editorial function - to switch the
conversation from “whaddaya got?” to “this is what we have”.
If you can switch the scale here to even 60% strategic and 40%
on-demand, you will go a long way from measuring your success
by quantity of output to measurability by impact.
ROBERT
ROSE
Chief Troublemaker,
The Content Advisory
@Robert_Rose
CLICK TO TWEET
“Flip your strategy from being the
on-demand creator of content to
the proactive editorial strategist.”
@Robert_Rose
Authenticity is KEY
to Great Content Strategy
Authenticity has always been key to a great content marketing strategy.
The next level up is to increase the level of consciousness in the
marketing organization and the content you create. Your new objective
is to have a positive emotional impact on your audience. Fear-based
language is no longer tolerable. Use language that elicits universally
positive emotional responses.
We have an opportunity to help humanity step into its full potential
through inspirational and uplifting content. Remove fear. Remove the
hero, villain, and victim story and replace it with stories of triumph
through self-discovery and stepping more into our truth. We need more
content showing people they can be themselves, unapologetically.
NICHOLE
KELLY
Chief Consciousness
Officer, The Conscious
Marketing Institute
@nichole_kelly
CLICK TO TWEET
“Remove the fear and replace it
with stories of triumph through self-
discovery and stepping more into
our truth.” @nichole_kelly
Think Outside the Box
with Team Building
Buildavirtualteam.Recruittalentedfreelancewriters
andvideographers,includingcollegestudents,tohelp
contributeengagingcontentproduction.
TIM
WASHER
PowerPoint
Comedian/Emcee,
Ridiculous Media
@timwasher
CLICK TO TWEET
“Build a virtual team to produce
engaging content.” @timwasher
Create Content
That Stands Out
Analyze your content marketing competitors to understand how
you can stand out. Look at your direct competitors, but also
those who compete for your audience’s attention on similar
topics: partners, indirect and aspirational competitors. Evaluate
their approaches to topics, media types, and channels to
understand which areas are saturated and where the white space
exists in your industry.
That’s how you make the most of your content efforts - creating
content that stands out in an otherwise crowded content
marketing landscape.
ELLIE
MIRMAN
CMO, Crayon
@ellieeille
CLICK TO TWEET
“Understand where the white space exists in
your industry to create content that stands out
in an otherwise crowded content marketing
landscape.” @ellieeille
Your Strategy Will
Improve as YoU Iterate
Make it measurable, transparent, and actionable! Your overall content
marketing strategy will get better as you iterate your campaigns.
Unfortunately, most campaigns take too long to get signed off on by
critical stakeholders, which adds to the inertia of refining campaigns.
How do you address this tendency to push out timelines? Start by
measuring the process of conceiving, reviewing, and approving content
marketing campaigns. Then, drive alignment and excellence by sharing
these findings across the organization and by benchmarking against
industry KPIs.
Lastly, while the data is available, most content marketing strategies are
still not data-driven or even data-informed. Think about ways to expose
data into the content marketing process, specifically during the strategy
phase, so that data can be acted on.
PETER
KRMPOTIC
Group Product Manager,
Adobe
@peterkrmpotic
CLICK TO TWEET
“Think about ways to expose data
in the content marketing process, so
that the data can be acted on.”
@peterkrmpotic
Ask Yourself These
3 Critical Questions
Go beyond the surface details of your customers and segments to
understand how they see the world. Ask yourself:
n	 What goals do they want to achieve (or problems they want to
	 solve) that you can help them reach? Hint: it’s not to buy your product 	
	 or service. Frame it in a way they would readily agree with, such as 	
	 “I want to convert more customers” (good!) vs. “I want to buy a new 	
	 proprietary software for content planning and distribution” (nope!).
n	 What value(s) do they and your organization share?
n	 What do they struggle with? What is something they both know is	
	 getting in the way of their goal and actively want a solution to?
TAMSEN
WEBSTER
Founder and
CEO,
Find The Red Thread
@tamadear
CLICK TO TWEET
“Go beyond the surface details of
your customers to understand how
they see the world.”
@tamadear
Planning
Convincing a boss requires careful planning. You’ll need to equip the right
tools, familiarize yourself with the surrounding environment, and memorize
movements and patterns of any recurring challenges. At that point, you’ll
be ready for anything thrown at you. Today’s best content marketers
are similarly anticipating obstacles and roadblocks through fastidious
preparation.
AMANDA TODOROVICH.... Cleveland Clinic
COURTNEY COX......... Children’s Health
ELI SCHWARTZ......... SurveyMonkey
JAY ACUNZO........... Unthinkable Media
CARLA JOHNSON........ Type A Communications
HEATHER PEMBERTON LEVY... Gartner
ZARI VENHAUS......... Eaton
ANDY CRESTODINA...... Orbit Media
High Content
PLANNING Scores
Listen to Your Data
Always bring data to the table, especially data from search analysis
and social media engagement. These insights tell you what your
customers want and need. When your content helps fill those gaps and
provides your target audiences with answers, you will build stronger
relationships with them on your different channels/platforms.
As you plan your editorial calendar, consider what your customers are
going through in that moment in time, that season, or that month.
What do they need from you most in that window of time? Create those
things. Deliver those answers to them. Be as relevant to them as you
can be.
Sophisticated content planning requires historical analysis, an
understanding of what’s changed and currently happening around
your audience.
AMANDA
TODOROVICH
Senior Director –
Content &
Creative Services,
Cleveland Clinic
@amandatodo
CLICK TO TWEET
“Sophisticated content planning
requires historical analysis, an
understanding of what’s changed
and currently happening around
your audience.” @amandatodo
Let Google Guide Your
Content Direction
Content marketers looking to level up their approach to content
marketing planning should start using Google’s “people also
ask” section of the search engine results page. Google pulls these
questions from the most frequently searched queries around
a particular topic; content marketers can then answer those
questions directly within a piece of content.
Use the question itself as an H2 on your page and then answer
the question in a paragraph or two directly below. Not only does
this drive relevance to your readers, but it also increases the
likelihood that Google will include your content as a source for
their featured snippets.
COURTNEY
COXManager,
Digital Marketing -
Children’s Health
@courtewakefield
CLICK TO TWEET
“Use Google’s ‘people also ask’
section to level up your approach to
content marketing planning.”
@courtewakefield
Data Should Guide
Planning Efforts &
Iterations
Leveling up any content marketing effort requires delving deep into data
to build around plans and strategies supported by hard numbers. While
creativity is ultimately key to any successful content marketing effort,
data provides concrete, actionable insights that enable marketers to
truly elevate their marketing initiatives. Data can be anything from
keyword research to Google Trends to internal user data from logs or
customer surveys.
If data is interpreted correctly, content marketers leveraging that
information can be confident that their efforts will be effective in
a way that will generate greater revenue, leads, and engagement.
Successfully leveraging data to shape content marketing initiatives
will ultimately lead to higher budgets that will allow marketers to
consistently iterate on their efforts.
ELI
SCHWARTZ
Director of Organic
Product, SurveyMonkey
@5le
CLICK TO TWEET
“Data provides concrete, actionable
insights that enable marketers to truly
elevate their marketing initiatives.”
