Content is essential to a social media strategy. You can’t have engagement without content. Content sparks growth in social.
Or yet another way to think about it is if your content was actually a product in itself, would people pay for it? Is your content so valuable to your customers that they would pay for it if they had to? This is a fundamental shift in how to think about content. It’s a challenge but it’s also very exciting. We get to be part of changing how marketing gets done.
Let’s take a quick look at what is the reality today for your business.
Remember the example I used of the last time you needed something, which friend did you turn to? Well for decision makers, only about half would turn to an existing supplier they are working with when faced with a business challenge. Only half (53%) of decision makers worldwide would first turn to an existing supplier when faced with a business challenge. (Text100)
This is a well-known trend, that customers are cutting brands out of their learning. Decision-makers feel empower.
That translates to you and your company getting involved too late in the process. On average, customers are 57% of the way through their purchase decision making process before engaging with your company. The challenge for us is, how to teach where our customers learn and become part of the journey before they even start due diligence.
Customers are also getting more and more information from outside sources. Interruption marketing and advertising is becoming less effective and more costly (too much noise)
Information you supply as a business now accounts less than half of all the information that buyers use to aid in their purchase decisions. This means that depending on how many suppliers a customer is considering, you’re likely to receive no more than 10%–15% “share of mind.”
To make matters even more challenging, for most of us here today we are playing in an increasingly more complex environment. That is more players that are trying to differentiate themselves in different ways. There’s also a lot more content out there and more noise.
What does this mean to your business?
If you’re here you already realize this. There’s a critical need for businesses to present a balance of relevant technical and business content when engaging with multiple decision-makers throughout the buyer’s journey.
At the end of the day, this all boils down to a single word…
Trust. The right content creates trust.
You are here to develop a content strategy that will help position you as a trusted advisor to key decision-makers and influencers in your space.
You have to have a personal trainer mentality to be successful when it comes to content. You’re here to make your prospective customers better. Challenge the way they even approach their business. Re-educating and demonstrating the cost of not changing course.
There’s a need to teach where customers learn. You are teaching through content in a way that leads TO your products and solutions but not WITH them. Don’t make things about yourself.
But perhaps one of the biggest problems I see is that for many organizations content is just an afterthought. It is our job to be intrapreneurs and change that mentality in our organizations.
If done right content can truly spark growth for your business and make a difference, going from nice to have to need to have.
Who are you trying to impact?
You need to develop a deep understanding of your customer’s business. Use that understanding to push the customer’s thinking and teach them something new about how their company can compete more effectively.
Content that unteaches customers something they are currently doing in their business. Focusing on the cost of current behavior.
Basically, what we are trying to accomplish is the art of communicating with our customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching our products or services, we are delivering information that makes our buyer and/of influencer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty. Approach Product-neutral thought leadership and technical security content. Content objectives Challenge their thinking Get them to think about the right issues Help them do their jobs better Inform them of the latest threats and risk to their business Help them avoid costly and damaging security mistakes Content type Evergreen articles, news articles, webinars, white papers, analyst reports, videos, infographics, and ebooks Topics
Your contributor strategy can make or brake your program. The quality and consistency of content will largely depend on this.
Define roles right from the beginning. Find the right balance between in-house and agencies. Get buy-in from different parts of your organization and involve the right people. Many roles and responsibilities can be done by the same person depending on the scale of the program. But some of these roles are certainly required for a successful program. I would not recommend completely outsourcing all of these roles and your entire content program either. You need someone that is driving this internally, that knows your audience, your industry/space and is passionate.
Help shape desired behaviors on a daily basis and shape the broader culture.
Think about growth and scalability as you define process and technology. If you want to scale and be efficient, you need a process and technology framework to ensure a steady stream of relevant content.
Clearly define workflows based on the different types of content. This is something we are constantly shaping and improving, but Skyword has certainly helped us on this front. To give you an example, of the research on vulnerabilities that we disclosed that to go through significant internal review, with PR and legal being heavily involved. Other evergreen thought leadership articles, just goes through our regular workflow.
