101 Content Marketing Tips for Enterprise Marketers
So much of an enterprise marketer’s life revolves around content marketing. Whether or not your enterprise has a Chief Content Officer, the Chief Marketing Officer, Director of Marketing, or any similar role, an enterprise needs a strong leader to oversee content ideation, content creation, content distribution and syndication, and similar processes.
Everything comes back to content. Your sales reps need sales collateral — ideally targeted to the various buyer personas they’ll encounter. Your marketing team needs content to attract prospects and nurture leads through the buyer’s journey and so on. Heck, even your human resources department needs branded content for recruiting and training top-tier talent. When you think about it, the job ads that are on your company’s website and circling through the online job boards and shared on social media platforms can have an impact on your brand too. Again, it all comes back to content.
So what does an enterprise marketer need to know about content marketing? Beyond, well…everything, there are some key tips and best practices that can guide enterprise marketers in fine-tuning your content marketing efforts so that they’re laser-focused and incredibly effective, making the best use of your time and your team’s resources. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of 101 essential content marketing tips and best practices for enterprise marketers from some of the best and brightest minds in content marketing. Read advice from leading experts on how to carry out critical responsibilities such as building a stellar content marketing team, creating highly effective and engaging content, distributing, and sharing your enterprise content in the most efficient way, and everything else you need to know to manage the all-important content marketing function within your enterprise.
- Essential Stats About Content Marketing for Enterprises
- Content Ideation Tips
- Content Creation Tips
- Building an Efficient Content Marketing Team
- Content Strategy Tips
- Content Distribution and Curation Tips
Essential Stats About Content Marketing for Enterprises
1. Enterprise marketers use an average of 16 content marketing tactics. You don’t have to just choose one tactic and focus all your efforts on it, particularly if you have a team to support your efforts and share in the workload for various strategies. “The top three most widely adopted content marketing tactics are videos (87 percent), website articles (86 percent), and in-person events (85 percent). B2B enterprise marketers use all tactics more frequently than their B2B peers overall do. Like those peers, they find in-person events to be the most effective tactic.” – Joe Pulizzi, How Enterprises Handle B2B Content: 6 Key Insights From Our Research, Content Marketing Institute; Twitter: @JoePulizzi
2. Technology integration is a top priority for enterprise marketers. “The debate about how to approach the modern consumer is over. The largest marketing organizations in the world have concluded that enhancing customer relationships via multiple digital channels best supports sustainable growth and reliable retention. This focus on thoroughly understanding the customer through data, and acting on insights found in data to design interactions, is driving an unprecedented demand for technology. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents view improving customer satisfaction as the top reason to invest more in technology. Becoming more customer-centric is a top-two priority for 49 percent of respondent organizations.” – Teradata Survey Shows Marketers Struggle to Find Best Technology Path to Build Personalized Customer Relationships, Teradata; Twitter: @Teradata
3. Less than half of B2B content marketers feel that they are effective at content marketing. “90% of B2C and 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing. With numbers like these, it’s hard to imagine what the 10 and 7% are waiting for.
“Then again, while these numbers indicate the prevalence of content marketing as a practice, they fail to capture the efficacy of the respective campaigns. In fact, only 34% of B2C and 42% of B2B marketers believe that they are ‘effective’ at content marketing.” – How To Start A Successful Content Marketing Campaign From Scratch, Single Grain; Twitter: @singlegrain
4. Bigger companies tend to use more tactics to target more audiences, but they have a difficult time with overall effectiveness and measuring ROI. “According to new research from Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and Marketo (B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2015) bigger companies use more tactics to target more audiences and have a more difficult time with overall effectiveness and measuring ROI – especially compared to small businesses and B2B content marketers overall.
“According to the report, enterprise marketers are more challenged with nearly every aspect of content marketing when compared with B2B marketers overall. Last year 70% of marketers were creating more content and in this year’s report, 65% are creating more. But is more better?
“CMI has changed definitions a bit and one of the interesting things about this year compared to last is that 88% of enterprise B2B marketers report using content marketing this year vs. 96% last year. Also, this year 28% report their organizations as effective with content marketing compared to 32% last year.” – Lee Odden, Important Things To Remember When Creating B2B Content, Enterprise Marketing News; Twitter: @leeodden
5. Most organizations don’t have content divisions in their organizational charts. “The average organization is responsible for the continual content demands of an average 178 social media properties, to say nothing of a myriad of other owned media properties, from websites and blogs to live events.
“Those few large enterprises not yet active in social media can easily serve five million email subscribers, as well as multiple millions of monthly unique visitors per month to their sites.
“Yet the overwhelming majority of organizations don’t have content divisions in their org charts. Only nine of the brands we interviewed for this report (out of 78 stakeholders, also including content service providers and domain experts) have made explicit content hires, i.e. people with titles such as ‘editor’ or those that contain the word ‘content.'” – Rebecca Lieb, Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise, Altimeter; Twitter: @lieblink
“If you just look at Facebook. 87% of total interactions (sharing, clicks and comments) can be attributed to just photos. On Twitter you get 150% more retweets, 89% more favorites and 18% more clicks.
“What are your visual content plans?
“It is predicted that 70% of marketers this year are planning to increase their use of visuals to maximize their marketing effectiveness.” – Content Marketing Tips: Image Rules For The Top 7 Social Networks, Online Marketing & SEO
7. Enterprise marketers with a dedicated content marketing team are more successful. “In addition to having a documented content strategy, those enterprise marketers that have a dedicated content marketing group are also more effective. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they have a dedicated content group that works horizontally across the company silos and 13 percent have one but it operates independently. Thirty-two percent have no plans of establishing such a group, but 18 percent without an established content group are planning one.” – Tequia Burt, CMI: Enterprise B2B marketers struggle to gauge effectiveness, ROI of content marketing efforts, FierceCMO, citing the CMI Enterprise Content Marketing Report, 2015; Twitter: @FierceCMO
8. Content marketing is a natural fit for B2B enterprises. “B2B marketing has always relied more on gray matter to move onto the buyer’s short list than consumer marketing. Over the years, whole forests have been killed for glossy print ads, brochures, pamphlets, charts and studies to sell enterprise-wide multi-million dollar solutions to large, mid-cap and even small companies. Now, done right, in support of a great brand, Content is becoming the lifeline B2B marketers need to break through the clutter and make meaningful connections in an increasingly complex environment.
“Moreover, B2B marketers usually have enough intellectual property to impress a Harvard admissions officer or a Jeopardy contestant recruiter. They have proprietary ideas, systems and technologies. They are populated with smart, erudite employees who give educated opinions every day to clients, publish in business journals and magazines, and reveal insights to CNBC anchors or Wall Street Journal reporters. Yet, these same companies have stopped short of leveraging those rarefied ideas in a synchronized, well planned Content marketing attack that might propel them into the coveted consideration set.
“All that is about to change. A recent trends report by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs (in conjunction with the Business Marketing Association and American Business Media) showed that while 90% of B2B marketers already consider Content key to their marketing mix, most have merely tip-toed into it. Interestingly, those who report the greatest confidence in its effectiveness have embraced Content marketing with the enthusiasm of a Charlie Sheen rant on his exceptionalism.” – B2B Marketing: Why Content is the New Creative, DeSantis Breindel; Twitter: @DB_b2b
9. Enterprises are focusing more on creating high-quality, engaging content than quantity. “More isn’t better, especially if quantity dilutes the quality of your content.
“A study from the Content Marketing Institute revealed that the bigger a B2B content marketing campaign gets, the more complex it gets, and the harder it is to measure effectiveness and .
“Last year, according to the study, 70% of content marketers were creating more content and this year 65% were creating more. But is quantity really the answer?
“Many marketers are finally figuring out that it isn’t: 90% reported that they will focus their efforts on creating more engaging, higher-quality content.” – Roee Ganot, Top Enterprise B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015, CodeFuel; Twitter: @Code_Fuel
10. Driving sales is the primary content marketing goal for about 41% of marketers. “Content marketing has become an increasingly important priority as the encryption of keyword-level data has removed a valuable source of information about customer search intent. Most marketers rely on several sources to inform their content marketing efforts in the absence of keyword data. About 76% will use Web analytics data as an alternative data source, followed by 67% who will use paid-search data and 46% who will rely on social network data, including likes, follows, and social sentiment.
“About 41% said that driving sales is the No. 1 goal for their content marketing strategies, and 94% put sales in their top five content marketing goals. Brand awareness was the second-most-popular goal with 88% adding it to their top five, and 21% chose lead generation as their No. 1 goal.” – Laurie Sullivan, Increase In Content Marketing Investments Compensating For Keywords Not Provided, Search Marketing Daily; Twitter: @LaurieSullivan
11. Videos are rated among the most effective content marketing tactics. “In ‘B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America,’ released by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs in October 2014, B2B marketers pointed to video as one of the top three most effective content marketing techniques. And it’s no wonder. The typical time-starved businessperson, doing research at the top of the consideration funnel, grabs a moment to watch a video because he or she is hoping to learn something quickly.
“Informational videos must therefore be short—if you don’t grab their attention in the first 20 seconds, you’ll lose them, marketers say. So, the video should be about one particular business need for one type of viewer at a particular stage of the buying cycle.” – Reach B2B Execs with Snappy Video, eMarketer; Twitter: @eMarketer
12. Content marketers curate about 25% of their content. “Even with 71% of organizations increasing their investment in content marketing this year, only marketers with well-planned content strategies will achieve positive ROI. Having the right content marketing mix and using curation to complement created content will be a key part of that success. Content curation is a growing trend for businesses seeking to provide their customers with the best, and most relevant, information on the web. Curation is implemented in content marketing strategies to support brand messaging, build awareness, provide added value for readers and ultimately drive leads.