@5le
Talk to Your
Prospects & Customers
If you haven’t spoken to anyone in your audience in the last
month directly - about their work and their lives, not about your
company or products - then you aren’t ready to plan anything.
Even the brightest creators and the most exhaustive reports
miss those subtle differences that can make all the difference
between you sounding like every competitor and you actually
holding their attention. It’s so breathtakingly simple: If you have
a 40-hour per week job, then take literally 0.2% of your month
(20 minutes) and have an informal conversation with a customer
or prospect. You will be shocked at how much easier content
marketing gets.
JAY
ACUNZO
Founder -
Unthinkable Media
@jayacunzo
CLICK TO TWEET
“Have an informal conversation
with a customer or prospect and
see how much easier content
marketing gets.” @jayacunzo
Keep Purpose Front
& Center
Always start with the purpose of each piece of content you’re
creating. If you don’t understand why you’re developing it, what
you expect it to do, and how it fits into the bigger formula, then
you shouldn’t be creating it. It’s easy to get into the momentum
of creating content. But unless we keep the purpose of it in the
foreground, we’ll get in the habit of creating content for content’s
sake, rather than creating with intention.
CARLA
JOHNSON
President, Type A
Communications
@carlajohnson
CLICK TO TWEET
“Always start with the purpose
of each piece of content you’re
creating.” @carlajohnson
Scale and Engagement
are Crucial Content
Cornerstones
In order for content marketing to help you reach real business goals, it’s
important to create scale and engagement. These are not the same thing, and
each requires a different set of tactics.
Create a volume of content, experimenting with different types, to build SEO
credibility and traffic. The more content you produce, with links across your
ecosystem, the more search engines will give your domain authority on a
topic. This is the time to experiment wildly with different topics, formats, and
treatments to learn what your target market consumes.
Now it’s time to scale back on your content volume in favor of building content
collections around strategic topics that align with your marketing campaigns
and your target audience’s preferences. Rather than fearing a reduction in
traffic, embrace the audience that will deliver the right business results.
HEATHER
PEMBERTON
LEVY
Vice President, Content
Marketing - Gartner
@heathrpemberton
CLICK TO TWEET
“Create scale and engagement to
help you reach your business goals.”
@heathrpemberton
Start Small & Think Big
Don’t let the planning process become a giant hurdle to getting
started. Content for the sake of content is not good for anyone - you
or your audience. You need to decide what kinds of content will help
you tell your story in a way that will resonate with those audiences
and will drive engagement on the channels you’re going to use. It’s
okay to start small and focus on one topic or one audience or just a
few really good pieces of content. Get comfortable and then swing
for the fences. Once you’ve got all that thought through - roll up your
sleeves. Now you have to go do the hard part. Create the content,
distribute it, and promote the heck out of it.
ZARI
VENHAUS
Director Corporate
Marketing
Communications, Eaton
@zvenhaus
CLICK TO TWEET
“Tell your story in a way that will
resonate with your audiences to
drive engagement.” @zvenhaus
Think Beyond Rankings
Keywords, keywords, links, links. You need to think beyond the
rankings to plan for the future and protect your traffic. Google
isn’t just looking for relevant pages. They are looking for
relevant pages that people click on and read. The pages that get
the visitor to stick around.
The length of time that people spend on the page after they land is
called “dwell time” and it’s a big part of how Google works today.
They search, you rank, they click. But did they leave after just a
few seconds (low dwell time, short click)? Or did you catch their
attention, and they scanned, scrolled, and stayed for a while (high
dwell time, long click)?
ANDY
CRESTODINA
Principal – Strategic
Director, Orbit Media
@crestodina
CLICK TO TWEET
“You need to think beyond the
rankings to plan for the future
and protect your traffic.”
@crestodina
Creation
Every video game ever made started with belief in an idea. Skeptical
executives could’ve easily shrugged off the concept of a plumber in blue
overalls jumping on anthropomorphic mushrooms, or a speedy hedgehog
sprinting about in red sneakers, but then we’d have been deprived of two of
our most cherished and culturally ingrained franchises. Let these creators
help motivate you to remove restrictions and limitations in your own
content ideation.
ANN HANDLEY.......... MarketingProfs
MELANIE DEZIEL....... Mdeziel Media
J.P. MEDVED.......... Capterra
MITCH JOEL........... Mirum
MICHELLE PARK LAZETTE... Federal Reserve Bank
	of Cleveland
PAM DIDNER........... Author, Global
	Content Marketing
DAVE CHAREST......... Constant Contact
High Content
CREATION Scores
Slow & Substantive
Wins the Race
TL; DR: Slow down. Do less. And obsess over what you do. We marketers
have a lot of noise to contend with. So, approach your marketing (and
your business!) with a mindset of As Slow As Possible (ASAP).
Slow content marketing is slowly conceived, well-executed, substantive
work that tells a memorable story. It sustains both marketers and our
audiences long-term. It doesn’t just stuff our bellies with pounds of fluff.
We seek meaning and crave connection. That means marketing needs to
slow down and think about substance and context. We also need to focus
on the meaning baked into the experience we are giving our audiences.
Short and snackable is out. Slow and substantive isn’t just here… it’s here
to stay.
ANN
HANDLEY
Chief Content Officer,
MarketingProfs
@annhandley
CLICK TO TWEET
“Marketing needs to slow down and
think about substance and context.”
@annhandley
Press Pause to Ensure
You Know What Success
Looks Like
One of the easiest wins for content marketers who want to improve
their content strategy is to take a step back and really think about
your goals. Often times, we get so caught up in content creation that
we forget to re-align our output and our objectives.
If you press pause and ensure you have a clear understanding of
what you’re trying to achieve with content, then you’ll be better
able to focus your time and efforts on those content initiatives
that bear the kind of fruit you want.
MELANIE
DEZIEL
Branded Content
Consultant,
Mdeziel Media
@mdeziel CLICK TO TWEET
“To improve content strategy, take
a step back and really think about
your goals.” @mdeziel
@mdeziel
Deliver Value First,
Monetize Later
My biggest advice is don’t try to monetize your content, or tie
revenue directly to it, for at least the first six months to a year.
Give yourself permission to really focus on building great, helpful,
informative, authoritative content first. It’s much easier to monetize
it later when it’s performing gangbusters, than to try and design
content around monetization (which inevitably leads to poorer
content with too much of a short-term focus on selling to the reader,
instead of helping the reader).
J.P.
MEDVED
Content Director,
Capterra
@rizzlejpizzle CLICK TO TWEET
“Give yourself permission to really focus
on building great, helpful, informative,
authoritative content first. It’s much
easier to monetize it later.”
@rizzlejpizzle
Embrace Long-Form
Content
Think longer. We are captivated by tweets, snaps, and posts. The real
guts of being great at content marketing will only take shape when
marketers embrace (and get great at) creating long-form content.
Substance and longevity will only happen for a brand when they
embrace this. This doesn’t mean to neglect 140 characters or a quick
little live video blast in the moment, but don’t neglect the depth
and value that a brand can (and should) provide with long-form
content. Also, long-form content can (and will) create a much more
substantive connection with customers. Sure, many customers want
to “get in and out,” but there is also support, care, upselling, cross-
selling, and more that can only come with providing value. Value and
long-form content go hand in hand.
