I also think that there needs to be a departure from the mindset that content production is simply a means to an end, that all content is created equal and that simply posting something, no matter if it is valuable to the audience or not, is enough to drive sales and build loyalty. Content marketing really needs to be thought of as a living, breathing thing--it changes as company goals morph and evolve.
Matt, you said there's a huge difference between creating value and measuring that value. Can you talk more about that?
Shelly, are B2B marketers are making strides in getting others at the company to understand/support what they’re doing?
Amanda, how do you determine if content is going to be valuable? Trial and error or understanding your audience?
What have you learned specifically in working in content marketing -
as opposed to just PR or event marketing or some other aspect of
I've learned that you don't have to generate it all on your own. I focus on collaborating with our partners for content generation where they can be the experts and our brand serves as the educational partner.
I've learned that it’s not about doing what everyone else is doing—it’s about creating something new that consumers cannot find anywhere else. I often use a Netflix analogy when talking about content marketing. Netflix used to be a platform that you could go to watch movies or TV shows—the problem here is that in this curation model (that’s exactly what they were doing, curating the content of others), there were other companies that sprung up that did the exact same thing. Nothing about this was unique. A consumer could go to Netflix, or they could go to Hulu Plus, etc. So what Netflix did was start creating original content that was owned by them, i.e House of Cards, Orange is the New Black…serious hit shows. This made people choose Netflix over other curation competitors. This is what a successful content marketing strategy should do—increase loyalty because people know they have to come to YOU to find the original, creative content or information they are searching for. This means you have to think creatively and outside of the box—not just do what a competitor is doing on Facebook, etc.
Marie, to your point — Is it more about learning platforms and what types of content works best on them as part of that cross-platform approach?
Oh yes, Leah, I truly believe that - but that's just me! Content marketing is very subjective! I adhere to creating and nurturing CROSS-PLATFORM content drives, that leverage the most appropriate platforms. For example, Pinterest is not for every business or campaign, but sometimes it is! You have to map out the message and build it on the brand and corporate philosophy, then like runners in a race at the starting line - launch out in different lanes to carry the content objective.
Amanda, what processes or resources should content marketers look to be able to come up with creative content or original ideas?
A State of Corporate Social Media report says 84.5% of B2Bs and 84.3% of
B2C say they didn’t feel they were fully leveraging the power that
social media could deliver to their corporations. Is this concerning?
What are your thoughts on this?
Some brands -- like Intuit's TurboTax -- are fabulous with social media. Just mention their brand and you'll get a response. A nice, conversational response from a person. Having a group of people who are responsible for the social media initiative can really help bring the whole organization on board, so social media is used appropriately (and without fear). Thankfully, the days of assigning all social media to an intern are going away!
Are there any examples of past tactics used - B2B and B2C that went horribly wrong and why do you think so?
A big question -- What's the best way to move forward, avoid problems or improve upon content marketing?
Those are great examples, Amanda. Ouch! Sometimes a company's values get lost while trying to garner attention. Someone must have objected at some point before launch!
Get rid of the mindset that consumers are only interested in products and services—rather, they are interested in problems and solutions. Now if your campaign is done right, then conveniently your products will also be there when a solution is presented, but it’s about educating first.
The best way to avoid problems and improve on content marketing? Have a great content strategy in place to guide you! :)
And don’t work behind a façade—if your campaign feels fake or contrived, your customers are going to see through this and ignore you.
I think its important that Content Marketers focus on telling a story and educating people on topics their brands are experts in and that they tie back to the business in some way (the connections don't need to be so obvious). I think there are still many simple mistakes that people are still making in content marketing especially rehashing information from others that is already available and the absolute worst: trying to pass an advertisement off as content marketing. People hate to be tricked at the end of an article/post to find out it was an ad.
Agree with Amanda. Don't try so hard. Be authentic. You, as a brand, have tremendous knowledge, insight, and value that your audience really wants. Just ask them! Or ask your customer service people what customers are talking about. Gather it up and package it so they just can't get enough.
Any more examples of good or bad content marketing to share?
Here's a good example of B2B content marketing: GoToMeeting (@GoToMeeting) on Twitter is a great example of content marketing done well. Let’s face it—talking about their core product offering, can get boring pretty fast. The company generally talks about subjects related to working together, workplace productivity, etc.—themes that connect with their core business audience. It’s a great way to stay active in a client’s Twitter feed, stay interesting, and keep someone engaging with you. They are curating and creating content related to their product offering, without shoving it down their audience’s throat and selling non-stop.
Thank you everyone for joining today's chat! It was an excellent conversation around content marketing lessons learned!
Thanks everyone for a great chat today! I appreciate having been invited!
Thanks for the invitation, Leah! Enjoyed it.
Thank you, great experience! Thanks Leah!
Thanks everyone, I learned so much from each of you. Thanks for the invite Leah!