Curata defines content curation as an individual (or team) consistently finding, organizing, annotating and sharing the most relevant and highest quality digital content on a specific topic for their target market. Today, the best content marketers are only creating 65% of content, with the rest being 25% curated and 10% syndicated. These content marketers are using the power of curation to support their creation strategies and content campaigns as a whole.” – Meg Sutton, Content Marketing Leaders: Multi-Billion Dollar Company Amplifies their Brand with Curation, Content Marketing Forum; Twitter: @curata
Content Ideation Tips
13. If it’s working, double down on your efforts. “If you’re responsible for writing one piece per week, as you may have been when launching your content marketing efforts, it’s probably pretty easy to come up with a killer idea, in the shower, or while knocking back a cold one at the bar. But in marketing the mantra is, ‘if it’s working, then double down,’ and in 2015 we’re seeing 59 percent of B2B companies publishing content weekly, daily, or multiple times a week.” – Matt Lovett, 3 Reasons Content Ideation is Essential to Content Marketers, Oz Content; Twitter: @ideasbyoz
14. Think about your audience when determining what content to create. “When you create a piece of content, ask yourself, ‘Would my audience want to pay for, share, or give up their contact information for this?’ If the answer is yes to one or more of those three factors, then you might have yourself a valuable piece of content.” – Blair Evan Ball, Commonly Used Content in Social Media Marketing, Prepare1; Twitter: @BlairEvanBall
15. Identify all key stakeholders prior to content ideation to ensure campaign feasibility. “One of the biggest challenges in working with (or for) enterprise companies is suggesting content ideas that will be approved by all relevant members of the digital marketing food chain. Typically these folks include corporate branding, the business unit that you are suggesting the content for, the individual owner of the page or content segment that the new content would apply to, social media, and of course any executives that might have veto power or who control budget to fund such an initiative. It is critical that you identify all potential stakeholders in the entire content marketing process prior to even starting the content ideation process to understand the feasibility of conducting such a campaign, as well as identify any issues or road blocks that might exist. As with anything enterprise, collaboration and stakeholder buy-in are crucial for success.” – Ray “Catfish” Comstock, The Challenge of Enterprise Link-Building in a Content Marketing World, Search Engine Watch; Twitter: @SEOCatfish
16. Use question mapping for consistently publishing relevant, valuable assets. “Whether you’re writing the blog posts yourself or working with a content writer, I would recommend question mapping to make you’re consistently publishing assets that cover what matter most to your customers. It’s a simple system for brainstorming ideas that relate directly back to customer queries – and it could be the solution for marketers looking to crowd source more content ideas.
“Having a fresh supply of blog topics and content ideas is something a lot of companies continue to struggle with. According to a recent Kapost study, half of all marketing teams struggle to come up with enough ideas for their posts an almost 70 percent wish they had a better way of crowdsourcing ideas from across their companies.
“Question mapping is a solution to both of these challenges by corralling internal expertise for fresh content topics so you can produce resources that you know your target audience wants.” – Lauren Kaye, Question mapping, the answer to your content marketing woes (+10 more topic generation tips), Brafton; Twitter: @Brafton
17. Tell your brand’s story. “Your corporate story might be old hat, known to millions. Or is it? Just because you’ve summarized your national pizza chain’s tomato-splattered birth on your website doesn’t mean anyone actually read it. Look at your brand’s origin story and see what you can mine for content. The Founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, famously took buyers from major department stores into the ladies’ room to show them how her product helped improve her body shape in a pair of white pants. This funny story immediately gives the customer insight into Sara’s pluck, creativity and determination.” – Olga Traskova, 5 Do-This-Now Content Marketing Strategies for Enterprise, Connectivity; Twitter: @ConnectivityInc
18. Brainstorming, research, and time are the ingredients for successful content ideation. “List content types as this will help you determine what content pieces you want to create, coming up with topics for your content is another challenge you’ll face. Content creation takes time, lots of brainstorming, and research. To help you get started, here are a few brainstorming tips to remember:
- Let your mind wander. Brainstorming shouldn’t be restricted; you never know when a great idea is going to come your way. Let your mind be free and relax. Avoid stressing out during the brainstorming session. If you do, it’s time to take a break and come back to brainstorming later.
- Brainstorm with others. From your team to consultants, you can brainstorm with other people and bounce ideas off each other. You don’t have to come up with creative ideas on your own, and it’s best if you don’t. When you brainstorm with others, you can see your ideas at different angles as well as your team members’ ideas.
- Use tools to help you come up with content ideas. If you don’t have the luxury of brainstorming with others or you’d like another way to brainstorm content ideas, tons of tools are available online to help you create content topics.” – Phil Teasdale, Creating Basic Content Marketing Plans, Enterprise Made Simple; Twitter: @EntMdeSmpl
19. Keyword research isn’t just for SEO; it’s also critical for content marketing. “Content marketing is all about reaching a targeted audience. The right keywords can make all the difference between an enterprise that ranks at the top of a search results page and one that languishes unseen with low SE rankings. If you can’t afford to hire a professional keyword expert, there are several free sites that can help you determine the best keywords for your digital inbound marketing campaign.” – 5 Hot Content Marketing Tips, Volunteer Bloggers; Twitter: @VolunteerBlogrz
20. Good content marketing is about storytelling. “Good storytelling can feel challenging, especially if you’re a marketer or business owner who comes from a sales background. With content marketing, you absolutely cannot and should not sell. Rather than pitching your services upfront, focus on driving awareness about your brand and thought leadership in your area of expertise. Think about moving prospects through the conversion funnel. Sales will happen as a natural byproduct of this relationship that you’re building with your customers and prospects.” – Neil Patel and Ritika Puri, The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing, Quicksprout; Twitter: @quicksprout
21. Turn to tools to uncover trending topics before they’re hot. “More savvy marketers take to vertical-specific search engines, like ClipSyndicate for local video news, Google Trends for web search volume, or Topsy for Social Analytics. From these vertical and medium-specific sites, marketers can uncover trending topics before they become “old news.” For example, content marketers looking for rights-cleared, professionally-edited video clips, ClipSyndicate offers more than 4.5 million clips, (unique content) from hundreds of TV stations. They’re also completely free to embed. As are the charts from Google trends.” – Content Marketing Tools and Tips, Critical Mention; Twitter: @criticalmention
22. Search-engine friendly content improves visibility. “More search engine visibility leads to more credibility.
“Researching the relevant keywords for high search volume and naturally implementing them within your writing is critical in creating SEO friendly content. Whether you’re writing a blog or posting a tweet, keywords can help you optimize your content for a larger reach.” – Shaista RG, 7 tips to a great content marketing strategy, Advaiya Blog; Twitter: @Advaiyasolns
23. The idea is the most important piece of the puzzle. “Without a doubt, the idea matters more than anything. The vast majority of content creators falter at this step, and it spells doom for the entire campaign, regardless of the level of production quality.
“When evaluating content ideas, we utilize an extensive vetting rubric. The purpose of each question in our rubric is to measure how strong each idea is from two specific vantage points. For example:
- Does the content say something that’s never been said before — does it bring something completely new to the Internet? Does it tell a story that hasn’t been told?
- Does the content resonate emotionally, does it initiate a reaction of surprise and delight?
“Once you’ve fully vetted your idea, you need to choose a content medium that best helps you tell your story. If you can find ways to be innovative here, the novelty and surprise factor can go a long way. Ultimately, though, it’s important to choose a medium that is best suited to your unique data/information/message.” – Kelsey Libert, Director of Promotions at Fractl, as quoted by Matthew Gratt in 3 Strategies to Make Big Content Work for Your Brand, Convince & Convert; Twitter: @KelseyLibert
24. Establish an ideation timeline. “The best teams plan five to six weeks before the desired production month. So if September is the production month, ideation should start the second or third week of July. Five weeks out is the rough brainstorm, with each member of the team bringing insights from their respective domains. Having conducted industry research and competitive analysis, the project manager brings those insights to the brainstorm. Strategists often bring market insights they’ve derived from social listening and search engine keyword analysis tools. Editorial members know what was published last month so they can provide insight into what worked, what didn’t, what post needs a follow up, and which contributors should be used. Editorial can also poll their pool of contributors for topic pitches that can be workshopped in the brainstorm.” – Steve Armenti, Building Your Idea Generation Machine from Every Corner of the Office, Content Standard by Skyword; Twitter: @armentisteve
25. Know your target audience. “Let me deal with first things first — the ‘best possible blogging topics’ are the best ones for your audience.
“Everything comes down to your audience. In fact, there is nothing more important, essential, and critical to blog success than knowing your audience.
“The story of my own blog is a testament to this fact. The longer I write my blog, the better I understand my audience. I read and respond to blog comments. I take time to read emails from my readers. I listen to what they have to say.
“It’s safe to say that I know my blog readers. And it would be almost impossible for someone else to come in and write an article — even a really, really good article — that connects with my readers in the same way.” – Neil Patel, 4 Simple Ways to Choose the Best Blog Topics for Your Audience, HubSpot; Twitter: @NeilPatel
26. Anyone can be an “idea contributor.” “Do you know people who have a million ideas in their head, but may not have the time to create content or the desire to do so?
“These folks have lots of great ideas when it comes to the topics that people might enjoy reading about. These are your ideal idea contributors.
“The best part about idea contributors is that they don’t have to be limited to people inside your content marketing team structure. Idea contributors are everyone from your customer support techs to your CEO.
“Unless they express interest in creating content, you shouldn’t pressure them to do so. Instead, just invite them to share their ideas for others to develop.
“Make it easy for idea contributors by giving them access to a shared Google spreadsheet or letting them email a specific member in the content marketing team structure. Let them contribute as little information (such as a topic idea or content title) or as much information (topic idea plus outline or main points) as they want.
“The simpler you make the process, the more ideas you can get for the content creators on your team.” – Kristi Hines, How To Structure Your Marketing Team To Create The Best Content, CoSchedule; Twitter: @CoSchedule
Content Creation Tips
27. Create (and use) a style guide for consistency. “We can argue about the intricacies of grammar, but what’s important is consistency, and this is where a style guide comes in.