MITCH
JOEL
President, Mirum
@mitchjoel
CLICK TO TWEET
“The real guts of being great at content
marketing will only take shape when
marketers embrace (and get great at)
creating long-form content.” @mitchjoel
Use Stories to Hook
Your Audience
Tell stories always, no matter the topic, no matter the format. Be the
journalist and capture details and emotion and use them to immerse
your reader/viewer/listener in a decision, a challenge, something that’s
happening. Stories hook an audience more than any traditional sales
pitch or boilerplate language. Hold yourself to this standard: Is this
story I’m telling told unlike any other? Your answer will be yes if you
a) find the stories that are truly one of a kind and/or b) if you unearth
the details and emotion that make a story one of a kind. Within any
organization, you have access to people that other storytellers do not.
Use that advantage to tell stories other storytellers cannot.
MICHELLE
PARK
LAZETTE
Writer, Federal Reserve
Bank of Cleveland
@mp_lazette
CLICK TO TWEET
“Stories hook an audience more than
any traditional sales pitch or boilerplate
language.” @mp_lazette
Offer Real ValuE
with Content
Content marketing isn’t something to check off a list. It’s about having
a strategic approach, a plan, and a process that drives the execution of
an effective editorial process. Do the research, know your audience, and
make sure that you’re offering real value. Also, be sure to keep your eye
on the prize.
If you’re creating content so that people engage with your brand or
reach out, make sure there is a clear call to action, or lead capture
opportunity, in every piece of content.
PAM
DIDNER
Author, Global Content
Marketing
@pamdidner CLICK TO TWEET
“Content marketing is about having a
strategic approach, a plan, and a process
that drives the execution of an effective
editorial process.” @pamdidner
Level Up By
Collaborating with
Your Target Audience
When it comes to content creation, far too often content is created in a
meeting room with a bunch of marketers without any thought for the
day-to-day reality of the person consuming it. BIG mistake. Level up your
approach by creating content in partnership with members of your target
audience. By including your audience in the creation process you’ll better
understand what you need to create and how you need to create it. You’ll no
longer be working in a vacuum and your content will better resonate with
those you’re trying to reach. At the very least, get feedback from your target
audience on the content you’ve created. Allow this feedback to guide you
toward making better choices and improvements for better overall results.
DAVE
CHAREST
Director,
Content Marketing,
Constant Contact
@davecharest
CLICK TO TWEET
“Level up your approach by creating
content in partnership with members of
your target audience.” @davecharest
Amplification
& Distribution
Pac-Man wouldn’t be very fun if the chomping yellow protagonist just sat in
one spot, spinning in circles perpetually. Only by branching out and navigating
his maze can he consume those delicious dots and cherries to power up. Our
contributors are ready to help your content turn corners and break new ground.
They’ll also offer pointers on avoiding those pesky ghosts and dead ends.
IAN CLEARY........... RazorSocial
LEE ODDEN............ TopRank Marketing
VISHAL KHANNA........ HealthPrize Technologies
JUNTAE DeLANE........ University of Southern
	California
DOUG KESSLER......... Velocity Partners
JOE PULIZZI.......... Content Marketing
	Institute
JUSTIN LEVY.......... Speaker
HEIDI COHEN.......... Actionable Marketing
	Guide
High Content
Amplification &
Distribution Scores
Outbound Isn’t Out
of Bounds
There is nothing wrong with outbound marketing if you’re starting point is great content.
Some outbound marketing techniques to promote content that work really well are:
a). Guest posting on high-authority sites with related content and linking back
b). Reaching out to other sites that have a complementary piece of content, then agreeing 	
	 to link to each other
c). Identifying who linked to similar content - you may find resources and lists to get your 	
	 content added
d). Identifying people on social that have shared similar content and reaching out to them
e). Targeting Facebook ads, for example, building a custom audience on Facebook and 	
	 targeting the right people within this audience
Good outbound drives inbound.
IAN
CLEARY
Founder, RazorSocial
@IanCleary
CLICK TO TWEET
“There is nothing wrong with outbound
marketing. Good outbound drives
inbound.” @IanCleary
Optimize Content
Distribution,Reach,
& Engagement
91% of companies are using content marketing, but 50% of content gets only eight
shares or less. What good is creating useful content if no one sees it? The content
creation/promotion imbalance is a big problem for marketers trying to win the
content marketing game.
Content that is accountable to attract the right audience should be informed during
the planning of the content itself, not after:
n Where buyers find solution content
n What they search for and discuss on social networks
n What they subscribe to
n Who they are influenced by
Balanced creation and promotion boosts message credibility, reach, and engagement.
When content planning integrates search, social audience targeting, earned media,
paid media, and co-creation with influencers, it puts marketers and their customers in
the winner’s circle.
LEE
ODDEN
CEO, TopRank
Marketing
@leeodden
CLICK TO TWEET
“The content creation / promotion imbalance is a
big problem for marketers trying to win the content
marketing game.” @leeodden
Gain Proficience
wiTH New TechnologieS
ANDTools
Because the job of a marketer has become much more technical
with the democratization of marketing technology, it’s essential
that marketers know and understand the full landscape of available
technology, especially technology to amplify and distribute content.
At conferences like Content Marketing World, take advantage of the
Expo Hall. Speak with vendors. Ask for demos of their technology even
if you’re not currently in the market, because you will be in the future.
Follow up with vendors. Build relationships. They will be your strongest
advocates when you’re ready to invest in new technology.
VISHAL
KHANNA
Director of Marketing
& Communications,
HealthPrize Technologies
@bediscontent CLICK TO TWEET
“Know and understand the full landscape
of available technology to amplify and
distribute content.” @bediscontent
Choose Keywords That
Appealto Visitors
One component of content marketing amplification is keyword selection.
Many of the keywords you find through keyword research can generate
a lot of traffic for your website, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll see an
increase in sales or conversions as well. Choose keywords that appeal to
visitors who are most likely going to buy your products or services. If done
correctly, you’ll see an increase in both amplification and conversion.
JUNTAE
DeLANE
Sr. Digital Brand
Manager, University
of Southern California
@juntaedelane
CLICK TO TWEET
“Choose keywords that appeal to visitors
who are most likely going to buy your
products or services to increase both
amplification and conversion.”
@juntaedelane
Plan for How Your
Content Will Get
Discovered
Don’t even start a piece of content or a program without at least an
idea of how you’ll get it discovered (if not a whole plan). The days
of great content magically finding its audience are over. The best
distribution strategy of all, of course, is to build your own audience.
Earn subscribers and you’ve got a direct line to your audience.
Otherwise, be prepared to pay Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
DOUG
KESSLER
Co-Founder &
Creative Director,
Velocity Partners
@dougkessler
CLICK TO TWEET
“The best content distribution strategy of
all is to build your own audience.”
@dougkessler
Be Strategic with
Content Promotion
Build an audience at all costs. So many companies are
significantly increasing their distribution, but are not focusing
on building an opt-in audience at the same time. Distribution
for distribution’s sake is a waste of time. Be strategic with your
content promotion and use the KPI of audience building as your
key metric.JOE
PULIZZI
Founder, Content
Marketing Institute
@joepulizzi
CLICK TO TWEET
“Content distribution for distribution’s
sake is a waste of time.” @joepulizzi
Look Beyond Vanity
Metrics
Marketers need to ensure that they have the correct KPIs in place
and are consistently working against them. Specifically, when it
comes to social media, metrics need to go beyond vanity metrics and
focus on impact to the business so that the function goes beyond
just being a cost center.
