Stop, Drop & Distribute: A Content Marketing Action Plan
Stop, Drop & Distribute: \A Content Marketing Action Plan
eBroadcast Executive Summary
Frost & Sullivan hosted an information-packed eBroadcast, Stop, Drop & Distribute: A Content Marketing Action Plan, which took a deeper dive into the recent Brand and Demand Solutions eBook, A Five-Point Checklist to Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy.
Moderator Nicole Coons, Marketing Vanguard at Frost & Sullivan, led the discussion as a cross-industry line up of panelists, all expert content marketers, shared an impressive range of content marketing insights and best practices.
Nicole opened the presentation with a polling question -- Who decides the strategy for your content marketing?
As the below illustrates, Chief Marketing Officer was the #1 response, with Product Manager and Product Marketer tied for second place.
Who decides the strategy for your content marketing?
Chief Marketing Officer: 26.1%
Product Manager: 13.0%
Product Marketer: 13.0%
What's your view:
Who decides the strategy for your content marketing?
- Product Manager
- Product Marketer
Frost & Sullivan
Founder and Chief Technical Officer
Solutions Marketing Manager, Industrial IoT
Hitachi Insight Group
Senior Content Marketing Manager
The importance of content strategy
As a follow up to the poll, Nicole asked the panelists to share their own approaches to content marketing strategy.
Adriana Romero, Solutions Marketing Manager, Industrial IoT, Hitachi Insight Group, shared that her company’s content strategy usually comes from the product manager and that there are one to two people on the content team.
Similarly, Nick Mason, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Turtl, a digital content platform, explained that his organization’s content strategy is decided jointly between the chief marketing officer and the product manager. He emphasized that his organization is very collaborative in its approach and stated that there were four people on their content team.
Scott Logan, Director, Revenue Generation, MetTel, an integrated digital communications company, commented that he was surprised to see that there were no content committees listed in the responses. He shared that MetTel’s content team consisted of a sales person, a demand generation manager, a vice president of marketing and a graphics artist, all bringing their own areas of expertise to the table to create the most compelling content product.
Ellen Gomes, Senior Content Marketing Manager, Marketo, a marketing automation software company, explained that her team puts together a content strategy which is evaluated by key marketing and sales stakeholders and aligned with business objectives.
Ellen commented that they have three content marketers on their team and that they also use freelance resources to round out their content offerings. As the Moderator observed, all of these organizations have multiple people involved in creating and strategizing about content.
Next, Nicole inquired, “When developing content, how do you make sure it is good?”
The answers to this critical question were as diverse as the panelists and the organizations they represented. Responses included:
How you arrive at content is important. Try to test and prove the case before you launch content. You can’t always guess; you have to test and measure
Create the best content possible and avoid content that is too specific as it will be hard to re-purpose it later
Make sure to measure and you won’t fail. If something doesn’t work, be sure to evaluate where you went wrong. Was content offered at the wrong stage of the sales cycle? Was it in the wrong format?
Content is very dependent on the business and target market. With IoT for example, avoid certain types of content and leverage infographics or more visual approaches
Distilling the discussion even further, Moderator Nicole summed it up with the following key content take-aways - Generally, avoid content that is:
“It’s important to adapt your content to the sales cycle, and to push valuable content to the decision-makers that sales people are connecting with…ideally they can leverage it when they are about to close deals.”
– Scott Logan, Director, Revenue Generation
Internal versus 3rd party content
Next, our moderator asked the group about internal versus third-party content. Specifically, inquiring about the approximate ratio of each type of content and asked the panelists to share their insights about these two different content approaches.
Nick explained that his organization had a preference for internal content. As he stated, in addition to being more budget-friendly, creating content internally allows for more agility and makes it easier to measure and adjust campaigns. When Turtl does offer third-party content, it is with a select partner and must meet pre-defined strategic objectives.
Ellen stated that approximately 70% of Marketo’s content is created internally. She underscored the importance of providing the right content at the right stage of the customer’s buying journey and explained that at critical stages it is important to provide third-party validation via third-party content.
"70% of Marketo’s content is created internally"
– Ellen Gomes, Marketo
Adriana Romero of Hitachi Insight Group shared that her organization had a similar 70% internal and 30% content ratio. She referenced the value of high-impact third-party content and the expertise typically sought after by key IoT decision makers. She alluded to the cachet and perceived value that a credible firm and well-known analyst bring to the content marketing table. Nick agreed with this approach, stating that as Turtl was a new and lesser-known company, it was important for them to partner with big name, well-known brands for competitive advantage.
