Content marketing has evolved from its early days as a small-scale strategy for B2B companies to the powerhouse of an industry that it is today. The rise of content marketing and influencer campaigns have brought about all new opportunities, but also challenges with which marketers must continually be on their toes.
The “content marketing virtual summit” is a conference that was hosted by the Content Marketing Institute. Attendees of the conference were able to listen to 10 content marketing truth bombs shared with the #CMWorld community in 2021.
In most cases, dropping verbal bombs on a livestream isn’t a smart idea.
However, the experts on the Ask the #CMWorld Community livestreams this year delivered some incredible ones, covering topics ranging from analytics to video storytelling, SEO, and more. We didn’t want you to miss out on the top ten takeaways offered by our gracious visitors.
According to @AmandaSubler of @SagaReach MarketingContent, the Ask the #CMWorld Community livestreams detonated at least ten spectacular #ContentMarketing truth bombs in 2021. To Tweet, just click here.
(If you have time, watch the weekly episodes from 2021 here and tune in every Monday at Noon EST on your chosen social media platform.)
1. Allow staff to be themselves on social media (with some guardrails)
Erika Heald, of Erika Heald Consulting, joined us for the episode on social media in the workplace. Is it feasible for workers to be themselves on social media while adhering to your company’s social media guidelines?
“I believe the goal is to do some lunch-and-learns or other types of interactions with those individuals to let them know,” she adds. We’re not attempting to regulate what you say on social media. We want you to be yourself, but please provide some parameters for how we should act.
According to @sferika through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent, your staff have the potential to be your most honest champions on #SocialMedia. To Tweet, just click here.
“For example, on social media, individuals might become quite furious… Give (workers) training on what to do if someone says anything negative about the brand: don’t interact with them and report it to corporate communications. Whether you’re tempted to say anything hurtful, go away from the internet for a minute or two, then return and ask yourself if you’d say it to someone’s face. So it’s simply a matter of providing some of that assistance and guidance.”
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2. Recognize which figures are critical to your job’s success.
Chris Penn of Trust Insights, co-founder and chief data strategist, joined us for the content marketing analytics 101 episode. We asked him what the largest mistake he sees marketers make when measuring the effectiveness of their content initiatives.
Chris’ response? “By far, I don’t understand the difference between a metric and a KPI.” A KPI (key performance indicator), as Chris explains, is a figure that, if it moves in the wrong direction, might result in your dismissal. Everyone will have a separate KPI that they should track. The trick is to consider if a certain figure will earn you a bonus or will result in you being fired or receiving a poor performance assessment.
According to @cspenn through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent, a KPI is a number that if it moves in the incorrect direction, you might be fired. To Tweet, just click here.
You should ask your employer if you don’t know what that figure is. “If your manager doesn’t know what that number is,” Chris points out, “you need to change your LinkedIn page because you and your boss are in a lot of danger.”
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3. A content council may help with a variety of cooperation and coordination issues.
Andi Robinson, Corteva Agriscience’s worldwide digital content leader, joined us to discuss how to achieve buy-in for your content marketing efforts. She started from the bottom up with a content marketing team, and one of the smartest things she did was form a “content council” inside the company.
According to @hijinxmarketing through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent, create a #content council to advise, assist, and push for effective content operations. To Tweet, just click here.
“One of the first things I knew I wanted to do was establish a team to assist me deliver messaging, best practices, and push for content marketing across the business,” Andi explains. Andi is based in Indianapolis, but she collaborates with more than 50 marketing teams all around the globe. She needed to engage the help of everyone to advocate for content marketing and best practices in general. Andi also required local teams to provide their ideas and facts to the organization’s larger marketing staff.
“When we gather as a content council, one of the main things we discuss is who’s doing what, whether we can share best practices, and if anybody has any concerns about anything they’re doing that other team members can answer.” As a result, as part of that content council, it really is a collaborative team.”
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4. Guest blogging continues to be an effective way to acquire new company leads.
Michelle Garett, a public relations consultant at Garrett Public Relations, spoke with us about how content marketing freelancers may position themselves for success. What are some excellent locations in your company to generate leads and uncover job opportunities?
“With social media, I’ve got a lot of success. My preferred social media platform is Twitter, although many others prefer LinkedIn. I also believe that having a blog and writing on a regular basis (helps), as does contributing articles and guest posting. That’s been a great opportunity for me to reach out to new folks who would not be acquainted with my site otherwise.