Additionally, marketers need to work collaboratively across the
various areas of marketing as well as partnering with other parts of
their company such as sales. Marketers need to be integrated and
focused, working off of the same strategy instead of working in silos
on their own projects.
JUSTIN
LEVY
Public Speaker
@justinlevy
CLICK TO TWEET
“Marketers need to ensure that they
have the correct KPIs in place and are
consistently working against them.”
@justinlevy
Create a Focused
Amplification Plan
To maximize content amplification and distribution, optimize your
content for customers, social media, search, influencers, and your
business by creating chunked content that’s contextually relevant on
owned, social, and third-party media. Also develop tailored off-ramp
content to help capture email addresses and sales.
Further, focus your amplification efforts on the first three days post
publication while planning for ongoing distribution over time (i.e.
beyond a few weeks). Therefore, you need different presentation
formats to keep your content distribution from becoming wallpaper
to potential readers.
HEIDI
COHEN
Chief Content Officer,
Actionable
Marketing Guide
@HeidiCohen
CLICK TO TWEET
“Plan and incorporate content
amplification and distribution into your
content creation.” @HeidiCohen
Measurement
Measurement has always been a fundamental component of video
games, ever since the days of defending a high score on the Donkey Kong
coin-op machine at the local arcade. Marketers everywhere are embracing
the critical importance of tracking and optimizing all activities through
in-depth reporting and analytics. Can you top your own high score with
your next campaign?
CHRISTOPHER PENN..... Brain+Trust Insights
MATHEW SWEEZEY....... Salesforce
MICHAEL BRENNER...... Marketing Insider Group
MICHAEL PRATT........ Panamplify
RON TITE............. Church+State
MATT HEINZ........... Heinz Marketing
High Content
MEASUREMENT Scores
Good Measurement
Starts with Filtering
the Right Data
We have a tremendous amount of content measurement capability,
but we don’t necessarily measure intelligently. Which of these pieces
of data actually matter? You have things like social shares, search
metrics, engagement metrics, click-through data, page views. But
ultimately, every piece of content we create must have some kind of
business outcome.
What we can do with machine learning and advanced statistical
analysis today that we weren’t able to do in the past is calculate the
impact of all these different metrics on the KPIs we care about. Every
business is going to be different because every business is better or
worse at certain aspects of content marketing.
CHRISTOPHER
PENN
Founder & Chief
Innovator,
Brain+Trust Insights
@cspenn
CLICK TO TWEET
“Every piece of content we create must
have some kind of business outcome.”
@cspenn
Focus on Metrics
that Illuminate
Your Pipeline
Look past engagement metrics to really dig into finding out
if the content is moving people towards the next stage in the
buying cycle. A weighted pipeline is the best way to do that,
allowing you to measure content’s influence on lead velocity,
allowing you to show content’s value in a more effective way.MATHEW
SWEEZEY
Principal of Marketing
Insights, Salesforce
@msweezey
CLICK TO TWEET
“Look past engagement metrics to really
dig into finding out if the content is moving
people towards the next stage in the buying
cycle.” @msweezey
Activate Everyone in
Your Organization as
Content Marketers
Leveling up content marketing means going beyond creating
consistent customer-focused content. It means engaging your internal
experts to share their expertise. It means using paid content to tell
amazing stories. And it means activating the entire organization
to share your passions, your stories, and your expertise. Leveled-
up organizations are creating content that their employees and
customers want to share.
MICHAEL
BRENNER
Founder, Marketing
Insider Group
@brennermichael
CLICK TO TWEET
“Leveled-up organizations are creating
content that their employees and customers
want to share.” @brennermichael
Start with the Objective
anD Work Backwards
Start with the objective of the client. Not what the client says they want, but
what they are really trying to achieve. Then walk your way back, step by step,
until you have a rough “causal chain” or a sequence of measurable actions that
can lead from your content to the objective. THAT is how you measure. Not
what you think is important, but what leads to the achievement of the client
objective. That will, of course, not only lead to very recognizable metrics and
KPIs but also the process forces you to choose which ones, and in what order,
are the most relevant. Then you can ignore those posts that always read “Top 5
ways to measure your content”!!
MICHAEL
PRATT
CEO - Panamplify
@mikepratt
CLICK TO TWEET
“Start with the objective of the client and
walk your way back, step by step, until you
have a sequence of measurable actions
that can lead from your content to the
objective.” @mikepratt
Pick Numbers That
Represent True Goals
Marketers would love one magic number that solved all their problems and
proved their brilliance. If they could only point to a spreadsheet and proudly
exclaim “Yes! Our LMNOP Rating is +39 points!!!” while a confetti cannon
exploded, and a bagpipe band played “SexyBack”.
Sorry. That’s not going to happen.
I getit.Experiencedandsmartmarketersmakinginsightfuldecisionsisn’tenoughforthe
C-suite.Theyneednumbers.Andyeah,standardizedmeasurementwouldbeamazing!
WecouldallcomparetacticslikeweusedtocompareKloutscores,amiright??
Look, marketing is too dynamic, complex, and unique for each category to agree on a
single unit of measurement. It’s filled with bias and digits that can be manipulated to
create the illusion of success when superficial success is needed.
RON
TITE
Founder & CEO,
Church+State
@rontite
CLICK TO TWEET
“Marketing is too dynamic, complex, and
unique for each category to agree on a
single unit of measurement.” @rontite
Not All Content
Drives to Close
Not all content drives to close immediately, but good content helps
prospects get closer. For example, your prospect isn’t going to care
about your story until you prove to them that you understand and
care about theirs. What insights can you bring to the table to get them
thinking differently about their status quo? How can you help reframe
a situation or problem that heightens their urgency to solve it?
That kind of content creates immediate value, attention, and
engagement. You can often draw a direct correlation between
engagement in insight-based content at the top of the funnel and
commitment to the buying process in subsequent interactions. The
content didn’t generate an immediate sale, but it certainly originated
from it.
MATT
HEINZ
President, Heinz
Marketing
@heinzmarketing
CLICK TO TWEET
“Not all content drives to close
immediately, but good content helps
prospects get closer.” @heinzmarketing
TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE
NEXT LEVEL
There’s no such thing as “Game Over” in content marketing. Just when you think
you’ve achieved mastery, the difficulty level turns up and you’re facing a whole new
set of challenges. All we can do is keep pushing, keep learning, and keep adapting.
To help you get past the toughest levels, we will have these contributors and
many others at Content Marketing World this September in Cleveland, Ohio.
Join us to learn content marketing from the some of the best and brightest.
Register today for Content Marketing World - Code GAMING saves $100!
Happygaming, marketers!
Share This eBook!

