SlideShare a Scribd company logo
steven@insites-consulting.com   @steven_insites
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..


   What to expect from this paper?
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..




    •   A pragmatic 6 step approach to start with content marketing. For most marketers content
        marketing is intangible. This paper makes content marketing very easy to understand and it
        guides you through the basic principles behind the philosophy.
    •   This paper is based on research. InSites Consulting conducted a qualitative study among
        27 international companies to talk about the integration of social media. Content marketing
        was one of the topics. Further, an in-depth analysis of 1,000 Facebook brand pages and
        300,000 tweets about brands are used to write this paper. Finally, another source of
        inspiration was a quantitative study among 400 senior marketers in the US and the UK.
    •   The results of this research are translated into both strategic and pragmatic insights that
        should help companies to better understand and implement content marketing.
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..


   The objectives of content marketing
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..

Content marketing is one of the key challenges        • Being recognised as an expert in your field: Strong and relevant content will
for companies these days. Most companies                enhance the positioning of your company. Show that you are aware of the latest trends
acknowledge the need to change their commercial         and that you are interested in innovation. This will help you to be seen as an expert in
model due to the rise of social media. Most             your field and will increase general awareness of your brand.
companies are looking for ways to become              • Maintaining relations with existing customers in a positive manner: Share new
responsive towards questions from consumers on          content at regular intervals. This will encourage your customers to keep in touch with
sites like Facebook and Twitter. Companies also         your brand. Do not bother them with new offers every five minutes, but provide them
understand that they should be proactive and feed       with information that is interesting and useful. Offering them relevant and valuable
customers with conversation-worthy content. The         content will make it more acceptable to launch a promotion every once in a while.
latter is the main problem. Most companies don't
                                                      • Attracting new customers and grow business: Your content is shared with existing
know what content marketing means.
                                                        customers and fans. If the content is strong enough, they will share it with their family,
In this paper, we want to give a clear view on how      friends and colleagues. This is how content brings your company into contact with new
to implement content marketing in any kind of           people. Relevant content can arouse the curiosity of new prospects, which makes them
business.                                               want to discover more about your brand. In the end, content marketing should lead to
In case you wonder why content marketing is             an increase in revenues.
important, these are the objectives to achieve with   • Increasing social media reach: Finally, good content will automatically ensure that
content marketing.                                      your company has a wider reach on social media. This will increase support for your
                                                        content and increase its impact. A wider reach also makes it easier to achieve the first
                                                        three objectives.
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..

   A 6 step approach in content marketing
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..
Content marketing consists of 6 different steps. Each of the steps is equally important;
they all play an important role in achieving the previously mentioned objectives.




1.                         2.                          3.                         4.                         5.                        6.
                           Content                     Editorial                 Create                      Manage
Topic                      conversion                  content                   shareable                   content                   Measure
selection:                 strategy:                   planning:                 content:                    conversation:             success:
define what you want to    content marketing has       once you have defined     the right content           once the content is       the moment the content
be famous for. There is    to lead to an increase      the topics and the        domain (step 1) is          launched, people will     strategy is up and
a content overload in      in revenues. Think          conversion strategy,      important but not           react to it. Be open to   running you can
the world. The magic       upfront about where         create an editorial       sufficient. The content     this engagement from      measure its impact
happens when you find      conversion should           calendar. Set up a        needs to be easy to         your audience and be      through a set of
a topic you are            happen. Define a top        roadmap so you know       share and worth             ready to answer           relevant KPIs. These
knowledgeable in and       conversion point and        when and where            sharing. People tend to     questions or to give      KPIs should be a
that the market is still   lead people to this point   content will be shared.   spread content that is      feedback. Next to this    combination of
waiting for. Select your   through your content        Streamline the content    positive, relevant,         conversation              business generation
content domains                                        calendar with all other   appealing and contains      management, think         measures and
smartly and be                                         marketing actions in      a benefit. Take that into   about the role of         conversational
consistent in your                                     order to increase         account during the          industry influencers      measures.
choice.                                                impact. The content       creation of the content.    during the launch of
                                                       calendar should also                                  your content.
                                                       describe the level of
                                                       intensity of each
                                                       content action.


