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5 Best Practices For Content That Gets Results

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When planning or developing content for your marketing and syndication campaigns, there are five key factors you should keep in mind. Use these guidelines to get – and keep – a reader’s attention and to ensure a successful return on your content investment.

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5 Best Practices For Content That Gets Results

  1. 1. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing 5 Best Practices For Content That Gets Results
  2. 2. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing 5 Best Practices For Content That Gets Results When planning or developing content for your marketing and syndication campaigns, there are five key factors you should keep in mind. Use these guidelines to get – and keep – a reader’s attention and to ensure a successful return on your content investment.
  3. 3. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing 1. Before You Begin… Define the Reader You Want to Engage Ask yourself these questions: • Who are you trying to reach? Are you targeting CIOs, IT managers, CMOs or other line-of-business managers, in-the- trenches IT staff? Are you targeting a particular vertical or a broader audience? • What do they need? The pain points and informational needs for each group differ; make sure you know what issues are top of mind for your audience. • How can you help? Lead with what you know, rather than what you sell. Your content goal should be to establish your customer or prospect as a trusted partner on the buyers’ journeys.
  4. 4. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing 2. Determine The Purpose Of Your Content Mapping your content to a specific stage of the buying cycle will help you determine what style to use. Early Stage: • Focus on awareness and thought leadership • Identify a pain point or important industry trend that could impact business decisions • Highlight the risk of maintaining status quo or discuss the importance of business agility and growth • Primary stakeholder: executive buyers Mid Stage: • Readers are considering various solutions to solve a business problem or to take on an innovative business opportunity • Focus on the types of industry solutions that can help readers best meet their goals • Primary stakeholders: economic and technical buyers Late Stage: • Focus on ways to help prospects justify and select technology • Include investment validation and information that substantiates the financial benefits • ROI and TCO data, as well as customer success stories, are important • Primary stakeholders: economic and executive buyers
  5. 5. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing 3. Keep Content Relevant And Authentic According to UBM Tech research, 77% of tech buyers feel that vendor content is filled with “too much fluff.” How can you make yours more meaningful and actionable? • Use facts and figures to support claims. Use research, tests and other quantified results to give your content credibility. Providing specific examples boosts trust in the material. • Don’t forget the business value. Always explain how the technique, service, product, solution, etc. can provide real benefits (growth opportunities, higher productivity, efficiencies) to their businesses. • Keep it timely. Include current (newsworthy) examples and trends wherever possible.
  6. 6. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing Keep Your Content Fresh and Timely Wanted: Current, Fact-Based Information 43% 54% 60% 65% 77% 85% 88% Specific to my company size Specific to my role/job function (e.g. IT) Demonstrates ROI metrics Specific to my industry or market Contains both business value and technology information Contains facts & figures to support claims Current or timely Note: Percentages are based on combined scores of 5, 6 or 7 on a 7-point scale where 7 is “very important” Base: 247 respondents Data: UBM Tech 2014 Content Connects Survey of business technology professionals How important is it that the information you use meet each of these criteria? 63% will only consider information useful if it’s less than 18 months old 64% find content more credible if it's on an independent site
  7. 7. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing 4. Get The Headline Right UBM Tech’s audience research shows that online readers only register the first three words of headlines and subject lines. Here’s how to make those words count. • Start with what’s most important. Get the keywords the audience cares about in at the beginning. • Numbered lists grab attention. A headline like “5 Cloud Myths Busted” sounds active and educational. • Speak directly to your audience. If you’re targeting a particular group or vertical, put it in the headline. Audiences respond best when you speak to their specific needs. “Security Tips for Financial Services Companies” tells prospects that you’re speaking directly to their particular information needs.
  8. 8. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing 5. Choose the Best Format Content should be optimized to fit the format you’ve chosen. The following slides outline formats that IT buyers often turn to. In all cases, make the content easily shareable with share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  9. 9. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing White papers More than 70% of tech buyers at enterprises and midsize companies rely on white papers when looking for information on a work-related topic, according to UBM Tech research. To make a white paper resonate, consider the following guidelines: • White doesn’t have to mean grey. Just because it’s called a white paper doesn’t mean it has to be visually boring. Color, images, call-outs, charts, graphics, diagrams, sidebars and headings make the content easily consumable and engaging. • Keep it snappy. With so much information competing for attention, prospects appreciate material that is concise and easy to scan. For most white papers, four pages (1800-2000 words) is an ideal length.
  10. 10. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing White papers • Make it practical. Give readers concrete actions they can take by providing checklists, guidelines, evaluation criteria and other useful suggestions where it makes sense. • Don’t forget a call to action. Point to additional relevant resources; invite them to participate in a community discussion or live event; suggest they join your LinkedIn or Facebook group.
  11. 11. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing Videos Interest in visual formats is exploding. Done well, video can lead to engaging and entertaining stories. Here’s how to keep the right eyes on the screen. • Keep it short. Stay under two minutes and most viewers will watch to the end. Any longer and you risk losing the audience before you’ve given them a call to action. • Choose the right on-camera talent. If your video features an executive or SME, make sure that person is comfortable with public speaking, in general, and being in front of a camera. Choose someone with an energetic, conversational speaking style. • Remember that video is visual. B-roll, animations and other visual flourishes ratchet up the interest and keep viewers viewing. Remember to entertain as you inform. • Demos. These can be very effective ways to show the value of your solution if you keep them succinct and highlight only a handful of the features.
  12. 12. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing Infographics An increasingly popular and shareable format, infographics are a great way to highlight research statistics and other data. Here are some tips for doing them well. • Tell a story. The best infographics lead readers through the story around the data, providing context and value to the statics. • Let pictures tell (some of) the story. Let images do much of the “talking” wherever possible. Distill the words of the story down to the bare essentials. • Use a framework to present the story. Frameworks help organize and create a path for readers to follow. Examples include timelines, flow charts, checklists, numbered lists, countdowns.
  13. 13. CreateYourNextCustomer.com 2015 UBM Tech Content Marketing CONTENT UBM Tech ╟ Content Marketing Additional Resources Marketing Insights – UBM Tech CreateYourNextCustomer: Your top source for tech marketing, research and advice http://createyournextcustomer.com Download Content Connects Peers research report: http://createyournextcustomer.techweb.com/2014/02/19/content-connects-peers/ Browse our latest tech marketing research: http://createyournextcustomer.techweb.com/category/research/marketing-research/

When planning or developing content for your marketing and syndication campaigns, there are five key factors you should keep in mind. Use these guidelines to get – and keep – a reader’s attention and to ensure a successful return on your content investment.

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