“At Econsultancy, we have a style guide that we give to staff writers and outside contributors, to ensure that there is a consistent approach to the presentation and formatting of articles across the site.
“For example, all uses of words such as ‘synergy’ and ‘leverage’ are banned [in Econsultancy’s style guide].” – Graham Charlton, 15 indispensable content marketing tips, Econsultancy; Twitter: @Econsultancy
28. Add elements that make your content irresistible. “Irresistible elements can include scarcity, exclusivity, popularity, or timing. For example, you could offer a whitepaper for a limited-time or only for the first 500 people. Groupon is a great example of this, as its offers are only available for a limited time and quantity and for a discount — a triple-whammy.” – Jessica Meher, 6 Content Challenges Facing Enterprise Marketers (Plus Some Helpful Solutions), Hubspot; Twitter: @jessicameher
29. Visual content is incredibly impactful. “As content marketing has grown in popularity, marketers have become more familiar with how customers like to interact with information online. Visual content is a great cure for short attention spans, conveying a message succinctly, and it has the added benefit of presenting information in a shareable format, giving the creator a greater likelihood of achieving viral visibility. When a customer can see concepts illustrated in colorful, well-designed and compelling infographics, that customer may be better able to grasp those concepts than if they were outlined in writing—after all, visual information is processed about 60,000 times faster by the human brain than written information—and will be more likely to share that information with others in their personal networks.” – Larry Alton, Compelling infographics: 4 tips content marketers should follow, Scoop.it; Twitter: @scoopit
30. Incorporate multiple content types. “Did you know that there are well over 30 types of Content Marketing tactics? Based on the product or service that content is being created for, and the audience, there is an incredible opportunity to provide multiple content types to provide buyers with the best possible information experience. Examples of tactics that have traditionally worked well for B2B marketing include:
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Blog Posts
- Digital Newsletters
- Email Marketing
- Webinars and Real World Events
Also consider the ‘human’ side of B2B marketing through social media, mobile and visually-focused content. After all, buyers are people too.” – Ashley Zeckman, B2B Content Marketing Playbook: Tips to Prepare You for the Big Content Game, TopRank Blog; Twitter: @toprank
31. A pitch deck is a lifesaver, particularly for enterprise startups. “‘Can you send me a deck?’ Six words that can be a sales professionals nightmare. It’s not rare for a prospect to make this request with the intent of selling your product to upper management on your behalf. It’s a pride thing but can also be a disaster if the deck isn’t built in a way that can stand on its own.
“Every enterprise startup should have a pitch deck that can be shared with clients, prospects, partners and investors to communicate clearly what they do. When you develop this deck, you should consider three messages that are important to communicating your value proposition effectively. When creating a sales deck you should consider (1) The Pain (2) The Gain and (3) The Logic.
- The Pain: This is the problem they have but might not see.
- The Gain: These are the results of using your product.
- The Logic: This is exactly how you create value and drive results.” – Ross Simmonds, Five Content Marketing Growth Hacks for Enterprise Startups, Written; Twitter: @TheCoolestCool
32. Ebooks provide an opportunity to deeply connect with your target audience. “Ebooks in general are hot, with sales expected to grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018, according to PricewaterhouseCooper LLP. Ebooks, as part of a content marketing strategy, can give brands and entrepreneurs opportunities to deeply connect with their target audiences.
“Self-published titles — which many content marketers create and make available for free — represent an increasingly significant piece of the ebook ecosystem. Self-published ebooks (fiction and nonfiction) comprised 32 percent of the daily unit sales of ebook bestsellers on Amazon.com in the quarter ending October 2, 2014, up five percent from 27 percent in the quarter ending Feb. 7 of the same year, according to the Author Earnings report. These numbers are noteworthy because Amazon is the largest ebook marketplace, with 64 percent share, according to The Wall Street Journal.” – James A. Martin, How to Use Ebooks to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy, CIO; Twitter: @James_A_Martin, @CIOonline
33. Make employees from different departments a part of your content creation team. “Asking your employees to write an article, give a presentation, go to a conference, or take part in a webinar isn’t only about you. Of course, you’ll get great insights and more content to publish, but most importantly, you’ll give them a chance to express themselves.
“One of the important things in using your internal resources to produce new and engaging content, is about changing your employee’s everyday routine, and giving them a chance to speak up. Everyone likes a little change every now and then, writing an article or presenting at a job fair does just that.
“Your employees will be happy that you value their word. By turning them into authors or speakers, you will also give them a chance to build authority in the industry. It may even make their regular job easier as they will get the chance to show their side of the story (e.g. explaining what clients should include in their brief, prior sending it to the designer).
“Moreover, your team will be happy to share the content they have produced with their social networks, thus increasing your reach and brand awareness. If they are proud of what you’re publishing they will become true advocates that not only get you recognition amongst marketers but also new potential employees and customers.
“Last but not least, such projects will narrow the gap between your internal departments, who often have different goals and interests. They will get a better understanding of what others are doing and how they can streamline future processes to make their cooperation more efficient.” – Michal Leszczynski, Stop Wasting Your Resources And Start Delivering Valuable Content, GetResponse; Twitter: @getresponse
34. Create explainer videos. “An explainer video is the video you see when you land on a businesses website that explains the value proposition by also highlighting the target audiences problem. These videos aren’t that expensive if you shop around a bit and can dramatically increase your conversion rate if you develop a compelling video.
“Many businesses view videos as being a very costly expense when in reality, it’s an expense that can drive revenue and profits. A captivating and engaging explainer video can save your team time and money by providing a quick pitch on the value proposition surrounding your business. Communicating that value proposition is the most important aspect of your explainer video.
“As your team develops the video in which your business is explained you need to ensure that the script is easy to understand and flows clearly. While you’ll need to hire a video production company to manufacture this video you need to be heavily involved in writing this script. Your sales team should also be involved in the development of your explainer video. Your own team will recognize the biggest pain points of your customers and will ensure that the appropriate problem and solution is addressed. In doing so, you will have an increase probability of conversion.” – Ross Simmonds, 5 Killer Content Marketing Ideas for Enterprise Startups, RossSimmonds.com; Twitter: @TheCoolestCool
35. Content marketing begins with one “master piece” and develops into a full-blown content marketing strategy. “The phrase ‘content marketing’ is arbitrarily thrown around and is perhaps misunderstood by many. Rather than the creation of a haphazard, sporadic piece of content, content marketing must exist as an ongoing, strategic process.” This includes top-of-the funnel communications, eBooks, whitepapers, and videos for the learning stage, ROI calculators, promotional offers, and free demos in the purchase stage, among other content formats and tactics focused on various stages in the buyer’s journey. – Ashtyn Douglas, 5 Insider Tips from OMI’s Special Event: B2B Digital Marketing Essentials for 2014, Business.com; Twitter: @businessdotcom
36. A balanced approach with a mix of evergreen and timely content meets broader audience needs. “You can’t just create content—you have to create content that accounts for how your customers search. Determine your topic creation based on search analytics that are divided across two primary categories: timely and evergreen content. This two-part success formula worked so well for IBM’s Midsize Insider property that IBM won the 2013 Digiday Publishing Award for Best Content Marketing Program. Balance yours for similar results.” – Caitlin Roberson, Content Catalysts: 9 Tips for B2B Marketing with Influencers, Content Standard by Skyword; Twitter: @skyword
37. Focus on the pain points for the buyer personas you’re targeting. “Focus on your personas’ needs and pain points as you write your content. Before drafting a blog post ask, ‘How does this post meet a need or address a pain point for my followers?’
“You could write a post about the features and technology offered by your company, but if the audience can’t relate, it’s a wasted opportunity.
“By addressing a particular challenge, you are telling your audience that you understand them and you care about their needs. Communicating this builds trust with your audience. Trust is absolutely essential for converting website visitors into new clients.” – Jeremy Durant, How To Delight Your Marketing Target Audience To Boost Conversions, CoSchedule Blog; Twitter: @CoScheduleBlog
38. Identify potential brand ambassadors (internal experts) and involve them in the content marketing process. “The vast majority of our clients are in the B2B space, and while they understand the importance of blogging and content marketing, they feel that they are ‘unqualified’ to create content.
“One of my main jobs is to identify potential brand ambassadors and formulate strategies to involve them in the content marketing process.
“For example, one of my software clients was addressing a severe gap in original content. I worked with the lead support specialist for the company and in a journalist manner ‘interviewed’ him, asking him about the most frequent questions he fielded from clients, what features of his software product were his favorites, and what the clients he spoke with were most interested in when it comes to the type of software they sell.
“This gold mine of information made for a wealth of blog posts, white papers and data sheets. This is just one example of helping internal resources zero in on essential information and craft useful content.” – Erin Cushing, Social Media/Content Manager, inSegment, as quoted by David Kirkpatrick, Content Marketing: Interviewing internal resources, MarketingSherpa Blog; Twitter: @inSegment
39. Tutorials highlighting non-obvious and creative uses for your products go a long way on the social web. “Everybody wins when your customers know how to use your products.
“Not every product needs an in-depth tutorial on how it’s used. But for certain products this can be a big help.
“Does your product have cool, non-obvious uses? Is it best enjoyed in a certain condition? Is there something that the customer should do to make the most of it? By all means point all of these things out. Potential customers may see one more way to use your product and existing customers may be pleased to discover a new way to use it.” – Dan Wang, 11 Easy Content Marketing Ideas You Can Put Into Action Today, Shopify; Twitter: @Shopify
40. Engage IT decision-makers through video, social, and events. “The number of platforms available to distribute content continues to expand. The use of video, social and events provide opportunities for interaction that can boost conversations and ITDMs opinions. During the purchase process, 88% of ITDMs (IT Decision-Makers) watch a video, up from 80% in 2013. After watching the video ITDMs take action from researching a product (63%) to visiting a vendor’s site or contacting the vendor (54%). Most often watched video ad types are those that are housed as a standalone ads on a website.
