Saturday, May 3, 2014

Great tips for more effective content marketing (video)

Todd Wheatland, world renowned author, speaker, marketing & HR pro, shares his tips for more effective content marketing.

Content marketing has exploded in popularity over the past 12 months. From its beginnings as a relatively niche practice, it has become a key component in most brands’ digital strategy.

"It doesn’t seem like very long ago that I was still having to explain what content marketing was, and now almost every marketer I encounter is producing content with zeal.

All too often these marketers dive headlong into producing a stack of content without a second thought to strategy or organisational integration – the result being that there are no results!

By failing to develop an effective approach to content marketing, these marketers cheat themselves out of the real long-term benefits of content marketing."

You can read the video transcript Q & A here:

Q. Why do you think brands have so readily adopted content marketing?

A. What we’ve seen is the evolution in digital from a real SEO focus into social, and more recently into content. Content has really boomed because with a successful social and SEO approach you have an inherent demand for content. It’s also a great way for companies to get exposure since traditional advertising channels don’t have the reach they used to.

Q. How can brands avoid oversaturating their online audiences with content?

A. You have to speak in a targeted way and just be consistent with the publishing cycle. Once a week with great content is much better than five times a week with average content.

Q. What are some common mistakes brands make when starting on their content marketing journey and how can they avoid them?

A. The main mistake that companies make is seeing content marketing as a tactic. The companies that really excel are those that have embraced it as a philosophy and are actually infusing and driving it into everything else that happens in terms of a marketing function.

The second thing is focusing on what your target audience wants. Many people just think they know this, but the fact is you probably don’t. Knowing your audience and developing personas is key to being able to speak directly to their wants and needs.

Q. In your experience, what is required to develop an effective content marketing process?

A. The great thing with the content marketing process is it’s not hard. It just requires consistency and planning to get it done. There are many models, but most of them start with a content audit to determine what content has been created beforehand.

Then you usually try to map out who is already involved in producing content. It’s critical to understand how you can best involve these people and get their buy-in to the new process you’re defining before you go after the entire organisation.

Q. How should organisations integrate their content marketing with social media and traditional marketing?

A. I think all marketing is more effective when it is integrated, and content is no different to any of that. I think the key for an organisation is identifying who your audience is, what problem you’re helping them solve, what message you’re sending and who the spokespeople who can carry that message for you are.

It has to be seen as part of a common whole and that’s where the real benefits of content comes through – having the whole integrated piece of the mix support what you are putting out.

Q. How can organisations activate their staff to become both content creators and brand advocates?

A. This is a big challenge for companies. You have what the company wishes would happen and then you’ve got something genuine that employees want to actually support. Somewhere between that is where this magic can happen. Finding that level of buy-in is crucial and this is where the introduction of content modelling and workshopping is really helpful.

In my personal experience, one of the bits of magic is people understanding the role of personal branding. Help an employee look like a rock star by associating them with a piece of content or helping them to understand an audience and what they can teach that audience. The more involved someone is in helping develop content, the more likely they are to share it themselves.

Q. What’s your number-one tip to becoming an effective content marketer?

A. Consistency. Committing to an idea and getting that consistency right is where you attract an audience. It’s the understanding from the audience that you’re there with them. That is really where you can create some amazing things out of that community and some long-term benefits for the company.


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