Mastering Content Powered Engagement

August 21, 2017

By Steve Kerho, chief strategy officer at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing

Tithi Luadthong/Shutterstock.com

 

Today's consumers are savvy and particular. They want brands to deliver more than just information on products and services, more than mass market messaging or discounts and loyalty points. And they expect brands to communicate with them when, where, and how they choose. To forge deep, lasting emotional and profitable bonds with their customers, brands must be able to create and deliver relevant content with surgical precision — all the time, every time. In other words, you must master content-powered customer engagement.

The importance of content marketing is no secret. Neither is the fact that few companies have mastered it. According to the Content Marketing Institute's 2017 Content Marketing Trends reports for both B-to-C and B-to-B, 86 percent of B-to-C marketers and 89 percent of B-to-B marketers are using content marketing. However, within both sectors only 6 percent feel that their organization is sophisticated enough to do it well. Despite this, brands are engaging in an arms race to create the volumes of content needed to feed an ever-larger content ecosystem.

Two urgent questions arise from this scenario: 1) How can brands get better at content marketing and deliver it at scale? and 2) How can brands make sure their investment in content marketing is paying off?

While there's no easy answer, marketers can tackle these challenges by understanding the fundamentals of enterprise content strategy and participating in the development of their content strategy in the most productive way.

Here are six principles for doing just that:

  1. Participate vigorously, especially in the beginning. The program must start with your business and brand goals: Be able to articulate what your expectations are for content performance and how that can be tied to business goals.
  2. Champion the customer: Content must revolve around your customer and tell a unified story across platforms. If your organization needs to change to accommodate, advocate for it.
  3. Know what you have and what you need: Chances are you already have content, lots of it, all over the place. Find it and figure out what you have to work with.
  4. Have a single editorial calendar and a creative blueprint for all content creators in every channel: This piece is of the utmost importance for any content marketing strategy to succeed.
  5. Create content grounded in strategy: Ensure that business goals and consumer happiness are advanced in every piece of content you create.
  6. Measure and optimize the whole way through: Developing a measurement plan and a way to use the results is vital. Determining ROI for your content is the only way to prove its value.

Hopefully, these six principles give you a sense of how to approach the multi-dimensional chess game that is enterprise content marketing.

To learn more, take the ANA's new on-demand training course, Content Powered Engagement, developed in partnership with Meredith Xcelerated Marketing. You'll learn about the key opportunities content marketing offers for successful brand marketing and have access to a comprehensive toolkit to help you get started. All on-demand learning courses are complimentary and available to ANA client-side marketer members.

 

Steve Kerho is the chief strategy officer at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) and has over 25 years of marketing experience on both the agency and client side. MXM is an award-winning strategic and creative agency, with world-class digital expertise and an inimitable pedigree in content, and an ANA Strategic Partner.


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