As content marketing budgets continue to rise each year, it’s pretty clear that by now, most CMOs have realised how vital content marketing is to the overall success of their brand. In fact, content marketing has become a top priority for branding investment.
But are CMOs truly capable of following a predefined road-map for content marketing?
Apparently not – because most brands, according to The Content Marketing Institute, are either unsure/unsuccessful in executing a content strategy, or don’t have one at all.
If you’re one of the many CMOs who are interested in gaining control over your content marketing efforts, check out these 7 content marketing tips for the modern CMO. Let’s start with the very first (and most important) step:
Incorporate a Strategy
The founder of The Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, speaks frequently about the importance of having a content strategy. He makes note of the fact that having a strategy in place is often the difference between success and failure.
To give you an example, take a look at the blog section on most B2B websites. You’ll notice that while they do have some content, there’s very little (or no) engagement at all. What can these brands get out of this content? Nothing – because the content is usually focused on the brand – rather than a predefined, targeted audience. A content strategy helps you figure out who you are going to target with each piece of content, why you’re creating it and more importantly, what value can be provided to your audience.
Remember this while planning your content: your customers don’t care about you, they care about themselves!
Curating content helps you build trust and authority as a reliable resource, giving visitors a reason to keep coming back. If you don’t know what curation is, it’s when you write an overview of someone else’s content and share it through social media, newsletters, or on your own website.
What it also means is that when you don’t have the time or resources to create your own original content, you can still share information to build brand loyalty and trust. Curation is proving more valuable each year, as the Internet becomes littered with so much content which essentially turns into an assortment of frenzied white noise.
Curated content really is the key to maintaining long-lasting relationships with your existing and potential consumers.
Providing value is a true fundamental of content marketing. You’re creating content for your audience to gain something. You’re not creating content to sell whatever it is you sell, or to promote your brand. You’re producing valuable content to help your audience. Only after you’ve established trust and loyalty should you expect anything in return.
Usefulness is the key difference between content marketing and other traditional forms of marketing. Sure; banner ads, landing page copy and case studies all have their place among content types – but if you’re spending your content marketing budget on these things – it’s being wasted.
This goes without saying. It’s vital that all marketing is measured – even content marketing.
There is an abundance of tools out there to help you measure your content marketing efforts. It’s just the matter of putting them into the right place and working out how you can make the most of them.
Content marketing performance can be tied into business performance. You can even generate a ROI from your content marketing efforts. Content marketing’s role is in creating long-lasting relationships with your customer – so it’s not always immediately about the bottom line.
For example, you can measure engagement by looking at comments made through your social media channels by giving each one a score out of 10. But don’t complicate the process too much, just remember to track everything and work out which content performs the best for your target audience. Then, create more content tailored to their needs. Find what works and what doesn’t.
Harness Your Network
As a CMO, you’re probably already well-aware of the importance of networking, both online and off. You might be well-connected with influencers, business partners, and even other CMOs too. Contribute and share content with your network – and in return – share their content too. You will eventually find they are your biggest asset.
Co-developing content is another solid idea that has the potential for great things. You’ll notice a lot of brands create content with other brands and share it among each of their networks. This creates a new avenue for your content marketing arsenal.
To give you an example: create content for your client’s blog (if it’s relevant), and ask them to do the same for you. Content marketing works both ways; it’s a two lane street where both parties win.
Use Visual Storytelling
Complement your words with striking images. It’s no secret that we live in the visual age. People are sharing billions of photos each day online, and this shows no sign of slowing down. Many brands rely on visual platforms – such as Pinterest and Instagram – to tell their own individual stories. People really do judge a book by its cover. So if you want to stand out, create visually stunning images (rather than overused stock images) and communicate with your audience in the most effective way possible. If they see an image with the WOW factor, they’re more likely to remember your brand – or least continue reading your article!
Content marketing is your responsibility. This means that it is important for you to set an example and not make excuses.
A common excuse is “I don’t have enough time to create content”. This is another reason why curated content works well. It takes less than 10 minutes to curate one piece of content, and then post it to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Or, you could curate a bunch of similar types of content and put it into the one article. List articles, for example, are extremely popular and highly shared. You might want to curate and share this month’s most popular articles about content marketing. What’s your excuse now?
When practiced regularly, these ideas will help you develop thought leadership and a much larger fan base.
Do you have any tips, techniques or content marketing methods that work well? Feel free to share below in the comment section!