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The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing

  • 2. Interactivity. Visual appeal. Immersive experiences. Withsomanyelementsofvideogames becomingkeyfocalpointsfortoday’scontent marketers,thethemeonlyfeltnaturalforthis year’s#CMWorldextravaganza. Nocommonalityismoreimportantthanthis:Justlikegaming, contentmarketingisfun!Andmuchoftheenjoymentliesinthe challenge:developingtacticstoreachthenextstage,learningfrom failure,andeventuallymasteringthecraft.Andlet’snotforget... buildingrelationshipsalongtheway. Whiletrial-and-errorcertainlyhasitsplaceinvideogames,wecanall benefitfromtheknowledgeofthosewho’ve comebeforeus.Almost everygamerhasdiscoveredasecretshortcutfromhisolderbrother, orpickedupacrucialtechniquefromherhandystrategyguide. Inthisspirit,weenlistedsomeofthetopplayersincontent marketingtohelpusputtogetherthiscollectionof indispensable tips and tricks to accelerate your progress. Video games have grown vastly more complex since Atari and Pong debuted back in the early 1970s. Compare one of this generation’s top titles to the blocky 8-bit renderings of yesteryear, and it’s easy to see how far the bar has been raised. In a much shorter timeframe, content marketing has experienced an even more dramatic evolution. Just as new technologies and innovations have raised the expectations of gamers everywhere, audiences won’t settle for the same old digital content. We need to level up. So, grab your controller, press start, and let’s conquer this game together. Game on! Cathy McPhillips VP of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute “The obvious objective of video games is to entertain people by surprising them with new experiences.” — Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary video game designer and producer Let the Games Begin!
  • 3. Strategy When video games made the transition from 2D to 3D, players were forced to start approaching gaming in entirely new ways. Meanwhile, the abundance of emerging digital channels and tools are pushing content marketers to rethink our strategies and find new ways to advance. Here’s how some of the field’s brightest minds are adapting.
  • 4. ROBERT ROSE.......... The Content Advisory NICHOLE KELLY........ The Conscious Marketing Institute TIM WASHER........... Ridiculous Media ELLIE MIRMAN......... Crayon PETER KRMPOTIC....... Adobe TAMSEN WEBSTER....... Find the Red Thread High Content Strategy Scores
  • 5. Become a Proactive Editorial Strategist To the extent you can, take a pause and flip your strategy from being the on-demand creator of content, to the proactive editorial strategist. If you’re like most content marketers who are struggling, it is because you are creating content as a service to other parts of the business. Thus, the strategy is simply to fulfill orders. Instead, successful content marketers are offering up a menu of content - through a strategic editorial function - to switch the conversation from “whaddaya got?” to “this is what we have”. If you can switch the scale here to even 60% strategic and 40% on-demand, you will go a long way from measuring your success by quantity of output to measurability by impact. ROBERT ROSE Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory @Robert_Rose CLICK TO TWEET “Flip your strategy from being the on-demand creator of content to the proactive editorial strategist.” @Robert_Rose
  • 6. Authenticity is KEY to Great Content Strategy Authenticity has always been key to a great content marketing strategy. The next level up is to increase the level of consciousness in the marketing organization and the content you create. Your new objective is to have a positive emotional impact on your audience. Fear-based language is no longer tolerable. Use language that elicits universally positive emotional responses. We have an opportunity to help humanity step into its full potential through inspirational and uplifting content. Remove fear. Remove the hero, villain, and victim story and replace it with stories of triumph through self-discovery and stepping more into our truth. We need more content showing people they can be themselves, unapologetically. NICHOLE KELLY Chief Consciousness Officer, The Conscious Marketing Institute @nichole_kelly CLICK TO TWEET “Remove the fear and replace it with stories of triumph through self- discovery and stepping more into our truth.” @nichole_kelly
  • 7. Think Outside the Box with Team Building Buildavirtualteam.Recruittalentedfreelancewriters andvideographers,includingcollegestudents,tohelp contributeengagingcontentproduction. TIM WASHER PowerPoint Comedian/Emcee, Ridiculous Media @timwasher CLICK TO TWEET “Build a virtual team to produce engaging content.” @timwasher
  • 8. Create Content That Stands Out Analyze your content marketing competitors to understand how you can stand out. Look at your direct competitors, but also those who compete for your audience’s attention on similar topics: partners, indirect and aspirational competitors. Evaluate their approaches to topics, media types, and channels to understand which areas are saturated and where the white space exists in your industry. That’s how you make the most of your content efforts - creating content that stands out in an otherwise crowded content marketing landscape. ELLIE MIRMAN CMO, Crayon @ellieeille CLICK TO TWEET “Understand where the white space exists in your industry to create content that stands out in an otherwise crowded content marketing landscape.” @ellieeille
  • 9. Your Strategy Will Improve as YoU Iterate Make it measurable, transparent, and actionable! Your overall content marketing strategy will get better as you iterate your campaigns. Unfortunately, most campaigns take too long to get signed off on by critical stakeholders, which adds to the inertia of refining campaigns. How do you address this tendency to push out timelines? Start by measuring the process of conceiving, reviewing, and approving content marketing campaigns. Then, drive alignment and excellence by sharing these findings across the organization and by benchmarking against industry KPIs. Lastly, while the data is available, most content marketing strategies are still not data-driven or even data-informed. Think about ways to expose data into the content marketing process, specifically during the strategy phase, so that data can be acted on. PETER KRMPOTIC Group Product Manager, Adobe @peterkrmpotic CLICK TO TWEET “Think about ways to expose data in the content marketing process, so that the data can be acted on.” @peterkrmpotic
  • 10. Ask Yourself These 3 Critical Questions Go beyond the surface details of your customers and segments to understand how they see the world. Ask yourself: n What goals do they want to achieve (or problems they want to solve) that you can help them reach? Hint: it’s not to buy your product or service. Frame it in a way they would readily agree with, such as “I want to convert more customers” (good!) vs. “I want to buy a new proprietary software for content planning and distribution” (nope!). n What value(s) do they and your organization share? n What do they struggle with? What is something they both know is getting in the way of their goal and actively want a solution to? TAMSEN WEBSTER Founder and CEO, Find The Red Thread @tamadear CLICK TO TWEET “Go beyond the surface details of your customers to understand how they see the world.” @tamadear
  • 11. Planning Convincing a boss requires careful planning. You’ll need to equip the right tools, familiarize yourself with the surrounding environment, and memorize movements and patterns of any recurring challenges. At that point, you’ll be ready for anything thrown at you. Today’s best content marketers are similarly anticipating obstacles and roadblocks through fastidious preparation.
