Early this month, I spent a day at the Convince & Convert Content Connection workshop as part of Content Marketing World in Cleveland. (Check out my colleague Elizabeth Sosnow’s post about her favorite “grenades” from the day). While the workshop was filled with a wide range of learnings about content marketing strategy, we’ve tried to boil down what we learned into our “top 5.” Today, I’ll share our first two lessons, and my colleague Megan Tuck will follow-up tomorrow to round out the list.
So, without further adieu, here are some of our “aha” moments from the conference:
1. We cannot confuse content marketing strategy with content strategy.
How many times has someone come to you and said, “I want to do an infographic”; or “I’m really into video right now”; or “Can you help me perfect this blog post?” What became clear throughout the conference was how common this instinct was: to focus on the content before focusing on the marketing strategy. But amazing graphics and a clever Twitter feed is not content marketing.
Instead, true content marketing starts with research into the target audience, determining how they should best be reached, and developing personas to help to assess the motivation for purchase. The content strategy is then crafted for, and promoted to, that target audience. In other words, a content marketing program should be sequenced: content marketing strategy →content strategy →content promotion.
2. As more companies start content marketing programs, we will no longer be able to “win” on arbitrage.
Arbitrage, or winning on market inefficiencies, is the name of the game in many of today’s content marketing programs. Meaning, just by do the very basics–SEO, blogging, etc.— you can stay ahead of your competitors, because many haven’t done any content marketing at all. But, the time is coming where that won’t work anymore, and this advantage will be lost (clue: the yearly summit discussed in this post that was attended by thousands of marketers). So, for those companies that are slow to embrace content marketing, it’s time to heed the call.
Stay tuned for Megan’s post that finishes this list…
To Connect with Katherine: