The 6C’s of Content Marketing

Marketing 101 taught you the The 5 C’s of Traditional  Marketing – Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context. What are the 6 C’s of Content Marketing?

  • Customer
  • Community
  • Content
  • Conversation
  • Continuity
  • Consistency

Customer

“The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer.” – Peter Drucker

You have this heard over and over again – “Customer is always the king”. Keep customers top of mind when defining your Content Marketing strategy. Provide content to solve their informational needs. Inform and educate. Provide content in multiple forms based on how your customers consume content.

Key questions to ask about Customer

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are the goals and aspirations of your prospects and customers?
  • What information are your prospects and customers seeking?
  • How do your prospects and customers consume information?
  • How can you reach your prospects and customers?
  • How are you going to influence your prospects and customers during different touch points of their buying journey?
  • How will you constantly gauge how well you are serving the informational needs of your prospects and customers?

Michele Linn says “The more time you take to understand your ideal reader, the more focused and engaging your marketing communications will be” in her article Are You Really Reaching Your Reader? 20 Questions to Consider.

Community

“Respect those who come to you with open ears and foster a sense of community.” – P.T. Sudo

Marketing has changed from one-way push media to a two-way street. Traditional demand generation and customer conversion playbooks won’t work anymore. Recognize that change. Foster the growth of your community and connect with them. Talk to them. Listen. Ask them for feedback. Incorporate changes based on the feedback you get from customers and prospects.

Key questions to ask about Community

  • How do you define your ideal community?
  • How do you build your community?
  • How do you forge active engagement between you and the community and within the community?
  • What is the single most important value that you will provide to your community?
  • How will you communicate with your community actively and in a non-intrusive way?

Leverage social media tools to listen, converse, collect information, build and grow your business. Chris Brogan’s blog Community and Social Media Business Strategy and Guy Kawaski’s The Art of Creating a Community  are two great resources for insights on how to build communities. The Top 50 Social Media Blogs Of The Year and Alltop’s Social Media Category are also useful lists to explore ideas on social media.

Content

“If your content is something that your customers are willing to share, you’ve unlocked the secret of engagement.” – Joe Pulizzi

Create and distribute high quality, compelling content that your customers and prospects will find valuable. Make content compelling so that is it is not only useful just for your readers, but also useful enough for them to share it with others. This will lead to viral transmission of your content.

Key questions to ask about your Content

  • How will you determine what is the most important content for your prospects and customers?
  • What formats will you use to make it easy for prospects and customers to consume your content?
  • How will you distribute content to reach prospects and customers?
  • How will you manage and update your content once you have created and distributed it?
  • How will you measure the ROI(Return on Investment) of your content?
  • How will you ensure that your Content Marketing Strategy is integrated with your overall Marketing?

Learn more about Content Marketing at Junta42’s Top Content Marketing Blogs and Alltop’s Content Marketing Category.

Conversation

 “Conversation Marketing ensures that you know your audience, target them with an appropriate message, and then observe their response and adjust that message accordingly.” – Ian Lurie

Start conversations with your customers and prospects. Use the energy surrounding social media to transmit your message and listen to your prospects and customers. Leverage the technology and tools available in this conversation-enabled world. Use blogging, social media marketing and community evangelism to reach your Content Marketing goals.

Key questions to ask about your Conversation Marketing

  • How you enable conversations with your customer and prospects?
  • How do you stay tuned in for feedback?
  • How do you respond to feedback?
  • What are the key messages you want to convey in your conversations?
  • Are all your front-facing troops(sales, customer service etc) aware of your ‘rules of engagement’ with customer and prospects?
  • How do you enable your customers to have conversations with prospects?

Learn more about Conversation Marketing at Ian Laurie’s blog Conversation Marketing, Valeria Maltoni’s blog Conversation Agent and Paul Chaney’s blog Conversational Media Marketing.