“Social media sites are also capturing a large audience of ITDMs; 82% use social networks for business. Given the business focus, it is not surprising that LinkedIn is the primary social resource used. Social strategies should incorporate more than just content distribution. ITDMs are using social networking sites to interact with technology vendors. These interactions are proving to be very beneficial with 51% citing an improved customer service experience, 51% willing to recommend a technology vendor to others, 46% improving overall satisfaction with a vendor, and 46% are more likely to purchase from the technology vendor. While fewer ITDMs use Pintrest and Instragram, those users have a greater affinity and more favorable response to customer service received via those sites than other social platforms.
“Events offer multiple touch points for sharing content and conversations both during and post event. The majority of ITDMs (95%) attend industry or job-related events and 20% of IT executives say that they attend events often. There are numerous benefits attained by attending an event, from learning new concepts and ideas to networking with peers, seeing new products and learning about new vendors. These conversations and content on technology purchases have legs; 81% of ITDMs said that they are likely to share content from events.” – Research Maps Enterprise IT Customer Journey Through Content Resources, IDG Enterprise; Twitter: @idgenterprise
41. “Templatize” your enterprise. “Do you know how to write more articles in less time than you ever thought possible? Read on to discover how to templatize your article writing enterprise.
“Alex Mandossian has said, ‘Anytime you can ‘templatize your enterprise’ you will be able to accomplish more faster, easier and with less overall human effort.’
“And so it is with your article writing.
“Here’s your choice, folks. Stare at a blank screen or a blank piece of paper – knowing you want to get an article out – or look at a template where the sections in the categories of information are already set up and you’ve got to do is just fill in the blanks.
“Which one do you want to do?
“This is why I don’t believe in writer’s block. I don’t believe writer’s block exists. I believe it’s something that writers created when they’re stuck. They say that they have writer’s block. Then aspiring writers get stuck and they get to say that they have writer’s block. They figure, ‘I must be a writer. I have writer’s block.’
“But let me ask you something. Have you ever had ‘eating block’, ‘bike riding block’, ‘watching TV block’? Come on! With templates you never have to worry about writer’s block again.
“One way to do this is to look back over your own inventory of articles. Look for the patterns in your articles, the structure in your articles, the method in your madness if you will. You can create your own article writing templates from the articles you have already written.
“The ideas are there in front of you. Your screen or piece of paper is not blank. You’ve just got to fill in the categories. I call it ‘Plug and Play’. Plug in your information and you get to play on the internet with your articles.” – Jeff Herring, Practical Content Marketing Tips – How to Write More Articles When You “Templatize Your Enterprise”, JeffHerring.com; Twitter: @JeffHerring
42. Enterprises need a standard marketing measurement framework. “Organizations need a single yardstick — a standardized marketing measurement framework — to understand the performance of their marketing activities across the entire enterprise, spanning their different operating markets, brands, divisions, etc. Having such a framework delivers the following benefits:
Improved accountability. Individual teams are no longer able to just present results in a manner that makes them look good. A common measurement framework allows the setting and measuring of performance against cascading goals. Enterprises are also able to map the effect marketing activities are having on business objectives — like sales and brand equity — more easily.
Increased effectiveness. It is easier to understand what works and what doesn’t, both in terms of current activities across business units and historical comparisons. These learnings can be used to improve the overall effectiveness of activities and the allocation of spend across channels, campaigns, regions, divisions, brands, etc.
Improved collaboration. A standard measurement framework creates a common language for different functions, divisions, and regions to communicate with. By improving collaboration, overall productivity increases.
Creation of a data-smart culture. With a measurement foundation in place, marketing organizations can become increasingly data-driven in making both strategic and tactical decisions. A measurement standard allows the marketing organization to optimize for the global maxima rather than be satisfied with local optima.” – Opher Kahane, 8 Tips For Implementing An Enterprise-Wide Marketing Measurement Framework, Origami Logic; Twitter: @OrigamiLogic
43. Get personal. “You won’t get far without the right personalization technique. Global corporations know that personalization is a huge factor in attracting customers. A combined 37 percent of enterprises cite personalization as a top priority (32 percent) or the highest priority (5 percent). Only one-third of the surveyed organizations said personalization was either a low priority or no priority at all.
“How can you get more personal with your customers? Create personas and segments of your audience, and develop targeted content appropriately. You can also use tools to automate lead nurturing based on a consumer’s interest in previous content. Even something as simple as adding a first name to an email can make a difference.” – ClickZ Staff, 5 Steps to Creating an Enterprise-Level Digital Marketing Campaign, ClickZ; Twitter: @ClickZ
44. Plan for each content series. “ Creating a content series for your blog catering to your target audience is an excellent way to develop a loyal following that’s hungry for more content.
“Once you’ve chosen the topic for your content series, it’s time to select a title, outlinebusiness benefits and the target audience. Once you’ve established the groundwork for the campaign, identify content types that will be utilized such as surveys, email blasts, blog articles, infographics, Twitter chats etc… Now that you have the content bugs worked out, determine the timing and schedule for the campaign.
“Articulate several major campaign goals to meet at the conclusion of the campaign. A goal might be something like this: ‘generate at least five quality leads throughout the campaign.’ Consider the required preparation for the content series and what challenges you may encounter along the way.” – Brian Jameson, Three Content Marketing Tips for IT Services Companies, Echogravity; Twitter: @echogravity
45. Repurpose your deliverables. “Forbes recently reported that 69% of CEOs believe that their marketing organizations waste money on redundant marketing initiatives. Apparently, marketers agree.
“Successful marketers know that by maximizing their investments through repurposing their deliverables, they can help alleviate this concern. In a 2014 survey, conducted by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of CMOs said they were also looking for ways to repurpose content across new platforms within the next 12months, without recreating or reformatting it in any way.
“Rather than creating individual marketing deliverables for each event or product launch, and instead of spending money on content specific to a channel or device, focus on reusing and repurposing the same content marketing applications across any device or marketing channel.
“Similar to responsive design, new marketing platforms (like the Kaon Application Delivery Network) are finally allowing for interactive content to be created once and deployed everywhere (mobile devices, tablets, desktops, websites, touch screens, etc.). This gives companies the ability to create one cost-effective “user-driven” piece of content that can address multiple constituents within the buying ecosystem, across multiple selling environments (sales meetings, websites, trade shows, briefing centers, training, etc.). Same brand, same message, same value story.” – Gavin Finn, President and CEO of Kaon Interactive, Five Tips to Make Your Content Stand Out From the Crowd, MarketingProfs; Twitter: @marketing3D
46. Don’t neglect long-form content. “Long-form content is a lost art, one that has been neglected by both writers and readers alike. In today’s world of ‘I want it fast,’ ‘I want it easy,’ and ‘I want it now,’ long-form content has been mistakenly relegated to magazine feature articles or the occasional news editorial. If you find a long-form article online that isn’t a persona blog, applaud yourself, you’ve found a diamond in the rough.
“But despite the modern world’s need for quick-hit-content, long-form content pieces actually do better in terms of engagement and on social media sites.
“A 2014 report by NewsWhip found that long form articles do well on social, especially when accessed from mobile devices. In 2013, they chose the top 10-most shared stories on Facebook from a variety of publishers, and the average word counts were 1,000 words or more. Steve Rayson gives an overview of seven studies from 2014 that show long form content drives high levels of performance, thrives online and holds a lively presence on social media.” – Sarah Bricker, 5 Tips for Producing Engaging Long-Form Content, OpenTopic; Twitter: @opentopic
47. Create an emotional connection. “Help humanize your brand and build an emotional connection with your audience via campaigns that move and unite people. Hoover is a great example. When they received hand-drawn pictures of their vacuums from Marcus Bartlett, an autistic teenager with a love of household appliances, Hoover was inspired to launch a global social media campaign. They asked for people all over the world to print and hang up the drawings and send back photos. The result? A surprisingly touching campaign for an everyday product.
“And you don’t even have to be the one creating content. One small good deed can be all it takes to get the internet buzzing about your business – eyewear company Warby Parker could tell you that. A customer of theirs had her car stolen, something she happened to mention while at the store. A week later she received the following hand-written note with a $20 gift certificate for a local bar she’d commented on liking.
“This one simple gesture moved the customer so much, she shared it on social media and it then went viral. The story continued to snowball, getting picked up by sites such as Business Insider and The Huffington Post. Usually you’d struggle to get that kind of publicity for $20,000, but Warby Parker did it for $20! What’s more, many folks hadn’t heard of the company before this. Now it’s a name they won’t forget.” – Purna Virji, 4 Effective Customer-Centric Content Marketing Ideas for “Boring” Industries, Search Engine Watch; Twitter: @purnavirji
48. Narratives and stories are powerful. “When we hear information-–for example, a/b test results—we activate the part of our brain responsible for processing language. All we’re doing is taking in the words and figuring out what they mean.
“But when we hear stories, our brain acts as if we’re feeling the stories.
“In one study at the University of Washington in St. Louis, researchers studied people’s brain activity while they read a story about a boy named Raymond.
“What they found was amazing: when Raymond picked up an object, the neurons responsible for hand movements in the participants’ brains fired. And when Raymond looked at what was around him, the neurons related to vision fired, too.
“When we hear stories, our brain acts as if we’re living them.
“So when marketers say that stories engage your readers, it’s not fluff; it’s psychology, and it’s incredibly powerful.” – Alex Turnbull, The Power of Storytelling: How We Got 300% More People to Read Our Content, Buffer; Twitter: @buffer
Building an Efficient Content Marketing Team
49. A formal content marketing team should be established alongside your central enterprise marketing team. “Enterprise content marketing programs start from the bottom up when sales, marketing, and product teams look to fill a specific need. But businesses must have a model in place to make these organic efforts sustainable.
“Some of the best recent research in this area was conducted by The Corporate Executive Board Company in conjunction with Google. Together, they published an e-book on the digital evolution in marketing, which includes a chapter on content marketing. This report offers two important ideas for content marketers:
- To ensure high-quality and cohesive messaging, a formal content marketing team must be created and placed alongside the central marketing team.