                                                       The rest of this paper gives a detailed description of each step.
1.
………………...
Topic
selection
1.
Topic
selection:
Looking at the current content overload we find on the      By combining the internal (the extent to which you are unique) and external (what
Internet, it is essential that your company only offers     people are looking for) dimensions, it is possible to create four main content
relevant content. The choice of the fields you wish to      categories:
concentrate on will determine whether you are
successful or not. In order to make the right decision,     •      To be avoided: content in which you are not unique and for which
you must carry out both an internal analysis (What can             there is little demand. In other words, a waste of time and money.
you do and what can make you different?) and an                    This category must form 0% of your total content.
external analysis (What is the market looking for?).        •      Competitive: content which the market is interested in, but in which
                                                                   you are not unique. In view of the level of market demand, you will
First and foremost, look for areas in which your
                                                                   occasionally, perhaps even regularly, need to use content of this
company can offer unique content. Also study carefully
                                                                   kind. Bear in mind that your competitors will also be sharing this
what the market wants. What topics are of particular               kind of content, so limit your efforts to a maximum of 25% of your
interest to your target group? You can track these topics          total content.
down by conducting a nethnographic investigation, by a      •      Niche: not many people are interested in this content, but it does
detailed online search or by market research in which              differentiate you in the market. Invest where necessary, but limit
you map the conversations of consumers. Combine all                your efforts to 15% of your total content.
these elements to make a smart content domain               •      Focus: the content where you can really make a difference. There
selection.                                                         is market interest, but your competitors are not able to satisfy this
                                                                   interest. 60% of your total content should fall into this category.
2.
………………...
Content
conversion
strategy
2.
Content      One of the ultimate objectives of a content strategy is to attract new         When creating your content, take into account the memory of Google.
             customers or persuade existing customers to re-purchase. In other              Google has a great memory. By using the right words and titles, your
conversion   words, content should lead to conversion and to an impact on your              content will pop up quicker in Google searches. This creates a higher
             business. To achieve this, you will need to draw up a touch-point              flow of readers, which eventually leads to a higher conversion.
strategy:    content plan. This plan should include all touch-points where a                So there are actually two aspects to work on in order to boost
             (potential) customer can come into contact with your content. Then             conversion:
             you need to determine at which of these touch-points conversion to
             sales is likely to occur. In many cases, the converting touch-point is the
             website. A corporate blog can be the touch-point which leads people            • Define a content conversion touch-point plan: know where you want
             from the content area to the sales area. Social media accounts ensure            to sell and how you will guide people to that point.
             that there is sufficient daily traffic to the blog.                            • Define a ‘Google’ strategy to increase the number of people who
             For companies working in the knowledge sector, SlideShare can be                 find your content. A good touch-point plan combined with a strong
             used as a useful converting touch-point. SlideShare is a social network          ‘Google’ plan leads to a high business impact of your content.
             site where people can share presentations (PowerPoint, etc.). This is
             the ideal place to show what you can do and what you have to offer.            The compilation of a content conversion strategy can perhaps be
             On this platform, it is easy to directly convert a reader into a sales lead.   compared best with putting together a football team. Your ultimate
             When mapping out your conversion touch-point plan, define the trigger          objective is to score. To do so, you need to get the ball to your strikers.
             of each touch-point to move to the next. Furthermore, try to keep the          Some teams play a long ball game, so that the ball is played quickly and
             lines as short as possible. The more steps somebody needs to take              directly to your forward players. Other teams play a passing game, with
             before reaching the point where you achieve your business goals, the           lots of short combinations before finally whacking the ball into the goal.
             harder it is to get high conversion rates.                                     But no matter how you do it, getting the ball into the back of the net is
             Include a clear call to action for your audience. Guide them to the point      the only thing that counts. You are the trainer of the team, so it is up to
             of conversion. The good thing is: if you provide them with relevant            you to decide the best route to the goal. Every strategy has its
             content, you are allowed to use commercial content as well. Just make          advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is certain: without any
             sure the commercial content comes at the point where you convince              kind of strategy, you won’t win anything at all.
             people with your non-commercial content.
3.
………………...
Editorial
content
planning
3.                                                       Updates
Editorial   The next step in the process is planning     Updates are short messages you send out with a certain degree of regularity. Updates
            your content. Set up a detailed sheet (in    are usually a combination of formal (facts and figures, news, recruitments, etc.) and
content     my experience Excel is the easiest tool)     informal (culture, staff news and events, a look behind the scenes, etc.) content.
planning:   in which you match content and touch-        These are content pin-pricks that allow your fans and followers to keep abreast of all
                                                         the important and not-so-important developments in their favourite company. Updates
            points. Decide on the timing when
                                                         are usually shared via social media. They keep your company in the thoughts of your
            certain content will be published on a
                                                         customers.
            certain touch-point. Touch-points
            should be a combination of owned and
                                                         Projects
            paid media. Earned media is the effect
            of your conversation-worthy content.         Projects run over a longer period and are usually related to a particular theme. For
                                                         example, a project might be a product launch, the opening of a new department, an
            It's important to understand that not        important research study, a major customer event or a recruitment drive. The
            every content item can and should have       company develops content relating to the theme on a regular basis over a longer
            the same level of attention and intensity.   period, varying from one week to three months. Projects work towards a specific
            To bring the right nuance into your          objective, and the content is planned in relation to that objective. This content (regular
            planning, it helps to use three content      small and large pin-pricks) is primarily shared via online channels, but can be
            streams: content updates, content            supplemented by offline media. A project can also be supported by means of a
            projects and content campaigns.              campaign (see below). Projects aim the spotlight at a certain aspect of your company.


                                                         Campaigns
                                                         Campaigns are shorter and more intense than projects, and are frequently supported
                                                         with offline media. This content is designed to increase awareness of your company or
                                                         to announce important news (e.g. a new product). All available media are employed to
                                                         force a specific short-term result (usually increased awareness and sales).
Creating this framework and
                   Updates                     Projects                     Campaigns                        ensuring the smooth flow of the
                                                                                                             three different streams is not an
                                                                                                             exact science. They do, however,
                   Maintaining relations in    Mid to long-term             Short-term realisation of        give you a solid basis for action.
Objective          a frequent manner           realisation of objectives    objectives (awareness, sales)
                                                                                                             Try to think in terms of these three
                                                                                                             streams and draw up a content
Objective          Continuous                  1 week to 3 months           Average: 1 month                 planning in function of your
                                                                                                             company-specific objectives.
                   High (almost daily)         High: during the project     Low: the same content (advert,
Frequency of new
                                               new content is shared        games) is used repeatedly        The combination of these three
content creation                                                            throughout the campaign
                                               almost continuously                                           streams will gradually result in the
                                                                                                             widening of your reach and
Intensivity        Low                         Average                      High                             engagement. The updates will
                                                                                                             ensure a steady influx of new
Media pressure     Low                         Average                      High                             interested parties. The campaigns
                                                                                                             will boost your reach tremendously
                   Maintaining relations in    Mid to long-term             Short-term realisation of        for a short period. Because
Target group                                                                objectives (awareness, sales)    campaigns are expensive, you need
                   a frequent manner           realisation of objectives
                                                                                                             to think carefully about how you
                                                                                                             will use them. Organise them at the
                   Primarily online channels   Primarily online channels,   Targeted offline media           right time and in the right place.
Media choice       (Facebook, Twitter, blog)   supported by suitable        pressure, supplemented with      Use updates and projects to
                                               offline media                all own online channels          usefully maintain customer interest
                                                                                                             in the periods between campaigns.
                   Formal and informal         Content in function of       Commercial content               That is how you will keep in touch
Type of content    ‘did-you-knows’, news, a    project objectives                                            with the people who are interested
                   glimpse behind the scenes                                                                 in your company all year round.
By combining the three content levels, you are gradually increasing
the engagement with the target group




