What’s Sexy-Hot for Content Marketing in 2016?

November 18, 2015 | 5 min read
By Tad Miller

What’s “sexy-hot” for content marketing now and next year? Nothing. Absolutely nothing…

Content marketing is hard work. It’s not glamorous, and when it comes to speed of delivering the eventual sale, well, it requires a lot of patience.  How much patience? Well, a lot of marketers give up on it before it gets the job done in delivering the sale. Rand Fishkin pointed out last year in his “Why Content Marketing Fails” deck how most marketers think that content marketing should work:

Ummm, it doesn't really work this way.

Ummm, it doesn’t really work this way.

Rand correctly asserted that content marketing was about earning familiarity, trust and a relationship, and every subsequent visit after the first content view is another chance to earn that relationship.

OK, it's in "cave-man speak" but it's still right.

OK, it’s in “caveman speak,” but it’s still right.

What Should Be Sexy in Content Marketing?

Just like basic maintenance should get a lot more love in the world of cars, roads and bridges, planning should get a lot more love in content marketing.  To be more specific, planning a content marketing strategy and actually writing it down for the entire marketing department to read and understand is a really big deal, and there are survey results to back it up.

The most successful content marketers actually document their strategy

The most successful content marketers actually document their strategy

In this year’s “B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends for North America” report by the Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs and Brightcove, the most common factor shared by content marketers who view content marketing as highly effective was having a documented content marketing strategy.

Plotting your content schedule in advance is a big deal, but it’s more than just saying you are going to do one white paper and one webinar per quarter.  You need to come up with a plan for nurturing and content amplification too. Because remember…it takes multiple touches to build the familiarity and relationship needed to actually close a sale.

Nurturing Is Necessary

You need to think how you can keep getting “touches” from your potential customers.  You don’t want to be the marketers who get their first leads from content marketing and don’t have a step two in the process. No-brainer things that you should have them do include:

  • Follow you on social media channels
  • Look at your actual product or service pages on your website (Amazingly, this isn’t something many content marketers even consider)
  • Read your blog posts
  • Look at older, yet still relevant, content marketing assets like white papers and webinars
  • See special offers
  • Sign up for your newsletter
  • Download or watch the next big content pieces on your schedule
These leads aren't going to nurture themselves

These leads aren’t going to nurture themselves

How Do I Get My Content Seen by the Right People ?

Step one in content marketing is bringing qualified buyers into your audience. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, if you create great content that is not enough to bring in the desired audience, the gateway approach you need is content amplification and social media advertising.

It's now possible to target just your desired audience on Social Ads

It’s now possible to target just your desired audience on social ads

We find that we are able to bring in massive numbers of qualified leads with white paper campaigns on LinkedIn Ads that are targeting to a buyer persona that we develop with our clients (note: add buyer personas to your documented content marketing strategy). Believe it or not, we have found this to be the easy part of the process.

Using advertising and content marketing to move the prospects from those LinkedIn white paper campaigns from being prospects to being sales qualified leads is the hard part. You need to gear your advertising towards the nurturing goals listed above.

Approaches to do content marketing amplification:

  • Using the email addresses of those white paper leads (and really all qualified leads) as ad targeting. You can use email based “Custom Audiencecampaigns on Facebook. You can use those email lists for ad targeting on Google for “Customer Match” based campaigns on the search network, YouTube and Gmail ads. Twitter even has ad targeting based on email addresses used to log into Twitter.
  • You can promote your blog posts on both Twitter and Facebook just to those email-based ad targets with Sponsored Updates
  • You can actually promote your products/services to the content marketing audience (There is usually a sizable audience of people that like your content but never bother to see anything else on your website).
  • Using remarketing lists for the social ad audiences (based on the buyer persona) that download your white papers or sign up for your webinars. You could also remarket to the the audiences from those campaigns that didn’t actually sign up (You know they are the right people based on the persona and the targeting that matches it).
  • Doing the typical email marketing stuff: Most content marketers are already doing this to a degree. But open rates and spam filters aren’t making life easier for the email marketer these days.  Realize that it isn’t getting easier to do this.
  • Realize that your actual list of leads may be small, but your ability to reach them on almost every single day with your marketing message is likely possible with using the biggest display network in the world (Google AdWords) and the biggest social network in the world (Facebook).  You have the ability to “scale” your marketing to your leads (and only them if you want) on these channels, and best of all, it’s incredibly cheap to do so just based on the smallness of those audience sizes.

None of these tactics are super-sexy, but all of them are effective in a pretty unglamourous, working class way.  So write down your plan (put some meat on it and be detailed on the nurturing and amplification tactics too), and start working on making it happen.


