The power of storytelling in content marketing is unmistakable. But what is there beyond storytelling? That’s a key question being asked and answered at the upcoming Content Marketing World conference Sept 8-11th in Cleveland.
To offer insights into the advancing world of Content Marketing, CMI and TopRank Online Marketing have collaborated for the 3rd year in a row on a conference eBook project highlighting strategic and practical content marketing advice from select #CMWorld speakers. As an extension of the conference storytelling theme, this year’s project is a series of eBooks using a theme from one of the most imaginative stories of all time: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We’re calling this series of eBooks, “Content Marketing in Wonderland”.
The Content Marketing in Wonderland eBooks cover 4 topics: Content Marketing Strategy, Audience Development, Visual Content, and Content ROI. We’ll publish one eBook every Monday for 4 weeks starting August 4th. To shed light on some of the content marketing expertise (and experts) featured in the eBooks, we’re posting interviews with some of the 40+ brand and thought leader contributors on strategy, audience, visuals and ROI as well as insights into the power of storytelling.
Our first content marketing expert in the series of interviews is:
Jascha Kaykas-Wolff @kaykas CMO of BitTorrent
How important is it for a company to have a content marketing strategy defined before asking internally for budget or engaging an outside consultant? Can experimentation lead to strategy or is a hybrid approach more practical?
A plan is always the first step in any process; without it you are basing your content strategy around hope and faith. And while hope and faith may be enough to rally resources behind it, that typically doesn’t hold up in the board room. In order of sequence I prefer:
1) Develop the plan
2) Rally around a few smaller efforts/experiments to prove out the plan
3) Align, then ask for budget and more resources
What are some ways you can use audience insights to inform your content planning and promotion?
Your customers will always tell you what is most important to them. Critical to the success of any content strategy and it’s future iterations is a great connection into your community. I believe telling the stories of the biggest successes of your customers should be the keystone to any strategic content plan.
Visuals in content marketing are increasingly popular but how important are they really? Is this the beginning of the end of text or just a phase?
The written word was the first widely consumed data visualization and will always be a key tool in your visuals. Instead of focusing on what kinds of visualizations you are going to create (or not), focus on which channels you are going to give attention to and then adapt the content you are working with to work well there.
Is Content Marketing ROI really that hard? What are you doing to measure content marketing performance?
Content Marketing ROI isn’t that hard; Marketing ROI is what’s hard. We have all the analytics tools we can imagine at our disposal. However, a solid reporting strategy can never be replaced with cool new tools. My recommendation is to align activities to the key measures of the business and build your marketing measurement strategy to collect and use data that helps you support those key measures (Revenue, MQLs, downloads, Installs, etc.). Content Marketing measurement will become much more practical for you once you’ve aligned activities and reporting around how Marketing is contributing overall.
In the spirit of the Content Marketing in Wonderland theme of the #CMWorld eBook series, what was your favorite story from childhood? Any lessons in it for business or marketing today?
I had a boss at Microsoft whom used to always tell me that his favorite business book was written by Lewis Carroll. He’d then paraphrase the scene in Alice In Wonderland where Alice meets the Cheshire Cat for the first time. The punchline to the story is that Alice was lost and she didn’t know which path to take. So she asked the Cheshire Cat which way to go. He responded by saying if she doesn’t know where she’s going it doesn’t matter which path she takes. That particular story has always resonated with me professionally and I share the story often.
Without a good strategy it really doesn’t matter how you line up the tactics you aren’t in control of where you are going.
Excellent, thank you Jascha!
You can tap into more of Jascha’s content marketing stories and insights in the upcoming eBook: Content Marketing in Wonderland: Building a Content Marketing Strategy, which will be published here at Online Marketing Blog and on the TopRank SlideShare site Monday August 4th.
We’ll be publishing #CMWorld conference eBooks every week for the next 4 weeks as well as infographics and other content marketing goodies, so be sure to subscribe, bookmark and share. Speaking of #CMWorld, be sure to check out the Content Marketing World conference coming up Sept 8-11 in Cleveland. If you use the discount code, TopRank, you’ll save $100 off main event and all-access registrations.
A big thank you goes to the eBooks’ sponsor, Curata (content curation and content marketing solution). We appreciate your support a great deal and the communities at Content Marketing Institute and TopRank Online Marketing as well as the broader content marketing industry benefits from your support of this eBook program!