                                                                      Specific update,
                                                                      project or campaign
4.
………………...
Create
shareable
content
4.                                                     Develop different layers of content
Create      Once you have decided which content        The concrete implementation of your content strategy can take place at many different
            domains to focus on, you have a clear      levels. Talk about your industry in general. Show that you know which direction the
shareable   view on how content can lead to            sector is developing in. Mention new trends and fashionable insights which will confirm
content:    conversion and you have made a             your expert status in the field. Your customers will be interested in sharing specific
                                                       content about your company. Facts, figures and ‘did-you-knows’ can all be very useful.
            content plan, the only thing left is the
                                                       Furthermore, you will also be able to generate large amounts of informal content
            execution of the plan. There is one key
                                                       through your own staff. Make your culture tangible. Tell ‘human-interest’ stories about
            challenge here: people have to share       your activities. And last but not least, remember to talk about your products. You can
            your content with their network. That is   even use content which compares your products with those of your competitors, as
            the only way you can structurally grow     long as you do so objectively.
            the business through content.
                                                       Make the content easy to share
                                                       Make sure all your content is available in a digital format. This allows people to share
                                                       it spontaneously with their friends through social networks and e-mails. Next to that,
                                                       make sure that you connect 'share' buttons to all your content pieces. The philosophy
                                                       is simple: create easy opportunities for your target audience to follow and share
                                                       everything you say.
Make the content worth sharing        • Simplicity
What type of content do people          Selling a single idea to your consumers is enough. The more arguments and choice you give consumers, the more
share? That is the golden 1             difficult to share.
million dollar question that many
Internet experts are asking           • Surprise
themselves today. Research              The message must attract and hold the attention of the consumer in an innovative and counter-intuitive manner.
conducted by Chip and Dan
Heath learns us that there are        • Concrete
six ‘sticky’ criteria. Content that     Formulate exactly what you want to say to the consumer as clearly as possible. This can involve the use of all the
successfully passes the sticky          different senses. Make sure that people can see in one split second what the story is about. Titles and design play an
test will be shared by the              important role in this dimension.
target group.
                                      • Credible
                                        Advertisers often use research material or experts to make their message seem credible. This is one way to do so, but
                                        it is also possible to personalise credibility. Credibility is one of the reasons why Obama is now living in the White
                                        House. He didn’t get there simply by using a mass of statistics.

                                      • Emotional
                                        Let the consumers feel what you are trying to say. If you want to stop teenagers from smoking, telling them it is bad for
                                        their health will be less effective than telling them it gives them halitosis.

                                      • Stories
                                        Nobody remembers adverts; everybody remembers a good story. Right from our earliest years, we were told stories
                                        which will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Remember that when you are communicating with your consumers.
                                        Try to keep them enthralled. The average classroom presentation by a student contains 2.5 statistics each minute, but
                                        only one in ten attempts to tell a story. Yet if you ask the students in the audience what they remember from all these
                                        presentations, 63% say that they remember the stories, whereas just 5% remember the statistics.


                                        To make it even more concrete, we conducted a unique study as part of the preparation for this paper. We
                                        collected all the conversations from 1,000 Facebook pages of 200 global brands. In total, we analysed about
                                        770,000 conversations about these brands. We did a similar exercise for Twitter.


                                        Heath & Heath, Made to stick; why some ideas survive and others die, 2007.
In this instance, we selected a random week in June 2011 and analysed the tweets for 300 brands. This gave us about 246,000 conversations. Our insights with
regard to the most frequently shared material were gleaned from the data-mining of these million brand-related conversations. These conversations were a mix of
spontaneous conversations about brands and content shared by brands. It gives you the full overview of what people share.


