According to a study by AOL & Nielsen, 53% of time on the internet is content consumption and in the U.S. alone, 27 million pieces of content are shared each day, not counting status updates and tweets. In the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs report earlier this year, 9 out of 10 B2B marketers are using content marketing tactics to grow their business.
While content demand and interaction is high along with the reported levels of content marketing implementation by marketers, most companies are not satisfied with their ability to create compelling content over time, connect that content to relevant audiences and measure the full impact of the content investment.
How do I know? We get calls and emails from them every day, looking for help!
It’s one thing for talking heads to pontificate about the value of content and for marketers to nod their heads in agreement. But it’s another thing entirely to implement in a way that grows prospect awareness, customer engagement and ultimately value to the business.
At Content Marketing World in Columbus, OH this week I’ll be presenting a practical approach to solving the disconnect between content creation and connecting that content with interested audiences in a meaningful way. TopRank’s approach to optimization is holistic and customer centric. It focuses on understanding consumer preferences for content discovery, consumption and engagement.
It’s not enough simply to tell a great story in an engaging way.
Optimizing content marketing strategy is essential and that means understanding how target audiences find and seek out information sources. What are they searching on and what topics are they asking about on the social web? With that insight we can better optimize our editorial plan.
The same goes for understanding content format and device preferences. There’s a big push towards visual marketing with images and video, but is that really all you need to be successful with your content? What the creative agency thinks isn’t nearly as important as what content and media formats matter most to the prospects and influencers you’re trying to engage. It’s important to consider what devices drive the most productive outcomes. Is it mobile, tablet or laptop? Get those answers through web analytics and then optimize your content for better performance.
Speaking of engagement, it’s worth digging into what topics, formats and stories will engage both the customers you’re after as well as those thought leaders that influence them. Niche influencers are very powerful at inspiring action. Not everyone will be a customer, but compelling and relevant content can inspire social shares and referrals to those who are more likely prospects. To optimize for engagement also means optimizing for actions like micro conversions or sales inquiries.
Optimization is a continuous process of hypothesis, implementation, measurement and refinement.
Content Marketers that can see beyond the gross claims about SEO as well as the “SEO is dead” diatribe, will realize the necessity of continuous performance improvement from ongoing optimization.
At Content Marketing World, my presentation, “Optimize and Socialize Your Content Marketing” will provide a model of approach that helps develop and optimize content across the sales funnel.
I’ll also share some of what went into the wildly successful Content Marketing Secrets project we launched last week in partnership with Content Marketing Institute. The interviews have had thousands of views and hundreds of shares over the past 5 days. The e-book has been viewed on Slideshare over 40,000 times and there have been over 700 downloads of the PDF. Search for “content marketing world” on Google and you’ll also see the search impact of this project.
My session is on Thursday at 3:00pm and I’ll be giving away several copies of my new book Optimize. I’ll talk about how we optimized our approach with the Content Marketing Secrets project relevant to planning and execution for improved discovery, consumption and engagement. I hope to see you there!