- To achieve scale and sustainability, content teams should be led by a strategic marketer alongside a managing editor.” – Dan Baptiste, Orchestrating Enterprise Content Marketing Efforts Across Your Organization, Content Standard by Skyword; Twitter: @Skyword
50. Integrate your teams’ goals for marketing-sales alignment. “Synergy and a clear division of labor between sales and marketing are absolutely crucial for enterprise startups. HubSpot calls this ‘smarketing.‘
“You too can implement this alignment by integrating your teams’ tools to help each party better understand which leads convert best. You can also have marketers sit in on sales calls and encourage your sales team to give marketers feedback on lead quality. HubSpot takes this idea of alignment to the extreme by giving its marketing team a lead quota its members must meet each week.
“To boost your own startup’s credibility, good strategies include hosting webinars, gathering user testimonials and working to turn your biggest customers into brand advocates. While the old adage “No one ever got fired for buying IBM” may seem outdated, it still applies to enterprise startups. Most potential customers want proof that your company is reliable and that other respectable businesses use your products.” – Tx Zhuo, 5 Enterprise Marketing Secrets From Ahead-of-the-Curve Companies Like Hubspot, Entrepreneur; Twitter: @Entrepreneur
51. Make sure your expectations are clear when hiring a content strategist. “If you’re looking for enterprise content strategy at your organisation, then you’re looking for that larger change management piece. Something I’ve run into a lot lately is the confusion in the market between page-level content strategy, content marketing strategy and what I call enterprise content strategy. I think a bit of caveat emptor or ‘buyer beware’ is in order any time you seek to fill a content strategy role. Make sure your expectations are clearly defined ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk not achieving the content goals you had hoped for in the position.” – Kris Mausser, management consultant and co-owner of Kina’ole Inc., as quoted by Fiona Cullinan in 10 tips for hiring the perfect content strategist, Firehead; Twitter: @FireheadLtd
52. Have the three pillars in place (PR, social media, and search) before hashing out your content strategy. “Although many companies would like to think they have good coordination between these three groups, an investigation in retrospect is warranted because, often, the following scenario transpires: The CEO proposes topics she believes the market is talking about. Then, PR publishes content around that topic without consulting with social media on what the market is really talking about. Then, as an afterthought, when the content doesn’t resonate or is not found, PR and/or the social media team come to the search team for consulting and help in getting it optimized. However, because the content has already been written, what often ends up posted is an awkward piece that has been unnaturally optimized and doesn’t necessarily speak to the audience’s needs or tastes.” – Brian Watson, 3 Tips for Implementing a Successful Content Marketing Strategy, Adobe Digital Marketing Blog; Twitter: @brianwcontent
53. Bring your team together. “Large organizations often have an isolation problem. Marketing is one department, sales is another, and nobody talks to customer service. Content marketing requires integration…and done well, benefits everyone. The challenge is getting everyone on board. The key is in presentation. Getting stakeholders in the game might be as simple as outlining how content marketing is advantageous for all departments. In other words: you have to sell it.
“The concept of content marketing might be just what you need to unite your teams and streamline your efforts. Show each team how a content marketing initiative will positively impact the objectives for each team. For example, content serves as the landing page and CTA for marketing efforts, bolsters sales by providing customers still in the decision phase of the buying cycle with reasons to buy, and takes the pressure off customer service by providing in-depth answers to the questions customers most frequently ask. Your social media team will be happy with interesting content to share, and your IT department needs to be on board to build the conversion structure for your landing pages.” – An Integrated Transition to Enterprise Content Marketing, Cultivate; Twitter: @CultivateComm
54. Hire a seasoned writer/managing editor. “I always recommend working with someone who can write rather than someone who knows marketing. Good writing is a skill that’s developed over years. Hire a writer and teach them technology and marketing rather than hiring a tech and waiting for them to become a good writer. One takes weeks, the other takes years.
“Make this person the managing editor. You’ll also want articles and information from other employees and guest bloggers — your managing editor will conduct interviews, write and edit stories, and be in charge of the entire content marketing team.
“This person should also be OCD. Any managing editor worth their salt is a great project manager. It isn’t only about editing and publishing content. They must also manage contractors, project workflows, and calendars. They are the right hand to the marketing leader.” – Kyle Lacy, Head of Marketing Strategy for OpenView, Building a Content Marketing Team for Your Startup? Here’s Who You Should Hire First, HubSpot; Twitter: @HubSpot, @OpenViewVenture
55. You need different types of talent. “No matter what type of team you set out to build, you don’t want to stack it top to bottom with redundant talent. The roster of highly accomplished teams comprises a variety of talents that complement each other.
“Jayson DeMers, of AudienceBloom, who delivers content marketing advice with guest blog contributions for a number of prominent publishers, suggests the most successful content marketing teams have talent in the following four areas.
- Business strategy. To be effective, content marketing strategy must integrate into your core marketing goals. Your content marketing team must thoroughly understand the market, how your company is to be positioned, its goals, and how success is measured.
- Online marketing. Your content marketing team must include an expert who can get the content discovered by potential customers and influencers. A wide range of skills come into play, which at a minimum should include SEO, social media, email marketing, and guest blogging.
- Client communications. Your content marketing team will benefit from someone adept at interacting with customers. Jayson writes, “Your ability to intuitively understand clients, to answer hard questions, and to judge whether a specific channel or piece of content is right for them will be infinitely better if you regularly interact with the people you serve.” He suggests having someone like this work closely with your content marketing team.
- Content creators. You need a strong writer, or several, who understand your business and can consistently produce great content.” – Jayson DeMers of AudienceBloom, as cited by Barry Feldman in Building the Content Marketing Team to Take You to the Promised Land, iAcquire; Twitter: @AudienceBloom, @iAcquire
56. The team you build should reflect the underlying needs of your content strategy. “Since 2006 I’ve had the pleasure of assembling a marvellous team here at Econsultancy. We box well above our weight – there are only six of us on ‘Team Content’ yet we’re averaging more than a million stories read a month. Not bad, for a niche blog.
“But what would a content team look like if I were to assemble one from scratch today? What skills are required in 2014, in the post-social, content marketing, mobile age? What is the perfect recipe for success?
“Here’s what I think (the royal) we need:
- More visual design chops. Data visualisation FTW.
- To doff our hats in the direction of Nate Silver / Freakonomics and get better at creating compelling stories out of facts and figures. Data journalism wins too!
- To fully understand what makes the audience tick.
- To gather feedback and react to it. Promptly.
- To dive headfirst into our analytics tools to make sense of what works, and what doesn’t.
- To constantly tweak our tactics.
- Strong distribution processes.
- Teams that support one another, and to work with other people across the business.
- We also need technology platforms that support content teams, for content can only go so far.” – Chris Lake (now VP of Inbound Marketing at DueDil), Introducing the Content Marketing Team Matrix, Econsultancy; Twitter: @Econsultancy
57. Don’t forget to hire a great storyteller. “A good storyteller on your team means you have the power to harness things like epic, myth, Shakespeare’s 5-act structure, and characterization into your marketing. Seriously, that’s powerful stuff. With one study showing enormous boosts in Facebook shares when using a brand character (585% for Charmin, 279% for Tony the Tiger), it’s lucrative to make sure you have someone who knows how to weave a yarn that can draw your audience in.” – NewsCred Contributor Lauren B. Mangiaforte, 10 Creative Types You Need To Build A Killer Content Marketing Team, published on B2B Marketing Insider; Twitter: @LBMForte
58. Hire someone who knows SEO better than you. “SEO plays a big role in content marketing. You need to hire someone who has experience and knowledge in the field who can help you make sure you’re writing about the right things and taking advantage of the right opportunities.” – Sujan Patel, 37+ Tips and Resources for Building a Fine-Tuned Content Marketing Machine From the Ground Up, Buffer Social; Twitter: @buffer
59. A strong leader oversees your overall content strategy. “The chief content officer is a somewhat new title in the C-suite. You don’t necessarily need someone with CCO on his or her nameplate, but you do need a leader—the person who owns content marketing strategy.
“Whichever title you give to your director, he or she is responsible for documenting the strategy and leading the content marketing team. The CCO owns the goals, so his or her domain includes executing programs to accomplish them. And because content marketing is not campaign-based (that is, it has no end date), the strategy, oversight, measurement and refinement are continuous, so all responsibilities are always on his or her plate.
“The CCO or content marketing director must always have their finger on the pulse of each initiative and the content marketing efforts at large. The chief’s also responsible for assessing specific metrics to gauge performance.
“The content marketing leader works with the team to establish and maintain the voice of the content. Generally speaking, the same person is responsible for approving the publication of all content.
“The chief guides the entire tribe and should ensure excellence across:
- Editorial and production of content of all types
- Platforms and web resources
- Integration of marketing strategies, including social media
- Freelancer resources
- Content promotion
- Audience development
- Measurement” – Barry Feldman, Content Marketing Roles: A Guide to Building Your Team, Feldman Creative; Twitter: @FeldmanCreative
Content Strategy Tips
60. Always start with strategy. “It is hugely important that the content creation team (or person) has an understanding of who your customers are, what your business does, what needs your products or services satisfy, what language or jargon and tone of voice is appropriate for your customers and most importantly, what success looks like.
“It is necessary to analyse personas and to develop content that will engage these potential customers.
“Before conducting any research into potential search queries it is important to have an in-depth conversation to get familiar with USPs and competition, market reach and business goals.
“These should all influence the type of content you are creating.
“How frequently should you be publishing? What form will the content take? Who will be the business lead for this content?
“The strategy should always be focused on solutions. It should answer your potential customers’ questions and should give value. It should also be structured for ease of indexing by search engines so your customers can find your solutions easily.” – Mike Morgan, 12 essential tips for developing a content marketing strategy, TrinityP3; Twitter: @TrinityP3
61. Align your content goals with overall business goals. “When you’re planning a piece of content, how do you decide what is worth creating and what you should pass on? Every piece of content you commit to should serve a clear purpose for your marketing efforts.