       The study gave us insights in the content people share on social media:                                              If you produce content, it would be wise
       • Experience with your products or services: People give feedback about their experience with your                   to take these conclusions into account.
         products and/or services. It is noticeable that there are more conversations about specific products than about    Make sure there is enough variety in
         brands.                                                                                                            your content. Organise a competition
       • Experience with offline touch-points: Offline customer experience is an important online conversation              every now and then. Include a games
         starter. The customer-friendliness of employees in a sales point is the most important conversation starter.       element in your stories. Make sure that
       • Competitions and games: Content with a games/competitive element produces many conversations. In                   your news is news-worthy. And keep it
         addition to interaction, ‘gamification’ results in many ‘likes’.                                                   positive!
       • Free: Free always works. If people think they can get something for free, they will talk about it to everyone!
         This is not only valid for free products, but also for free content.                                               This last aspect is crucial. Our extensive
       • Collaboration: Involve people in your decision-making and they will love telling others about it. If their         study proves that the overwhelming
         engagement increases, so too will the number of conversations. This does not need to be complicated.               majority of people make and share
         Simply asking your fans a question can be enough to generate plenty of interaction. In addition, the customers     positive content. Only 10% of the
         can also show their enthusiasm through their ‘likes’.                                                              comments on Facebook fan pages and
                                                                                                                            14% of tweets are negative. It is very
       • Lifestyle: Even if this does not immediately relate to your products, people like to talk about music, eating
                                                                                                                            difficult to even find hate pages about
         out, sport, etc., and again show their enthusiasm for this content through their ‘likes’.
                                                                                                                            brands on Facebook. Protest pages with
       • Positive messages: This is the value of happiness. There are more interactions as a result of sharing              a clear objective do exist and
         something positive than something negative. Consumers like happy stories and positive messages generate            sometimes gain support. But out-and-
         plenty of ‘likes’.                                                                                                 out hate campaigns are only rarely
       • News: Your fans like to share news about your company and like to be kept informed about the                       popular with the broader public. People
         developments relating to their favourite brand.                                                                    are put off by the negative attitude; they
       • Advertising: There are a lot of conversations on Twitter about advertising. This is probably related to the        prefer to share positive messages.
         presence of the high penetration media and numerous advertising professionals on this network. Complete
         reviews of advertising campaigns are sometimes shared.
       • Social media news: There are plenty of conversations on Twitter about the latest iPhone and iPad apps.
       • Employee stories: Company employees share considerable amounts of informal content via Twitter. They
         talk about where they work and give their followers a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. This
         content is re-tweeted at a higher rate than the average.
5.
………………...
Manage
content
conversation
5.
Conversation
Management
Observe
Listen to reactions on your content. See what people share with each other. By observing which
stories share better than others, you learn how to improve your content creation process. Install
real-time monitoring tools to follow up on your content marketing.

    There are three success parameters to use:

     1. Reach of content sharing:
        How many people are consuming your content?
     2. Sentiment of content:
        Are people positive, neutral or negative about your content?
     3. Impact of content:
        Is the opinion of people towards your company improving due to your content?
Facilitate
Facilitating goes beyond adding a share button to your content. It implies helping your
existing community to spread your content. Make sure everything you produce is available in
a digital form so people who like it have the opportunity to share it.
Facilitating also implies the influencers’ management. Know who the influencers of your
industry are. Connect with them. The moment you have relevant content, you should
proactively share it with these people. If the quality of your content is high and the way it is
presented is great, they will be more than happy to share it with their network. This enables
you to reach out to new contacts and thus achieve the objectives of your content marketing
strategy.
Join
The last step in managing your content conversation is actively joining in. Most companies are
good at being responsive in their conversation management. Responsive implies that
questions and remarks towards the content are answered positively, openly and
professionally. Being responsive is great, but it is not sufficient. Joining the conversation also
implies being proactive. When people in your network are talking about certain topics that fit
with your content marketing, you can approach them and share your content proactively. The
only way to implement this successfully is if your content is extremely relevant for these
people. If the relevance is average or low, it will feel like spam.
6.
………………...
Measure
success
6.
Measure   The last step is setting up a measuring system to carefully monitor your content marketing
          KPIs. Knowing which KPIs to measure depends mainly on the objectives you set with your
success   content strategy.

              However, we advise to use different layers of KPI setting:


              • KPIs with direct impact on the business objectives of your company. In most
                cases, this will be linked to financial performance. KPIs to use are lead generation or
                direct conversion to sales.
              • KPIs with direct impact on the marketing objectives of your company. Content
                Marketing can help in boosting awareness of your brand(s). It can help to increase the
                overall brand identification with the brand(s).
              • KPIs related to conversations. Conversations are the driver of consumer decision
                making, thus the driver of business growth. An important KPI for your content marketing
                is measuring the number of conversations, the sentiment of conversations and the
                impact of conversations.
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..

   Content marketing requires some
   organizational changes
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..

Content management is a          •   Who is the editor-in-chief? This person is responsible for the overall compilation of your content planning. He/she facilitates
time-consuming and therefore         content creation and assures the planning to be respected. This role may be allocated to the Conversation Manager as part of
expensive operation.                 his /her duties. After all, content is a proactive manner to encourage conversations.
Nevertheless it is vital to      •   Who creates the content? The editor-in-chief cannot be expected to make all the content. It is advisable to appoint a team of
prepare your content                 employees to assist in this task. Campaigns are usually farmed out to advertising agencies, as are certain parts of most
management thoroughly and            projects. However, much of the content for these projects will still need to be created within the company. State clearly who is
well in advance, so the              in charge of each project. Routine content updates are best carried out in-house, since this is both cheaper and more flexible.
process can unfold efficiently
                                 •   What does the planning look like? Make a clear and practical planning, which includes updates, projects and campaigns.
and with impact.
                                     Specify who is responsible for the creation and spreading of content for each element. A quarterly planning is probably the
In order to make your
                                     most relevant. A year plan is not sufficiently ‘agile’ and will reduce your ability to react to changing circumstances. Successful
organization content-
                                     content exploits current trends and events.
marketing ready, you need to
take account of the following    •   Always take account of the context. The atmosphere, place or manner in which your film/advert is viewed will determine to
matters:                             a large extent whether it is appreciated or not. Even the best food loses its taste in bad company or a grotty restaurant! Try to
                                     take account of the context of your target group. If they are likely to view your material on a mobile application, don’t forget this
                                     when putting together your story line. The better you are at managing the context, the greater the impact of your content will
                                     be.
                                 •   Do you have in-house writing or video talent? Content scores heavily if it is well written and well presented. Do you have
                                     employees who show talent in either or both? If so, they can be useful partners for your content creation. If you don’t have
                                     natural talents, try to encourage the most suitable members of your team to help, providing extra training if necessary.
                                 •   Don’t forget external content. You don’t need to create all the content yourself. There are hundreds of interesting articles,
                                     reports and videos already in existence, many of which may fit your story perfectly. If you come across information of this kind,
                                     share it with your target group. It will confirm their impression that you are an expert in the field. Install a number of practical
                                     tools, such as Google Reader, to help you with your content selection.
                                 •   Connecting with influential people within your category: it really helps to share your content on a larger scale if you are
                                     connected with influencers and opinion leaders in your category. Develop a program to connect with them and get to know
                                     them. See how you can help them and they will help you in return.
………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..