Guest #blogging, according to @PrisUs @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent, is an effective approach for her to reach individuals who aren’t acquainted with her site. To Tweet, just click here.
“Or it just assists me in reaching out to new audiences, and many sites are searching for guest blogs… For example, I like manufacturing, therefore I’m constantly seeking for and listening to manufacturing-related podcasts. I wrote a guest essay for Thomasnet, a major player in the business… In certain sectors, this is undoubtedly a lot simpler than in others. I believe there are a number of places in health care that could be interested in guest blogs and other stuff.”
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5. Technology should support your plan rather than drive it.
Buddy Scalera, a content strategist, discussed the necessity of marketers knowing the technology in their marketing stack and why chasing the newest, fanciest marketing tools isn’t always a smart idea.
“You really need to start with what are your final objectives,” he explains. What do you want to achieve?… You could also start by learning about your target audience’s persona. That will be the driving force behind the technologies you need.”
The technology you need will be driven by your understanding of the persona of your target audience. @BuddyScalera @SagaReach MarketingContent says through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent. To Tweet, just click here.
“As we blossomed on the internet with all the social networks, we started to build our marketing around the technology,” Buddy adds. “OK, we’re going to do something for TikTok,” we’d say. Perhaps it was a brilliant concept. Perhaps not, but it’s common to see individuals start with the platform or technology and then attempt to fit their content into it.
“I’ve gone to a number of meetings where they’ve discussed… how will this work with Google Glass?” And now, how will this work with blockchain these days? They’re also attempting to find out how to make technology work for them in terms of marketing. The first consideration is if their marketing is effective and their content is appropriate. What does your target audience need and want from you?”
6. Improvisation might prove to be your most valuable talent.
The creator of Keeping it Human, Kathy Klotz-Guest, is a great believer in improvisation and allowing teams to experiment and create. We inquired about the role of improv in the development of creative marketing teams.
“You’ve probably never considered it, but your squad is an improv troupe.” And I’ll tell you why: things change, you have to realign, you have to collaborate, you have to co-create. Every day, you must pivot. So you’re an improvisation by nature, and your team is forced to improvise as well. During COVID, everyone was required to do so. That is a high-stakes scenario, but there are times when the stakes are lower, and we must flip and adjust. You’ve already formed an improv group. My argument is that if you’re going to be an improv team, why not be a good, purposeful team rather than a bad one?”
“How do we build psychological safety,” Kathy explains, “is one of the most essential principles.” Because we have a notion called ‘I have your back,’ improvisers on stage are able to accomplish that. There is no such thing as a correct answer. There is no such thing as a mistake. Imagine if we spent less time in our teams judging each other’s ideas and more time asking, “What’s feasible about all of these ideas, and how can I expand on what they said?” rather than “How can I… find 20 reasons why it won’t work?” How can I come up with justifications for why it will work? That’s what psychological safety is all about.”
Treat your team as though they were an improv troupe. Imagine if instead of finding 20 reasons why something won’t work, we looked at what’s feasible in team members’ #content ideas, says @kathyklotzguest via @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent. To Tweet, just click here.
7. Before you begin original study, identify the distinctive perspective.
Michele Linn, co-founder and head of strategy at Mantis Research, joined us to discuss the advantages of incorporating bespoke research into your marketing plan. She clarified that getting started does not include asking questions.
“There are a lot of marketers who think, ‘This is going to be fun.’ Let’s get to work on some questions.’ What I would suggest is that you take a step back and devise a basic approach. Are you clear on what you want your study to accomplish? Do you want it to generate email subscribers for you? Is it something you’d want to have as part of your thought leadership program? Do you want it to be a hub for you to create a variety of other content? What exactly do you want it to do?
Before you begin drafting questions, take a step back and devise a basic method. @MicheleLinn through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent asks, “What do you want your #research to accomplish?” To Tweet, just click here.
“Also, find out who you want your research to have the greatest influence on so you can make sure you’re presenting those incredibly intriguing insights to that audience.” Then, I believe it’s critical that you grasp what research (does) currently exist in this field… Last week, I was speaking with someone who said, “You know, we want to make a study on video in content marketing.” However, if you search for video statistics, you’ll get a plethora of information. Before you start drafting the questions, you need to be sure you have your own unique perspective.”