Continuity

“Finally, strategy must have continuity. It can’t be constantly reinvented.” – Michael Porter

Marketing teams create a lot of buzz during product launches. After the launch the focus is just on selling. This mode of operation needs to change. Educate your prospects and customers continuously. Well planned execution and consistent marketing can be a competitive advantage. Don’t be reactive in your Content Marketing. Don’t just create a press release or competitive note to handle a competitor’s splash marketing. A well defined marketing plan should ensure that you have continuous ways to reach your customers and prospects.
Key questions to ask about your Marketing Continuity

  • Are you proactive in your Content marketing?
  • What small, consistent steps are you taking to promote your business with your prospects and customers?
  • Does your marketing plan have an ‘ongoing marketing section’ that is executed on and updated regularly?

Consistency

 “If you want your target market to discover and purchase your product, you must tell a consistent, authentic, believable story that fits the way they view the world.” – Seth Godin

Consistency is not just a constant look and feel in all of your marketing materials. Ensure that there is central theme behind the messaging in your content marketing. Maintaining consistency in your business, marketing and messaging is a must. Consistency of messaging is important for building trust and reputation over time. Your sales and marketing teams must agree on the messaging for your business. Marketing is a set of well planned out strategies that should work well together and be consistentin order for you to accomplish your business goals and objectives.

Key questions to ask about Marketing Consistency

  • How do you maintain consistency in your branding, identity and messaging?
  • What message about your business do you want to emphasize?
  • Do your marketing and sales team share the same story about your business with customers and prospects?

Over to you…

What questions do you ask when creating your Content Marketing Strategy?

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Tips on how B2B marketers should do Content Marketing

B2B marketing really is interesting when you look past the company and realize that you are communicating with actual people. It is amazing how often this fact is forgotten. How do you educate and inform these people if you are a B2B marketer? We asked B2B marketing experts “If you could give our readers one tip on how B2B marketers should do content marketing, what would that be?”.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Best Quotes from the Content Marketing Experts – Denise Wakeman

Welcome to our amazing recap of some of the best quotes from Content Marketing experts! We have spent quite a bit of time reviewing influential blogs and articles from the past few years, gathering some great marketing gems along the way. Content and marketing go hand in hand; developing quality, meaningful and unique content is a sure way to growing a fan base, strong link equity and to generate discussions. Intrigued? Just listen to what the experts have to say! Today is all about Denise Wakeman.

Denise Wakeman

Blog: Build a Better Blog
Twitter: DeniseWakeman

Content marketing wins over readers more than advertising. This means business bloggers have the clear advantage since blogs are the best way to communicate stories.

Denise Wakeman brings up an argument not so far off from Bob Gilbreath’s thinking. Indeed, she states that content marketing carried through blogs is better for your business than pure advertisement. Being Content Marketing believers, we can’t help but agree with this expert.

Enabling a Conversation

Blogs have indeed huge advantages over traditional advertisement. First, they allow for dialogues to happen. When a post makes its way on a blog and is published for everyone to see, many things can happen. It gets indexed by search engine’s crawlers, which makes it findable and searchable. If your piece is good/creative/provocative enough, it might sparkles conversations from other bloggers, who might react to your piece on their own space, thus creating an inter-blog conversation. These dialogs between blogs will generate more ideas as well as giving you increased visibility. This is marketing through ideas.

Blogs themselves host conversations through comments, enabling readers to criticize, praise or add to what has been said. Traditional marketing is a one-way stream that doesn’t allow people to react to what they’re being shown. It’s the opposite on blogs, though this also means control is shifting away from you and closer to your readers. Don’t worry though, this is a good thing.

Blogs Readers Are More Qualified

Blogs perform better than traditional advertisement, even though they might not reach as many people. Why is that? Well, blogs engage their readers, both by their posting frequency (blogs publish posts regularly) and their niche approach. People visit blogs because they have an interest in the topics being discussed, which add value to them. Also, people visiting a specific site on a regular basis (because quality content keeps them asking for more!) will eventually become loyal supporters and engage more deeply with the brand. This deepens the relationships, making it more solid. Traditional advertisement has a much harder time reaching that level of engagement from consumers. Converting people in such a short time frame (29 seconds on television, a few seconds per eyeballs on the web) is extremely difficult.