           Open to all feedback and suggestions
           Hope you enjoyed this paper about content marketing. Feel free to share
           your thoughts and ideas. Content marketing is a relatively new marketing
           domain, so there are no absolute rules yet. Let’s craft and shape the future
           of content marketing together.

………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..……..

                                steven@insites-consulting.com

                                @steven_insites

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A six step content marketing model

  • 2. ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. What to expect from this paper? ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. • A pragmatic 6 step approach to start with content marketing. For most marketers content marketing is intangible. This paper makes content marketing very easy to understand and it guides you through the basic principles behind the philosophy. • This paper is based on research. InSites Consulting conducted a qualitative study among 27 international companies to talk about the integration of social media. Content marketing was one of the topics. Further, an in-depth analysis of 1,000 Facebook brand pages and 300,000 tweets about brands are used to write this paper. Finally, another source of inspiration was a quantitative study among 400 senior marketers in the US and the UK. • The results of this research are translated into both strategic and pragmatic insights that should help companies to better understand and implement content marketing.
  • 3. ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. The objectives of content marketing ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. Content marketing is one of the key challenges • Being recognised as an expert in your field: Strong and relevant content will for companies these days. Most companies enhance the positioning of your company. Show that you are aware of the latest trends acknowledge the need to change their commercial and that you are interested in innovation. This will help you to be seen as an expert in model due to the rise of social media. Most your field and will increase general awareness of your brand. companies are looking for ways to become • Maintaining relations with existing customers in a positive manner: Share new responsive towards questions from consumers on content at regular intervals. This will encourage your customers to keep in touch with sites like Facebook and Twitter. Companies also your brand. Do not bother them with new offers every five minutes, but provide them understand that they should be proactive and feed with information that is interesting and useful. Offering them relevant and valuable customers with conversation-worthy content. The content will make it more acceptable to launch a promotion every once in a while. latter is the main problem. Most companies don't • Attracting new customers and grow business: Your content is shared with existing know what content marketing means. customers and fans. If the content is strong enough, they will share it with their family, In this paper, we want to give a clear view on how friends and colleagues. This is how content brings your company into contact with new to implement content marketing in any kind of people. Relevant content can arouse the curiosity of new prospects, which makes them business. want to discover more about your brand. In the end, content marketing should lead to In case you wonder why content marketing is an increase in revenues. important, these are the objectives to achieve with • Increasing social media reach: Finally, good content will automatically ensure that content marketing. your company has a wider reach on social media. This will increase support for your content and increase its impact. A wider reach also makes it easier to achieve the first three objectives.
  • 4. ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. A 6 step approach in content marketing ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. Content marketing consists of 6 different steps. Each of the steps is equally important; they all play an important role in achieving the previously mentioned objectives. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Content Editorial Create Manage Topic conversion content shareable content Measure selection: strategy: planning: content: conversation: success: define what you want to content marketing has once you have defined the right content once the content is the moment the content be famous for. There is to lead to an increase the topics and the domain (step 1) is launched, people will strategy is up and a content overload in in revenues. Think conversion strategy, important but not react to it. Be open to running you can the world. The magic upfront about where create an editorial sufficient. The content this engagement from measure its impact happens when you find conversion should calendar. Set up a needs to be easy to your audience and be through a set of a topic you are happen. Define a top roadmap so you know share and worth ready to answer relevant KPIs. These knowledgeable in and conversion point and when and where sharing. People tend to questions or to give KPIs should be a that the market is still lead people to this point content will be shared. spread content that is feedback. Next to this combination of waiting for. Select your through your content Streamline the content positive, relevant, conversation business generation content domains calendar with all other appealing and contains management, think measures and smartly and be marketing actions in a benefit. Take that into about the role of conversational consistent in your order to increase account during the industry influencers measures. choice. impact. The content creation of the content. during the launch of calendar should also your content. describe the level of intensity of each content action. The rest of this paper gives a detailed description of each step.
  • 6. 1. Topic selection: Looking at the current content overload we find on the By combining the internal (the extent to which you are unique) and external (what Internet, it is essential that your company only offers people are looking for) dimensions, it is possible to create four main content relevant content. The choice of the fields you wish to categories: concentrate on will determine whether you are successful or not. In order to make the right decision, • To be avoided: content in which you are not unique and for which you must carry out both an internal analysis (What can there is little demand. In other words, a waste of time and money. you do and what can make you different?) and an This category must form 0% of your total content. external analysis (What is the market looking for?). • Competitive: content which the market is interested in, but in which you are not unique. In view of the level of market demand, you will First and foremost, look for areas in which your occasionally, perhaps even regularly, need to use content of this company can offer unique content. Also study carefully kind. Bear in mind that your competitors will also be sharing this what the market wants. What topics are of particular kind of content, so limit your efforts to a maximum of 25% of your interest to your target group? You can track these topics total content. down by conducting a nethnographic investigation, by a • Niche: not many people are interested in this content, but it does detailed online search or by market research in which differentiate you in the market. Invest where necessary, but limit you map the conversations of consumers. Combine all your efforts to 15% of your total content. these elements to make a smart content domain • Focus: the content where you can really make a difference. There selection. is market interest, but your competitors are not able to satisfy this interest. 60% of your total content should fall into this category.
