The Future of Content Marketing
Jul 11, 2016
I recently downloaded and read How Content Marketing and Native Will Drive A New Era of Engagement (Pulsepoint) – interesting read.
First off, nothing warms my heart more than seeing that marketers don’t know what they are talking about and this report starts off with the confusion over “content marketing” and “native advertising”. As a group of people that are supposed to be able to clearly and effectively communicate with the target audience, it always bugs me to read that we don’t understand the terms of our trade.
The big take-away from the report is that more budget dollars will be invested in content marketing, native advertising and digital video – event though they cannot/do not measure the performance of their content marketing, native advertising and digital video.
Side note – and this is the same lot that will [a] tell you that you need to spend all your money on digital because it’s trackable and [b] tell you that traditional channels can’t be tracked (even though people did track it and do track it).
The report continues on for several pages, explaining that marketers are using click-thru-rate and ‘engagement’ as their key metrics rather than [ex] marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, demonstration, proposal, sale.
So What is The Future of Content Marketing?
The short of it is your competition will spend more, be unaware of its impact and continue to focus on the wrong metrics while loudly boasting “…you can’t track traditional but you can track digital…”
What Does This Mean For Your Organization?
My suggestion is ignore the world. Tune them out. Focus on what you need to accomplish, then test ways to use content marketing, native advertising, video and whatever else in order to generate high quality, low costs leads that convert into buyers/students/customers.
Create content that addresses a need AND has a clear call-to-action that can be measured. Make sure the call-to-action moves that person another step closer to making a purchase.
For example, when I sit down with the enrollment and marketing people at colleges, I am constantly focused on what do we need to do to get Prospective Student A from “initial inquiry” to “started application” or from “started application to completed/submitted application” or from “completed/submitted application to enrolled” or from “enrolled to registered in classes” or from “registered in classes to registered in classes for upcoming term”…all the way through graduation and, in some cases, returning for their next degree.
The problem is that too many are creating content without any thought regarding what they want the person to do next. “Here, read this white paper on the benefits of owning this product – but heaven forbid we include ‘call and schedule a demo’ or ‘click here to watch a product demo video'”
Focus on quality over quantity. Focus on getting them to take a next step, move forward with you. Focus on important metrics like the forward movement through decision stages.
Remember that the cost of the first sale should be low so you can break-even and turn a profit ASAP. Figure out how to make that happen with testing. Then figure out how to motivate them to buy again (frequency) so you can drive profits, lifetime value etc.
Like what you read here and would like to talk with us about how we can help you improve your content marketing performance? Give us a call at 651-666-0934.
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.