There’s an old saying that good marketing will make a poor product fail faster. The wisdom of that maxim lies in understanding the point of failure occurred long before any campaign was executed.
There’s something similar at play in those B2B organizations facing challenges in content marketing. The success factors were probably decided long before the first piece went to publication.
Customer questions are deliberate. The design of a customer experience ought to be deliberate. Certainly, the most successful content marketing is very deliberate.
And that’s the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links – a weekly roundup of exceptional articles on marketing I’ve vetted and recommend reading.
1) Random Acts of Content
In other words, content marketing in many organizations is nothing more than ‘random acts of content.’ So writes Jason Miller of LinkedIn in a piece for the Marketing Solutions EMEA blog titled: It’s time to stop blaming content for your content marketing problems.
He tackles the notion that “content marketing is up 300% but only 5% of it matters.”
“No forward-thinking content marketer believes that content should automatically result in engagement, regardless of its quality and relevance and the strategy behind it. We know that content is often the most effective means of building engagement – but only when it’s done properly. The problem is there are plenty of brands out there not doing it properly. The even bigger problem is that they’ve now got plenty of pundits telling them not to bother.”
I agree with him. Many businesses generate a lot of content – and blast it all over the web. But that is not synonymous with content marketing.
2) What is the Best Way to Earn Links and Shares?
Content that earns both links and shares generates better web traffic. The best way to earn links and share is to answer popular what is ________ questions. That is according to a joint analysis by BuzzSumo and Majestic.
Steve Rayson details this – and four other ways to generate links and shares – in a piece titled, The Magical Content that Gets Links and Shares – New Research:
“The key to ‘what is..’ posts is that you have to be the ‘best’ authoritative answer, in an area where many people are asking the question.
The gap between the best answer and the second best answer is significant. This is partly self fulfilling as once a post becomes the best answer it is likely to get more attention and more links, which in turn will reinforce its Google position etc. It is a virtuous cycle. However, even if you are the third or fourth best answer, your content is likely to attract both shares and links.”
The answers to such questions are evergreen and can be improved over time. Here are some samples of ‘what is’ questions and the results that popped for me:
- What is CRM? – Zappier ranks below TechTarget but higher than Salesforce
- What is Legal Tech? – The Law Insider edges out the ABA and even Legaltech News
- What Is Martech or Marketing Technology? – A brand new publication ranks at the top
- What is Native Advertising? – by the news site Small Business Trends
What is [list your product category here]? Would you prefer customers and prospects get the answer to that question from you or your competition?
3) Content Marketing for the Customer Experience
It’s always been a struggle for business to provide a consistent high-quality experience for customers. Doing so requires systems, process and uniformity across functions from marketing to sales to customer support. The continuous fragmentation of channels has made this even harder.
However, in a piece for CMS Wire titled How Content Drives Consistency in Customer Experience, contributing writer Yolandi Booyens argues that content marketing drives a consistent omnichannel experience. She lays out six points to that end including this one:
“Content marketing can no longer be viewed as a function independent of the rest of an organization. A successful communication strategy requires buy-in from all stakeholders.”
That sounds very deliberate to me: what is the customer experience?
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