  • 7.
  • 9. 2. Content One of the ultimate objectives of a content strategy is to attract new When creating your content, take into account the memory of Google. customers or persuade existing customers to re-purchase. In other Google has a great memory. By using the right words and titles, your conversion words, content should lead to conversion and to an impact on your content will pop up quicker in Google searches. This creates a higher business. To achieve this, you will need to draw up a touch-point flow of readers, which eventually leads to a higher conversion. strategy: content plan. This plan should include all touch-points where a So there are actually two aspects to work on in order to boost (potential) customer can come into contact with your content. Then conversion: you need to determine at which of these touch-points conversion to sales is likely to occur. In many cases, the converting touch-point is the website. A corporate blog can be the touch-point which leads people • Define a content conversion touch-point plan: know where you want from the content area to the sales area. Social media accounts ensure to sell and how you will guide people to that point. that there is sufficient daily traffic to the blog. • Define a ‘Google’ strategy to increase the number of people who For companies working in the knowledge sector, SlideShare can be find your content. A good touch-point plan combined with a strong used as a useful converting touch-point. SlideShare is a social network ‘Google’ plan leads to a high business impact of your content. site where people can share presentations (PowerPoint, etc.). This is the ideal place to show what you can do and what you have to offer. The compilation of a content conversion strategy can perhaps be On this platform, it is easy to directly convert a reader into a sales lead. compared best with putting together a football team. Your ultimate When mapping out your conversion touch-point plan, define the trigger objective is to score. To do so, you need to get the ball to your strikers. of each touch-point to move to the next. Furthermore, try to keep the Some teams play a long ball game, so that the ball is played quickly and lines as short as possible. The more steps somebody needs to take directly to your forward players. Other teams play a passing game, with before reaching the point where you achieve your business goals, the lots of short combinations before finally whacking the ball into the goal. harder it is to get high conversion rates. But no matter how you do it, getting the ball into the back of the net is Include a clear call to action for your audience. Guide them to the point the only thing that counts. You are the trainer of the team, so it is up to of conversion. The good thing is: if you provide them with relevant you to decide the best route to the goal. Every strategy has its content, you are allowed to use commercial content as well. Just make advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is certain: without any sure the commercial content comes at the point where you convince kind of strategy, you won’t win anything at all. people with your non-commercial content.
  • 10.
  • 12. 3. Updates Editorial The next step in the process is planning Updates are short messages you send out with a certain degree of regularity. Updates your content. Set up a detailed sheet (in are usually a combination of formal (facts and figures, news, recruitments, etc.) and content my experience Excel is the easiest tool) informal (culture, staff news and events, a look behind the scenes, etc.) content. planning: in which you match content and touch- These are content pin-pricks that allow your fans and followers to keep abreast of all the important and not-so-important developments in their favourite company. Updates points. Decide on the timing when are usually shared via social media. They keep your company in the thoughts of your certain content will be published on a customers. certain touch-point. Touch-points should be a combination of owned and Projects paid media. Earned media is the effect of your conversation-worthy content. Projects run over a longer period and are usually related to a particular theme. For example, a project might be a product launch, the opening of a new department, an It's important to understand that not important research study, a major customer event or a recruitment drive. The every content item can and should have company develops content relating to the theme on a regular basis over a longer the same level of attention and intensity. period, varying from one week to three months. Projects work towards a specific To bring the right nuance into your objective, and the content is planned in relation to that objective. This content (regular planning, it helps to use three content small and large pin-pricks) is primarily shared via online channels, but can be streams: content updates, content supplemented by offline media. A project can also be supported by means of a projects and content campaigns. campaign (see below). Projects aim the spotlight at a certain aspect of your company. Campaigns Campaigns are shorter and more intense than projects, and are frequently supported with offline media. This content is designed to increase awareness of your company or to announce important news (e.g. a new product). All available media are employed to force a specific short-term result (usually increased awareness and sales).
  • 13. Creating this framework and Updates Projects Campaigns ensuring the smooth flow of the three different streams is not an exact science. They do, however, Maintaining relations in Mid to long-term Short-term realisation of give you a solid basis for action. Objective a frequent manner realisation of objectives objectives (awareness, sales) Try to think in terms of these three streams and draw up a content Objective Continuous 1 week to 3 months Average: 1 month planning in function of your company-specific objectives. High (almost daily) High: during the project Low: the same content (advert, Frequency of new new content is shared games) is used repeatedly The combination of these three content creation throughout the campaign almost continuously streams will gradually result in the widening of your reach and Intensivity Low Average High engagement. The updates will ensure a steady influx of new Media pressure Low Average High interested parties. The campaigns will boost your reach tremendously Maintaining relations in Mid to long-term Short-term realisation of for a short period. Because Target group objectives (awareness, sales) campaigns are expensive, you need a frequent manner realisation of objectives to think carefully about how you will use them. Organise them at the Primarily online channels Primarily online channels, Targeted offline media right time and in the right place. Media choice (Facebook, Twitter, blog) supported by suitable pressure, supplemented with Use updates and projects to offline media all own online channels usefully maintain customer interest in the periods between campaigns. Formal and informal Content in function of Commercial content That is how you will keep in touch Type of content ‘did-you-knows’, news, a project objectives with the people who are interested glimpse behind the scenes in your company all year round.