Another great benefit of blogs is their low-cost. You can publish a blog for free using Blogger or Tumblr services for instance, or go the self-publishing route with WordPress and a domain of your choice. Bear in mind that even though blogs are cheap to create, they do ask for a lot of time and involvement in order to generate traction and build a qualified audience.

Do you think blogs are the way to go for those who want to invest in Content Marketing?

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Leaving Out Information – The Creative Elegance Manifesto

What do In-and-Out Burger, the Mona Lisa and the Sopranos have in common? Not an easy one, eh? Well for one, they are all featured in ChangeThis‘ latest manifesto. They are also all consciously missing bits of information.We’re examining today a manifesto called Creative Elegance. This eBook written by Matthew E. May surprisingly examines how missing information and empty spaces can creatively tell a story and engage the reader into a thought process.

Conventional wisdom says that to be successful, an idea must be concrete, complete, and certain. But what if that’s wrong?

Indeed, what if this is wrong? It is certainly not common to include unfinished thoughts into a document, especially a white paper. You may wonder: Will my readers think I was too lazy to complete my project? Well this concern is a valid one. Leaving out information needs to be a conscious decision that was carefully thought-of by the creator. This is not a time-saving measure! Indeed, letting out information means that you have figured out somehow what the outcome of your thought-process is. Actually, you are removing information in order for your readers to come up with their own conclusions or alternatives. Still, it is your job to bring your readers to that point.

A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit—to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort—that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company, or most important of all, a life.

The unusually simple yet surprisingly powerful nature of any elegant this or that gives us pause, and the impact changes our view of things, often forever. Elegance delivers the power to cut through the noise. It can shake markets. It can change minds, and mindsets, as you’ve just witnessed.

Matthew E. May cleverly explains throughout the manifestos how leaving out information is an effective way to capture and empower your reader. He examines the examples of The Sopranos’ ending, In-and-Out Burger in California and the work of Leonardo Da Vinci among others. Ever wondered why the smile of the Mona Lisa is so captivating? According to May, the painting technique used by Da Vinci (called sfumato) blurs lines and edges, adding mystery and, well, life to objects and people. By consciously integrating vagueness and removing details from his work, Da Vinci created intrigue and fascination. The Mona Lisa remains a curious mystery still being studied and examined centuries after its creation.

Would you dare applying these techniques to your next white paper? Would this make any sense within your practice?

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

The Content Marketers – List of Lists – Part 2

This is the third installment of Content Marketing lists for the month of May. The first installment was The Content Marketers – List of ‘How To’ Blog Posts, and the second installment was The Content Marketers – List of Lists – Part 1.

There is a treasure trove of information in these lists on how to attract customers with good content. I separated the list into three sections:

  • The first section was a roundup of insights into how to leverage Content Marketing for your business – The Content Marketers – List of Lists – Part 1
  • The second section is a list of blog posts on how to attract customers with good content (Published in this blog post)
  • The third section is an assorted list of blog posts related to Content Marketing (Published in this blog post)

How to attract customers with good content

This section is a roundup of insights into how to attract customers with good content. There are many valuable lessons in these blog posts to leverage for creating and marketing white papers and eBooks. Below each blog post, I have outlined one key takeaway from the blog post that is relevant for creating and marketing whitepapers or eBooks.

3 Steps to Initiating a Successful Online Content Marketing Program

How do you provide valuable content that educates readers yet also works to bring in new business? Patsi Krakoff discuss Denise Wakeman’s response to these questions in 3 Ways to Write Content that Brings In Business

Lesson

When creating white papers, connect with your reader and get them to move to a deeper experience. For example, have them try out a demo or do some number crunching on your online ROI(Return on Investment) Calculator for your product.

Everything You Need to Know About Creating Killer Content in 3 Simple Words 

What three words to keep in mind so that anything you publish will get attention and action? Demian Farnworth shares his insights in Everything You Need to Know About Creating Killer Content in 3 Simple Words

Lesson

There are three tips from Demian Farnworth that are applicable to writing white papers. Be Comprehensible, Concise and Compelling in your writing.