Agenda: 1.Why content matters 2.Building
a content strategy that is tailored to your resources 3.Define roles and responsibilities 4.Structuring your cross-functional team 5.Processes and tools to get work done and scale 6.Set metrics and KPIs to measure your team's success 7.Ask me anything
Examples of business objectives •
Capture mindshare with key business decision makers and influencers • Establish trust with relevant personas. • Strengthen perception of HP Enterprise as a leading voice in the enterprise software space. • Generate marketing qualified leads, drive traffic and conversions. • Validate the efficacy of thought-leadership content to internal stakeholders. • Develop and incentivize an expert network of internal and external influencer-contributors. • Track user behavior, engage with and improve audience intelligence.
To be the [how you
want your audience to perceive you] for [your audience] that want to [audience’s need]. Provide [how you’ll create value for your audience]. To be the leading online destination for forward-thinking dev and tech professionals that want to solve today’s most challenging business problems and help shape the future of IT. Provide unique insight into what’s next while equipping our readers with the practical knowledge that can be applied to real- world challenges, now.
Other aspects of your content
strategy • Content objectives • Content types (articles, videos, etc.) • Amplification channels • Thought leadership vs. technical • Evergreen vs. news vs. research • Topics to cover • Contributor strategy
Approach to content Valuable Useful
/ practical Contextual and relevant Timely Easy to consume Device agnostic Findable Non-intrusive Engaging Unique Builds trust and authority
Balanced contributor strategy • Internal
experts • Business partners • Customers (experts and executives) • Industry influencers • Educators / external researchers • Paid writers / journalists • Paid influencers
• Program director / Chief
editor • Managing editor / content strategist • Program manager • Technical expert • Copy editor and proofing • SEO / SEM • Digital strategist • Social listening and ideation • Metrics and analytics • Social media and amplification • Paid media • Community management • Influencer management • Creative / graphic design • Web dev • PR & AR • Demand generation Roles and responsibilities
• Internal team • Across
your organization • Customers • Business partners • Agencies / vendors • Freelancers / contractors • Crowdsourcing Where to look
• Time to market •
Scalability • Internal resources available • Budget • Quality • Time investment • Coordination What to consider?
• Managing editors • Digital
strategist • Social media and community manager • Visual designers • Web dev team • Copy editors (contractor) • Internal subject matter expert per business group • Contributors Sample team structure
1. It’s all about people
– Always is and always will be. People matter more than anything. We care about those we work with and those we serve. We are all about building trust-based relationships and establishing win-win partnerships. We care about the results but not at the expense of people. Everything we do should build trust. 2. We are challengers – Change is the only constant. We don’t just realize that, we enthusiastically embrace and drive ongoing change. We challenge the norms and push boundaries. We don’t maintain, we multiply. We are bold in what we do. 3. Growth and learning is in our DNA – Our curiosity sparks an endless appetite for learning. We can always be better. We are always pursing growth on all levels and fronts. 4. We are passionate for our work – We are here to create remarkable experiences. We get things done. Above all, we have passion for what we do. We are proud of what we do. We are relentless and driven. 5. We envision BIG and start small – We don’t welcome small thinking but we’re all about small starts. We are responsible risk-takers. We try new things without losing focus on what really matters. We know that greatness comes from caring about the little day-to-day things. We move fast. 6. We are generous givers, not self-serving takers – We give more than we take. We are always helping. We teach and educate. We are always setting people up for success. 7. We can do a lot more by doing less better and faster – We always bring our best. It’s focused excellence. We are obsessed about quality but with a iterative, fast-paced approach. 8. We will laugh hard, loud, and often – We enjoy our work and we have fun while at it. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Some KPIs we are measuring
• Cost per visit/view • Engagement per visit • Visit to response rate • Average cost per response • Response to validated lead (VL) • Average opportunity per visit • Average opportunity size • Cost per opportunity