Content Is King But Relevance Is Queen
Industrial marketing professionals are tripping over one another to produce enormous volumes of content to feed the latest marketing trend, content marketing. In many companies Chief Marketing Officers are being augmented or even replaced by Chief Content Officers. While relatively new, content marketing has really come into the mainstream and will not be disappearing anytime soon. As I have mentioned in the past, it’s revenge of the English majors who now find themselves with writing skills that are suddenly in demand.
As with so many trends, it can be easy to overdo things and not really think things through. What you may well have noticed is while many industrial companies have bought into the old adage that content is king some of these companies are producing too much irrelevant content which ultimately hurts their brand.
The following is a simple way to make content work for your company and maintain its relevance.
Develop a content marketing plan
Prior to embarking on a content marketing campaign it’s always wise to come up with a plan. Start by developing comprehensive personae for each audience (specific buyer types by function), you seek to reach and ultimately influence.
Commit to spending the time necessary to create true three dimensional personas. What do they want to achieve? What are their major frustrations? What are the risks to which they expose themselves by maintaining their status quo? What do they need to know to make wise purchasing decisions?
Produce relevant content that follows your content marketing plan
There is no sense in having an excellent content marketing plan and not bothering to follow that plan. The key to producing relevant content is ensuring it is tightly focused around the specific needs and concerns of every member of your audience.
Prepare a content map that answers the likely questions being asked by each audience during every step of their buying journey. Give great thought to the first stage of the buying journey which is when your buyer is blissfully unaware they have a problem.
Utilize multi-modal content
Your content does not need to be restricted to downloadable PDFs. You can use printed content, CDs, audio, and, of course, video. Your buyers usually have visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning style preferences. For example, when I was at university I rarely attended lectures as I was not an auditory learner. I was a visual learner and much preferred reading as my learning style.
In an ideal world you would repurpose each content asset to meet each preferred learning style. For example you might have a downloadable report, a printed report, audio podcast, and a video which all cover exactly the same subject. While this may not be possible for each content asset it is a good idea to have some content available in each style.
Run your analytics
It’s imperative to have accurate statistics on all of your content. Accurate analytics will help you make wise decisions based on the only input that really matters, that being your marketplace. Here are just some of the questions that can be answered by accurate analytics. What content distribution is most effective? Which content is being most consistently consumed? Is your content meeting the needs of your marketplace?
Ultimately, it is your analytics will reveal what your audience views as being relevant. Be sure to listen to what you are being told and make the necessary adjustments.