I’ve been working in content marketing for about a year and a half now. Before that, i worked in government communications and right before that i studied marketing. To be honest, i don’t know how i got here, but here i am and it’s not a bad place to be.
Moving out to Sydney from North England last year was where my content story began. IQPC was where i took my current job as the communications manager for B2B industry events and conferences. It’s pretty diverse ranging from Mining to Healthcare (a personal favourite) – we get the industries key players and influencers into a room and tackle challenges our customers are faced with.
As a content marketer i get a pretty good deal cause i have access to all these speakers and as such do a whole range of content with them. It normally starts with an interview but then it turns into all sorts of shapes, sizes and sometimes even monsters.
The thing is, once that event has run – off that monster goes into cyber space and the content is just another piece of information on the illustrious cloud.
So that’s why this blog was born, it’s all my dinner party conversations in one place.
To start with, i wanted to share some tips i wrote recently. This is not the first time i’ve written tips about producing content, it is however the first time i’ve been the one giving the advice….
- Tell a story: I remember starting out in content marketing around two years ago and harping on about how content should be ‘like a story’, safe to say I got a few odd looks from the more numbers focused people in the room. However, as content marketing has grown and with the help of viral campaigns including Coca Colas, it’s now embedded into many a content strategy.So what does telling a good story entail? When your potential customer comes into contact with the story, it needs to have a clear progression from beginning to end. Your brand is not the hero of the story, it’s merely navigating the customer for a few pages in their quest to achieve their goal.Your content needs to know it’s place in the bigger story, what brought the customer there, where are the going next, what can you help them achieve – this will help you resonate with the right people.
- Be personal: It may sound obvious, but you need to remember you’re a person, and you’re speaking to another person. Your conversation on paper should be at the same level as if you were speaking face to face. Use different tones for your miners underground and your CEOs, but ultimately be human. There’s no harm in adding a little humour to your content, keep it loose and engaging to read. Content marketing should be a two way conversation – it’s much easier to engage with your customers and understand their needs when they feel like they are talking to a person.
- Add value: Perhaps the most important objective of any piece of content. There’s no shortage of content of all types; eBooks, infographics, articles, videos, interviews – they mean nothing if you’re not providing any added value.Content doesn’t have to be about the big shiny pieces, an article can be just as effective as a 50 page e-book. The trick is to do your research. Know your audience, know what’s out there, know what’s happening with the industry – it’s then up to you to use the resources that are available to you to find that pocket of interest that will generate lots of leads. Maybe that’s a particular expert at your workplace, an industry leader you can interview or a brand new product that you can show off.Always come back to what problem your content is helping to solve, the format should be decided based on the best flow of that information, not information that will best fit your format.
- Brand: Content marketing has a purpose, it’s working towards raising the profile of your brand or product. It’s not often we see a shortage of branding, the key is to get the balance so your content doesn’t become a sales piece. Somebusinessesstill make the mistake of thinking the logo and ‘calls to action’ need to be all over their content, but that’s not quite how it is.The best approach is to understand that every piece of content you produce has a different goal. Some content will be about driving that final sale, focusing on the product. It’s talking to people who are in the buying phase and therefore that content should be more heavily branded and it should be more about the pitch.Other content will have a completely different purpose. Maybe it just needs to introduce your brand into their conversation or attract an audience from your target market who may be receptive to further marketing material. The final conversion to a sale could be weeks or months away.It’s about understanding what you’re hoping to achieve with each piece of content and knowing where it’s appropriate to start introducing the brand.
- Analyse and convert: This is all about the strategy. Different organisations will have different tools available to help them, it’s important to never overlook the numbers. After each piece of content or before, during and after any campaign it’s essential to take a look at the numbers. Whether this be number of downloads, web traffic, open rates, responses, conversions varies in each organisation, but use these tools to strategize and make informed decisions on what you did, how it went and what you’re going to do next based on that. Finally, don’t overlook the finish line for a piece of content – converting into a sale. This starts with the content itself, then looking after those leads throughout the funnel till you make the sale, this could be instant, or it could be months down the line. Look after your leads.