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Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)

The deck from Contently’s popular Content Methodology webinar with Rebecca Lieb, Joe Lazauskas, and Ari Kepnes.

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Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report (Webinar)

  1. 1. Content that works Contently Methodology MAY 11, 2016
  2. 2. 2 Webinar Host Editor-in-Chief, Contently @joelazauskas Joe Lazauskas
  3. 3. 3 Webinar Host Strategic Advisor and 
 Research Analyst @lieblink Rebecca Lieb
  4. 4. 4 Webinar Host Lead Content Strategist, Contently @arikepnes Ari Kepnes
  5. 5. Content 
 Methodology: A Best Practices 
  6. 6. 6 I. Content Methodology: A Definition Content methodology is a process to continuously improve the effectiveness of a company’s content across the enterprise. A content methodology exists when an organization establishes specific, well-defined objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) for content marketing, and embraces a culture of constantly learning and iterating through each round of publishing.
  7. 7. 7 Content methodology focuses on three key components: Content Methodology: A Definition connect Engage with target 
 audiences in the channels 
 and media formats where they spend time. create Create the most 
 effective content 
 possible based on 
 available data. optimize Consistently optimize the content creation and connection processes based on performance against clearly defined KPIs.
  8. 8. 8 II. Why a Content Methodology 
 Is Needed Seventy percent of marketers are planning on creating more content this year than last. Yet roughly two-thirds of marketers create 
 content without any documented strategy, 
 and over half don’t know what a successful 
 content program looks like.
  9. 9. 9 Without clear objectives, measurement is irrelevant. 
 And it’s impossible to know 
 whether content has made 
 any impact whatsoever. Why a Content Methodology Is Needed
  10. 10. 10Why a Content Methodology Is Needed a. 
 An Increasingly Competitive 
 Content Landscape To compete, organizations must adopt an 
 always-on approach to building relationships 
 with their audience—and improving those relationships each day.
  11. 11. 11Why a Content Methodology Is Needed Time spent with digital media: • 49 percent increase over the last two years • 90 percent increase on mobile Organizations must understand: • The digital spaces where their target audiences consume content • The content formats, topics, and contributors that will resonate with those audiences b. 
 Channel and Media Proliferation
  12. 12. 12Why a Content Methodology Is Needed c. 
 Opportunities for 
 Continuous Improvement Advancements in content marketing technology 
 now enable organizations to rapidly optimize their content creation and distribution.
  13. 13. 13 III. A Culture of Content A culture of content creates a virtuous cycle in which content powers all divisions of the enterprise, which, in turn, power a brand’s storytelling efforts. This virtuous circle is only possible when the company works to build a culture that values and evangelizes content.
  14. 14. 14A Culture of Content A. Create a Common Purpose: Marriott M Live This is a tool for everybody to use in the building. It’s customer-first thinking. DAVID BEEBE, MARRIOTT’S VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL CREATIVE AND CONTENT MARKETING ”
  15. 15. 15A Culture of Content At Electrolux, CMO MaryKay Kopf creates task forces of team members from across departments and regions of the world to unite around content. B. Engage Senior Leadership: Electrolux
  16. 16. 16A Culture of Content To rally content support, Chase crafted a system of governance 
 and standards, built a team of content creators, and established an editorial board. C. Establish Content Leadership and Governance: Chase We needed to prove that content can improve marketing’s effectiveness. BRIAN BECKER, 
  17. 17. 17A Culture of Content The newsroom for Coca-Cola’s corporate online magazine, 
 Coca-Cola Journey, gathers weekly to evaluate content based 
 on a blended content score, and has a monthly call with 
 Coca-Cola’s 19 international markets, each of which has its own version of the Journey site. D. Foster Collaboration: Coca-Cola
  18. 18. 18A Culture of Content E. Encourage Creativity and Risk-Taking: Marriott We don’t want to see any ‘Welcome to the JW Marriott, here’s your keycard,’ and then a closeup of the logo. None of that. DAVID BEEBE, MARRIOTT’S VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL CREATIVE AND CONTENT MARKETING ”
  19. 19. 19 IV. Components of a 
 Content Methodology
  20. 20. 20Components of a Content Methodology The Flywheel One of the most important and innovative mechanical advances is the flywheel, a device 
 used to store and conserve energy, and a 
 critical component of everything from the steam locomotives of the early 1800s to NASA 
 spacecrafts today. Remarkably powerful and efficient, the flywheel needs an initial torque to push it forward and 
 get it going. Once in motion, it’s able to build and store more and more energy through each 
 cycle, increasing its total output and effectiveness over time.
