Content Marketing Whitepaper – Part 1
Thanks for checking out our whitepaper: Unleash the Power of Content Marketing Part 1: Strategy and Considerations for Operations.
Part one of the whitepaper series covers:
- How to define your program
- Building the case for change
- How to structure operations
- Content marketing and the sales funnel
You can preview the first section of the whitepaper below. If you’d like to have the complete whitepaper in PDF format, please fill out the form to download your copy.
Unleash the Power of Content Marketing Part 1: Strategy and Considerations for Operations
Authors: Leona Hobbs, Jordan Benedet, and Michelle McCudden
March 29, 2012
About This White Paper
Unleash the Power of Content Marketing is a white paper in two parts. Part 1 covers Strategy and Operations—content marketing considerations for marketing leaders. Part 2 details concrete steps for achieving excellence in execution of content marketing tactics. Both sections draw on the practical expertise of the team at Social Media Group (SMG) who have worked directly with leading social platforms such as Twitter, Digg and Outbrain to pioneer effective and innovative content marketing programs.
Define Your Branded Content Marketing Strategy
Thanks to an increasingly fragmented media universe, it is increasingly more difficult to get the attention of consumers. It has thrust the discipline of content marketing to the forefront of marketing.
Consider how content consumption has transformed since the majority of senior marketers began their careers. The mediums, formats, and channels have all changed.
Brand content and corporate content have also been disrupted. What does that mean? It means in order to capture an audience’s attention in a million-channel universe, brands and marketers must earn it with valuable content. Marketers have to start thinking like publishers of their own branded content streams. Content marketing is about taking advantage of an environment where people consume a near-constant stream of content through multiple channels and devices.
Content marketing is based upon three primary principles:
- Conversations happen around a social object.
- People want findable, usable content that resonates with them.
- Social connections and sharing drive content consumption.
To provide some additional context, let’s break each of these core concepts down further.
Conversations Happen Around a Social Object
One of the first to popularize the idea of social objects in marketing was Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void. Building on the work done on social objects by Jyri Engeström, founder of Jaiku, in 2007, Hugh wrote:
The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if [you] think about it, there needs to be a rea¬son for it to hap¬pen in the first place. That reason, that “node” in the social network, is what we call the Social Object.
From now on you won’t have the TV commercials to rely on to start your conversations. People are ignoring you. Mass media has simply gotten too expensive. The only way your product is going to spread is by word of mouth. The only way it’s going to get word of mouth is if there is something in it for the person talking about it. The person you want talking about is not doing it for the money. She’ll only talk about it if it serves as a Social Object. A “hook” to move the conversation along. A hook she can use it as a way to relate to her fellow human beings.
Online, each unique piece of content produced has the potential to become a social object — to be that “node” that starts a conversation.
People Like Findable, Useable Content that Resonates
People have to consume your content for it to become a social object. First, they have to find it, so it must be easily accessible and optimized for search. Next, it must be in a usable, sharable format. The attention of the audience is a rare and precious commodity. If the content can’t be quickly scanned, understood, shared or saved for later, it isn’t likely to be consumed.
Ultimately, we want the content to garner some kind of reaction. We want to create content that strikes a chord; so much so that the consumer issues a “social gesture,” be it to share, comment, “Like,” “+1,” or remix content to create something unique.
Social Connections and Sharing Drive Content Consumption
The reality is that high quality content finds users through their networks. There is far too much content created for any single person to filter. We develop networks consisting of people we trust, and the by-product of this is a collective filtering of content down to a (more) manageable stream, curated and aggregated by like people who share similar tastes.
If you fail to create content that engages your audience and resonates with them, you will not even get out of the gate in terms of reaping the rewards of this network effect, because no one will share the message.
Using content to earn attention forces many organizations to change from “push” to “pull” marketing. The content opportunity for progressive marketing leaders is to understand and define new marketing strategies and executions that capitalize on this significant shift.
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Sample Whitepaper Images
Find Out More!
- Content Marketing Webinar – Recording
- Content Marketing Whitepaper – Part 1
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- WOM Recommendation, Sharing and Influencers = Win for Marketers