  • 14. By combining the three content levels, you are gradually increasing the engagement with the target group Specific update, project or campaign
  • 16. 4. Develop different layers of content Create Once you have decided which content The concrete implementation of your content strategy can take place at many different domains to focus on, you have a clear levels. Talk about your industry in general. Show that you know which direction the shareable view on how content can lead to sector is developing in. Mention new trends and fashionable insights which will confirm content: conversion and you have made a your expert status in the field. Your customers will be interested in sharing specific content about your company. Facts, figures and ‘did-you-knows’ can all be very useful. content plan, the only thing left is the Furthermore, you will also be able to generate large amounts of informal content execution of the plan. There is one key through your own staff. Make your culture tangible. Tell ‘human-interest’ stories about challenge here: people have to share your activities. And last but not least, remember to talk about your products. You can your content with their network. That is even use content which compares your products with those of your competitors, as the only way you can structurally grow long as you do so objectively. the business through content. Make the content easy to share Make sure all your content is available in a digital format. This allows people to share it spontaneously with their friends through social networks and e-mails. Next to that, make sure that you connect 'share' buttons to all your content pieces. The philosophy is simple: create easy opportunities for your target audience to follow and share everything you say.
  • 17. Make the content worth sharing • Simplicity What type of content do people Selling a single idea to your consumers is enough. The more arguments and choice you give consumers, the more share? That is the golden 1 difficult to share. million dollar question that many Internet experts are asking • Surprise themselves today. Research The message must attract and hold the attention of the consumer in an innovative and counter-intuitive manner. conducted by Chip and Dan Heath learns us that there are • Concrete six ‘sticky’ criteria. Content that Formulate exactly what you want to say to the consumer as clearly as possible. This can involve the use of all the successfully passes the sticky different senses. Make sure that people can see in one split second what the story is about. Titles and design play an test will be shared by the important role in this dimension. target group. • Credible Advertisers often use research material or experts to make their message seem credible. This is one way to do so, but it is also possible to personalise credibility. Credibility is one of the reasons why Obama is now living in the White House. He didn’t get there simply by using a mass of statistics. • Emotional Let the consumers feel what you are trying to say. If you want to stop teenagers from smoking, telling them it is bad for their health will be less effective than telling them it gives them halitosis. • Stories Nobody remembers adverts; everybody remembers a good story. Right from our earliest years, we were told stories which will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Remember that when you are communicating with your consumers. Try to keep them enthralled. The average classroom presentation by a student contains 2.5 statistics each minute, but only one in ten attempts to tell a story. Yet if you ask the students in the audience what they remember from all these presentations, 63% say that they remember the stories, whereas just 5% remember the statistics. To make it even more concrete, we conducted a unique study as part of the preparation for this paper. We collected all the conversations from 1,000 Facebook pages of 200 global brands. In total, we analysed about 770,000 conversations about these brands. We did a similar exercise for Twitter. Heath & Heath, Made to stick; why some ideas survive and others die, 2007.
  • 18. In this instance, we selected a random week in June 2011 and analysed the tweets for 300 brands. This gave us about 246,000 conversations. Our insights with regard to the most frequently shared material were gleaned from the data-mining of these million brand-related conversations. These conversations were a mix of spontaneous conversations about brands and content shared by brands. It gives you the full overview of what people share. The study gave us insights in the content people share on social media: If you produce content, it would be wise • Experience with your products or services: People give feedback about their experience with your to take these conclusions into account. products and/or services. It is noticeable that there are more conversations about specific products than about Make sure there is enough variety in brands. your content. Organise a competition • Experience with offline touch-points: Offline customer experience is an important online conversation every now and then. Include a games starter. The customer-friendliness of employees in a sales point is the most important conversation starter. element in your stories. Make sure that • Competitions and games: Content with a games/competitive element produces many conversations. In your news is news-worthy. And keep it addition to interaction, ‘gamification’ results in many ‘likes’. positive! • Free: Free always works. If people think they can get something for free, they will talk about it to everyone! This is not only valid for free products, but also for free content. This last aspect is crucial. Our extensive • Collaboration: Involve people in your decision-making and they will love telling others about it. If their study proves that the overwhelming engagement increases, so too will the number of conversations. This does not need to be complicated. majority of people make and share Simply asking your fans a question can be enough to generate plenty of interaction. In addition, the customers positive content. Only 10% of the can also show their enthusiasm through their ‘likes’. comments on Facebook fan pages and 14% of tweets are negative. It is very • Lifestyle: Even if this does not immediately relate to your products, people like to talk about music, eating difficult to even find hate pages about out, sport, etc., and again show their enthusiasm for this content through their ‘likes’. brands on Facebook. Protest pages with • Positive messages: This is the value of happiness. There are more interactions as a result of sharing a clear objective do exist and something positive than something negative. Consumers like happy stories and positive messages generate sometimes gain support. But out-and- plenty of ‘likes’. out hate campaigns are only rarely • News: Your fans like to share news about your company and like to be kept informed about the popular with the broader public. People developments relating to their favourite brand. are put off by the negative attitude; they • Advertising: There are a lot of conversations on Twitter about advertising. This is probably related to the prefer to share positive messages. presence of the high penetration media and numerous advertising professionals on this network. Complete reviews of advertising campaigns are sometimes shared. • Social media news: There are plenty of conversations on Twitter about the latest iPhone and iPad apps. • Employee stories: Company employees share considerable amounts of informal content via Twitter. They talk about where they work and give their followers a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. This content is re-tweeted at a higher rate than the average.
