Connecting the dots: 5 tips from Velocity’s March Content Marketing Hangout

The latest Content Marketing Hangout hosted by Stan Woods, MD at Velocity Partners (B2B technology marketing specialists), has again delivered some keen insight into the belly of content marketing.

Connecting the dots: 5 tips from Velocity’s March Content Marketing Hangout

Joining Stan for the hour long Hangout was:

Joe Chernov – VP of Marketing, Kinvey. Joe was previously VP of content marketing at Eloqua and in 2012 he was named Content Marketer of the Year at the Content Marketing Institute’s Orange Awards.

Michael Brenner – VP of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP. Michael has over five years of experience leading marketing initiatives for SAP.

Ardath Albee – B2B Marketing Strategist. Author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, Ardath been in business and marketing management for over 25 years.

This time the main topic of discussion was centred on what can be done to convince stakeholders to invest in content marketing.

Here are five key tips from the Hangout:

# 5: Get your strategy in order

You need one, but you don’t want to overthink it. Ardath explained that it’s a necessity, because you can use it to co-ordinate with other channels such as PR, and you definitely need to co-ordinate within divisions that are aiming at a specific target market. For Michael, you also need to align your strategy with the buyer’s journey.

But Ardath emphasised that you don’t want to spend time detailing a strategy that lasts more than a year and that the first three to six months are where you want the most planning. Why? Things move too fast to strategize too far in advance.

# 4: Don’t push an organisation to make a “false choice”

Joe was keen to explain that you shouldn’t force an organisation to make a “false choice” between traditional marketing and content marketing. Content has always been the fuel for demand generation, but you need to put types of content marketing in a context that executives are still happy with.

Part of the resistance can also come from the terminology used. Ardath advises that you need to use the executive team’s language in order to make them comfortable with the idea of a content campaign. “Personas” becomes “buyer profiles” and so on.

# 3: Keep sales informed

Aligning marketing with sales has the potential to be a painful process if sales are not on the same page as buyers. Ardath’s solution to avoiding this? She works with marketers to help them produce key points of current content so that sales know what content buyers have been engaging with and can meet buyers where they are when they begin talking with sales.

Joe noted that content is the nexus between sales and marketing, with Michael later explaining that as there’s less cold calling now – content is what helps sales maintain contacts.

# 2: Pilots are where “vanity metrics” can really help

While Michael was keen to point out that ROI, to him, is the most important metric a campaign should be measured against, Joe isn’t completely convinced. As Joe explained, ROI isn’t so easy for smaller enterprises, without a CRM system, to demonstrate especially in the early stages of easing into content marketing.

Instead, Joe suggested that it is when you’re running a content marketing pilot that vanity metrics (such as Likes and Follows on social media) are the better metrics. They’re the easiest way to measurably demonstrate, to a CEO, the potential of a full-fledge content marketing campaign.

And remember:

# 1: Content marketing is about helping buyers and customers to “connect the dots”

There’s no escaping that buyers and customers will be using the internet to research products and services online. Ardath explained that companies need to do something to “connect the dots” and that something might as well be quality, content marketing.

But as Michael warns the, “amount of information has exploded,” which has led to a lot of “crappy” content in the recent past: “We’re now being forced to create content that’s actually interesting.”

You can watch the full video below:

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