How To Plan And Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

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http://www.b2bmarketinginsider.com/content-marketing/plan-build-successful-content-marketing-strategy -- Did you know that every day on the internet:

There are 4.75 Billion pieces of content shared
There are 1.8 Billion photos uploaded
There are 700 Million Snapchats
There are 500 Million tweets
Marketing, as we know it, is being transformed right in front of our eyes. More and more messages are being promoted every day, on more channels, and as a result, consumers are learning to simply tune out the noise.

Because of this, brands must leverage content marketing to deliver the useful information necessary to educate and build trust with their audiences. But they often fail to document what they are trying to achieve, how they will get it done, and what measures will prove success.

Yesterday I presented to more than 600 attendees of the NewsCred #ThinkContent Webinar: "How To Plan And Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy." I presented:

The key factors for content marketing success
The core components of a content marketing strategy
I answered the main questions of how to build a solid content marketing strategy
I shared my secret that effective content marketing was relatively simple:

"The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered." ~ IDC

I shared the Content Marketing Institute's more formal definition of content marketing:

“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” ~ Content Marketing Institute

And I shared the rallying cry for why we need to change:

"We have to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in." ~ Craig Davis (former Chief Creative Office - J. Walter Thompson)

Backed by research and our own customer engagements, I covered

The 6 factors to content marketing success:

Document content strategy
Have someone in charge of content
Consistently publish quality content
Map content to buyer journey
Balance Paid, Owned, Earned Media
Track Content Marketing ROI

I provided an example and a template for anyone to develop:

Your Content Marketing Mission Statement

Become a destination for [target audience] interested in [topics]. To help them [customer value].

This will help us [your content marketing goals]

Earn your audience’s attention vs. just buying it
Reach, engage and convert NEW buyers
AmEx Open Forum Example: Help Small Businesses Do More Business. To become the largest source of inbound leads.

I provided spreadsheets to help anyone conduct a content audit and measure their content marketing results:

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  • The #1 questions we seeing from our customers
  • We’ve all asked the question, why content marketing?

    To set the stage, there’s been a fundamental shift in the way we as consumers consume and share content. Momentous amount of content being created, consumed and shared. An amazing amount of content, the real question is how does a brand stand apart?
  • I think you can all see that there’s just an amazing about of fundamental change that’s happened in marketing in a short amount of time.
  • The secret to content marketing is that its not that hard. There are obstacles, but what we’re going to do is give you our secrets and let you know what’s worked for other brands to drive a content marketing strategy.
  • Not only are we going to give you tips and tricks but also make it very practical
  • The secret, content marketing is relatively simple. The buyer journey is just a series of question to be answered and we as brands have a role to play. Its simply to answer the customer questions.
  • A more complex view, content marketing explained on a page. What types of different content we consume at different parts of the buyer journey.

    Awareness, we’re wanting to learn, get our questions answered and read thought leadership.

    Consideration, we want more types of content.

    By Preference, there’s less thought leadership and learning, and more about what makes your brand different.
  • The formal definition of content marketing.

    NOT advertising or PR – important

    About helping your customers answer those questions in the journey they’re taking

    Owned media – its specifically content that lives on a brand owned media.
  • For you, it’s a customer behind every one of those content interactions. We need to keep in mind there’s a person, not an undefined entity of customers.
  • As a brand, our natural instinct is to talk about ourselves. Customers are asking questions, they want to be informed and entertained, but we can’t just do that because that’s just charity.

    So the way we balance is make your customers the hero of the story.

    Take your brand out. How do you do that? You solve their problems at every stage of the journey.
  • Core components the way we need to think. We need to think different.
  • How do I put forth my unique point of view? That’s a brand objective.

    Customers don’t want to know how your help is different, they just want to be helped. Most of the problem we have is in the beginning stages.

    The brands that win are the brands helping their customers the most.
  • The brands that are effective do these 6 things:

    2. Doesn’t mean they have a chief content officer, just means someone has the responsibility and accountability of managing content as an asset.
    3. Differentiator is that its content that’s helpful.
    4. Important to understand the gaps you have in delivering helpful content to your customers
    5. The traditional way the industry has looked at paid is advertising. Content marketing is the exact opposite. You're going to earn the attention of your customers.
    6. What we see is the people whoa re effective at measuring content marketing ROI are those who commit to measuring it.

