In a world of media fragmentation, social media ubiquity and mobile technology, content has risen to center stage as the focus of many marketing efforts.
To discuss the evolving role of content, gyro Denver, in partnership with Forbes and in conjunction with the Business Marketing Association, recently hosted a CMO roundtable to address the importance of content and its relationship to brand equity.
The panel unanimously agreed that the most important benefit to content marketing is using quality content such as infographics, white papers and case studies to effectively “soft-sell” targets through established thought leadership. Essentially, a brand can (and should) be using content marketing to increase its perceived trustworthiness, thereby elevating brand equity.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing, but one tactic that bubbled to the top during the panel discussion was the concept of a “brand newsroom” approach. Now, more than ever, brands need to be nimble and employ a real-time approach with respect to content marketing.
This approach could entail creating a content editorial calendar, much like a magazine plans its upcoming themes months in advance. Another tactic—daily editorial meetings—also mimics real-time newsrooms. Gathering your team each day to discuss what’s working and what fell flat is a great way to keep the content idea mill churning.
There are also content marketing challenges facing today’s CMOs. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 64 percent of B-to-B marketers claim material and idea generation are the biggest content marketing challenges. However, with a little planning and creativity, content creation can become a turnkey process that ultimately leads to stronger brand equity.
Here are four key points to remember:
Define: It probably goes without saying, but defining content purpose can help determine the format. For example, do you want to teach your audience with a “how-to” or inform them by acting as an expert source?
Format: Before deciding on creating a white paper, case study, infographic, etc., make sure you take your content contributors into account. How many do you have and how much time do they have? Knowing these answers in advance can help guide your content format.
Create: You don’t have to be an amazing writer and you don’t necessarily need a large team to push out engaging, thoughtful content. In fact, you’re likely sitting on information that can be repackaged into a marketing asset. For example, internal training videos can be edited and posted on YouTube, or the key points from a white paper can be turned into a shorter blog post.
Content curation is another method of generating content if and when you don’t have the internal bandwidth. Curation is essentially finding, filtering and sharing useful articles and information. When combined with original content, curation can be an excellent tool for creating awareness and building brand equity. iQ by Intel is a strong example of this.
Variety: Your audience is varied, and to reach as many targets as possible, your content should be varied, too. For example, if you typically push out case studies, an occasional infographic could be a welcome change. A content editorial calendar can help plan content format in advance and make it easier to avoid content stagnation.
In conclusion, content marketing not only provides visibility, brand equity and a connection with prospects, but it also helps close the deal by providing varied content tailored to each stage of the buying cycle. Content is everywhere, and learning how to leverage this tool can result in numerous benefits for B-to-B marketers.
How are you using content marketing for your business?
Daphne Fink-Taber is the General Manager of gyro Denver.