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Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools, and Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy #CMWorld

Michael-Brenner-NewsCred

“The world has changed. Most content stinks. Attract people through stories they love.” –Michael Brenner

NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies.

Michael’s solution? Create content your customers will love. Talk to them, understand their questions, and leverage the intelligence your organization already has. Michael estimates that “50% of the content you need is already present in your organization.” Auditing your existing content, and tapping your knowledgeable co-workers, can get your content hub off to a roaring start.

Michael’s Seven Key Factors to Creating Content Customers Love

  1. Have a documented content strategy and mission statement. Documentation is key to gain alignment throughout the company and get executive buy-in. For the mission statement, start with this template: “Become a destination for [target audience] interested in [topics] to help them [customer value].”
  2. Have someone accountable for content. Make sure your team has a leader who can take the responsibility for the whole organization’s efforts.
  3. Consistently publish quality content. It’s not quality or quantity, it’s quality and Keep it customer-focused, keep it useful, and publish daily.
  4. Map content to the customer journey. Most of the questions your customers have are in the early stages of the journey. Most content is directed at the late stages. That means we’re leaving a lot of opportunities on the table.
  5. Paid distribution. Customers can’t love your content if they never see it. Publish on your own hub–like Joe Pulizzi says, don’t build your house on rented land–but use paid distribution to amplify.
  6. Focus on content subscribers. Number of subscribers is a relatively new metric, but it’s a useful one. People who opt in to your content are incredibly valuable.
  7. Track content marketing ROI. Helpful content drives conversions and sales. Focus on the measurables that prove the value of your content to the people who sign off on budgets.

Three Brands Doing Content Marketing Right

Michael singled out these brands for how comprehensive their content is, how frequently they publish, and how closely their content is mapped to the customer journey.

  • AmEx OpenForum – Amex created a massive content hub for small business owners. For sheer breadth and depth, they’re unmatched.
  • BufferApp Blog – In retrospect, it makes sense that a company who exists to help people find cool stuff to share would create cool content on their own. Buffer uses its massive data pool to create content people want to share.
  • Van Winkle’s – An aggressively non-promotional blog about sleep from mattress company Casper. They have a wealth of interesting content, and their opt-in form is a creative masterpiece.

You can see all the slides from Michael’s presentation on his SlideShare Page. Get the presentation, get inspired, and start spreading your own #ContentLove.

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