  • If you don’t’ have that new way of thinking, you’re going to have a problem being productive
    Content is not a marketing problem. Everyone in an organization is affected by content, directly or indirectly.
    It means you deliver content an audience wants and they monetize it. Demonstrate value for your own business.
  • Effective content marketers are 5 times more likely to have a DOCUMENTED content strategy.

  • Why you are in business and what value you’re providing? Establish your own why.

    How are you going to achieve that goal?

    Most brands make the mistake of jumping into the pool of what. What am I going to publish? But they haven't thought it through.
  • Discover – What is the business case and what is the need for change? We have to point to the things that aren’t working. We need to have the courage to stand up to our executives and show what’s working and what’s not. Current state. Where are you currently? Budget – there’s enough of ineffective spend you can repurpose.

    Destination – where and how you’re going to publish. design, platform to support, where, activity on the destination you choose, and how the rest of your organization is going to integrate.

    Topic Models – Topics you want to be known for when thinking of you target audience.

    Customer Journey– We can’t show someone read a piece of content and bought something.

  • Help your customers with something. Do their jobs better, become heroes. You need to fill in the blanks.


  • Decide your goals: Drive deeper engagement with new people? Or with people already engaged with your brand.

  • These are not all necessarily people, but instead responsibilities. One of my first hires was a curator. Someone who finds and repurposes the best content from around the web. Look at what your audience is interested in.

    SEO on the other hand, understand what kind of content you need to create.
  • How can you help the people around your organization and get them on board with the goals you're trying to achieve?

    Who's’ going to sign off on content?

    Approval processes for what get’s published when and where? Google docs and spreadsheets don’t cut it.

  • Is it an on brand or off-brand strategy? Depends on your brand and goals.

    Timeline – totally unbranded. Off-branded domain. Branding that’s almost invisible.

    Monster – you can see its completely in line with their corporate website. Logo, typography, similar structure.

    Pepsi pulse – completely reinvented their website. Seeking to be a destination about anything about pop culture.
  • A content audit is important because it helps you understand the level of the content issues you have. Help you determine where you have performance issues.
  • No matter where you are in your content marketing strategy, NewsCred's Strategy Services team can help ensure you're successful.

    Not only do we provide 24/7 global product support, but we also offer daily editorial curation and can help set your long-term strategy with customized consultations, workshops and brainstorms.
  • 94% of all the content we were creating was for late and middle stages. Most of the content we made was promotional…why we were better.

    However, more people are in the early stage, so we were completely upside down.
  • You want to be the source of truth for them
  • A lot of people jump to topics. Google trends, competitors, online properties serving needs. Thinking about topics and architecture is an important step.
  • Licensed content is a great way to achieve scale and help folks understand the topic you’re interested in.

    As you get to the bottom, that’s where you’re looking at different types of content.
  • Finding the right combination of licensed content, original content and social content is key to executing a well-rounded content strategy.

    Licensed content gives you an easy way to access a high-volume of content from credible sources, allowing you to boost publishing cadence.

    Original content gives you the ability to share hyper-targeted stories which resonate with your audience and are optimized for SEO.

    Social content allows you to always stay topical and publish content that is buzzworthy and trending. Co-created content.

    We call this combination The Rule Of Thirds – a starting point. AS you’re publishgin you can optimize.. Diversifying your content strategy allows you to scale in a way
  • Distribution is the biggest mistake we see marketers make.

  • Make sure your social accounts demonstrate interaction. You want to interact with who you’re trying to reach. How many of your own posts you’re going to share? Or sharing other people’s content and influencers.

    You’ll see your social channels will grow. You want to help your authors and contributors as much as you can.

    You want to think of this as a mix of what you’re doing.
  • Corporate websites bounce rate are down at 40% because the only people going there are those who want to be there

  • Tracking over the course of a year.
  • Are we gaining traffic from organic and social. Up and to the right.
  • The most comprehensive. Now strategy services to help every step of the way. Team of strategists.
  • We work with amazing brands who are working with us.
  • 21 questions helping you find out who’s your audience…
  • Key words appropriate
  • Not just about counting the volume.
  • Is the KEY differentiator for brands that are effective.

    Figure our what kind of content they share.

    Start publishing and then optimize off of that.

    Distribute the winners.
  • Practical

    Biggest mistake – point of view trap. If you’re taking your brand out of the story. Not important in the early stages. Commit to being differentiator by taking yourself out of the conversation at first. Too many focus on volume. Want to publish good stuff. Set a quality bar first and drive twoards wality goals next.