“So what are you trying to accomplish? Here are some common content marketing objectives to consider:
- Increase brand awareness in key markets or verticals
- Drive referral traffic back to your website
- Increase signups
- Drive readers to a lead-generation landing page/form fill
“Notice how none of these content marketing goals amount to Likes, Retweets or Favorites—so-called vanity metrics. That’s because, as with your social media goals, it’s absolutely essential for your content marketing goals to align back to your broader business goals. This alignment forces you to think of content in terms of business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales—metrics other teams are working towards as well. It also helps you prove the value of your content marketing efforts on a larger scale, which is extremely valuable when dealing with stakeholders who either aren’t exposed to the content marketing side of your business, or who are skeptical of its value.” – Evan LePage, How to Create A Content Marketing Strategy: A Walkthrough, Hootsuite; Twitter: @Hootsuite
62. Don’t just create more content without having a clearly defined content marketing strategy. “I’m surprised at how content marketing, as a term, has become the practice-area term for enterprise marketers. It’s amazing how fast that actually happened. On the downside, I’m surprised by how many marketers are creating much more content without having any kind of documented content marketing strategy.
“I was recently at a conference of digital marketers. Almost all of those present were using content marketing, and most planned on creating and distributing more content in the next 12 months. At the same time, just about 10% had a content strategy tied to business objectives. It’s unbelievable to me how old this industry is, and yet how immature we are at the same time.” – Joe Pulizzi, via An Interview With Joe Pulizzi On Content Marketing by Arnie Kuenn, Marketing Land; Twitter: @JoePulizzi, @Marketingland
63. Map your content to personas and lifecycle stages. “You can lower the cost of customer acquisition by making your content work harder for you — through segmentation, personalization, and targeting. Your content creation strategy should revolve around buyer personas and lifecycle stages.
“These personas are a sort of customer profile that outline exactly what a prospect’s pain points are, and developing them will help you create content that speaks to their needs. Lifecycle stages are just what they sound like — stages in the customer lifecycle that bring someone from a stranger, to your customer.
“By mapping content to these personas and stages, you can better guide your leads to the point of becoming a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and ultimately, a customer.” – Rosalia Cefalu, 3 Big Problems Plaguing Enterprise Marketers (And How to Overcome Them), HubSpot; Twitter: @HubSpot
64. There’s a clear shift to customer-centric communications. “As digital marketing continues to shift from batch-and-blast campaigns to customer-centric communications based on current interactions and buying cycles, lifecycle marketing becomes even more critical for maintaining engagement and driving higher customer lifetime value. To be successful, email marketers must evolve beyond simple “welcome” and “cart-abandonment” programs to embrace a wider range of multi-step, multi-series programs that reflect the entire customer lifecycle.” – 7 Essential Lifecycle Marketing Programs for Email Marketers, StrongView via SteamFeed; Twitter: @StrongView
65. Enterprise content marketing budgets are split among content creation, management, and promotion. “Budgets are now allocated, on average, in a 50/25/25 split among content creation, management and promotion. Promotion is essential to back up the resources invested in creation. ‘If you are going to invest in creating content, you MUST invest in promoting it as well,’ the report argues.” – Marshall Kirkpatrick, The Future of Enterprise Content Marketing: Cloudy, citing The State of Enterprise Content Marketing: 2014 from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Little Bird; Twitter: @marshallk, @GetLittleBird
66. Measurement is key to refining your enterprise content marketing strategy. “Only 35% of marketing executives say they can calculate the ROI of their marketing spend most or all of the time, according to a survey by B2B Marketing. The rest of those surveyed admitted that they can calculate ROI some of the time, rarely, or not at all.
“So how do you maximize the financial effectiveness of marketing and generate customer engagement?
“The answer is twofold: You need to avoid common measurement errors to extract the most actionable data while simultaneously measuring all touchpoints throughout the purchase funnel. The two processes go hand in hand. With those metrics, you can build an agile marketing strategy that can adapt to the pace of technology change and consumer behavior.” – Matt Voda, Marketers Need to Measure All Touchpoints Throughout the Purchase Funnel, MarketingProfs; Twitter: @MarketingProfs
67. Integration is key. “Not surprisingly, enterprise organizations are far more challenged with lack of integration across marketing than their small-business counterparts. As more people, products, and geographies become involved — producing integrated content can get pretty complicated.
“Ideas: Large organizations like SAP, SAS, Kelly Services, and Intel have complex B2B marketing programs. At last year’s Content Marketing World, we had the pleasure of sitting down with key individuals from these teams to talk about how they manage the process of content marketing. There aren’t any shortcuts — and it involves a lot of work — but there are ways to create efficiencies to minimize the burdens.
“While the following ideas will be most useful for enterprise organizations, smaller businesses can also use some of these approaches:
- Elizabeth Gaines from SAP talked about how her company has content account managers who are plugged into all of the field marketing teams and geographies.
- Pam Didner talked about Intel’s editorial planning process. Her team has aneditorial calendar that they create a year in advance, and adjust throughout the year, as necessary. She then presents it to the various stakeholders across her organization (even though for her that means presenting that calendar 30 times).
- Kelly LeVoyer and Waynette Tubbs shared that everyone at SAS contributes to one large plan. They also make sure everyone knows the roles assigned to each team — and what KPIs they are being measured on — which, they have found, helps the content marketing plan come together much more cohesively.
- Michael Kirsten from Kelly Services says that he spends at least 30 percent of his time on intra- and inter-organizational communication.” – Michelle Linn, B2B Marketing: 9 Ideas for Solving Your Biggest Content Challenges, Content Marketing Institute; Twitter: @CMIContent
68. Relevance and value matter more than the size of your enterprise content marketing budget. “Yes, it’s noisy out there. Publishing and distribution tools now theoretically make anyone a mass publisher. And, yes, in a world where content multiplies exponentially and time remains finite, it’s harder to be remarkable. Yes, a big brand can pay more to rise above the noise, but bigger budgets cannot pay to have more relevance and value to a customer. It is a leveling of the playing field, not a fix in the game. Noise affects everyone equally. So – the brands that get “good at content” and deliver value to a highly focused audience will be the ones to succeed.
“The opportunity for content is not simply an advertising mandate; this is an everything-the-company-communicates mandate. Simply paying for attention will no longer do. We, as marketers, have to hold that attention long enough so that we matter to customers.” – Robert Rose, The State of Content Marketing 2015 – Stronger With a Twist of Scale, Content Marketing Institute; Twitter: @CMIContent
69. Plan, but be flexible, when it comes to second-screen content marketing. “Planning has its place. But real-time marketing is all about your ability to go with the flow. If you plan a campaign or tactic based on the belief that something specific will happen, you have to be ready to pivot if that doesn’t happen. And, of course, you have to be ready for the truly unexpected, as Oreo famously was during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.” – Manya Chylinski, TV and Mobile: 5 Tips for Second Screen Content Marketing, Momentum – The Content Marketing Blog; Twitter: @Alley424
70. Focus on your objectives, then come up with a pipeline based on what you’re trying to achieve. “How companies use content marketing really depends on the project that they’re working on, and B2B marketers should focus on their objectives first, then come up with a pipeline based on what they’re trying to achieve, and really follow through on that journey. Outbrain is just one tool of many that marketers can leverage toward this end.
“Advice for B2B marketers: go back to your content strategy and clarify it, even before you create your content plan. From there, you need to consider what ROI and success is going to look like before you even begin.” – Isabella Barbato, Content Marketing Objectives for B2B Companies: Interview with Lauren Bartlett, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Outbrain; Twitter: @Outbrain
71. Create a map. “In other words, you need a global content strategy that outlines where you’re going in social, what your overall themes will be for the year, how you will measure results, and especially WHY you are doing this. Share this strategy with your distributed teams, so everybody’s on the same page.” – Courtney Doman, Get on the Bus: Tips for Operationalizing Social Media Across the Enterprise, Spredfast; Twitter: @Spredfast
72. You need a content marketing mission statement. “In almost every one of my keynote presentations, I cover the content marketing mission statement. It’s critical to set the tone for the idea of content marketing, or any marketing for that matter. Marketing professionals from small and large businesses get so fixated on channels such as blogs, Facebook or Pinterest that they honestly have no clue of the underlying reason for why they should use that channel in the first place. So, the why must come before the what. This seems obvious, but most marketers have no mission statement or core strategy behind the content they develop. Epic content marketing is impossible without a clear and formidable why.
“Think of it this way: What if you were the leading trade magazine for your niche area? What if your goal was not to first sell products and services but to impact your readers with amazing information that changes their lives and careers?” – Joe Pulizzi, Why Your Enterprise Needs a Content Marketing Mission Statement, The Content Wrangler; Twitter: @JoePulizzi, @ContentWrangler
73. Create opportunities to document wins. “More than just documenting wins,you have to create the opportunity to document wins, to the point where everything you produced is tagged so it can be measured in analytics. Google’s URL builder and Bitly are important tools for getting there – it’s an extra step when you’re trying get content out so you can move onto the next part of your day – but it’s incredibly valuable when the time comes to make your case.
“There are other ways to document too – screen shots on Twitter, comments on posts, I’ve got a folder in my email dedicated to ‘social proof.’ I’d send little notes to a marketing manager documenting little wins – drawing the connection between content and downloads for example. Most of this has been anecdotal as we are still in the process of implementing some additional analytics tools, but over time, the point starts to resonate. Whereas two years ago, I found myself pleading for a little (and I do mean little) budget for content programs, today a few have provide a dedicated monthly allocation to the effort.” – Frank Strong, Engineering the Enterprise for Content Marketing, Sword and the Script; Twitter: @Frank_Strong
74. Create a frictionless experience. “One of the bigger email marketing challenges for enterprises is getting customers to convert. Even if you’re sending great responsive emails, that won’t matter if the email sends customers to a website that isn’t optimized for mobile purchases.