  • 21. Observe Listen to reactions on your content. See what people share with each other. By observing which stories share better than others, you learn how to improve your content creation process. Install real-time monitoring tools to follow up on your content marketing. There are three success parameters to use: 1. Reach of content sharing: How many people are consuming your content? 2. Sentiment of content: Are people positive, neutral or negative about your content? 3. Impact of content: Is the opinion of people towards your company improving due to your content?
  • 22. Facilitate Facilitating goes beyond adding a share button to your content. It implies helping your existing community to spread your content. Make sure everything you produce is available in a digital form so people who like it have the opportunity to share it. Facilitating also implies the influencers’ management. Know who the influencers of your industry are. Connect with them. The moment you have relevant content, you should proactively share it with these people. If the quality of your content is high and the way it is presented is great, they will be more than happy to share it with their network. This enables you to reach out to new contacts and thus achieve the objectives of your content marketing strategy.
  • 23. Join The last step in managing your content conversation is actively joining in. Most companies are good at being responsive in their conversation management. Responsive implies that questions and remarks towards the content are answered positively, openly and professionally. Being responsive is great, but it is not sufficient. Joining the conversation also implies being proactive. When people in your network are talking about certain topics that fit with your content marketing, you can approach them and share your content proactively. The only way to implement this successfully is if your content is extremely relevant for these people. If the relevance is average or low, it will feel like spam.
  • 25. 6. Measure The last step is setting up a measuring system to carefully monitor your content marketing KPIs. Knowing which KPIs to measure depends mainly on the objectives you set with your success content strategy. However, we advise to use different layers of KPI setting: • KPIs with direct impact on the business objectives of your company. In most cases, this will be linked to financial performance. KPIs to use are lead generation or direct conversion to sales. • KPIs with direct impact on the marketing objectives of your company. Content Marketing can help in boosting awareness of your brand(s). It can help to increase the overall brand identification with the brand(s). • KPIs related to conversations. Conversations are the driver of consumer decision making, thus the driver of business growth. An important KPI for your content marketing is measuring the number of conversations, the sentiment of conversations and the impact of conversations.
  • 26. ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. Content marketing requires some organizational changes ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. Content management is a • Who is the editor-in-chief? This person is responsible for the overall compilation of your content planning. He/she facilitates time-consuming and therefore content creation and assures the planning to be respected. This role may be allocated to the Conversation Manager as part of expensive operation. his /her duties. After all, content is a proactive manner to encourage conversations. Nevertheless it is vital to • Who creates the content? The editor-in-chief cannot be expected to make all the content. It is advisable to appoint a team of prepare your content employees to assist in this task. Campaigns are usually farmed out to advertising agencies, as are certain parts of most management thoroughly and projects. However, much of the content for these projects will still need to be created within the company. State clearly who is well in advance, so the in charge of each project. Routine content updates are best carried out in-house, since this is both cheaper and more flexible. process can unfold efficiently • What does the planning look like? Make a clear and practical planning, which includes updates, projects and campaigns. and with impact. Specify who is responsible for the creation and spreading of content for each element. A quarterly planning is probably the In order to make your most relevant. A year plan is not sufficiently ‘agile’ and will reduce your ability to react to changing circumstances. Successful organization content- content exploits current trends and events. marketing ready, you need to take account of the following • Always take account of the context. The atmosphere, place or manner in which your film/advert is viewed will determine to matters: a large extent whether it is appreciated or not. Even the best food loses its taste in bad company or a grotty restaurant! Try to take account of the context of your target group. If they are likely to view your material on a mobile application, don’t forget this when putting together your story line. The better you are at managing the context, the greater the impact of your content will be. • Do you have in-house writing or video talent? Content scores heavily if it is well written and well presented. Do you have employees who show talent in either or both? If so, they can be useful partners for your content creation. If you don’t have natural talents, try to encourage the most suitable members of your team to help, providing extra training if necessary. • Don’t forget external content. You don’t need to create all the content yourself. There are hundreds of interesting articles, reports and videos already in existence, many of which may fit your story perfectly. If you come across information of this kind, share it with your target group. It will confirm their impression that you are an expert in the field. Install a number of practical tools, such as Google Reader, to help you with your content selection. • Connecting with influential people within your category: it really helps to share your content on a larger scale if you are connected with influencers and opinion leaders in your category. Develop a program to connect with them and get to know them. See how you can help them and they will help you in return.
  • 27. ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. Open to all feedback and suggestions Hope you enjoyed this paper about content marketing. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas. Content marketing is a relatively new marketing domain, so there are no absolute rules yet. Let’s craft and shape the future of content marketing together. ………………………………………….………..……………..……………………………………………..…….. steven@insites-consulting.com @steven_insites