    #2. Content marketing and SEO are connected. The amount of people doing initial searches. Engage them then. The kinds of questions our customers were asking, we were answering.

    3 levers to pull when thinking of content marketing ROI. Just do an audit your organization creates and see how much of that is not used. All of the content you create has a cost and if its not used it’s a waste. Performance – a lot of ways to think about it. The cost of email subscribers, the value of a lead. Every brand we’ve seen that’s sought to measure it and been able to do so and has seen growth. 4x ROI

    Advice for teams of one: I was a team of one at a startup and I had no budget. Our website wasn’t answering our customer’s questions. Made it my mission to answer their questions. I saw a complete hockey stick in lift. If you are the head of marketing, content marketing is your main job.

    How to come up with ideas? Growth hacks – one trick – take content your company is already creating and repurpose it. Turn it into a slideshare, turn it into a blog post, interview the experts. Look at your email outbox. Every email you send is an answer to a question.

    Advantages/disadvantages of branded/non-branded – if you currently make too much branded content and you have a trust issue. Going off-domain may help you. If you’re currently known for something negative, but you want to be known for something positive.
  • How To Plan And Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

    1. How to Plan and Build a Successful Content Marketing Strategy Michael Brenner NewsCred – Head of Strategy @BrennerMichael
    2. Agenda • The key factors for content marketing success • The core components of a content marketing strategy • How to utilize content across the buyer journey • How to work with NewsCred to document your strategy and achieve success
    3. Content Marketing Success Building a Successful Content Strategy Working with NewsCred: Crafting a Successful Content Strategy Utilizing Content Across the Buyer Journey
    4. There’s been a fundamental shift in the way we create, consume, and share content. Every single day… 4.75 billion piece of content are shared 1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared 500 million tweets are posted 700 million snapchats are sent
    5. 5 “Marketing used to be about making a myth and telling it. Now it’s about telling a truth and sharing it. - MARC MATHIEU - Unilever ”
    6. 6
    7. 7 I have no patience for useless things.
    8. 8 “The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered. - IDC - ”
    9. Awareness Consideration Preference Online Communities Search Engines eBooks Email Newsletters Editorial Articles White Papers Podcasts Case Studies Online Videos Webcasts Virtual Trade Shows Product Literature Trial Software Online Vendor Demos Begin decision process Make decision Identify business problem Establish requirements/ build RFP Align IT with business objectives Explore technology options Research solutions Determine solution strategy Assess ROI Research products/ vendors Build short list
    10. “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” -Content Marketing Institute • Not Advertising or PR • It is Customer, Not brand-focused • Seeks to answer customer questions across the buyer journey • Owned media Content Marketing Defined
    11. Behind every tweet, share, and purchase is a person, like you and me.
    12. Put Your Customers’ Needs First. Make them the hero. Our Natural Instinct Content Marketing Brand Purpose What Customers Want Charity
    13. “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in. - CRAIG DAVIS - ”
    14. Unique Point of View Trap Too easy to become consumed with your story, not your customers.
    15. Six key factors to content marketing success: 1 Document content strategy 2 Have someone in charge of content 3 Consistently publish quality content 4 Map content to buyer journey 5 Balance Paid, Owned, Earned Media 6 Track Content Marketing ROI
    16. Content Marketing Success Building a Successful Content Strategy Working with NewsCred: Crafting a Successful Content Strategy Utilizing Content Across the Buyer Journey
    17. • Delivering content your audience wants • Managing content as an asset (with an ROI) • Thinking and acting like a publisher What is a Content Strategy?
    18. Why is it important to have a documented content strategy?
    19. 3 Steps to Building a Content Strategy 1 Why? What’s the Business Case? 3 What? Show results tied to your business objectives. 2 How? Team, actions, and budgets needed.
    20. Content Marketing Roadmap • Budget • Destination • Frequency • Amplification / Optimization • Collaboration (Who does what) Discovery Destination Team Topic Models Customer Journey KPIs / Reporting Optimization • Business Case • Current State • Budget • Branding/Design • Platform • Firm Integration • Who does what? • Agency • NewsCred • Distribution • Structure • Topics • Types • Content by Stage • Conversions • Subscriptions • Define report • Who / when? • Content • Platform • Distribution
    21. Content marketing mission statement Become a destination for [target audience] interested in [topics]. To help them [customer value]. This will help us [content marketing goals] • Earn your audience’s attention vs. just buying it • Reach, engage and convert NEW buyers AmEx Open Forum Example: Help Small Businesses Do More Business. To become the largest source of inbound leads.