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8. The tone of a brand should represent the company’s culture as well as the expectations of its target audience.
Vassilena Valchanova, a digital strategist, joined us to discuss how to define your brand voice and who should be engaged inside your firm.
“It’s a marketing-led project, and marketing is responsible for the majority of the work, but it’s not simply the responsibility of the marketing team.” You’ll need to enlist the help of a large number of individuals. There are many steps to developing a brand voice. And the first is the preliminary research.”
According to @vasvalch through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent, the first step in creating your brand voice is to do preliminary research. To Tweet, just click here.
“Check at your present communication and see how your brand is already speaking and what you can take away from that communication style,” Vassilena advises. This may be accomplished by reviewing previous blog posts, social media posts, or other areas where your business has a presence. It may even do research inside the firm. So, how are individuals connecting in a more organic way across your company?
“Because the brand voice typically has to represent the corporate culture, this may be a terrific source of inspiration.” And if your internal communications staff is really casual and welcoming, but your brand has to be very serious and conservative on the outside, it’ll be far more difficult to maintain in the long term.
“Then there’s your audience research in general.” So, how do the individuals you’re targeting interact in various online communities, such as LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups, on their own? How do they communicate or what lingo do they use? What is the tone of the language? What we’re aiming to achieve here is a better understanding of our target demographic and ensuring that we blend in as seamlessly as possible.”
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9. The finest SEO optimization begins before you even start writing.
Before you start, make sure your content is naturally tuned to perform, according to Chris Craft, chief content officer of NEOLuxe Marketing.
“Say you want to start a new content project. It usually begins with some brainstorming… You just sit at the table, scribbling down ideas, which is beneficial since it allows you to begin building a broad cloud of content ideas, whether they are particular subjects or themes… Then, using a content matrix technique, you can go a little more particular by organizing some of those themes and prospective subjects according to your target market.
Before you write, check to see whether your #content is naturally optimized to perform, advises @CraftWrites through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent. To Tweet, just click here.
“After that, you put those themes or subjects into what we refer to as head phrases.” And they are simply generic terms that you might look up in a search engine, but they’re at a very high level, right? … You’ll enter those head words into your chosen keyword research tool… You next transform those generic keyword head phrases into long-tail keywords. After that, you’ll apply those long-tail keywords to the grouped topics, themes, and clusters you created in your content matrix exercise. After that, you’ve got everything you need. You might make a content calendar out of the keywords that are related to them, as well as the themes and subjects.”
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10. Give your viewers a behind-the-scenes look.
Tony Gnau, founder and chief storyteller of T60 Productions, explained why he believes that revealing the inner workings of your product or service is a good video marketing technique.
“It’s always about trying to make something honest and authentic when we’re doing videos.” Authenticity and allowing people inside the company are at the heart of behind-the-scenes videos. Investigate what your company or group performs in depth. Do something about your operations, or how you run your firm or group, whatever it is. Show folks how you make your product if you have one. In fact, take them behind the scenes at a manufacturing plant.
According to Tony Gnau of @T60Productions through @AmandaSubler @SagaReach MarketingContent, “pulling back the curtain on your product or service operations is a wonderful #video marketing tactic.” To Tweet, just click here.
“When you’re a service provider, things become complicated.” Even if you’re doing a film explaining an accounting service, you may take them inside the office and show them how your company operates in a professional setting. You are the one who introduces them to the folks with whom they will be doing business. Those behind-the-scenes footage are still useful. They are important since many individuals do not participate in them. They’ve given up. Because your rivals aren’t making such videos, it’s still useful.”
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Do you want to learn more?
Throughout the year of 2021, numerous visitors contributed valuable insights; see the 2021 playlist for more. All episodes of Ask the #CMWorld Community or Ask the SagaReach Marketing Team may be found here. Please let us know if you have any ideas for subjects or visitors for 2022 in the comments or by filling out this short form.
For the holidays, Ask the #CMWorld Community is closed. Round a reminder to join us on Mondays at 12 p.m. EST (beginning January 10, 2022) for a fresh set of truth bombs from the #CMWorld community. On SagaReach Marketing’s YouTube account, you may watch us live or on a replay.
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