Author Joe Pulizzi was in town yesterday. Pulizzi is founder of the Content Marketing Institute and spoke at Smartling’s Content Marketing and Scalability breakfast event at the Beacon Hotel in Boston. He is also an author and wrote the wonderfully helpful and recent Epic Content Marketing. Joined by Smartling’s Nataly Kelly, both offered insights and tips on how to be a more effective and mindful content marketer. An eye-opening stats from Pulizzi: in a recent survey of more than 5000 marketers, only 38 percent said they felt their content marketing was effective. You could perhaps assume that those 38 percent are either very proud of their work or perhaps are successful, but I have a feeling the “effectiveness” quotient of most marketers when it comes to content, might even be lower. Marketers know the impact of a great content marketing program on the “buyer’s journey.” But execution is often another story, says Pulizzi. Getting people to “care” about your content and act because of it, can be a vexing challenge.
How is it done? Pulizzi says it starts with goals. Though nine out of 10 marketing programs now have content marketing components to them, most do not have a plan. If you don’t have goals that are measurable, you cannot be fully effective with your content marketing program. Create a strategy and a structure he says, and then provide budget and resources to carry out your plan.
Some other interesting points from Pulizzi: effective content marketers are posting original, relevant and engaging content consistently. Stay away from a “stop-and-go campaign approach, he suggests. Another tip: don’t ignore the impact print content which can often yield interesting data that digital content can miss. You need to look at your buyer’s journey and figure out if your content channels are relevant to that buyer and strategically invest your efforts there, Pulizzi notes. “Create a why for each channel.”
Having problem getting noticed? Engage with influencers. Work with a good PR firm to help your organization identify influencers and map out a strategy to begin engaging them.
And how do you measure? Well web traffic is one way, but the effective content marketer is more concerned with followers, sign-ups, and subscribers, he notes. Don’t ignore email: it’s still a big driver of subscribers. “No one wants to sign up for another newsletter,” but those that do are probably very interested and motivated to engage with your brand.
And hey marketer: Don’t forget scale. We live in a global village and as soon as you put something on the web—you are global. Don’t ignore the opportunity to capture those buyers—but do it right, says Smartling’s Nataly Kelly. If you don’t you can risk sales, growth and potentially damage your brand. Smartling “enhances language translation services through a cloud-based translation software platform that automatically collects content, facilitates human translation, and returns translated content to you quickly and easily.” Not being global in your outlook as a brand, whether you are large or small, is a missed opportunity: get found and get it right, says Kelly. Read more about this in Kelly’s book: Found In Translation—a great read for the marketer struggling with the global content marketing challenge.
So marketer: if you are going to spend that time and energy on content marketing, don’t you want to do it mindfully? Start with Joe’s book: a good and easy read—and then go from there.