Tag Archives: content marketing institute

Seven Tips to Jump-start Your Content Marketing in 2015

Happy New Year! Most of us are already in high-gear executing campaigns. But, some of you may be challenged with how to best jump-start your content marketing initiative in 2015. Here are seven tips to help you out:

The Devil is in the Details.

The most important aspect ensuring content marketing success is documenting what you want to do in 2015. Sounds simple, but most marketers don’t. Content Marketing Institute reported that 44 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy.

Set Expectations Early

Most executives see content marketing activity as a short term project. Pack your patience friends because this is a long-term game. Producing content is only part of the equation. Be prepared to have some realistic and pragmatic conversations on what to expect early on. The model of “build it and they will come” is over. Set expectations on what is needed to make a content marketing plan work. Come prepared with current metrics if you have them.

Know what Success Looks Like for your Organization

Every group is different. One group may focus on earned media, another may focus on forms completed. Whatever your organization deems successful, document it. It will help you when it comes time to evaluate and measure. You would be surprised how many folks forget the end game soon after the campaign is over.

Expect Timelines to Adjust

Murphy’s law plays a huge role in content marketing. If it can be derailed it will. Plan for hiccups on your timeline. I always build in an extra week just in case.

Know your Content Producers Well

Last fall I attended a Content Marketing Institute workshop where this stat was shared: It takes more than six weeks to finish one content marketing piece. Six weeks people. That’s a very long time. Make sure whoever you involved in your content marketing initiatives is in it to win it. Priorities will always shift.You need people to be on board to complete their tasks on time. If you have issues with content producers, especially internal resources, budget for writers to help. Freelancers are a great resource that can interview your subject matter experts and then write the piece, and they are incentivized to get projects out on time.

Showing Results Wins Budgets

No seriously, showing results wins budgets. I wrote about how I used paid promotion to help promote past content marketing campaigns. This small campaign delivered big and helped me secure more funding for the next year. Speaking of promotion…

Have a Plan for Distribution and Promotion

In content marketing, the campaign doesn’t finish when the content is created, but when it’s ready to be distributed and promoted. I wrote extensively on the importance of distribution and paid promotion in my previous post on the Seven Ugly Truths about Content Marketing. Promotion is key now more than ever. The Internet has made your customers more savvy. On average consumers are reading 10.4 pieces of content before making a purchase.

Here are some additional thoughts I presented at Gilbane Conference in Boston, Massachusetts in December.

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, a champion of clear and concise communications, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, The Princeton Review, and B2B software companies She is a conference speaker and writer on social media and content marketing, and has written for American Marketing Association Marketing News, Social Media Today, and MarketingProfs.

She currently works in the DC metro area building content marketing programs from the ground up.

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16 Ways to Successfully Fuel Your Content Curation Machine

Content marketing or curation of content is everywhere. CMI this past year reported that 99 percent of software marketers use content marketing.  This stat alone suggests almost everyone is using content marketing to engage with current and prospective clients. What fuels the obsession with content? Depending on your organization’s goals it could be thought leadership, lead generation, or customer acquisition.
So is content strictly marketing’s problem?
I believe that content curation and creation is not isolated to marketing, everyone contributes: product, public relations, sales, executives, and the list goes on.  While the content is important, I think the process of curating is even more important.
Content Machine

I started to think about curation process after reading March’s release of Gartner’s 2013 Social Marketing Survey Finding: Content Creation Fuels Social Marketing.  The report discussed how digital marketers achieving effective social marketing create and curate content that speaks with an authentic voice. Social marketing depends on having something to say — something relevant and compelling.

But, how can your company curate relevant, and compelling content?

Rohit Bhargava described curation as the act of finding, grouping, organizing or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue. He goes on further to describe five models of curation and how each type contributes to different activities.
What is happening in today’s content teams isn’t an issue of not creating enough content, but rather too much content. Whether your social media strategist or communications super team is managing your content creation, it all doesn’t matter unless you have a strategy.

So, here are my thoughts on content curation and creation and the right ingredients for success:

  1. You need someone to lead it. Like cooking, too many chefs in the kitchen ruin the meal. Caution though, just because you led it doesn’t mean you can’t find co-contributors to collect ideas from everyone in your company. It just means you need someone to think about the content on the macro level. Great article from Marketing Profs on this. 
  2. You need executive buy-in.  Without someone buying into the purpose, not everyone in your group or division will support collectively creating content with a similar goal in mind.
  3. Get Organized. Create a company-wide editorial calendar that shows what you will produce, who is producing, what it is about, when to expect it. This is key to actually creating and curating the content rather than talking about it. Especially for curating, what themes or topics do you plan to share?
  4.  Assign responsibility. Not everyone has the same roles in curating or creating content. I think of this in terms of a RACI chart. Assign roles in terms of responsibility: Responsibility, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
  5.  Pull on the Same Rope. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Make sure you create a company-wide strategy. Otherwise everyone creates “content” and spams not only your clients, but also your prospective clients. Disorganization is a content killer.icon_light_bulb
  6.  Before You Create, You Participate. Before you start creating, really understand how your audience interacts and shares content in specific channels.
  7.  Think about your Buying Cycle. Develop content for each stage of the buying cycle: awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, repurchase (loyalty).
  8.  Curating doesn’t have use just One Platform. Your audience could want to consume in different ways short (Twitter) or long (blog).
  9.  Think Buyer Personas when you are creating. When you are writing your articles or posts whom are you writing for?
  10.  Solve for the Customer (S.F. T. C.). You should create content that satisfies the clients’ needs not your ego.
  11. Get Creative. Think beyond the traditional white papers or infographics. How does your audience like to consume content? Twitter, Blog, Facebook? Test different types and see what works best.
  12. Measure your Impact. Don’t go through the process of creating content and not measure its impact. Where was it shared? How often? Did folks go back to your website?
  13. Don’t forget to Share. Sharing is caring. Most companies create content and never consider how to promote it. Plan for promotion early in the process.
  14.  It’s okay to say No. Not all content needs to see the light of day. If it doesn’t support your strategy don’t produce it. Ever.
  15.  Have Something to Say. In order to create authenticate, relevant content you should be sharing something different that folks want to read. In the words of a former executive I worked with, “you need actual thoughts to successful create thought leadership.”
  16. Get Tough Skin. Managing your content process will be tough and folks love to say why something won’t work. Get tough skin and stick to your guns. I am a big proponent of using the data to help those detractors be your biggest advocates.
At the end of the day, the lack of planning is why most folks fail. Failing to plan is planning for failure. Start small. Whether you implement one idea or all sixteen, create small goals (S.M.A.R.T goals) and build a case so you can get better at not only the creating, but also curating.

Future of Content Marketing

Recently, I attended a seminar from Content Marketing Institute on the future of content marketing. One of the key takeaways from the seminar was the increasing pressure marketers are feeling when it comes to content. Most marketers agree that this issue (at least to them) is they need more content. That the more content you have, the more you are proving value and insight to clients.

Joe Pulizzi lamented that the issue is not more content, but that you need a content strategy. Why you ask?  Publishing more content and pushing it into the market is not going to improve your marketing in fact it will increase the noise already in the marketplace. But, if you align your content based on your clients and their needs at different stages, you are better able to provide value. Shocking, planning for content rather than creating senseless marketing materials will get you to your end destination. It is always the most simple advice that achieves the greatest success. It is really about KISS = Keep it simple, stupid.

There was a lot of great conversations. Search for the hashtag #CMI from December 3rd. I found the seminar very information and worth checking out.

The Future of Content Marketing: A Special Report on 2013 Benchmarking, Budget and Trends