  21. 21. 21Components of a Content Methodology A. Define objectives and KPIs. B. Conduct audience definition and channel analysis. C. Identify market opportunity. D. Evaluate internal processes and resources. The Flywheel
  22. 22. 22Components of a Content Methodology Without clear objectives and KPIs, content success cannot be championed and a content program cannot improve or evolve over time. Advanced organizations go beyond standard industry metrics (pageviews, 
 leads, likes) and hone in on metrics that measure relationship building and 
 match to larger business goals, such as customer experience. A. Define Objectives and KPIs
  23. 23. 23Components of a Content Methodology Brand health: visitors, attention time, engagements, cost per engagement Revenue generation: product leads, sign-ups A. Define Objectives and KPIs: Chase
  24. 24. 24Components of a Content Methodology B. Define Audience and Key Channels • Dreams of owning a home, 
 but unsure of whether it’s the right time. awareness acquisition consideration FUNNEL STAGE EXAMPLESPAIN/PASSION POINTS • Wants to buy a home, but doesn’t know what to look for in a mortgage. • Has a home in mind and 
 ready to buy a mortgage, 
 but concerned about 
 specific features. • “Top 10 Mistakes Newlyweds Make” • “How to Set a New Year’s 
 Resolution You’ll Achieve” • “Flowchart: Should I Rent or Buy?” • “7 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home” • “How to Tell a Good Mortgage from a Bad One” • Mortgage calculator • “5 Tricks for Saving on Your Mortgage” • iPad offer • Employee mortgage pricing • Mortgage brochure Content breakdown by funnel:
  25. 25. 25Components of a Content Methodology C. Identify Market Opportunity and Channel Strategy “What kind of content should we create?” is a question that plagues most organizations when trying to launch a content operation for the first time. Those that are most successful follow a few key guidelines: 1 Find the white space in your market. Where are opportunities? What are competitors doing—or not doing—in their marketing initiatives? What customer pain points can you help address? Answers to these questions help identify content opportunities. 2 Build up to a Big Idea. Regardless of content type, all GE content corresponds to the brand message around “Ecomagination.” IBM’s idea is “Smarter Planet.” What’s the concept your brand, product, company, and service can own and be identified with? 3 Identify the intersection of topics your brand can own—be it entertainment content, educational and informative content, or utility content—and what your audience seeks. 4 Develop a voice, tone, and perspective that’s original. Even for a well-covered topic, determine the areas in which you can add value. “Me-too” content has little value. Avoid adding to the noise. 5 Use tools like BuzzSumo to discover what content formats and lengths are shared the most, and where they are shared. Define which topics your audience discusses most. Identify which strategies are working best for other publishers and brands, and consider how to emulate them. 6 Identify keywords with the greatest search volume but the lowest competition.