  • 12. AMANDA TODOROVICH.... Cleveland Clinic COURTNEY COX......... Children’s Health ELI SCHWARTZ......... SurveyMonkey JAY ACUNZO........... Unthinkable Media CARLA JOHNSON........ Type A Communications HEATHER PEMBERTON LEVY... Gartner ZARI VENHAUS......... Eaton ANDY CRESTODINA...... Orbit Media High Content PLANNING Scores
  • 13. Listen to Your Data Always bring data to the table, especially data from search analysis and social media engagement. These insights tell you what your customers want and need. When your content helps fill those gaps and provides your target audiences with answers, you will build stronger relationships with them on your different channels/platforms. As you plan your editorial calendar, consider what your customers are going through in that moment in time, that season, or that month. What do they need from you most in that window of time? Create those things. Deliver those answers to them. Be as relevant to them as you can be. Sophisticated content planning requires historical analysis, an understanding of what’s changed and currently happening around your audience. AMANDA TODOROVICH Senior Director – Content & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic @amandatodo CLICK TO TWEET “Sophisticated content planning requires historical analysis, an understanding of what’s changed and currently happening around your audience.” @amandatodo
  • 14. Let Google Guide Your Content Direction Content marketers looking to level up their approach to content marketing planning should start using Google’s “people also ask” section of the search engine results page. Google pulls these questions from the most frequently searched queries around a particular topic; content marketers can then answer those questions directly within a piece of content. Use the question itself as an H2 on your page and then answer the question in a paragraph or two directly below. Not only does this drive relevance to your readers, but it also increases the likelihood that Google will include your content as a source for their featured snippets. COURTNEY COXManager, Digital Marketing - Children’s Health @courtewakefield CLICK TO TWEET “Use Google’s ‘people also ask’ section to level up your approach to content marketing planning.” @courtewakefield
  • 15. Data Should Guide Planning Efforts & Iterations Leveling up any content marketing effort requires delving deep into data to build around plans and strategies supported by hard numbers. While creativity is ultimately key to any successful content marketing effort, data provides concrete, actionable insights that enable marketers to truly elevate their marketing initiatives. Data can be anything from keyword research to Google Trends to internal user data from logs or customer surveys. If data is interpreted correctly, content marketers leveraging that information can be confident that their efforts will be effective in a way that will generate greater revenue, leads, and engagement. Successfully leveraging data to shape content marketing initiatives will ultimately lead to higher budgets that will allow marketers to consistently iterate on their efforts. ELI SCHWARTZ Director of Organic Product, SurveyMonkey @5le CLICK TO TWEET “Data provides concrete, actionable insights that enable marketers to truly elevate their marketing initiatives.” @5le
  • 16. Talk to Your Prospects & Customers If you haven’t spoken to anyone in your audience in the last month directly - about their work and their lives, not about your company or products - then you aren’t ready to plan anything. Even the brightest creators and the most exhaustive reports miss those subtle differences that can make all the difference between you sounding like every competitor and you actually holding their attention. It’s so breathtakingly simple: If you have a 40-hour per week job, then take literally 0.2% of your month (20 minutes) and have an informal conversation with a customer or prospect. You will be shocked at how much easier content marketing gets. JAY ACUNZO Founder - Unthinkable Media @jayacunzo CLICK TO TWEET “Have an informal conversation with a customer or prospect and see how much easier content marketing gets.” @jayacunzo
  • 17. Keep Purpose Front & Center Always start with the purpose of each piece of content you’re creating. If you don’t understand why you’re developing it, what you expect it to do, and how it fits into the bigger formula, then you shouldn’t be creating it. It’s easy to get into the momentum of creating content. But unless we keep the purpose of it in the foreground, we’ll get in the habit of creating content for content’s sake, rather than creating with intention. CARLA JOHNSON President, Type A Communications @carlajohnson CLICK TO TWEET “Always start with the purpose of each piece of content you’re creating.” @carlajohnson
  • 18. Scale and Engagement are Crucial Content Cornerstones In order for content marketing to help you reach real business goals, it’s important to create scale and engagement. These are not the same thing, and each requires a different set of tactics. Create a volume of content, experimenting with different types, to build SEO credibility and traffic. The more content you produce, with links across your ecosystem, the more search engines will give your domain authority on a topic. This is the time to experiment wildly with different topics, formats, and treatments to learn what your target market consumes. Now it’s time to scale back on your content volume in favor of building content collections around strategic topics that align with your marketing campaigns and your target audience’s preferences. Rather than fearing a reduction in traffic, embrace the audience that will deliver the right business results. HEATHER PEMBERTON LEVY Vice President, Content Marketing - Gartner @heathrpemberton CLICK TO TWEET “Create scale and engagement to help you reach your business goals.” @heathrpemberton
  • 19. Start Small & Think Big Don’t let the planning process become a giant hurdle to getting started. Content for the sake of content is not good for anyone - you or your audience. You need to decide what kinds of content will help you tell your story in a way that will resonate with those audiences and will drive engagement on the channels you’re going to use. It’s okay to start small and focus on one topic or one audience or just a few really good pieces of content. Get comfortable and then swing for the fences. Once you’ve got all that thought through - roll up your sleeves. Now you have to go do the hard part. Create the content, distribute it, and promote the heck out of it. ZARI VENHAUS Director Corporate Marketing Communications, Eaton @zvenhaus CLICK TO TWEET “Tell your story in a way that will resonate with your audiences to drive engagement.” @zvenhaus
  • 20. Think Beyond Rankings Keywords, keywords, links, links. You need to think beyond the rankings to plan for the future and protect your traffic. Google isn’t just looking for relevant pages. They are looking for relevant pages that people click on and read. The pages that get the visitor to stick around. The length of time that people spend on the page after they land is called “dwell time” and it’s a big part of how Google works today. They search, you rank, they click. But did they leave after just a few seconds (low dwell time, short click)? Or did you catch their attention, and they scanned, scrolled, and stayed for a while (high dwell time, long click)? ANDY CRESTODINA Principal – Strategic Director, Orbit Media @crestodina CLICK TO TWEET “You need to think beyond the rankings to plan for the future and protect your traffic.” @crestodina
  • 21. Creation Every video game ever made started with belief in an idea. Skeptical executives could’ve easily shrugged off the concept of a plumber in blue overalls jumping on anthropomorphic mushrooms, or a speedy hedgehog sprinting about in red sneakers, but then we’d have been deprived of two of our most cherished and culturally ingrained franchises. Let these creators help motivate you to remove restrictions and limitations in your own content ideation.
