The goal of delivering exceptional content and stories to engage audiences in a company’s brand and value proposition is not new — but with the growing importance of online marketing and social media to deliver these messages, it has become essential to consider content development (and storytelling) a primary lever within today’s marketing strategy (particularly in B2B).
Now more than ever it seems critical to place strategic emphasis on insights that establish clear messaging frameworks and content strategies, which then are used to distribute relevant content throughout “the marketing system”. Despite the growing promotion and advocacy of “content marketing’ — many companies continue to develop and deliver content in silos without a strategy that maps to a larger agreed-upon framework.
If you do not have a messaging/content framework or toolkit, it’s probably a smart idea to develop one; as this sets the stage and tone for how ALL messaging and content will be considered and crafted — websites, SEM, emails, videos, infographics, demos, webinars, display ads, blogs, PPT presentations, tweets, Facebook pages, sales communications and live events.
It is also a good idea to evolve it by testing various messaging components and “content recipes” on your website and social media channels. The world of online marketing gives marketers more opportunity than ever to test, analyze and refine their messaging platform to align with customer behavior and interests.
The point is — creating superb content experiences for your audience is not only vital, but very doable. If you are not approaching this through a strategic lens, consider changing that — use your strategic planning process to obtain and/or refine insights about what’s on your audience’s mind, what motivates them and what they want to hear about; align it with your value proposition; and use it to create a messaging and content structure that ties to your corporate brand. Then, effectively integrate within your distribution channels.
Clearly there is more to a marketing strategy besides content, but it’s hard to argue that focusing on the strategic impact of relevant and engaging content, is not a smart idea. Below are some great resources to help you. (Updated Oct 2012)
- 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends
- 31 Easy Ways to Create Content Your Customers Want
- How to Get Higher Demand Generation Returns from B2B Content Marketing
- 50 Questions Answered about Content Marketing
- 10 Reasons Why You Need Content Marketing
- Content Marketing Playbook 2011- 42 Ways to Connect with Customers
- How To Conduct Competitive Analysis To Step Up Your Content Strategy
- How 3 Companies Took Content Marketing to the Next Level
- Inside Salesforce.com’s Online Video Strategy
- Content Marketing Case Studies – 5 Companies That “Get It”
- A Content Marketing Case Study Filled with Practical Ideas
- 7 Sure-fire Ways to Use Content to Connect With Your Audience
- Step-by-Step Templates for Mapping Your B2B Content
- Formulate Your Content Strategy in 10 Simple Steps
- Thought Leadership and Content Marketing: 4 Practical Tips
- 10 Steps to Better Content Marketing & SEO
- 6 Content Marketing Tips That Drive Leads
- How to Design an Organization That Delivers Content as Product
- How Content and Social Media Equal Marketing Success
- The Importance of Content Marketing
- Social Media and Customer Loyalty: The Importance of Great Content – and Lots of It
- The Engagement Era: How Content Marketing Will Save Your Brand
- B2B Content Marketing Strategy and Practice is Steaming Full-Speed Ahead
- Content Now Vital to B2B Marketing
- Your Sales Team Must Be Content Marketers, Too!
- How to Get Results After Creating Compelling Content
- Overcoming 3 Crucial Challenges with Content Strategy
- Measuring ROI on Content Marketing and Creation
- Powerful Strategies for Content Marketing