Content marketing is the cornerstone of inbound marketing and a core driver for digital marketing, in general. But, as Robert Rose of Content Marketing Institute (CMI) points out, content marketing is “…a methodology—an approach—a strategy…” in marketing.
So, content marketing is NOT a single campaign, but more accurately, a marketing mindset. And this mindset has proven itself in delivering value to companies of every kind.
By describing what content marketing isn’t, your path to content marketing success becomes wide open and ready for you to take.
Jumping right in, besides a campaign, here’s my take on what content marketing is NOT.
Let me know by commenting if I’ve missed something big or if you have anything to add.
Your Guide to What Content Marketing is NOT:
Here’s the deal. Just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean you can’t start with a simple content marketing framework.
Still, it won’t be easy because it requires thought and research to define a purpose and develop a strategy.
On top of that, you need to document your plan or have a written version, for best performance. (source)
Next, design an editorial plan and schedule, making sure to align customer and company goals in tandem.
Finally, identify your goals and objectives, determining how to measure and document results. Remember, if you don’t analyze the data you collect to make continual improvements, there’s no point in collecting it!Just because it isn't easy, doesn't mean you can't start with a simple content marketing framework.Click To Tweet
Just like a successful content marketing strategy isn’t easy, it’s not lightning quick, either.
Joe Pulizzi of CMI emphasizes the time and commitment organizations must make to relish in the benefits from their content marketing efforts.
This is not a one and done proposition. Not even close. Commit or quit. That’s all.
*A Single Formula
Here’s the funny part. Because what works like a charm for one company, won’t work at all for another! Mix. Marketing mix. Media mix. Mix your content and the channels you use to deliver your message until you find the perfect mix of methods. Experiment to increase opportunities for finding success.
While it’s true, there’s no single formula to reach your goals and objectives, plenty of approaches are out there. Why not test them?
Modeling behaviors of highly successful others, even competitors, and adopting benchmarking techniques into operations makes sense for ways to start.
When you do find a single formula, it will be uniquely you. Sometimes this original secret recipe that you alone brew leads (or lends) to your key differentiator or “tilt” as CMI calls it.
There are no guarantees in content marketing but, companies who embrace and support their content platforms, even so far as treating these efforts as a publishing house, benefit.
Beyond commitment to a content marketing program, organizations who
- Have a written or documented strategy
- Provide resources—tools and talent and budget—to build content assets
- Align content to customer experience, needs, and progress points in the relationship
- Collect, measure, and record KPI (key performance indicators) data
- Analyze, evolve, improve, iterate; and,
- Continually test and innovate
perform better, meeting and exceeding goal metrics and surpassing expected results.
Heck, over there at CMI, content marketing is a whole huge Orange Revolution!
Content marketing isn’t stubborn or bull-headed. You’ll need to be much lighter on your feet.
Here’s the deal. If you aren’t agile, flexible, progressive, and willing to change, adapt, and evolve at lightning speed, you may as well forget about content marketing. Here’s why.
Things move too fast to stay stuck in any process. Be open to learning, testing, and experimenting. Besides, content marketing is technology-based; no industry has grown so fast, dashing forward so significantly.
I’m not talking about chasing every latest toy; but suggest the need to stay in touch with trends, tech, and impact within your industry.
If you’re not continually learning, how can you be a resource to your customers? How can you lead your company into the future?
Sure, concentrate on your core business, but don’t forget to keep an eye on the bigger eco-system, so you’re not left behind.
While keeping your head up, make sure to keep a close eye on your customers. Because, if you don’t take the time to know them, they won’t want to know or do business with you.
Some businesses forget the importance of their customers. Look, without them, you’re nothing. They’re worth keeping an eye on, don’t you think?
Content marketing is user-centric or customer-driven—more so than at any other time in advertising history.
Channels used in digital strategies must follow the customer to deliver a message in a conversational, unobtrusive manner.
Opposite of “broadcasting” a message, content marketing offers “special delivery” by reaching out on a personal level. Highly relevant information is welcome with permission-based marketing, as you build relationships through interactive content.
The whole concept around content marketing involves shifting viewpoints, methods, abilities, and knowledge. So clearly, there’s no stubborn in evolving and improving your content and the digital experience you want to provide!
A Content Marketing Opportunity
Don’t get left in the digital divide. There’s a gap in America—astoundingly so—per the Harvard Business Review, leaving the door wide open for content marketing gold. Why not take your business to new heights by leveraging the digital frontier and building your online presence?Opposite of “broadcasting” a message, content marketing offers “special delivery” by reaching out on a personal level.Click To Tweet