By Brian Anderson, Associate Editor
Content marketing has become common practice with 93% of B2B marketers using some form of content marketing, according to research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). While more than half (58%) believe that their content marketing efforts are ineffective, they are still making significant investments in producing large amounts of content.
In a recent webinar, executives from TreeHouse Interactive, a SaaS provider of marketing automation and PRM software, and CMI came together to discuss some strategies to increase the effectiveness of content marketing.
According to CMI’s research, the biggest challenge content marketers face is in production. However, learning how to curate and reuse content effectively can help marketers understand the value of their content.
“I think a lot of folks don’t realize the content that they already have, and if it were repurposed, how much they would have if a strategy were in place,” said Erich Flynn, CEO at TreeHouse Interactive, during the presentation. “We have customers who have amazing content, but if they organized it in a way in order to create certain results — educating readers, push readers through the buying process, etc. — the content they already have will be more than enough.”
New content marketers jump into the process thinking: what do we have to do? But according To Joe Pulizzi, founder of CMI, the first question that content marketers should ask themselves is: why are we doing this? Having a mutual understanding of why your company is taking a content marketing strategy will help marketers create content, and help figure out who their target audience is.
“We are seeing that many marketers are not thinking about what they are doing, they just produce content by the bucket load,” said Pulizzi during his presentation. “They don’t even have anything written down stating why they are going to market in the first place. Marketers need to know what their reader outcome needs to be, and what the content is supposed to do, before they even begin to think about the metrics behind it.”
When it comes to content marketing, there are many factors that can determine the impact of content. Along with taking mission statements and personas into account, marketers have to work to bridge organizational silos.
“You will save so much because you will stop spending money on creating content that other departments created already,” said Pulizzi. “You have to be consistent with each other internally in order to be consistent to your audience, and communication will decrease confusion.”
According to CMI research, around 66% of the content that marketers share with their audiences isn’t their own. Sharing the content of thought leaders in the industry, especially if your target audience is the same as their target audience, will get noticed and help to increase credibility. But one of biggest mistakes new content marketers make is using social media as an advertising touch point, and not as a way to share content, the panelists noted.
“When it comes to using social media, you have to avoid the pitfall of posting advertisements more frequently than your content,” said Flynn. “We see it all the time, and it actually gets the opposite results of what the posts were intending to do. You need to be very conservative when you plan to advertise.”