Content marketing is no longer the next big thing. It’s here now, and if you’re not taking advantage of it, you may be losing out on developing relationships with customers and growing your business.
In this two-part series, we’ll be defining exactly what content marketing is. Then we’ll dive into how live events can feed the creation of content marketing, as well as how your digital asset management (DAM) system plays a critical role in the process.
What is content marketing?
As defined by Joe Pulizzi, the godfather of content marketing, the answer to this questions is, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.” In addition, when done well, content marketing accomplishes this during a specific time in the buying cycle where it is extremely effective. We’ve all heard the expression timing is everything, right?
The Zero Moment of Truth
Google coined the term “zero moment of truth” to describe the specific time we’re referring to here, when someone realizes they have a need and goes online in search of answers. This zero moment of online research is where content marketing becomes critical — because it’s available at the very moment when a customer seeks it out. Zero moment precedes two other big moments in the process: moment number 1 is the purchase, and moment number 2 is the experience with the purchase. As you might imagine, zero moment can have a profound influence on where moment 1, the purchase, occurs.
In many instances, your content marketing can be your biggest advocate and the biggest catalyst in a potential customer’s buying process. So, you’ve got to make sure your content is out there, as well as searchable and findable at the very moment the customer needs it. To be effective, your content needs to be rich, relevant, timely and easily available. This puts your organization at a great advantage over your competition. At the zero moment, customers are much more open to being contacted, as opposed to the more traditional, invasive marketing message.
It’s important to note that in order to accomplish this type of robust content marketing successfully, a DAM system will play a very important role in the managing, distributing and analyzing of your digital assets.
The transition from a traditional sales model to content marketing
At Widen, in addition to being a marketing technology company, we’re also marketers with a lot of experience using live events to develop meaningful and targeted content, which becomes an integral part of our content marketing strategy.
Our transition from the traditional outbound sales-team model to content marketing took some time. Previous to 2010, we had sales people, made cold calls, purchased lists, and followed the “old-school” sales approach.
Now, instead of a sales team, we have an advisor team that works with customers that find us through our content marketing efforts. Essentially, these customers have a very specific need they are actively looking for a solution to, find our content, and get in touch with us to talk further. They become customers with a much clearer vision about who Widen is and are more prepared to begin implementing a DAM system because of their experience with our content marketing. They also have more passion for the process and the solution because they have a good understanding of how a DAM solution, as well as the service that goes along with it, works.
The challenges of creating content consistently
We understand that it’s easy to talk about creating a plethora of relevant content, and another story when it comes to actually producing it. That’s why it’s important to have a team in place that’s responsible for your content marketing strategy and execution. This team can be on-staff or experienced freelancers who know how to deliver great content that’s chock-full of value.
One good piece of advice is to create what we call “big rock content” first. Whether you’re planning a one-hour presentation or a multi-day event, get all of that content together and polish it up. Once it’s completed, you can take chunks of it and apply it to new pieces of content, like a two-minute video, a blog series or possibly an ongoing series of posts on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Attending, hosting, sponsoring or speaking at a live event is a tremendous help in the creation, cultivation and curation of content that can be shared with others. These live experiences feed the digital experiences, bringing things full circle.
How a live event can feed content marketing initiatives
In an age where digital marketing has become so prevalent, it’s easy to overlook the continued importance and influence of live events — with in-person events coming in at number one in terms of overall effectiveness.
2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends for North America - Slide 21
Events can serve as a way to distribute content, as well as provide an ongoing content creation resource. Repurposing content created for a live event, and for the publicizing of a live event, is one of the best ways to get the highest value for your content. Many people believe that, after information is shared once, it’s time to create something new. What they’re not understanding is that there are many platforms on which this information can be distributed, and just because you presented it at a conference or a webinar doesn’t mean you’ve made contact with the entirety of your audience.
Internal and external events
For Widen, live events are an internal and external effort. Internally, we have the Widen Summit. Externally, we attend events because they are an opportunity to network, meet influencers and gain knowledge that helps us remain a leader in the DAM software industry. It’s at these external events that we’ll sometimes notice trends that are just beginning emerge or haven’t quite emerged yet.
An example of an external event and use of content management
Let’s take a look at the How Design Live conference we attended last year. To follow is a snapshot of some of the content we created based off of that one live event …
This slide overviews our efforts in creating a slide deck for Slideshare, as well as a webinar we created from the event’s content specifically for the HOW Design Live audience to cater to their desire to learn more about DAM for creatives. We also created multiple blog posts and posted to social media outlets to let people know about our participation, share key takeaways and encourage meetups while we were at the conference and beyond. In addition, we also participated in the more focused, HOW Interactive conference to strengthen the connection with other digital marketing pros.
As you can see, this one live event generated a lot of content that became part of a very solid content marketing strategy. But to accomplish all of these iterations (versions), we needed a team to filter through the live event content and modify it to suit each online platform, respectively. And, of course, we heavily relied on our DAM solution to help us along in the process. Without a DAM system, all of these assets and their iterations could easily become a complete mess.
In addition, it’s important to place all of your online platforms in a hierarchy, addressing the most important first and the least important last. Why? Because if you run out of time, you want to make sure you’ve addressed your most crucial initiatives. For instance, if you have a huge following on your blog, it’s probably a good idea to make blogging one of the top priorities within your content marketing strategy. The flip side of this is if there’s a platform that you need to be successful on, but for whatever reason are currently struggling on, you might want to elevate the importance of that particular platform to help gain the authority you need to succeed there.
Another great example of repurposing content is the article you’re reading. All of this information was gleaned from our webinar How Content Marketing & Events Work Together. In addition to reiterating key points, we’ve also added more insights and details to add even more value.
In part 2 of this series, we’ll be addressing an example of an internal live event (Widen’s Summit), and we’ll further explore the use of our DAM system in the creation of content and an overall content marketing strategy.
Until then, if you have any questions or need additional information, feel free to contact Widen anytime to talk more.