Answering frequently asked questions about content marketing
This outtake focused on content marketing strategy – answering frequently asked questions about content marketing and is taken from an hour of discussion recorded exclusively for our Pivotal Marketer Community on Facebook sees Geraint Holliman, marketing consultant, MSc in Digital Marketing trainer and published author and MMC’s Rene Power.
It’s the sixth and final part of a series of serialisations on content marketing strategy and implementation.
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Maybe it’s front facing salespeople, maybe it’s people on call centres, maybe it’s outbound sales, maybe it’s field sales reps. The people that have the closest relationships when it comes to conversion, dealing with the obstacles, that’s the sort of stuff that’s going to drive some of your content.
We’ve got a question about how do you minimise waste? And how do we make the most from user generated content?
Oh, I think that is two separate questions, aren’t they? Two separate questions in my view, yeah.
Reducing waste is what we talked about earlier. Have a plan, focus your efforts, re-utilise, atomize, and repurpose. Measure and monitor, does something work? If it works, how can we reuse it? How can we rescheme it? How can we get the value out of it? Think about return on content. That’s how you kind of minimise waste.
And have you seen successful examples of user generated? I know a lot of the retail brands, user generated content is…
Yes there is. I mean, there’s tonnes and tonnes of examples of great user generated content. I mean, I’m doing a lot of work in the community marketing space at the moment, where whole platforms of specialists in particular industries are creating content within that environment.
And it’s almost become organic, self propelling, this community because the content had been created by those people for those people. So yeah, absolutely. I think I’m a huge believer in user generated content. How you manage it and how you kind of promote it is a different question, particularly in the B2C world.
Yeah. I think again, you’re coming back to if you can survey customers, run polls, and then turn that into exciting reports and extrapolate some of that feedback into meaningful data, that you can then play back into that market and be seen to be valuable. If that’s the sort of content path you want to go down, particularly in B2B, that could work quite well. We’ve got always on marketing versus focus content, how do you reconcile this?
There’s obviously proponents that say you need to be putting stuff out every three or four hours on every platform or…
I think we talked about this already, where this is the kind of, well, why are you always on? Having content that is available all the time, evergreen content, because at any one point only 20% of your customers are actually in a buying mode in the marketplace.
So you always need to have that kind of early stage content as they come into the marketplace, that’s available. That’s fine. But always on as a kind of a constant stream of consciousness out into the marketplace, hoping. That is spraying and praying. That is one fish hook down into the ocean with one worm, hoping that they’re going to have swim by. I mean, my view of these things is if it works in your market, if you’ve got a very particular kind of market with a particular kind of buying cycle, that might work. More often than not, I’m saying quality over quantity every time.
Yeah. I think there’s a great title in there, Stephanie (response to live viewer), for a future session. So I think a session called Always On Focused Content. And already I’m thinking how you create high quality, long form content. And then chop that up into little bite sized chunks. You could begin to use the long form, which is the thing that people want. But then chop that up in ways that you can appear to be always on, but it’s not just stuff on the…
For that, Rene, I use what I call the Content Wheel of Love, which is you stick the high value, long-term asset in the middle. And then you have around the edges, all the different ways that it could be atomized and repurposed. And you kind of work your way around that. So the content wheel of love is often the way to kind of get around that atomization.
That actually exists?
Yeah, it does, because I wrote about it in my paper.
Oh right. We might have to see if we can share a link to that in some way, shape, or form if it’s a workable model. Kate’s asking any tips on how to bring about this strategic shift to management that don’t get it. So I’m guessing Kate might be in a sales led organisation, where maybe there isn’t that strategic marketing, so that kind of advocate, really pushing for it. So marketing is maybe seen as sales supporting.
Yeah. Well, like all of these things, I come back to, well, what’s the customer worth, right? So if you want to kind of… well, I get this, management teams are often, they’re very tactically focused. They’re focused on things they think they can measure, right? Like sales. So are you affecting NQ, SQL sales, yeah? Show me your impact there.
What you also want to say is, okay, that’s the things that you’re interest in, the things I’m interested in are things like long-term customer value, long-term customer engagement, cross-sell and upsell. So those are the things I’m measuring.
We’ll do your metrics, management team, thank you so much. We’re going to do our metrics as well and show that if we do things our way, you get a better outcome, rather than just simply focusing on the very tactical, little kind of metrics.
Not that they’re not important, but I can’t tell if the car has had an accident by looking at the petrol gauge or by looking at the radio. I look at the whole of the car and the whole of the engine, the whole of the system, and all of the things are working rather than saying, “Are we doing well?” “Well, we’ve still got a good lot of oil.” “Brilliant.” That doesn’t tell me much. It just tells me we’ve got a lot of oil.
So I would say, if you want to try and move management, you said it earlier, start talking commercially, start talking the language they understand. It’s ironic that they get fixated by your tactical metrics because you want to move away to more strategic metrics. But there you go.
That’s the way I would do it.
Well, I think even better if you can maybe put in front of them other companies that are kind of doing what you want-
… you should be doing. Yeah, I’m just responding on that point. So if you want to use examples of other companies in your sector or outside your sector that are doing it well, and say, “Well, look, they’re focused on brand, they’re focused on marketing led growth, creating content and for very specific types of customer.
And they’re attracting them and they’re winning them.” Then that’s going to tip more people into your way of thinking. But if you want to influence the C-suite, you’ve got an anchor whatever you’re doing in the language of the C-suite, that’s just the way it is.
We’ve got one last question and then we’ll wrap this up for the day. We’ve got a question about special considerations for businesses where there’s a seasonal income. So for products and services that might only be available for a limited amount of time in a particular year. I mean, I guess there we’re looking at building, I don’t know, community wait lists. It’s the relationship marketing thing that becomes really important, isn’t it?
Yeah, I suppose so. I was just thinking Christmas and all those things. Well I mean, the good thing about that is every year, you know there’s going to be a particular time of year that you’re going to be busy. Like a lot of businesses where you don’t really know what’s going to happen year to year, at least you do know every year you’re going to have your season, whatever it is, summer, winter.
You’ll have the months to kind of plan it and-
Exactly, and the other thing is, even in the shoulder periods, the off season bits, there are things you can talk about. What happened last season? What’s going to happen next season? I always think is, there’s always a conversation to be had, even well, if you’re in the gardening world, now’s the current season. Yeah, okay.
But even in the winter, preparing for next season, getting your seeds ready. How do you kind of look after the soil in winter? All that kind of stuff, out of season stuff, is still relevant. It’s just when they come to the actual season itself, other things become relevant. So I always think that there’s always something to talk about. You can always find something to talk about.
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Recommended further reading
- Content marketing strategy sessions with Geraint Holliman – start with session 1: Rethinking content marketing strategy
- Marketing strategy sessions with Angela Hatton – start with session 1: Moving the perception of marketing from cost to value
- Marketing strategy sessions with Mike Berry – start with session 1: What do we mean when we talk about digital (marketing) strategy?
- Strategy sessions with Mike Baxter – start with session 1: Understanding what strategy is and how to create strategy that means something to people who have to implement it
- Why and how the SWOT analysis is still an essential marketing effectiveness tool for modern marketers
- 10,000 hours to become an expert
- Why the T-shaped marketer is a critical thing to understand for your career and development
- 5 ways to expand your digital marketing knowledge and mindset
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