  26. 26. 26 Find the white space in your market 20% 6% 5% 69% Competitor A Competitior B Competitor C Competitior D Share of Voice Across 
 Social Networks 37% 10% 10% 42% Publisher A Publisher B Publisher C Publisher D Share of Voice Across 
 Social Networks Components of a Content Methodology
  27. 27. 27 Build up a ‘Big Idea’/Mission “We must challenge startup founders to push their companies to become the business that would put them out of business. To us, thought leadership is about differentiation. We strive to share unique perspectives and proprietary data to cut through the echo-chamber of ‘business resources.’” Components of a Content Methodology
  28. 28. 28 Identify the topics you can own and your audience seeks Number of Shares Across Social Networks Number of Pieces Produced 4% 14% 9% 25% 17% 10% 22% Apps/Tech Solutions Creativity Entrepreneurs Morning Routines Procrastination Well-being Workspace/Environment 5% 8% 6% 11% 14% 8% 48% Components of a Content Methodology 14K pieces of content analyzed 13.7M total shares 959 average shares per piece of content
  29. 29. 29 Number of Shares 
 Across Social Networks Number of Pieces 
 Produced 26% 2% 67% 4% 7K pieces of content analyzed in the past year 643M total shares 90 average shares per content piece 34% 5% 50% 11% Budgeting Tips Mortgages Personal Loans Student Loans Components of a Content Methodology Identify the topics you can own and your audience seeks
  30. 30. 30 Develop a voice, tone, and perspective Conversational Optimistic Helpful Inspiring • Transparent, honest, and authentic — never preachy or overly corporate. • Always helpful and optimistic, never negative, judgmental, or irreverent. • Clear and uncomplicated, but still conversational and compelling. • Knowledgable, but nurturing and advice-driven. • Innovative and cutting-edge; never contrived or repetitious. Components of a Content Methodology
  31. 31. 31 Uncover formats and lengths shared most 13K pieces of content analyzed in the past year 93M total shares 6.43K average shares per content piece AverageNumberofShares(YTD) 2,500 5,000 7,500 10,000 Content Format 'How' Post Video 'Why' Post List Infographic 9,000 7,293 9,203 6,439 7,725 Components of a Content Methodology
  32. 32. 32 Identify keywords with the greatest search volume and lowest competition Components of a Content Methodology Volume of Organic 
 Search Keywords Scotiabank
 16k Competitor B
 5000 Competitor A
 900 Competitor C 500
  33. 33. 33Components of a Content Methodology D. Evaluate Existing Processes and Resources
  34. 34. 34Components of a Content Methodology While Coca-Cola creates much of its brand-centric content in-house, it also turns to freelancers (via Contently) to tell a wide range of other stories. D. Evaluate Existing Processes and Resources: Coca-Cola We’ve really tried to carve out a beat system with our Contently writers. It’s nice to know who we can go to for certain stories. JAY MOYE, COCA-COLA JOURNEY’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ”
  35. 35. 35 V. Create a Content Plan To get a content methodology into action, organizations need to formulate a content plan 
 that will propel their initial publishing efforts. 
 This plan spans the first 90 days, and allows 
 an organization to track what works best and 
 to optimize accordingly.
  36. 36. 36Create a Content Plan The Content Plan
  37. 37. 37Create a Content Plan A. Inputs
  38. 38. 38Create a Content Plan B. Content A content creation plan should include:
 • Content creation categories and subcategories
 • The share of content production allocated to each • The formats and frequency of that content
 • Production budget allocated to each
  39. 39. 39Create a Content Plan B. Content In turn, this content should be spread across an editorial calendar.
  40. 40. 40Create a Content Plan C. Channels • A channel plan should detail the way the content that an organization produces will be distributed across its owned and paid properties. • Public relations, corporate communications, sales enablement, and recruiting can all be integrated to outline how each department can leverage content. Content Hub Guides, infographics, multi-source blog posts, interviews, 
 event coverage, videos Social Media • Activation across 
 channels where 
 audience spends time (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc.) • Combination of link sharing and native social content (Instagram, Facebook video, photos, etc.) • Optimized for impressions, clicks, shares, referral traffic, lead source, etc., depending on content goal Email • Top-performing content featured monthly, weekly, or daily depending on content maturity and frequency Paid 
 Distribution • Headline distribution (A/B test 10 to 15 headline and image combinations per piece across Outbrain, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) • Paid promotion of well-performing native social content • Paid search and display
  41. 41. 41Create a Content Plan D. Contributors Map out all content contributors, the topics and formats of the content they create, and the rate they are paid.
  42. 42. 42Create a Content Plan E. Workflow and Approval Determine the flow of approval within your organization. As a best practice, have a single content leader who has final approval over all content published.
  43. 43. 43 VI. Testing and Optimization
  44. 44. 44Testing and Optimization The 90-Day Test As content is published, evaluate: A. The performance of content based on topic or format. B. The channels on which readers engage with content most deeply. C. The contributors delivering the strongest results.
  45. 45. 45Testing and Optimization A. Content As a best practice, compare: Content production data (number of stories published) vs. 
 content performance data (KPIs).
  46. 46. 46Testing and Optimization B. Channels Examine which channels drive the greatest content results. Prioritize future content distribution resources accordingly.
  47. 47. 47Testing and Optimization C. Contributors Nurture and highlight the contributors who resonate best.
  48. 48. 48Testing and Optimization The Flywheel
  49. 49. 49 Q+A
  50. 50. Thank you. New York 598 Broadway, 4th floor
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