    22. Commit To Measuring Your Results Awareness / Reputation: Classic Brand / PR objectives. SOV, SOC, and press mentions. With Whom? On What Topic? Measured by? Reach: Who is the target Audience? What are their online interests? How can we measure? Engagement: Drive deeper relationship with the brand. Measured by time spent, bounce rate, social shares Convert: Subscribers, Leads, Sales
    23. Define Content Marketing Roles and Functions Content Marketer / Editor Strategizes, writes, and oversees content projects to ensure brand consistency and alignment with business objectives. Community Manager Distributes content across social channels, engages online communities, and contributes to content projects. Designer Brings content to life through the user experience and rich visuals. Contributors Any content creator- blogger, photographer, designer — who contributes to your project. SEO / Paid Specialist Manages the paid distribution of content online. Analytics Defines best/ worst performers, conversion optimization and measurement communications. Curation Fines and re- purposes the best content from your business and from around the web.
    24. Please?!
    25. Define The Business Case, Workflows, Gain Organizational Buy-in • Make sure all stakeholders understand your mission statement and business goals • Determine who needs to sign off on content • Set approval processes for publishing and sharing content in order to cut down on back-and-forth • Leverage technology to automate that entire process is a great way to get ahead
    26. Consider Your Destination and Branding
    27. Content Marketing Success Building a Successful Content Strategy Working with NewsCred: Crafting a Successful Content Strategy Utilizing Content Across the Buyer Journey
    28. Conduct A Content Audit A Content Audit will help you: • Give you a true sense of scale • Identify gaps • Seize opportunities for content repurposing • Determine performance issues • Evaluate content quality • Improve your information architecture Download this template now!
    29. Look at Content by Buyer Stage Early Stage Middle Stage Late Stage 66% 28% Early-Stage Content Late-Stage Content Middle-Stage Content 6%
    30. Where in the journey do we want to connect? Online Influences Discover Consider Decide • Reviews • Comments • Blogs • Forums Why buy? • Educate • Search Why buy now? • What • When • Who Why buy from you? • Trust • Capability • Capacity
    31. Defining Topics What are we going to talk about? • [Sample at left – SAP “The Customer Edge” blog keyword analysis]
    32. Content across the buyer journey Top of the Funnel Quality, licensed content around broader, shareable topics that drives visibility and engagement Middle of the Funnel A combination of licensed and custom content that’s not only useful and timely, but also hits on niche topics specific to your offering and solutions. Potentially gated. Bottom of the Funnel Custom content promoting your products and services: case studies, product offers, customized demos, etc. Customer Stage Consistent cadence of TOFU/MOFU content as well as personalized recommendations, service options, case studies, etc. Awareness Retain Evaluation Purchase
    33. Show me the money!
    34. Utilize The Right Mix of Content Custom Content Share on-brand stories and recipes which are created specifically for your brand. Social Content Leverage snackable content through UGC that engages your target audience. Licensed Content Boost credibility, publishing cadence, and direct traffic with a high-volume of fully-licensed, compliant content.
    35. 3 Distributing your content “Even great content needs a push!” Average Hollywood movie splits 40-50% production with 50-60% distribution
    36. Maximizing the Reach of Your Content We believe in a “converged media” approach utilizing paid, owned, and earned media to deliver content the audience wants and maximizing the reach of that content. Paid Social Influencer/ movable media Leverage your owned content and channels Maximize organic buzz, social engagement, and PR Organic Traffic & SEO Quickly grow your audience & jumpstart engagement Converged Native Ads (Nativo) Paid Content Distribution (Outbrain, Sharethrough) Earned Paid Owned
    37. Distribution Recommendations • Make sure your social accounts demonstrate interaction • 4-1-1 Rule: 4 of your posts, 1 influencer post, 1 publisher post • Follow and mention influencers, publishers in each topic • Help your authors build social presence • Test paid distribution with LinkedIn and Outbrain • Measure engaged visitors from paid vs. organic visitors • Based on time on site or pages per visit Client Influencer Publisher
    38. Blog Benchmarks Uniques Per Month 346,400 Time Spent On Site 46 Seconds Pages Per Visit 1.3 Average Bounce Rate 85%
    39. Define Key Measures and Targets Download this template now!
    40. Organic and Social: Up and To The Right 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 UniqueVisitors Traffic from Organic, Social & Referrals
    41. Content Marketing Success Building a Successful Content Strategy Working with NewsCred: Crafting a Successful Content Strategy Utilizing Content Across the Buyer Journey
