Over the course of an hour, he shared insights, case studies and processes to help marketers optimize their content and build strategies that attract, engage, and ultimately convert audiences.
Content Marketing is King – SEO Has Changed Forever
More than two-thirds of client-side respondents (70 percent) to a new report from Econsultancy stated that their companies will increase the amount spent on content marketing this year. Odden also cited another Econsultancy/Outbrain Content Marketing Survey Report, in which 90 percent of respondents said this discipline will become more important over the next 12 months.
In parallel, we have seen a significant shift in the way marketers approach SEO. Panda and Penguin have changed SEO forever and while many SEOs suffered as a result, most content marketers saw it as an awesome and welcome change.
There is now a mass rush to content marketing. With this change comes lots of crap content, Odden noted. As marketers look to capitalize on the content marketing gold rush, it’s important to distinguish the good content from the bad.
Content Marketing Myths – Busted
A great way to help sort the content marketing “wheat from the chaff,” according to Odden, is by busting a few content marketing myths:
Myth 1: Content marketing simply means creating more content.
Busted: Creating quality content is key. Simply creating more content and crap content is worthless.
Myth 2: Quality content isn’t sustainable.
Busted: Build sustainable, evergreen content such as reports and guides. See more on the different types of content to assist in this strategy below.
Myth 3: A content object only has one life.
Busted: Content can be repurposed, re-used and utilized a number of times and in different formats (video, text, images, viral).
Examples of Great Quality Content
Creating content is a great first step, but optimizing and socializing that content takes it to the next level.
“Great content isn’t really great until it is found, consumed, and shared,” Odden said.
In this section of the session, Odden highlighted a number of creative content examples, such as Tom Fishburne, who started drawing cartoons on the backs of Harvard Business School cases. His cartoons have grown by word of mouth to reach 100,000 business readers each week and have been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, and the New York Times.
The Innocent drinks “Tweet & Eat Cheap” campaign was mentioned as a great example of socializing content. The campaign involved a promotion offering discounts on vegetable pots. The size of the discount depended on the number of people who tweeted the hashtag #tweetandeat. Customers without a Twitter account could participate via Innocent’s Facebook page.
The Cornerstone of Content Marketing
Successful creative content marketing strategies can be broken down into three distinct phases:
- Discover: How does your audience find content?
- Consume: What type of media helps you optimize for that experience?
- Act: What will inspire your audience to take action? How do you want people to feel when they consume content? People act on emotion.
5 Creative Content Sourcing Ideas
Odden shared fantastic takeaways for participants who may struggle with the creative aspect of content marketing. Inspiring people to share and socialize can happen in a number of ways and the more creative you are (within reason), the better the chance of success.
- Visualize Trends: Export data on trends such as SEMrush, Google’s Keyword Tool, Majestic SEO, and Ubersuggest. Visualize these trends so content is easier to consume. Tools like Wordle and TweetCloud are great for this.
- Your site: Source content from your site such as onsite search (logged queries in Google Analytics), form text area analysis, queries in analytics and data from Google Webmaster Tools. You can also create content by analyzing inbound link text
- Frontline staff: Utilize your human capital and assets to create content across sales, customer service, and marketing departments.
- Become a publisher: Think like a publisher, act like a publisher, become a publisher. Source content from magazines (recurring features, themes, short form and long form) newspapers (timely, objective, sensational) and television (storytelling, recaps, previews)
- Customer Journey: Map, produce and optimize content based on your customers journey and pain points as they move through the buying cycle.
4 Types of Content You Need to Know
When building your content plan and mapping your content marketing strategy, keep in mind these different content types. Each is unique and has its own merit; together, they form a balanced, optimized content mix.
- Evergreen: Original, unique to the publisher, timeless, and always relevant.
- Repurposed: Used in a number of different formats such as uploading video to YouTube, embedded content in WordPress, posting screen shots from video to Flickr and uploading images and text as a story in PowerPoint on SlideShare or Scribd.
- Curated: Aggregated from multiple sources. Smartbrief is a great example of adding value to news that other people are sharing.
- Co-created: This strategy makes each piece of content a magical thing, as social promotion is built right into it.
The Winning Formula: Get Optimal Content Marketing Results
Content marketing requires these three components, at an absolute minimum:
- Brand leadership
- Customer empathy
- Storytelling & creativity
Building successful content marketing campaigns requires optimized planning and a 360 degree approach to search, social and content. It is vital to view search, social and content holistically and optimize everywhere.
This includes marketing and PR, B2B or B2C, SME or LE. As part of this process, research, auditing and listening are of key importance. By doing this, you can set goals and create a robust creative content marketing roadmap like that laid out in Odden’s presentation in London.