Content marketing has largely become a tactical solution to tactical problems. This is one of the greatest challenges I see in today’s content marketing. You need content. Make some content. It’s called content marketing.
Many of the so-called content marketing strategies are just content. They are, worse, campaigns.
Content marketing is not possible with an e-book. A landing page that has content is not considered content marketing. A YouTube video from your advertising campaign is not considered content marketing.
Marketing with content is different from content marketing.
It is essential that content marketing be institutionalized and understood across all levels of marketing. It is a top priority for many CMOs, but most don’t know what to do except hire a director of content marketing.
Technology is not the solution. Technology is not the solution. Marketing leaders must create a culture that consistently delivers customer-focused content. Whew. It’s quite a mouthful.
But those words are all important (and why I wrote Mean People Suck): Create a company Culture that delivers customer-focused content,continuously. You could also add that content should be distributed across all channels to spark conversations and drive conversions. Perhaps that’s too many Cs.
Content can be a strategic solution for a business problem. You must first define the problem and then build the business case.
Yes, you have a content problem
Understanding that the world has changed is the first step in your journey. Your buyers decide when, how, and where to engage with you. Your business will lose ground to its competitors if it doesn’t create engaging content at all stages of the buyer journey.
What’s the price of poor content? As much as 70% of content that your marketing team creates is never used. Did you know that? Your company budgets, requests content, and creates it. 60% to 70% of that money goes unused. This number has never been lower than 50% for any brand. Your budget is wasted if you spend half or more on content creation.
Why? It was requested by a sales executive, manager, or product manager. Your company made it. The requestor then moved on. The content was not tied to an activation campaign and it did not have a publishing home.
This is in addition to the fact your non-content media budget goes towards TV ads that are ignored or skipped by 99.9% of viewers, TV ads that are missed by more than three-quarters, landing pages with 99% bounce rates, and emails that are read by less than 10%-20% of recipients.
These outbound media budgets are inefficient because they contain promotional messages that we avoid, ignore, or, worse, hate.
Yes, there is a problem with strategic content that can lead to significant marketing budget waste.
Determining the Business Case
We need to begin the content strategy process by setting business goals. Only create content that is likely to deliver ROI. Through my experiences in large companies, I discovered a few ways to make a business case against strategic content marketing.
Costs: How much marketing budget do you have left? How do you calculate the return on advertising investment? Social media?Reach. Are your website’s search rankings and organic traffic increasing or decreasing over time? Ours is here. Engagement: Have you connected your content with the buyer journey? Nearly every business I study has a top-of-the-funnel gap. This is where tactical execution really comes in. Competition: Have you compared your search positions to those of your competitors? This is my favorite! This is my favorite!
Content marketing is no longer a question. Content marketing is a must for every brand.
As we look into the future, content marketing will be a key marketing discipline alongside brand storytelling, customer journeys and data.
The key to building the business case is finding the budget for underperforming marketing programs and creating a consistent, recurring program that yields a compounding rate. Your company should be arguing for investing in great content on your website today. Because:
Competition: if you don’t the competition probably already is.Company: if you can’t show marketing ROI from your other programs, content marketing is highly measurable.Customers: Your customers want content that engages them not sells at them.Channels: any marketing channel you look at is filled with great stories and drowning in shitty ads.
Hence, why is it that so few companies are able to manage their content and marketing effectively?
It’s difficult. Everybody creates content. Everyone owns content. Everyone owns content. Or, the CMO of tomorrow will be the Chief Content Officer.
Large companies may be able to afford content marketing specialists. However, smaller businesses need to incorporate content marketing into every aspect of their business.
Strategic Approach to Content Marketing
So how can we do this? These are 9 questions that will help you get started on the path to strategic content marketing.
How to define your content marketing “Why?”
Before you start, you need to understand why content marketing is important.
Which gap is your marketing performance lacking? How much content are you producing at each stage of the buyer’s journey? What metrics can you get? What are your rankings for the most popular keywords that customers use when searching for your product or solution? And, if you are really good, what is your market share of conversations in your solution area?
Define “Content Strategy”
Content strategy for me is the combination between an editorial approach as well as a business strategy. How do you create content that addresses customer needs, inspires them to take action and generates additional business for your business?
Some industry insiders have spent their entire careers on one side of the debate about the differences between content strategy and content marketing.
It is important to think strategically with authority, purpose, and the intention of driving better business results through content.
What’s the purpose of your content marketing strategy and why?
Your “Content Marketing Mission” statement defines your target market. It also outlines what you want them to achieve. When I created the SAP content marketing strategy almost a decade ago I stated that my mission was: To be a destination for insights for business professionals who want to understand how technology can help them grow and outperform their competitors and advance their careers.
What’s your design goal?
Do you have any blog design guidelines or visual standards that you would like to copy? What are the best content creators in your area? What is it like? It is a good idea to take a look at the websites of content marketers before you, and examine the various elements. You can identify which elements you like and dislike and incorporate those design specifications into the strategy.
What is your goal for your company’s brand to be? This may seem like an absurd question. But think about your goals and the likelihood that you will achieve them. If your readers know you are selling to them, this should be no surprise. You might consider reducing the size and promotion of your logo if you want to build trust with your readers.
What Keywords are Important?
Do keywords still matter? Yes! A search is the first step in 90% of B2B transactions. You need to do lots of research to find the answer. You can take the Google Keyword Tool for a spin. Take a look at your web analytics to see where you rank for key terms. Once you have identified the gaps, you will be able to identify targeted keywords that you can use in your content production efforts.
How do you approach editing?
What topics, authors, and content types are most likely to help you achieve your editorial strategy? How will content curation and syndication fit into this mix? All this comes with a costing factor. If you view your content as an investment, you should consider which option will give you the best editorial value. You can create an editorial board for key content constituents.
As the driving function of effective content marketing, do you have an editorial calendar? An annual plan with flexibility built in is a good idea. It allows you to plan strategically and can adapt to changing market conditions.
What is the Driving Force of Conversion?
Consider the customer journey or buyer. What is the “appropriate next steps”? It is unlikely that your buyers will move from early stage content to a product demonstration. Consider offering additional thought leadership. Subscriptions should be the primary focus of your efforts. Building an audience is more valuable than buying it. Find the best way to optimize your lead-to-lead conversion flow. Test different strategies.
What will you do with the results?
Once you have defined your mission and objectives you can now track the metrics related to each objective. Make a report and update it every month. Share it widely.
How do you accomplish this? Although it may seem impossible, when the stars align, you can achieve amazing results. These are three things you should consider before you start:
1. To create a culture that is contentious, look for courage and support your leadership
2. To help employees get the job done, create training and support
3. Choose the right technology for your needs
These steps are important. Answer these questions and commit to strategic action. I am confident that you will succeed. Call me. Please call me.
We can help you build your content marketing strategy
The Content Builder Services package can help you create a strategy and implement it to achieve your goals. It will also track key KPIs.
Our team will produce high-quality, optimized content that you can publish on your website regularly. We will promote your content to increase visibility and track its ROI so that you can see how it is performing.
Find out more about our Weekly Blog Content Services
Marketing Insider Group’s Content Marketing is a Strategic Solution to a Strategic Problem originally published this article.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: Content Marketing Is A Strategic Solution To A Strategic Problem
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/content-marketing-strategic-solution-strategic-problem/
Published Date: Mon, 16 May 2022 16:00:00 +0000