    42. No matter where you are in your journey, NewsCred can help. Our team of strategists can help you: • Document your content strategy • Build Business case / Define ROI • Content Audits • Buyer journeys • Content Mix • Build / Source Content Team • Distribution strategy • Provide metrics and ROI guidance
    43. We’re helping some of the world’s largest brands with their strategy:
    44. Ways to work with our Strategy Team 1 Ongoing Strategy Engagements 2 One-Day Strategy Workshop 3 Multiple Strategy Sessions 4 Strategy Health check 5 Custom engagements
    45. Sample content strategy exercises we’ll help you with
    46. Brand Map Framework Audience The content that you publish largely depends on your target audience – their interests, behaviors and motivations. This demographic plays a key role in your content creation and distribution process. The publications you license content from, the topics you write about and the distribution channels that you use. What is your target demographic? What kind of publications does your audience read? What social channels does your audience frequently engage on? What events does your audience care about? Brand Strategy Understanding your brand's identity is key to understanding the type of content that your brand should source and create. Content marketing should always convey your unique brand personality consistently, from the photos that you publish to the blog posts that you create. What is your brand’s ambition or purpose? What is your brand voice? What are the design principles of your brand’s visual identity? What owned assets (color, typeface, etc.) signal your brand? Content Strategy Our mission is to help brands simplify and scale their entire content marketing process: content planning, discovery, creation, publishing, distribution and measurement. Understanding your current process and challenges as well as your future goals will help us shape a content marketing strategy unique to your brand, resources, internal creative/compliance processes. Who is the organization responsible for your content strategy? What does your current content workflow look like? Do you currently use a mix of content types (original, licensed, social, etc.)? What do you like about your content marketing strategy and what do you want to change? What are your content pillars? What are your SEO keyword priorities? What longtail keywords are you interested in? What type of content do you want to feature? What products or services (if any) do you want us to keep in mind? Are there specific geographic regions or cities we should keep in mind? Which social channels would you like to prioritize? What is your ideal content cadence? Distribution Strategy Distribution is just as important as the content itself. It is important to understand which channels will reach your target audience and how you should share content across each channel. What channels do you use for organic distribution? What channels do you use for paid distribution? What demand generation programs do you use?
    47. Xyz Early Xyz Late Xyz Xyz Persona Questions/Concerns Xyz Middle Xyz Xyz Keywords Xyz Early Xyz Late Xyz Xyz Persona Questions/Concerns Xyz Middle Xyz Xyz Keywords Stage Stage
    48. SUCCESS METRICS MEDIA METRICS What do we measure? KPIS: BUSINESS OBJECTIVES Is our content producing the desired result? ROI: MEDIA PERFORMANCE How efficiently is our content and distribution working to produce the desired result? CONTENT PERFORMANCE • Impressions • Social shares • Time spent • Return visits • Is our content being seen? • Are people engaging with our brand & content? • How much time are people spending with our brand and are they returning? • What is our cost/value per exposure, action or view? AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT • Subscriber / audience size • Share of voice • Audience penetration across org • How large is our audience? • What’s our share of voice in a market/ channel? • Is engagement growing across the workflow chain of a single organization? • What is the cost/value per point of share? • What is the cost/value per active audience member? BRAND AWARENESS • Brand lift • Perception / attitudinal change • Are we creating awareness? Is our message memorable? • Are we changing perceptions? • What is the cost/ value per point of lift? LEAD GENERATION AND SALES • Behavioral conversions • Lead generation • Are people discovering and understanding our product & service offering? • What is the cost per qualified lead? • What is the multi-touch attribution cost?
    49. How To Implement A Successful Content Marketing Strategy Key Takeaways: 1 Commit to publishing content that your customers actually want 2 Figure out what questions your customers ask (Google) what content they share (Social) and what channels they use. 3 Start publishing content 4 Distribute the winners 5 Measure what works
    50. michael.brenner@newscred.com sales@newscred.com Questions? Learn more about our strategy services: http://newscred.com/learn-professional-services Enter our raffle for a free Content Strategy Workshop: http://newscred.com/content-strategy-workshop-raffle
    51. michael.brenner@newscred.com sales@newscred.com Thank you! Learn more about our strategy services: http://newscred.com/learn-professional-services Enter our raffle for a free Content Strategy Workshop: http://newscred.com/content-strategy-workshop-raffle

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