Master the 4 Cs of Quality Content to Create Sparkling Results

What are the 4 C’s of content quality? Sonia Simone discusses this in Master 4 C’s of Quality Content to Create Sparkling Results

Lesson

Effective content must be absolutely clear if it’s going to persuade. Clear, straightforward writing allows your brilliant ideas to shine more clearly. The more focussed your content is, the easier your material is to find, to read and to act on.

Six Benefits of an Integrated Content Strategy

What can a marketer do during times of reduced budgets and nervous consumers? Heidi Cohen answers this questions in Six Benefits of an Integrated Content Strategy and Nine Content Formats to Consider.

Lesson

Customers seek out product-related information before purchase to refine their buying options and after buying to aid and improve usage. Provide appropriate white papers for these different phases.

10 Big Content Marketing Lessons in Get Content. Get Customers.

Newt Barrett covers the 10 Big Content Marketing Lessons in Get Content. Get Customers. Book Get Content. Get Customers

Lesson

Relevant and valuable content is just the first step in turning a prospect or visitor into a customer. You must then make it easy for them to buy. Your white paper should get your prospect interested in your product or service. You should have an appropriate
call-for-action in the white paper to guide your prospect to the next step in the buying process.

42 Content Building Ways to Attract and Retain Customers

How do you create content that will grow your business? Joe Pulizzi discusses this in
42 Content Building Ways to Attract and Retain Customers

Lesson

Create a white paper series. Do research on your customers’ informational needs. Create an ongoing program of thought leadership content. Case studies also help give your customers an idea of your business offering’s value proposition.

Assorted list of posts related to Content Marketing

This section is a roundup of assorted posts related to Content Marketing.

5 Ways to Distribute Your Content for Free


 How can distribute your content so that it won’t cost you anything at all? Joy Duling shares her ideas in 5 Ways to Distribute Your Content for Free.

Lesson

Find several ways of promoting your business by distributing your white papers on blogs, relevant social networking sites and online publications where your prospects and customers go for their informational needs.

Article Marketing Bootcamp: 5 Tips for Creating Content

Soni Pitts shares a list of inspirations and idea sparkers to help you build a large library of article marketing goodness. Article Marketing Bootcamp: 5 Tips for Creating Content.

Lesson

In your white papers, create Top Ten lists and check lists of information that your prospects and customers will find useful. How-to or other instructional articles are easy to write and very valuable to your prospects and customers.

Six Ways to Get People to Say “Yes”

One of the key goals of Content Marketing is to Persuade the reader. Dean Rieck describes lessons from Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion in his post Six Ways to Get People to Say “Yes”

Lesson

Leverage principles of Psychology in your Content Marketing. Read more about Influence and Persuasion: How to Trigger the “Yes” Response .

Six Strategies for Keeping Content Fresh

How do you ensure that your content is up to date and relevant to your customers? Read Joe Pulizzi’s Six Strategies for Keeping Content Fresh.

Lesson

Develop at least one “non-sales” white paper or research project per quarter specifically targeting your customers/prospects biggest problem. Position yourself as a thought leader and be the trusted business partner that your customers are looking for. Showcase your white papers on your website and at other blogs and online publications where your customers go to for their informational needs.

7 Top Content Marketing Guides

Terry Dean has a round up of articles at 7 Top Content Marketing Guides.

Lesson

Learn about Content Marketing from Terry Dean’s great compilation of Content Marketing posts.

10 Ways To Put Your Content In Front Of More People

Paul Boag says the website is a tool to showcase our content, but it is not the only tool that does this. Read more of Paul Boag’s thoughts at 10 Ways To Put Your Content In Front Of More People.

Lesson

Leverage multi media and social media to get your content out to more prospects and customers.

Top 10 Reasons Why Great Content Fails on Social Media

How can you overcome the 10 top reasons why great content fails on social media.Tadeusz Szewczyk shares his ideas on Top 10 Reasons Why Great Content Fails on Social Media.

Lesson

Social media is a great tool to distribute and promote content. The key is know how to use it appropriately to reach customers and prospects.

I hope you have found this list useful. No list is by any means exhaustive.  Please add to this list.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest