What a Tangled Web We'll Weave (without a Content Strategy)


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As companies discover the power of content to drive and nurture leads and deepen customer relationships, they’re looking at turning their marketing teams into content producers. But with content marketing comes great responsibility — and sometimes before they begin, brands don’t stop to think about the important things. Why are we doing this? How will we keep it going? How can we get the most out of our efforts? Are we really giving customers what they want and need?

In this session, we’ll explore how a solid content strategy can help your company nurture the good, tame the bad, and head off the ugly in your content marketing efforts. We’ll talk about:

• What a content marketing strategy is and how it supports successful content marketing initiatives
• How to create a content marketing strategy that improves customer experiences (rather than further muddying the waters with confusing, conflicting or unhelpful content)
• The unpleasant but very necessary topic of governance: ownership, standards and process
• Mining your company’s internal expertise — and making it relevant for customers
• Taking content marketing to the next level: how to use content strategy to evolve into a true thought leader

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business

What a Tangled Web We'll Weave (without a Content Strategy)

  1. AMA Content Marketing VirtualExchange Stacey King Gordon, Suite Seven @staceykgordon / @suiteseven #AMAVEC #tangledweb
  2. 1970 500 messages every day 2013 Consumers are 3,000 to overwhelmed 30,000 messages every day by marketing messages.
  3. Entertain Connect Inspire VALUE Support Educate
  4. Marketers say: We need more CONTENT to drive more leads!
  5. SEO specialists say: We need more CONTENT for better rankings!
  6. Social media managers say: We need more CONTENT for better engagement!!! ;-)
  7. more CONTENT
  8. Part of adding value means NOT creating more chaos, confusion and frustration.
  9. When people make the effort to engage with you, they expect to be rewarded.
  10. Long-term benefits of quality content marketing Early stage Middle stage Later stage More inbound inquiries Faster sales cycles Increased customer loyalty More short listing Higher close rates Higher lifetime value Bigger deal sizes Source: Laura Ramos, Forrester
  11. For content marketing to work, you have to: Deliver what audiences need At the right place and time In a unique way Consistently
  12. But little Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!
  13. 1. Trying to “boil the ocean.”
  14. 2. Producing uninspiring content (that makes people feel indifferent)
  15. 3. Creating a hamster’s nest of content
  16. 4. Building content graveyards
  17. 5. Not getting the voice right
  18. Content marketing strategy SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS STANDARDS
  19. Themes and topics What you uniquely know Frequency Channels Where You Credibly Play What your audience cares about Curation
  20. Themes and topics What you uniquely know Frequency Channels Where You Credibly Play What your audience cares about Curation Your Content Framework
  21. Point of view statement The only way for a company to become a leader and sustain success is for the customer to be at the center of everything it does. Good customer service is just good business: it helps companies be more profitable and maximize customer lifetime value. COMPANY is the source for the tools, expertise and insights you need to build and grow your customer-centric business and keep your team focused on creating memorable, exceptional experiences for your customers.
  22. Content goals Build loyalty and trust Give consumers an informative, accessible, pressure-free way to learn about your product, helping to reduce anxiety and build confidence in a way that will support customer loyalty to your brand. Provide information in the way customers want to consume it Create a mix of written, visual and video content, and package information in a clear way, with the right balance of emotion and detail. Give consumers an easy place to start — and the ability to go deeper Content will be architected in a way that allows users to start with basic questions and information, then will lead them to more in-depth information as they move deeper into the sales funnel.
  23. Audiences and funnel stages Awareness Research Consideration Purchase Relationship WHAT THE CUSTOMER IS DOING Deciding to buy; beginning to plan Researching online; educating himself about the basics Comparing products in store to what he saw online; narrowing down choices; consulting others Making his final decision and deciding on a purchase Implementation, thinking about growing the solution Satisfied, relieved, happy, proud Excited and relieved, then overwhelmed Help consumer make his final decision and feel good about it Bring consumer back for “what’s next” and continue to serve him through the next stage CUSTOMER MINDSET Excited, anxious/nervous, overwhelmed with options, discouraged about cost Interested, engaged, tentative Hopeful, careful CONTENT GOALS Help consumer overcome sense of being overwhelmed or discouraged; give him a logical starting point to understand options and decisions. Help consumer explore options, understand tradeoffs and factors, embrace variety and choice Answer more advanced questions and help consumer make his final decision CONTENT THEMES, TOPICS, TYPES 101-level basics, answers to basic questions, checklists, primer videos, easy infographics and “maps” Basic overviews, comparison charts, decision guides, answers to basic concerns that arise during early research Answers to more advanced concerns that come up during research, tips for weighing choices Emotion-driven content (testimonials, proposal stories), confidencebuilding content (postpurchase issues) Guidance on processes, issues, getting most mileage out of product
  24. Content mix AWARENESS • Software 101 CONSIDERATION • Revenue growth • • • • • • • • • Global trade Design best practices Top trends in software design Marketing techniques Monetization Programming tips by OS Hosting Intellectual property basics Financial issues RELATIONSHIP • Advanced tips • • Securing VC funding Distribution to specific global regions
  25. Content guidelines by channel BLOG EBOOKS/GUIDES WHITE PAPERS / BRIEFING PAPERS VIDEOS W PURPOSE Become central repository for all content relevant to our audiences Add value with credible, relevant content Add value with credible, relevant content that's more specific and educates about product Engage and entertain, add credibility Eng cred GOALS Become a customerfocused small business resource melding business, technology and culture relevant to personas; serve both customers and prospects Generate and nurture leads and add value for existing customers by offering valuable, helpful, educational content packaged for a specific audience. Help prospects feel confident. Generate and nurture leads and add value by offering specific, timely and detailed information. Help prospects and customers feel confident. Show how software works with other experts on the pulse. Generate and nurture leads and add value to existing customers with inspirational, informative, thoughtprovoking videos Gen lead exis infor web diffe of vi topic Focused on a topic that personas really care about; answers common questions; should be issue-focused instead of product-focused; writing at basic to intermediate level. Like a issue paper or longer article vs. an ebook; topics can be more specific and written for more targeted audiences. Technical product information more appropriate here. Briefs showcasing data, research, case studies by external experts. Writing at intermediate to advanced level. Interviews with customers, panels, use cases (how Desk is used to solve for specific issues), meet the team/internal expertise (helps with community-building) Cus spea spea serv topic spec CONTENT Good mix of product vs. business, basic (making the case, 101 education) vs. advanced (playbooks and detailed advice from experts and peers.
  26. Editorial calendar
  27. Process definition eBook: 5 week process Topic generation Vet with content review board (optional) 3 days 2 weeks First review Second draft Director review Final draft Design and publish 2 days Research and writing 3 days 2 days 2 days 1 week Blog: 2 week process Managing editor assigns topics Write draft posts First round edits/back to writer if needed Editor edits/finalizes 1 week 3 days 2 days Director approval Publish 2 days 1 day
  28. Governance • Editorial management • Content “owners” • Contributors • Reviewers • Editorial committee/content review board • Legal
  29. Content priorities/production guidelines Tier 1: Premium/ Proprietary Content Criteria: Original research, first-time publication, data-driven but with a narrative, fostering external credibility Tone: Educational, more formal, smart and incisive, upbeat Frequency: Quarterly/semi-annual Creators: Professional writers/marketing, or subject matter experts with support of professional editors Extending the Value: Complementary content to support sharing at every level: social content, video, PPT decks, infographics, blog posts Tier 2: Current Events / Awareness Content Criteria: Smaller bites of thoughtprovoking content, highlighting individual expertise, conveys unique POV, timely Tone: Smart, conversational, upbeat, succinct , humorous (when appropriate) Frequency: Regularly (a few times a week) Creators: Subject matter experts, salespeople, marketing Extending the Value: Sharing on social channels, curating and packaging “best of” content into more premium publications
  30. Content mileage and lifecycle Create other content if: • • • Appeals to multiple audiences Can be useful at different levels of expertise Can be broken down into multiple topics • • • • Can create a case study Can create a video interview Can create slides Can get an expert to speak Webinar ebook blog posts, white paper Video Email offer Infographic Twitter, FB
  31. Short summary article Slide show
  32. Video commentary
  33. Content quality standards CREDIBLE Accurate, high-quality original content supports our position as a market leader. VALUABLE Content educates or supports our customers' goals, helping them get more out of their investment, make decisions, advocate a position to colleagues, etc. TIMELY Keeps customers up to speed on current issues and best practices. RELEVANT Customers will believe we have the best voices and smartest thinking on topics that matter to them and their businesses.
  34. Voice guidelines Trusted We’re here to help, not sell; give advice, not a pitch. Human Language is conversational, friendly and encouraging. We speak in the second person (“you”) and use plain English. Business and industry jargon is OUT. Genuine We don’t use unauthentic slang to sound trendy. Smart We’re informal but informed, intelligent but not overly clever. Empathetic We know this purchase is a big deal. Our positive, descriptive language shows it.
  35. Editorial toolbox and style guides
  36. Measurement Step 1: Benchmark where we are today Step 2: Define goals: improve upon where we are today (before/after comparison) Step 3: Choose and track metrics Qualitative • Survey employees • Editorial board • Comments Quantitative • Number of page views • Time on page • Bounce rate • Social shares (email or tweet to others) • Survey results • Number of subscriptions to blog • Response to emails • Results of A/B testing Step 4: Review and optimize regularly (quarterly)
  38. www.suiteseven.com/ama @staceykgordon / @suiteseven