  • 22. ANN HANDLEY.......... MarketingProfs MELANIE DEZIEL....... Mdeziel Media J.P. MEDVED.......... Capterra MITCH JOEL........... Mirum MICHELLE PARK LAZETTE... Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland PAM DIDNER........... Author, Global Content Marketing DAVE CHAREST......... Constant Contact High Content CREATION Scores
  • 23. Slow & Substantive Wins the Race TL; DR: Slow down. Do less. And obsess over what you do. We marketers have a lot of noise to contend with. So, approach your marketing (and your business!) with a mindset of As Slow As Possible (ASAP). Slow content marketing is slowly conceived, well-executed, substantive work that tells a memorable story. It sustains both marketers and our audiences long-term. It doesn’t just stuff our bellies with pounds of fluff. We seek meaning and crave connection. That means marketing needs to slow down and think about substance and context. We also need to focus on the meaning baked into the experience we are giving our audiences. Short and snackable is out. Slow and substantive isn’t just here… it’s here to stay. ANN HANDLEY Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs @annhandley CLICK TO TWEET “Marketing needs to slow down and think about substance and context.” @annhandley
  • 24. Press Pause to Ensure You Know What Success Looks Like One of the easiest wins for content marketers who want to improve their content strategy is to take a step back and really think about your goals. Often times, we get so caught up in content creation that we forget to re-align our output and our objectives. If you press pause and ensure you have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve with content, then you’ll be better able to focus your time and efforts on those content initiatives that bear the kind of fruit you want. MELANIE DEZIEL Branded Content Consultant, Mdeziel Media @mdeziel CLICK TO TWEET “To improve content strategy, take a step back and really think about your goals.” @mdeziel
  • 25. @mdeziel Deliver Value First, Monetize Later My biggest advice is don’t try to monetize your content, or tie revenue directly to it, for at least the first six months to a year. Give yourself permission to really focus on building great, helpful, informative, authoritative content first. It’s much easier to monetize it later when it’s performing gangbusters, than to try and design content around monetization (which inevitably leads to poorer content with too much of a short-term focus on selling to the reader, instead of helping the reader). J.P. MEDVED Content Director, Capterra @rizzlejpizzle CLICK TO TWEET “Give yourself permission to really focus on building great, helpful, informative, authoritative content first. It’s much easier to monetize it later.” @rizzlejpizzle
  • 26. Embrace Long-Form Content Think longer. We are captivated by tweets, snaps, and posts. The real guts of being great at content marketing will only take shape when marketers embrace (and get great at) creating long-form content. Substance and longevity will only happen for a brand when they embrace this. This doesn’t mean to neglect 140 characters or a quick little live video blast in the moment, but don’t neglect the depth and value that a brand can (and should) provide with long-form content. Also, long-form content can (and will) create a much more substantive connection with customers. Sure, many customers want to “get in and out,” but there is also support, care, upselling, cross- selling, and more that can only come with providing value. Value and long-form content go hand in hand. MITCH JOEL President, Mirum @mitchjoel CLICK TO TWEET “The real guts of being great at content marketing will only take shape when marketers embrace (and get great at) creating long-form content.” @mitchjoel
  • 27. Use Stories to Hook Your Audience Tell stories always, no matter the topic, no matter the format. Be the journalist and capture details and emotion and use them to immerse your reader/viewer/listener in a decision, a challenge, something that’s happening. Stories hook an audience more than any traditional sales pitch or boilerplate language. Hold yourself to this standard: Is this story I’m telling told unlike any other? Your answer will be yes if you a) find the stories that are truly one of a kind and/or b) if you unearth the details and emotion that make a story one of a kind. Within any organization, you have access to people that other storytellers do not. Use that advantage to tell stories other storytellers cannot. MICHELLE PARK LAZETTE Writer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland @mp_lazette CLICK TO TWEET “Stories hook an audience more than any traditional sales pitch or boilerplate language.” @mp_lazette
  • 28. Offer Real ValuE with Content Content marketing isn’t something to check off a list. It’s about having a strategic approach, a plan, and a process that drives the execution of an effective editorial process. Do the research, know your audience, and make sure that you’re offering real value. Also, be sure to keep your eye on the prize. If you’re creating content so that people engage with your brand or reach out, make sure there is a clear call to action, or lead capture opportunity, in every piece of content. PAM DIDNER Author, Global Content Marketing @pamdidner CLICK TO TWEET “Content marketing is about having a strategic approach, a plan, and a process that drives the execution of an effective editorial process.” @pamdidner
  • 29. Level Up By Collaborating with Your Target Audience When it comes to content creation, far too often content is created in a meeting room with a bunch of marketers without any thought for the day-to-day reality of the person consuming it. BIG mistake. Level up your approach by creating content in partnership with members of your target audience. By including your audience in the creation process you’ll better understand what you need to create and how you need to create it. You’ll no longer be working in a vacuum and your content will better resonate with those you’re trying to reach. At the very least, get feedback from your target audience on the content you’ve created. Allow this feedback to guide you toward making better choices and improvements for better overall results. DAVE CHAREST Director, Content Marketing, Constant Contact @davecharest CLICK TO TWEET “Level up your approach by creating content in partnership with members of your target audience.” @davecharest
  • 30. Amplification & Distribution Pac-Man wouldn’t be very fun if the chomping yellow protagonist just sat in one spot, spinning in circles perpetually. Only by branching out and navigating his maze can he consume those delicious dots and cherries to power up. Our contributors are ready to help your content turn corners and break new ground. They’ll also offer pointers on avoiding those pesky ghosts and dead ends.
  • 31. IAN CLEARY........... RazorSocial LEE ODDEN............ TopRank Marketing VISHAL KHANNA........ HealthPrize Technologies JUNTAE DeLANE........ University of Southern California DOUG KESSLER......... Velocity Partners JOE PULIZZI.......... Content Marketing Institute JUSTIN LEVY.......... Speaker HEIDI COHEN.......... Actionable Marketing Guide High Content Amplification & Distribution Scores
  • 32. Outbound Isn’t Out of Bounds There is nothing wrong with outbound marketing if you’re starting point is great content. Some outbound marketing techniques to promote content that work really well are: a). Guest posting on high-authority sites with related content and linking back b). Reaching out to other sites that have a complementary piece of content, then agreeing to link to each other c). Identifying who linked to similar content - you may find resources and lists to get your content added d). Identifying people on social that have shared similar content and reaching out to them e). Targeting Facebook ads, for example, building a custom audience on Facebook and targeting the right people within this audience Good outbound drives inbound. IAN CLEARY Founder, RazorSocial @IanCleary CLICK TO TWEET “There is nothing wrong with outbound marketing. Good outbound drives inbound.” @IanCleary
  • 33. Optimize Content Distribution,Reach, & Engagement 91% of companies are using content marketing, but 50% of content gets only eight shares or less. What good is creating useful content if no one sees it? The content creation/promotion imbalance is a big problem for marketers trying to win the content marketing game. Content that is accountable to attract the right audience should be informed during the planning of the content itself, not after: n Where buyers find solution content n What they search for and discuss on social networks n What they subscribe to n Who they are influenced by Balanced creation and promotion boosts message credibility, reach, and engagement. When content planning integrates search, social audience targeting, earned media, paid media, and co-creation with influencers, it puts marketers and their customers in the winner’s circle. LEE ODDEN CEO, TopRank Marketing @leeodden CLICK TO TWEET “The content creation / promotion imbalance is a big problem for marketers trying to win the content marketing game.” @leeodden
  • 34. Gain Proficience wiTH New TechnologieS ANDTools Because the job of a marketer has become much more technical with the democratization of marketing technology, it’s essential that marketers know and understand the full landscape of available technology, especially technology to amplify and distribute content. At conferences like Content Marketing World, take advantage of the Expo Hall. Speak with vendors. Ask for demos of their technology even if you’re not currently in the market, because you will be in the future. Follow up with vendors. Build relationships. They will be your strongest advocates when you’re ready to invest in new technology. VISHAL KHANNA Director of Marketing & Communications, HealthPrize Technologies @bediscontent CLICK TO TWEET “Know and understand the full landscape of available technology to amplify and distribute content.” @bediscontent