“Mobile shoppers often abandon their carts, because it’s just too hard to complete a purchase. To fix that, enterprises should focus on creating as frictionless an experience as possible.
“‘A huge reason for shopping cart abandonment is friction – there are often too many keystrokes and clicks involved, not to mention hyperlinks to the web, required usernames and passwords or even app downloads,’ says Meagan Rhodes, Digital Marketing Lead for @Pay. ‘Transactions via email are quickly becoming the newest email marketing trend. Gmail has created their own solution, and @Pay has invented another that allows repeat customers to purchase in two clicks – without ever leaving their email inbox.'” – Blaise Lucey, 6 Experts Share Their Enterprise Email Marketing Strategies, Moveable Ink; Twitter: @moveableink
75. Conduct a content inventory. “Sometimes also called a content audit, a content inventory is a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative content assessment that provides a critical baseline for all your content analysis, content migration, and content marketing efforts. (Some field experts distinguish between a content inventory as a more broad, numeric analysis, and refer to a content audit as a more qualitative snapshot. DEG tends to use the term content inventory, because that reflects more of the terminology we hear from our business users.)
“A content inventory can also help inform other enterprise collaboration goals – such as using discovery processes and user experience analyses to develop information architectures. In our experience, we especially encounter clients needing to carry out a content inventory before migrating to Sharepoint.” – Maril Hazlett, Ph.D, Five Tips For a Better Content Inventory, DEG Digital; Twitter: @DEGdigital
76. Step back from tactics and focus on your content marketing strategy. “In the last 12 months of the renewed industry focus on content marketing, the data suggests enterprise marketers have engaged in a ‘content frenzy’; writing volumes of content while struggling to develop a cohesive strategy.
“The mere 13 percent of marketers who believe their content strategy is successful at achieving their objectives suggests something must change. Now, marketers must take a step back from the tactics of content marketing to refine their strategy.
“This means asking and answering questions like:
- Who is my audience?
- What are their challenges/desires?
- What content types most appeal to them?
“Taking a step back from the day to day of content marketing to develop an effective content marketing strategy will help marketers to better ‘aim the content’ arrow which ultimately will help them better achieve their goals.” – Nathan Safran, Why Content Marketers Should Step Back From Creation and Focus On Strategy, Search Engine Watch; Twitter: @nathan_safran
77. Break down complex processes into simple steps. “No matter which McDonald’s you go to, your Big Mac always tastes the same. That level of consistency is something chefs spend years honing, yet teenage McDonald’s employees pull it off with ease.
“That’s because McDonald’s has distilled every aspect of the Big Mac process into tiny, itemized steps. They are laid out in terms even a moderately skilled worker can understand. It requires a great deal of expertise to design such a system for your content, but just about anyone can execute it.” – Brian Honigman, How a Style Guide Can Help You Overcome Enterprise Content Marketing Challenges, Content Standard by Skyword; Twitter: @Skyword
78. An enterprise content strategy differs considerably from a content strategy for the web, a specific project, or even for a functional tactic. “Companies must move beyond siloed, marketing campaign oriented project approaches to content, to a holistic, enterprise, customer-centric approach to content.
“To support this strategic objective, a content strategy must be developed for the enterprise.This means decisions, budgets and even execution responsibility must be elevated above tactics within siloed functions (see Content Strategy Beyond Marketing and Websites) and become an enterprise level initiative (see Content Is a Strategic Imperative).
“The content strategy must be developed as a strategic deliverable, concurrent with, and in support of, business and go-to-market strategy development.
“But content strategy has emerged from website and content project activities. There is no standard, definition or framework for enterprise content strategy development.” – Jim Burns, Executive Summary: 6 Competency Framework for Enterprise Content Strategy, Avitage; Twitter: @salesvpi
79. Content marketing success is about the wizard, not the wand. “You can buy the best software in the world, but if you don’t have smart, dedicated marketers to operate it, the outcome will be middling, at best. All modern marketing software (of any stripe) requires labor to make the magic happen. That makes the true cost of software ownership not just licensing and training costs, but salaries and benefits, too. It’s another reason why I’m not sure SMB will embrace content marketing with the same fervor as they have social media. Many of those companies have only recently finished swallowing the new software and personnel expenses needed to ‘get good’ at social, and now they are expected to do it again with content marketing?
“A more likely scenario for those companies may be that they task their social teams with doing content as well.” – Jay Baer, Here Comes the Content Marketing Shakeout, Convince & Convert; Twitter: @convince
80. An integrated measurement approach is just as important as an integrated content strategy. “If you’re still trying to show ROI for your marketing efforts by tracking all your keywords, topics, and content separately, you’re probably among the 79% of marketers who feel showing return on marketing initiatives is a challenge. For lots of marketers and SEO teams, getting actionable data may still mean viewing all your data lumped into predefined groups set up by analytics companies who don’t know your business model, or sorting through thousands of keywords and hundreds of pieces of content separately. No wonder so many are having trouble getting the data they need. Getting an organizational structure in place to view the data you need, categorized in a way that mirrors how your marketing and SEO efforts are already organized will help you track your KPIs and inform your marketing decisions. Keyword groups and content groups are a quick and efficient way to better understand your marketing and SEO performance.” – Karen Scates, Improve Marketing Intelligence Data with Keyword and Content Groups, Ginza Metrics; Twitter: @ginzametrics
81. Start with your audience. “Before diving in to content creation, take the time to perform the necessary research and start gathering insights. Keep in mind that the key to an audience-centric strategy lies in what you’re researching. Do you start with a content audit that examines the gaps in your company’s website? No. An audience-centric content strategy starts with the audience – the market research. Who is talking about you online? What are they saying? And where are they saying it? This is a crucial first step.” – Haley Hite, The 3 Most Important Steps for Your Next Content Strategy Refresh, DivvyHQ; Twitter: @DivvyHQ
82. There are plenty of tools to choose from that make editorial calendars easy to create and manage. “There are lots of dedicated tools on the market that offer a wide range of calendaring capabilities.
“In addition, many content collaboration solutions (including some of the ones mentioned in our Content Collaboration Tools Technology Report) have integrated tools that can help marketing teams manage editorial processes. For example, during a recent CMI Twitter Chat on content marketing workflows, CMI’s VP of Content, Michele Linn, mentioned that collaboration management tool, Trello, has a calendar view that marketers can access as a “power-up” feature. And chat participant, Alexander Montville, mentioned that he uses Intuit’s QuickBase to help his team manage the efforts of a wide range of writers.” – Jodi Harris, A Content Marketer’s Checklist: Editorial Calendar Essentials, Content Marketing Institute; Twitter: @Joderama
83. Stop thinking about “marketing” and start thinking about “helping.” “Remember when you were a young child, anxiously awaiting a bedtime story? How satisfied would you have been with, ‘Once upon a time, the end’? Not very.
“Content marketing is no different. No matter how much time it takes to craft a masterpiece, good content marketing is not any single piece of content.
Modern marketers plan ahead with not only an outline and an objective for one piece, but they also consider the larger story their brand is telling and they tell that story with a regular cadence that connects to their product roadmap, sponsored events, and other business milestones. Modern marketers build trust with their audience with useful content and, in due time, that audience converts.
“That’s because helping people is more effective than interrupting them with advertising.
“Most of your audience will not have an immediate, unmet need for the services you provide. Publishing at people and then expecting them to be instantly receptive to a telemarketer or sales call is unrealistic.
It’s time to stop content marketing, and start helping. It’s time to stop thinking of your content as a sales opportunity and start thinking of it as an opportunity to help people.” – Using content marketing for B2B lead generation, Smart Insights; Twitter: @SmartInsights
Content Distribution and Curation Tips
84. Use LinkedIn to establish thought leadership. “In addition to a blog hosted on your own domain, another great platform B2B companies are leveraging to establish thought leadership is LinkedIn. The social site is built for professionals to connect with one another, and now that LinkedIn has given every user the opportunity to publish content directly to the platform, marketers can share their insights with colleagues and potential customers. With paid distribution, marketers can also sponsor content like e-books and blog posts, and hyper-target that content to a very specific readership.
“According to the CMI’s studies, 87 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content (tying Twitter as the most-used platform) and cite LinkedIn as their most effective social media platform.” – Amanda Walgrove, State of Content Marketing: B2B Tech, Contently; Twitter: @Contently
85. De-silo content responsibility within your enterprise. “Attempts to satisfy the problem of creating content at scale has led brands to demand content from almost every business unit. This has led to a fragmented strategy that results in wide variations in voice, tone, brand, messaging and customer experience. This issue in particular has led to the conclusion that brands must organize and prepare for content to satisfy demand and maintain brand standards.” – Aaron Aders, Co-founder and CSO, DigitalRelevance, Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working, Inc.com; Twitter: @drelevance
86. Clearly define your business and marketing objectives before you go global. “Organizations go global to grow their businesses, but they need to focus on specific marketing objectives to accomplish that growth. Your marketing objectives will help determine the type of content you need to create. Global, in the context of enterprise organizations, is a continuous collaboration between local teams and their headquarters. When you start your global go-to-market plan and effort, it’s important to include your local teams.” – Pam Didner, The Shift to Global Content Marketing: Interview with Skyword, Global Content Marketing; Twitter: @PamDidner
87. Adopt a functional content management system. “Today, many businesses have document and content management systems or similar solutions (intranet, collaboration) but too often they are underused in the company and are not in a continuous process whereby all information and content gets properly used by different stakeholders. Access to the right content is always essential. The same goes for marketing, customer service and contact centers, etc. However, in many organizations, the used enterprise content management and/or collaboration systems contain masses of content no one knows about. There is also often quite some content missing in those systems. In reality, I notice that the use of existing content (that could be turned into inspiration, ideas and content that can serve customers, answer community questions and more), is not properly done because of human elements, not the content management and collaboration tools themselves. In other cases, the tools are simply not user-friendly enough, among many other possible reasons or the disconnect between business/marketing and IT and ‘ownership’ of systems isn’t integrated enough, a must in this day and age where intelligent information management and (enterprise) content management are at least as much about engagement as about ‘records’.” – J-P De Clerck, Creating a Content Marketing Culture: The Content Management Dimension, i-SCOOP; Twitter: @conversionation
88. Trends are shifting toward paid promotion. “Sometimes, simply publishing great content just isn’t enough.
“We’ve written about the importance of content promotion in the past, but the content landscape is shifting rapidly toward a heavy prioritization of paid promotion.
