Content marketing has come a long way. According to a recent HubSpot survey of thousands of marketers globally, 89% indicated that their content marketing strategy was linked to all other parts of the business.
Yet, in the same survey, only one in three (32%) of respondents felt they knew the ‘best way’ to run a content marketing campaign and fewer than one in five (19%) indicated that their content marketing was ‘extremely effective’.
So, what can content marketers do to learn the optimal way to run campaigns and increase their effectiveness?
To find out, Econsultancy, in collaboration with Oracle, recently held roundtable discussions with dozens of client-side marketers in Manila. At the Content Marketing table, moderated by Janette Toral, Owner at DigitalFilipino, attendees discussed the techniques they used to become better content marketers and add more value to the business.
Below is a summary of what was said, but before we start, we’d like to let readers know that Econsultancy, in association with Oracle, will soon be holding another free roundtable event in Indonesia. Entitled ‘Creating Customer Connections through Data, Technology and AI’, the event will be held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta on 20th June 2019 from 9AM – 1PM.
For more information and to book your spot, please visit the event site.
So, what should content marketers do to become more effective?
1) Content marketers should boost their skills
The first thing attendees said about increasing effectiveness is that content marketers need to be able to do more with the time and resources that they have.
So, what exactly should they do? First off, attendees said, they should learn how to generate content that will be valuable for longer. Participants agreed that all content should be created for campaigns, not just for the sake of creating content. But campaigns have a limited lifespan and the content that marketers create for the campaign will typically stay online for much longer that the campaign duration. To be more effective, marketers need to work on producing content which both satisfies the campaign brief yet has longer appeal for their target audience.
Content marketers should also work on their data analytics skills. This involves knowing what data is relevant to measuring content marketing performance and helping others understand, using data, how content helps to generate business. Furthermore, content marketers should be familiar with metrics from different platforms – social media, Google Analytics and other marketing systems – and use these metrics to measure the impact of their work.
Data analysis will also help content marketers learn another important skill – how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing. Using data, marketers will know which content nurtures leads and which drives conversions. Armed with this information, marketers will be more effective by creating content which is more valuable to the business.
2) Content marketers should collaborate with more people in their organisation
While attendees felt that content is still produced by individuals, they also agreed that content marketers should understand that they are part of a bigger team. So, in order to be more effective within the team, content marketers need to collaborate with more people in their organisation.
Participants indicated that content marketers should first and foremost liaise frequently with management to ensure that everyone in the organisation understands the value of content marketing. Content is produced to influence readers and generate leads, said one attendee, but this process can take time. Management need to understand this and know that the content marketers are always working the business goals.
Additionally, said another delegate, content marketers need to work with people in the business who understand the needs of the target audience. Creating content which resonates with consumers is important as readers will ‘switch off’ if the organisation’s content is produced solely to sell them something.
Finally, participants felt that content marketers need to find people in the business who handle conversions – whether they happen online or offline. Many conversions still occur face-to-face and content marketers need to look beyond digital marketing metrics to understand all the conversion points and what influence content has on sales. In-store salespeople or customer service desks can help content marketers learn which content resonates with consumers and turns them into customers.
3) Content marketers should always keep the business strategy in mind
Attendees said that marketing strategy can be confusing. A campaign will have a strategy, but it will be a subset of another, bigger strategy – which will, in turn, be part of an overall business goal.
To manage this complexity, content marketers should always have the business goal and the overall marketing strategy in mind when working on a campaign. This will ensure that content marketing not only meets the KPIs for the current campaign, but also increases the momentum toward the organisation’s bigger goal.
This, too, will require collaboration so that others in marketing understand the underlying motivation for the content and help create consistency between content marketing and other aspects of the campaign.
Overall, the participants agreed that the goals of content marketing are to build respect for the work that they do internally, provide a touchpoint which moves readers toward a purchase and create value for the organisation. To do this more effectively, content marketers need to learn new skills, collaborate more often and be able to measure the effect that their content has on the organisations bigger goals.
A word of thanks Econsultancy would like to thank Janette Toral, Owner, DigitalFilipino, for moderating the Content Marketing table and our sponsor, Oracle, for hosting the event. We’d also like to thank all the marketers which took time out of their busy schedules to share their thoughts about how to be more effective content marketers.
We hope to see you all at future Econsultancy events!