Live from DemandCon: Why Digital Content Marketing Requires a Great Editor

By Kari Rippetoe | Apr 16, 2013
More Articles by Kari


content marketing gardenSo you think you’ve heard all there is to know about content marketing and why it’s such an important part of your digital marketing strategy. You’ve seen the case studies demonstrating how content converts prospects into leads and leads into customers, and the statistics showing how marketers are making content marketing a top priority. You’ve read about all the different types of content you need to be creating. You’re convinced already, and trust me, I’m right there with you. This is exactly what I thought heading into the Digital Content Marketing session today at DemandCon San Francisco – what other new ideas could I possibly glean from this session?

I was wrong. And pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what I learned today, and the most important thing you need to know if you plan to enter the big, bright world of content marketing: you need an editor, and a good one.

The role the editor plays in content marketing is multi-faceted, and as someone who plays this role on a daily basis, I can attest to this. During the session, George Stenitzer of telecommunications company Tellabs likened content marketing to gardening, and talked about several key things the content editor needs to be doing to grow and cultivate this garden and drive an effective content marketing program. Here are 6 that stood out to me:

  • Understanding the customer: First and foremost, the editor needs to understand the target customer and what makes them tick, such as what specific topics they’re interested in, what their challenges are, and what will make their jobs easier. 
  • Speaking the right language: Stenitzer talked about how Voice Of America, whose readers, radio listeners and TV viewers are worldwide, selected a vocabulary they use in all their content that non-native English speakers could understand – a “global English.” It’s important that the editor can not only understand the speaking language their audience speaks, but the language they speak in terms of their professional and personal lives (for instance, industry jargon).
  • Surrounding the customer with content: The editor needs to surround customers with the content they need in all forms and orchestrate it so it’s all tied together with one consistent message.
  • Cultivating all forms of content: The editor needs to understand how the audience wants to consume content and develop it in all different forms, from print magazines to blogs, e-newsletters to infographics, videos to e-books, and everything in between.
  • Not going too fast: Pushing out content as quickly as possible is not the right approach. The editor needs to know when is the right time for the right piece of content.
  • Creating perennial and evergreen content: The editor should tink perennial content that yields year after year and continues to renew, as well as evergreen content that can be used over and over and continues to work.

What do you think are the most important attributes of a good editor? Please comment below, or follow and tweet me @KariRippetoe.

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