Scott also discussed his organization’s challenge of being a lesser known brand. MetTel recognized the importance of having a name brand like Frost & Sullivan provide third-party content.
Scott added that sales enablement pieces are always needed, whether in the form of case studies, white papers, or whatever handy content it takes to help close a deal.
Creating content that stands out
For the next polling question, participants were encouraged to select all of the answers that applied to their biggest content challenges. Creating relevant and timely content was the #1 response to this question (55.3 %) with producing enough content and creating credible content tied for second place.
The panel was asked about challenges they had distributing and measuring content and several of the panelists replied that they had no real challenges measuring content. (They are content marketers after all.) But several offered tips for measuring content.
For instance, one of the panelists said that they tried to measure early and late stages of content success from an ROI perspective. She stated that early stage metrics -- how many shares or clicks, for instance -- are especially important as they will often reflect whether you are targeting the right audience, etc.
She also recommended having a distribution strategy before getting started; i.e., how does your organization plan to use this content?
How frequently to measure content response was also mentioned, with bi-monthly analysis recommended. Other panelists suggested expanding distribution options, such as trying new and different channels on a regular basis in addition to more established marketing channels.
The prevailing thinking was that less mainstream avenues are not as saturated and can reap surprising rewards.
Another panelist circled back to the importance of making sure content is accessible to the sales team at all times. He stressed the importance of sharing valuable content with those on the front line dealing with key decision makers.
“When it comes to measurement, measure earlier and measure more often.
It’s easier to correct your course that way and to rectify problems.”
– Nick Mason, Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Turtl
As it relates to content, what do you feel are your biggest challenges? (select all that apply)
Creating Relevant Content / Timely: 55.3%
Producing Enough: 34.2%
Creating Credible Content: 34.2%
If Content Is King, Video Is \the Queen
For the next polling question, our moderator was not surprised that video topped the list and cited the ongoing popularity of videos today. She noted recent statistics stating that videos are 50 times more likely to be watched than other forms of content and explained how videos have become a central “snackable” part of the content mix.
Our moderator then asked the panel’s point of view on video content. Their insights are highlighted below:
Video should be high quality and well-executed well or not done at all
Video performs well on mobile and is easily shared
Good writing is critical; consider hiring a professional writer
Your video offering should be your organization’s unique story, succinctly and perfectly told
One panelist shared that her organization worked around the expense of producing videos by broadcasting video question and answer sessions with live panels at events.
This can be a cost-effective yet content-rich way of leveraging video to showcase your organization and its thought leadership.
"Videos are 50 times more likely to be watched than other forms of content"
What type(s) of content marketing do you plan on executing this year?
White papers: 71.4%
Press releases: 66.7%
What's your view?
What type(s) of content do you plan on executing this year?
- White papers
- Press releases
Content Marketing Tips from \the Experts
Another key question posed to the panelists was:
What is your best kept content marketing tip?
- Re-purpose your content and keep it up to date
- Measure your content results early and often
- Leverage social media
- Post multiple times to build traction
- Make sure you are sending your content to the right audience
- Tap your internal team for blogging and content production
- Make content creation part of your organizational culture
“One of our best-kept content marketing tips is to utilize your internal team to publish blogs daily or weekly … make content creation a part of your organizational culture.”
– Ellen Gomes, Senior Content Marketing Manager, Marketo
As the discussion came to a close, Gary Robbins, partner, Frost & Sullivan’s Brand and Demand Solutions, stated that although recent statistics show that approximately 80% of marketers are using and leveraging content, only about 20% are producing a sufficient amount of content to meet the growing demand.
He underscored the challenges that many organizations face in producing relevant and timely content and noted the many forms business content can take including white papers, blogs, videos, case studies and more. He reminded the participants and all marketers of the importance of creating content that stands out in the field, is sticky and relevant and captures the audience’s attention.
Robbins closed by describing various content solutions and strategies, and offered the example of Frost & Sullivan’s interactive white papers, which combine valuable written content with engaging video, no doubt a growing next-generation approach. Finally, he reminded the audience that the ultimate, underlying objective of content marketing is always to drive ROI.