For most marketers, content marketing is a priority. If you are in this camp, perhaps you have been thinking about how to build a content marketing machine.
It isn’t easy—and many marketing teams fail. Either they cannot produce the content they need or the content they create is not effective.
You can only build effective content repeatedly and consistently if you build a competency.
That’s the topic of this presentation, Building a Content Marketing Competency, which I presented at the Austin Digital Marketing Summit last week. In it, you will find 7 key points to help you build a content marketing competency.
1. Get the basics right first.
Defining your customer, building personas, and mapping the buyer’s journey are critical, but not a function of content marketing only. They are at the core of marketing strategy and should be developed and agreed upon by the entire marketing team.
2. Good marketing is educational.
The buying process follows a series of questions that customers have as they research and evaluate a purchase decision. Identifying these questions will highlight the opportunities to be helpful and useful.
3. Engagement is overrated.
It is easy to measure, but it is not always a good indicator. You may see customers doubling engagement with your site and content, only because the content they find is not useful and customers continue to search for the answers to their questions.
4. Connect to revenue.
Content marketing isn’t doing its job unless it makes the cash register ring. It’s not all about followers, views, or engagement. The metric that truly counts is getting customers closer to buying from your organization.
5. Build thought leadership.
Find a point of view in the intersection between your expertise, what customers need, and what will predispose them to buy from you.
6. Marketers write.
The value marketing teams bring to an organization is their knowledge of customers, their environment (including your competitive landscape), and how their needs map to your products. Therefore, marketers are better equipped than anyone else to write your content. In fact, 94% of marketers say the main qualities they seek when hiring for content marketing are writing and editing skills.
If your marketers are not writing, get them to write. This must be part of their job and their skill development plan.
7. Your customers’ attention looks like an inverse funnel.
As you repurpose your content and build a content strategy playbook, it’s important to map it to how much customers are willing to listen to you and how interested they are in what you have to say. When you read a newspaper, for example, you start with the headline and sub-header to decide if you want to read the article. Customers want short pieces of content that “sell them” into reading longer forms of content.