Content marketing is becoming an increasingly popular sales tool for b2b and b2c companies alike. The Content Marketing Institute reports over 90% of b2b and b2c marketers are using content marketing in 2014. Further, content currently accounts for 30% of b2b and 24% of b2c marketing budgets. Not to mention the fact that 57% of b2b marketers and 60% of b2c marketers plan to increase their content budgets over the next 12-months.
With content taking a front seat in the marketing toolkit, brands (products and services, alike) are consistently challenged with creating high-quality content that resonates with their target audiences, otherwise known as content that matches their buyer personas. Further, brands must answer ‘what’s in it for me’ consistently reinforcing why web-surfing target audiences should be part of their online communities, be they on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or other social networks.
Last week’s The Power of Content and Community event, hosted by Manhattanville College of Graduate and Professional Studies, brought together marketers and brand strategists from across Westchester County to discuss best practices for generating the right content – content that both builds community and generates tangible and trackable results. Panelists Tom Kallish, CEO, Tommie Copper; Stacey Tank, VP of Marketing and Chief Corporate Relations Officer, Heineken USA; Bob Glazer, CEO, ENT Allergy; Peter Storck, SVP of Research and Analytics, House Party; and I tackled the who, what, when, where, why and how of content creation with a focus on how brands can and should measure their social media marketing and community building successes. The following are ten key takeaways from The Power of Content and Community:
- Strive to be the loved brand (Tom Kallish)
- Leverage ‘advocacy marketing’ – get fans to sell the brand (Peter Storck)
- Convert ‘availables’ into ‘loyals’ (Stacey Tank)
- When you make a mistake, acknowledge it and fix it (Bob Glazer)
- Transparency breeds trust. Trust breeds loyalty (Tom Kallish)
- Remain ‘plugged in’ and keep your antennae up for good content (Danielle Cyr)
- Embrace consumer-generated content (Peter Storck)
- Always consider how your decisions impact your ‘loyals’ (Stacey Tank)
- Know your audience; know how to engage them (Bob Glazer)
- Use community feedback to hone your content strategy (Danielle Cyr)
Developing a content marketing strategy that is aligned with overall business goals is key for generating ROI. As your b2b company, b2c company or nonprofit hones its content marketing plan, focus on driving meaningful and measurable action that positively impacts your organization’s bottom line.