Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don't Gamble With Content Marketing

Most marketers work hard to create great content that can be used to create sales leads, drive web site traffic, promote brand, and educate customers and prospects. Unfortunately, not all content is created equal. To get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you should follow these rules.

It is not promotional. Promotional materials will neither excite nor inspire -- both critical components of content marketing.

It is relevant. Generic materials that are not highly relevant to a prospect will not result in increased success. When writing content, you must make sure it will be useful to the end-user.

It closes a gap. Content marketing should answer a question or problem. Giving information about topics where there is no need will be a wasted effort. An added benefit of "useful" information is its ability to be used in lead nurturing.

It is relevant to your company. If the content does not support business objectives in any way, it is a waste of resources. Keep business goals in mind when creating content.

It gives proof. Since you write to support a business goal, your content may seem biased. Make sure that content you create gives proof either through quotes and testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.