“Sure, ‘organic’ social media promotion most definitely still has its place, but with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offering a range of increasingly sophisticated ways to segment audiences and reach the right people – for the right price, of course – greater emphasis is being placed on paying to get your content in front of the people you want to see it.
“There’s no easy solution to this problem. Relying solely on organic social promotion might work just fine for a while, but if you’re trying to aggressively expand your reach and grow your audience, you may want to explore paid promotion options. Just as you should expect to make a tangible investment in the actual creation of your content, you may also have to pay to ensure it reaches more people and accomplishes its purpose.” – Dan Shewan, 11 Big Content Marketing Challenges (and How to Overcome Them), WordStream; Twitter: @WordStream
89. Repurpose your content for maximum value. “Unless you have a massive team of content creators, it’s difficult to produce tons of material on a daily basis. In order to maximize the value of the content you do publish, find ways to repurpose it for continued use. For example, you can pull key points from an article and tweet them throughout the week; or you could use a long blog post as a launching point for an entire blog series. Whatever you choose to do, finding ways to repurpose material will allow you to extend the valuable life of your content.” – Drew Hendricks, The Only 6 Content Marketing Tips You Need for 2015, Forbes; Twitter: @DrewAHendricks
90. Your company’s blog is a cornerstone for content cross-promotion. “Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule/strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with SEO, this is one area where you might want to consult a professional.” – Content Marketing Guides – Generate More High Quality Leads, Marketo; Twitter: @marketo
91. Scaling content distribution should be a top priority for enterprise marketers. “While putting your content on your website is a great first step, scaling the distribution means you have to make it available where it can be ‘amplified.’ Social sites are a fantastic place to amplify the message and expand the distribution in a viral manner.
“Yet, there are also many sites that help with reaching different audiences, especially if you can find ways to repurpose your content in different formats — think sites like YouTube and SlideShare, for example.
“The more engaging and share-worthy your content is, the easier the time you will have with distributing it.” – Mitul Gandhi, 4 Steps To Scaling Enterprise Content Marketing, Marketing Land; Twitter: @mgandhi
92. Too many enterprises fall into the “if you publish it, they will come” trap. “Companies invest in content creation, but not as many invest in content promotion. The days of ‘if you publish it, they will come’ are over. For the enterprise, content promotion is an important part of a comprehensive plan. Without it, content has very little chance to survive and thrive.” – Susan Gunelius, Enterprise Content Marketing in 2014, Corporate Eye; Twitter: @SusanGunelius
93. Generate conversation to encourage social sharing. “There needs to be something compelling about it, something that makes readers want to get other reactions to the piece. That means you should aim to generate conversations with your blog posts. You want people who read your content to immediately feel the desire to weigh in and share their own thoughts and feelings on the topic in question.
“That doesn’t mean that you need to be controversial with your blog posts. That works for some companies, but for others, it’s simply too big a risk. But you can definitely encourage conversation even without controversy. The key is to offer a unique opinion on the subject matter in question. If your blog has a very clear point of view, then readers can agree or disagree with it, even if the argument you make is not controversial. If you offer a bland blog post without any viewpoint, though, no one will feel compelled to add their own opinion to the topic.” – Martin Jones, 5 Quick Tips To Rock Your Business Content Marketing & Blog Strategy, Cox Blue; Twitter: @coxbusiness
94. Don’t dismiss email. “Inbound marketing tactics may come and go at a staggering pace, but email is still hanging on. In fact, 73% of B2C marketers feel that eNewsletters are a highly effective way of communicating with customers and prospects. If you’re still a little dubious, consider the fact that email is ranked by your content marketing peers as even more effective than video.” – Jasmine Henry, 8 Successful Content Marketing Strategies, Writtent; Twitter: @Writtent_Com
95. Look beyond the major social networks. “A recent study revealed some surprising results that debunk some common misconceptions of social sharing. For instance, you would expect younger age groups (28 and younger) to engage with more shared content since they are the most ‘plugged in,’ right? Not even close. In reality, people ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brands’ content. Additionally, you might predict that Saturdays and Sundays see the most consumer engagement since most people are not at work and less busy. Wrong again! People engage with shared content 49% more on weekdays than they do on weekends.
“These new insights change what many people took to be common sense or seemingly obvious facts. One myth in particular has the potential to unlock new audiences for marketers. Billions of articles, pictures, videos and links are shared everyday, and when people hear ‘sharing’ they immediately think of Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks. News flash: only 28% of sharing comes from the traditional social networks that we think of.
“So, what channel makes up for the other 72%? Great question. The answer is what we call ‘Dark Social,’ the tool all marketers should turn to understand audiences and drive smarter business decisions. Dark Social is the private sharing that happens behind closed private communications such as emails, chats, and mobile apps through copying and pasting portions of content from articles or links from your address bar. This insight into hidden sharing and engagement behaviors can shed light on what was previously an invisible audience. Brands and publishers looking to capture and capitalize on this information must have the right tool in place to do so.” – Rebecca Watson, 6 Myths About Social Sharing, Social Media Today; Twitter: @RadiumOne
96. Consider curating content for all your distribution channels. “A lot of people like to curate content using their social channels only. But let’s meditate for a moment on the reader experience: if the purpose of content curation is to bring greater meaning to your content, doesn’t it stand to reason that it would be an appropriate tactic for all of your distribution channels?
“The big hold-up for people is to accept that there is a certain amount of content that you’ll share that won’t be directly attributable to you, and that traffic that you may generate that won’t come to your site for immediate conversion. You could easily talk your way out of content curation thinking like that. Remember that you are trying to share strong content with your readers, and their experience with your content is what will flavor their opinion of you.
“Consider curating content for all of your distribution channels (except for paid media)
- Social media – Most people do this well
- Email subscriptions – PRSA does a fantastic job of curating PR-related content on a daily basis to subscribers.
- Owned media – Sites like Social Media Today and Ragan supplement their organic content with quality, republished content” – Jim Dougherty, 8 Best Practices for Content Curation, Cision; Twitter: @Cision, @leaderswest (Jim Dougherty)
97. Evergreen content makes for excellent curated content. “Content planning varies by channel.
“The best forms of curated content are evergreen, as opposed to news-based content, which has a shorter shelf-life.
“Examples of evergreen content include FAQs, how-to guides and tutorials, industry definitions, and resource lists (such as this one).
“Imagery also plays a key role in the curated content you locate and repurpose (as images don’t have to be time sensitive).
“Generally speaking, the easiest and most effective place for curation-based content planning is Facebook. Twitter is also suited to this type of content planning, but the nature of this platform places a greater emphasis on real-time curation, which can be more difficult to activate in larger organizations.
“Using Facebook as an example, a month’s worth of posts featuring evergreen content can be planned the month before they are scheduled to go live and still be relevant because the content is timeless.
“However, the best forms of content planning allow for fluidity, real-time adjustments, and community interaction.” – Adam Vincenzini, 15 Top-Notch Content Curation Tips, The Prose Marketer; Twitter: @prose
98. Add your brand voice to curated content. “Let’s say you’re a college professor. Would you come into the class, rush through the course material in 10 minutes without properly teaching it, and then leave? Hopefully not. This is a good analogy to curated content with no commentary. Add value to what you’re sharing by supplementing the curated pieces with your own voice. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise by drawing on great work others have published. Discuss why the content you’re sharing is relevant to your audience and key takeaways you’ve gleaned from it.” – Matthew Collis, 6 Powerful Tips to Effective Content Curation, Huffington Post; Twitter: @HuffingtonPost
99. Curation is the key to being useful on the social web. “Curation is the cornerstone of being useful on the social web by finding, filtering and adding insight to content online and sharing with social networks.
“Qualitative curation over time helps associate the topics being curated with the company or person doing the curating. When a company does a good job of defining its unique selling proposition and what it stands for, those key concepts help define editorial themes in everything from a content calendar to topics that drive curated social media content.
“In combination with original content and industry participation, curation can be very powerful for creating awareness and credibility.” – Lee Odden, 3 Essential Content Curation Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing Performance, TopRank Blog; Twitter: @toprank
100. Curate an online, industry-focused magazine. “Use one of the free content curation tools that make it easy to create an online magazine related to your industry or topic of your choice. Be sure to curate content that your target audience will find value in, or they won’t read it. Tools like Storify, Paper.li, and Scoop.it make it easy to editorially select content for your online magazine.
“Burt Herman, co-founder of Storify, explains, ‘Great curation tells a story and takes you through an experience. You’re creating something better by putting the parts together. Curation is about humans. It’s about thinking of the audience and giving them something they want to see.’” – Susan Gunelius, 5 Ways to Use Content Curation for Marketing and Tools to Do It, Forbes; Twitter: @susangunelius
101. Both owned and earned distribution channels are important. “Both owned and earned distribution channels are important — both produce different results, and both require different levels of effort.
“Building your own subscriber list is clearly more work, but it’s also invaluable. These people are your community, they’ve opted in to your communications and are likely to be your biggest brand advocates. External distribution vehicles, however, are going to provide quicker wins and allow you access to a bigger audience that you may have not otherwise reached.” – Shannon Byrne, Content & PR Manager at Mention, How to Overcome the Content Distribution Hurdle: Lessons from Someone Who Had No Idea What They Were Doing, Kissmetrics; Twitter: @Kissmetrics, @ShannonB
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