Content marketing is non-interruptive marketing that engages and informs a visitor. Its gonna work or fall flat in about ten second like a great Sam Cooke song - your in love in seconds or less.
- You have ten seconds to get the attention of your visitor. The usability maestro Jakob Nielsen’s Darwinian logic is spot on for content marketers.
- Headlines drive the visitor into the text; or not! Be compelling.
- Know your visitor - what do they want to read and how do you educate?
- Try to integrate some emotion or personality into your content.
- Confusion kills: God knows all content marketers struggle with this. Try to be concise.
- Text should broken up with headers, bullets or numbers.
- People read in an “F” pattern, starting at top left and moving down.
- Go lean and mean with your text. #lessismore
- Bullets and Numbers are smartphone friendly - use them or lose the visitor’s attention span.
- Use photos, infographics, images; some times the wackier the better.
Best Practices for B2B Content Marketing
- Start slow: content marketing is a marathon
- Establish benchmark measurements at the outset.
- Keep moving forward: don’t get bogged down in the proverbial trenches.
- Align content marketing with other strategies.
- Involve your entire organization whether it’s five or fifty people: great content ideas come in all shapes and sizes: sales, customer service and/or exec staff.
- Great content marketers “newsjack” and “borrow” from others.
- Mix and match snackable short form (images, under 300 word blog post, videos) with long-form “evergreen” high value content.
- “Chunk” and repurpose content to leverage costs.
Seven Key Content Marketing Metrics
- Stellar curated content still drives engagement: an editorial calendar is just a horizontal tool.
- Mobile usage is driving 30-50% of content “consumption” (be mobile savvy) but “brand stories” may drive significantly more engagement: mix and match the size of your content (long or short form).
- Content syndication is increasingly more important in today’s “technology drenched’ world: use rinse and repeat cycles to reach today’s distracted consumer and professional.
- Personalty still drives content engagement for B2B and B2C brands and it’s becoming increasingly more important to use imagery that gets attention in the marketplace. Note: LinkedIn’s move to an image centric feed.
- Content Measurement is Critical: have a finite grasp of these ROI drivers: Unique Visitors, Page Views, Return Visits, Time on Site, Bounce Rate, Engagement/Virality (ReTweets, Shares, Likes, Comments), Revenue or Lead Generation.
- Mix and match “snackable” short form content (images, video, infographics) with “evergreen” high value content to drive brand engagement, incremental traffic and revenue.
- Build in cross platform marketing on all top tier platforms: Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook using plugin to automatically “push” content to other platforms or pure play content syndication cloud based services.
Why Visual Content is Driving B2C Brands
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with visual communications - creativity drives engagement with your brand. Start slow and measure back end conversions with your imagery to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
- Map your images and content to the platform by creating discrete types of images that resonate with users on a social network. Personalize your visual content and don’t “broadcast” untargeted content.
- When/where possible share useful content that addresses the needs of your target market. Use visuals to capture the attention of a visitor and then couple this with text that’s linked out to other sources and/or informs and engages.
- For visual presentations don’t forget the “rule of three” – Steve Jobs was a master of distilling complex topics down into three.
- Consumers like to see the human side of your brand. Scott Monty (Ford’s VP of Marketing) has been an advocate of “human to human” communications to drive brand engagement.
- Tell a story when/where you can - video is of course a great way to use long form content to engage your audience.
- Chunk your visual content up and reuse it to leverage development costs. The average consumer sees 3-5K visual messages per day and Google has indexed over 50B pages. Repetitive marketing can be a good thing.