18 May Effective Content Marketing – Part 1 of 2
How is this whole content thing actually working out?
Almost all of us are doing it now. The Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing 2015 report showed that 83 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing. They also reported in their B2C Content Marketing 2015 report that 77 percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing. And 70 percent of marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago with more than half saying they’ll increase spending over the next 12 months.
So how do we know what we’re doing is working? What side of the following reporting do you fall on? It turns out that 49 percent of B2B marketers and 51 percent of B2C marketers are challenged in their measurement of content engagement. We can tell what they viewed, read or registered for to download. We can see visitor numbers, time on site and traffic. But we need to understand more.
Creating and producing engaging content is a perennial challenge for marketers with half the B2C marketers saying so. B2B marketers rank high quality content creation as a top challenge. We can concept and ideate. We can listicle, infographic design, make videos or produce long form pieces with all of the above, but we need to do it better.
How do we know what good is or, more important, what good will be? How can we see it in the data? It’s doable. It’s a process.
Start by answering the right questions. Who are we doing this for? We need to understand our audience as a story consuming human, an archetype. Not a demographic, just the people that share trying to find meaning and value through content about health, finances, family, leisure time or the future. Where does your story meet them?
Why are we doing it? Is this attached to a hard business goal like lowering acquisition costs? Why we are doing it determines the types of content and places of participation within the customer relationship cycle. Some content can be better in pre-commerce, some during light or serious consideration and other content near the purchase decision. Having the right data can help make that determination.
How are we making it engaging? Are we riffing on ad copy? Engagement is related to what’s searched, what’s observed. It’s different. It’s a brand derivative story, not so positioning specific. In story, the highest order of storytelling is theme. What we’re reviewing is the observable data of story or content preference and laddering that up to thematic ideas. After the theme comes the topic generation and ways to measure performance that can take the shape of an editorial calendar.
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Rick Shaughnessy, Partner