  • 35. Choose Keywords That Appealto Visitors One component of content marketing amplification is keyword selection. Many of the keywords you find through keyword research can generate a lot of traffic for your website, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll see an increase in sales or conversions as well. Choose keywords that appeal to visitors who are most likely going to buy your products or services. If done correctly, you’ll see an increase in both amplification and conversion. JUNTAE DeLANE Sr. Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California @juntaedelane CLICK TO TWEET “Choose keywords that appeal to visitors who are most likely going to buy your products or services to increase both amplification and conversion.” @juntaedelane
  • 36. Plan for How Your Content Will Get Discovered Don’t even start a piece of content or a program without at least an idea of how you’ll get it discovered (if not a whole plan). The days of great content magically finding its audience are over. The best distribution strategy of all, of course, is to build your own audience. Earn subscribers and you’ve got a direct line to your audience. Otherwise, be prepared to pay Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. DOUG KESSLER Co-Founder & Creative Director, Velocity Partners @dougkessler CLICK TO TWEET “The best content distribution strategy of all is to build your own audience.” @dougkessler
  • 37. Be Strategic with Content Promotion Build an audience at all costs. So many companies are significantly increasing their distribution, but are not focusing on building an opt-in audience at the same time. Distribution for distribution’s sake is a waste of time. Be strategic with your content promotion and use the KPI of audience building as your key metric.JOE PULIZZI Founder, Content Marketing Institute @joepulizzi CLICK TO TWEET “Content distribution for distribution’s sake is a waste of time.” @joepulizzi
  • 38. Look Beyond Vanity Metrics Marketers need to ensure that they have the correct KPIs in place and are consistently working against them. Specifically, when it comes to social media, metrics need to go beyond vanity metrics and focus on impact to the business so that the function goes beyond just being a cost center. Additionally, marketers need to work collaboratively across the various areas of marketing as well as partnering with other parts of their company such as sales. Marketers need to be integrated and focused, working off of the same strategy instead of working in silos on their own projects. JUSTIN LEVY Public Speaker @justinlevy CLICK TO TWEET “Marketers need to ensure that they have the correct KPIs in place and are consistently working against them.” @justinlevy
  • 39. Create a Focused Amplification Plan To maximize content amplification and distribution, optimize your content for customers, social media, search, influencers, and your business by creating chunked content that’s contextually relevant on owned, social, and third-party media. Also develop tailored off-ramp content to help capture email addresses and sales. Further, focus your amplification efforts on the first three days post publication while planning for ongoing distribution over time (i.e. beyond a few weeks). Therefore, you need different presentation formats to keep your content distribution from becoming wallpaper to potential readers. HEIDI COHEN Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide @HeidiCohen CLICK TO TWEET “Plan and incorporate content amplification and distribution into your content creation.” @HeidiCohen
  • 40. Measurement Measurement has always been a fundamental component of video games, ever since the days of defending a high score on the Donkey Kong coin-op machine at the local arcade. Marketers everywhere are embracing the critical importance of tracking and optimizing all activities through in-depth reporting and analytics. Can you top your own high score with your next campaign?
  • 41. CHRISTOPHER PENN..... Brain+Trust Insights MATHEW SWEEZEY....... Salesforce MICHAEL BRENNER...... Marketing Insider Group MICHAEL PRATT........ Panamplify RON TITE............. Church+State MATT HEINZ........... Heinz Marketing High Content MEASUREMENT Scores
  • 42. Good Measurement Starts with Filtering the Right Data We have a tremendous amount of content measurement capability, but we don’t necessarily measure intelligently. Which of these pieces of data actually matter? You have things like social shares, search metrics, engagement metrics, click-through data, page views. But ultimately, every piece of content we create must have some kind of business outcome. What we can do with machine learning and advanced statistical analysis today that we weren’t able to do in the past is calculate the impact of all these different metrics on the KPIs we care about. Every business is going to be different because every business is better or worse at certain aspects of content marketing. CHRISTOPHER PENN Founder & Chief Innovator, Brain+Trust Insights @cspenn CLICK TO TWEET “Every piece of content we create must have some kind of business outcome.” @cspenn
  • 43. Focus on Metrics that Illuminate Your Pipeline Look past engagement metrics to really dig into finding out if the content is moving people towards the next stage in the buying cycle. A weighted pipeline is the best way to do that, allowing you to measure content’s influence on lead velocity, allowing you to show content’s value in a more effective way.MATHEW SWEEZEY Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce @msweezey CLICK TO TWEET “Look past engagement metrics to really dig into finding out if the content is moving people towards the next stage in the buying cycle.” @msweezey
  • 44. Activate Everyone in Your Organization as Content Marketers Leveling up content marketing means going beyond creating consistent customer-focused content. It means engaging your internal experts to share their expertise. It means using paid content to tell amazing stories. And it means activating the entire organization to share your passions, your stories, and your expertise. Leveled- up organizations are creating content that their employees and customers want to share. MICHAEL BRENNER Founder, Marketing Insider Group @brennermichael CLICK TO TWEET “Leveled-up organizations are creating content that their employees and customers want to share.” @brennermichael
  • 45. Start with the Objective anD Work Backwards Start with the objective of the client. Not what the client says they want, but what they are really trying to achieve. Then walk your way back, step by step, until you have a rough “causal chain” or a sequence of measurable actions that can lead from your content to the objective. THAT is how you measure. Not what you think is important, but what leads to the achievement of the client objective. That will, of course, not only lead to very recognizable metrics and KPIs but also the process forces you to choose which ones, and in what order, are the most relevant. Then you can ignore those posts that always read “Top 5 ways to measure your content”!! MICHAEL PRATT CEO - Panamplify @mikepratt CLICK TO TWEET “Start with the objective of the client and walk your way back, step by step, until you have a sequence of measurable actions that can lead from your content to the objective.” @mikepratt
  • 46. Pick Numbers That Represent True Goals Marketers would love one magic number that solved all their problems and proved their brilliance. If they could only point to a spreadsheet and proudly exclaim “Yes! Our LMNOP Rating is +39 points!!!” while a confetti cannon exploded, and a bagpipe band played “SexyBack”. Sorry. That’s not going to happen. I getit.Experiencedandsmartmarketersmakinginsightfuldecisionsisn’tenoughforthe C-suite.Theyneednumbers.Andyeah,standardizedmeasurementwouldbeamazing! WecouldallcomparetacticslikeweusedtocompareKloutscores,amiright?? Look, marketing is too dynamic, complex, and unique for each category to agree on a single unit of measurement. It’s filled with bias and digits that can be manipulated to create the illusion of success when superficial success is needed. RON TITE Founder & CEO, Church+State @rontite CLICK TO TWEET “Marketing is too dynamic, complex, and unique for each category to agree on a single unit of measurement.” @rontite
  • 47. Not All Content Drives to Close Not all content drives to close immediately, but good content helps prospects get closer. For example, your prospect isn’t going to care about your story until you prove to them that you understand and care about theirs. What insights can you bring to the table to get them thinking differently about their status quo? How can you help reframe a situation or problem that heightens their urgency to solve it? That kind of content creates immediate value, attention, and engagement. You can often draw a direct correlation between engagement in insight-based content at the top of the funnel and commitment to the buying process in subsequent interactions. The content didn’t generate an immediate sale, but it certainly originated from it. MATT HEINZ President, Heinz Marketing @heinzmarketing CLICK TO TWEET “Not all content drives to close immediately, but good content helps prospects get closer.” @heinzmarketing
  • 48. TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL There’s no such thing as “Game Over” in content marketing. Just when you think you’ve achieved mastery, the difficulty level turns up and you’re facing a whole new set of challenges. All we can do is keep pushing, keep learning, and keep adapting. To help you get past the toughest levels, we will have these contributors and many others at Content Marketing World this September in Cleveland, Ohio. Join us to learn content marketing from the some of the best and brightest. Register today for Content Marketing World - Code GAMING saves $100! Happygaming, marketers! Share This eBook!