Content Marketing: Create, Manage, and Measure

Content marketing has grown to become one of the most important components of an integrated marketing strategy. It’s defined by the Content Marketing Institute as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Although quality content is being given a sovereign spot in the marketing mix, marketers today are failing to effectively develop and manage their marketing content.

According to a commissioned September 2012 Forrester study, The Rise Of Content Marketing: Invest In Content Development And Management For Success, while 86% of the companies surveyed recognize the importance of content marketing; half of these organizations fail to do it effectively.

Why?

Today’s content is different. Marketing has been impacted by all of the digital channels available for content distribution and consumption, including the Internet and mobile apps. Reaching consumers requires a complex, multifaceted approach across many direct and indirect channels.

Just as content has evolved; consumers have changed. These days, people aren’t looking just to buy; they’re looking to learn. They’re turning to peers and friends for recommendations about products and services. People are having online conversations about their brand experiences, good or bad. Consumers are becoming more transparent with their needs, wants, and fears – and much of this is happening on social media channels.

These wants and needs can be mapped directly to your products and services, but only if you’re listening. This is just as important as being there when the consumer needs you to be there, with quality content, when and where they are ready to consume. Yesterday’s sales funnel is being replaced by a content-oriented orbital model that focuses on creating long term value. The emphasis is on maintaining relationships with loyal customers and community members over and above funneling leads through the buying cycle.

The Sales Funnel is Replaced by an Orbital Model

Just as they are striving to create and distribute quality content, marketers are also under pressure to accurately measure the impact of their marketing programs. In the same Forrester study, 70% of marketers have trouble measuring the impact of their content strategy on their overall marketing success. More time and resources dedicated to the creation, management, and measurement of content goes a long way in helping marketers develop and measure the effectiveness of their programs.

Customer Experience Management (CEM) tools can make a difference. CEM helps you reach your markets and customers by creating a rich and consistent digital presence across all touch points, managing the creation and distribution of your marketing content, and providing the tools for measurement, analysis, and refinement.


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About Elizabeth Chestney-Hanson

With over 15 years of marketing and communications expertise in both for-profit and not-for profit sectors, my experience ranges from providing strategic brand direction for global organizations to developing and implementing fully integrated marketing campaigns. With a strong interest in how social media is impacting marketing today, my objective is to achieve real results for customers by combining traditional marketing programs with innovative and emerging digital technologies, including viral marketing, online community marketing, influencer marketing, and SEO/SEM. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with an MA in Literature and I have taught marketing management at the MBA level at Wilfrid Laurier University. My areas of expertise include integrated marketing communications; content strategy; online campaigns; brand strategy; and social media marketing. Recent projects include the development of a G20 social network for attending media and press and contributions to a technology book entitled, “Managing Content in the Cloud”.
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