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What’s Sexy-Hot for Content Marketing in 2016?

November 18, 2015 | 5 min read
By Tad Miller

What’s “sexy-hot” for content marketing now and next year? Nothing. Absolutely nothing…

Content marketing is hard work. It’s not glamorous, and when it comes to speed of delivering the eventual sale, well, it requires a lot of patience.  How much patience? Well, a lot of marketers give up on it before it gets the job done in delivering the sale. Rand Fishkin pointed out last year in his “Why Content Marketing Fails” deck how most marketers think that content marketing should work:

Ummm, it doesn't really work this way.

Ummm, it doesn’t really work this way.

Rand correctly asserted that content marketing was about earning familiarity, trust and a relationship, and every subsequent visit after the first content view is another chance to earn that relationship.

OK, it's in "cave-man speak" but it's still right.

OK, it’s in “caveman speak,” but it’s still right.

What Should Be Sexy in Content Marketing?

Just like basic maintenance should get a lot more love in the world of cars, roads and bridges, planning should get a lot more love in content marketing.  To be more specific, planning a content marketing strategy and actually writing it down for the entire marketing department to read and understand is a really big deal, and there are survey results to back it up.

The most successful content marketers actually document their strategy

The most successful content marketers actually document their strategy

In this year’s “B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends for North America” report by the Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs and Brightcove, the most common factor shared by content marketers who view content marketing as highly effective was having a documented content marketing strategy.

Plotting your content schedule in advance is a big deal, but it’s more than just saying you are going to do one white paper and one webinar per quarter.  You need to come up with a plan for nurturing and content amplification too. Because remember…it takes multiple touches to build the familiarity and relationship needed to actually close a sale.

Nurturing Is Necessary

You need to think how you can keep getting “touches” from your potential customers.  You don’t want to be the marketers who get their first leads from content marketing and don’t have a step two in the process. No-brainer things that you should have them do include:

  • Follow you on social media channels
  • Look at your actual product or service pages on your website (Amazingly, this isn’t something many content marketers even consider)
  • Read your blog posts
  • Look at older, yet still relevant, content marketing assets like white papers and webinars
  • See special offers
  • Sign up for your newsletter
  • Download or watch the next big content pieces on your schedule
These leads aren't going to nurture themselves

These leads aren’t going to nurture themselves

How Do I Get My Content Seen by the Right People ?

Step one in content marketing is bringing qualified buyers into your audience. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, if you create great content that is not enough to bring in the desired audience, the gateway approach you need is content amplification and social media advertising.

It's now possible to target just your desired audience on Social Ads

It’s now possible to target just your desired audience on social ads

We find that we are able to bring in massive numbers of qualified leads with white paper campaigns on LinkedIn Ads that are targeting to a buyer persona that we develop with our clients (note: add buyer personas to your documented content marketing strategy). Believe it or not, we have found this to be the easy part of the process.

Using advertising and content marketing to move the prospects from those LinkedIn white paper campaigns from being prospects to being sales qualified leads is the hard part. You need to gear your advertising towards the nurturing goals listed above.

Approaches to do content marketing amplification:

  • Using the email addresses of those white paper leads (and really all qualified leads) as ad targeting. You can use email based “Custom Audiencecampaigns on Facebook. You can use those email lists for ad targeting on Google for “Customer Match” based campaigns on the search network, YouTube and Gmail ads. Twitter even has ad targeting based on email addresses used to log into Twitter.
  • You can promote your blog posts on both Twitter and Facebook just to those email-based ad targets with Sponsored Updates
  • You can actually promote your products/services to the content marketing audience (There is usually a sizable audience of people that like your content but never bother to see anything else on your website).
  • Using remarketing lists for the social ad audiences (based on the buyer persona) that download your white papers or sign up for your webinars. You could also remarket to the the audiences from those campaigns that didn’t actually sign up (You know they are the right people based on the persona and the targeting that matches it).
  • Doing the typical email marketing stuff: Most content marketers are already doing this to a degree. But open rates and spam filters aren’t making life easier for the email marketer these days.  Realize that it isn’t getting easier to do this.
  • Realize that your actual list of leads may be small, but your ability to reach them on almost every single day with your marketing message is likely possible with using the biggest display network in the world (Google AdWords) and the biggest social network in the world (Facebook).  You have the ability to “scale” your marketing to your leads (and only them if you want) on these channels, and best of all, it’s incredibly cheap to do so just based on the smallness of those audience sizes.

None of these tactics are super-sexy, but all of them are effective in a pretty unglamourous, working class way.  So write down your plan (put some meat on it and be detailed on the nurturing and amplification tactics too), and start working on making it happen.

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