Seen & Heard At Content Marketing World: What We Learned From 3 Days In Cleveland

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Phew…. we finally made it home from Cleveland, put our feet up on the couch, and slept over the weekend. Now that we’re back in the office and caught up on email, it’s time to digest and synthesize some of the themes and key points that we took away from Content Marketing World. Here are a few of the soundbytes that stuck with us.

“Content marketing is NOT content production.”

-Ayat Shukairy, Beyond Simple Numbers: ROI Through Data And Analytics

You can produce content all day long – but it’s not going to be effective marketing if it’s not driven by strategy. A clear view of how your customers are looking for you, what problems they are trying to solve, and how you can best answer them turn an ad hoc content initiative into a strategic endeavor, one that can help you fill your funnel from top to bottom in a way that makes a difference for your business.

“If you don’t have a Google and Facebook strategy, you don’t have a digital strategy.”

-Chris Bolman, Percolate, in The Biggest Challenges and Opportunities In Content Marketing

Chris cited these two sources as commanding 70% of attention on the internet. We in particular understand the challenges of truly wrapping your arms around a Google strategy—multiple stakeholders, a plethora of data sources, and the uncertainty that can come with creating content for organic search without the right intelligence. But done right, a predictable path towards transforming your organic search presence connects you directly with your next customers, right when they’re looking for you.

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and

“Marketers spend 80% of their time focused on content for the bottom of the funnel, and only 10% on the middle and 10% at the top.”

-Both from Shafqat Islam, NewsCred, in “How To Finally Solve The Attribution Problem: Drive Real ROI For Your Business With Content Marketing”

As you might guess from the previous quotes, we’re big on making sure every piece of content makes an impact on your business. But these quotes from Shafqat highlight the importance of engaging customers throughout the funnel. It’s especially important for considered purchases to ensure that you’re getting out in front of your next customers when they’re doing research, providing valuable insight and guiding them down the purchase path when they’re ready.

“Connect content to revenue.”

-Vanessa Porter, SnapApp, in The Biggest Challenges and Opportunities In Content Marketing.

We heard in session after session that proving an impact on the bottom line is critical for content marketers. A challenge, yes? An opportunity? Also a resounding yes. Proving the impact of content marketing is complex, but the more directly we tie the initiatives to revenue, the more opportunities we will create.

This Entire Session

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All of it.  We’re all about predictive data and automating insights.

Putting It All Together

Each session we attended was unique, but laying these sound bytes out together leads us to three main takeaways:

  • Churning out content without purpose will not drive a return. Use the data available to you to craft a strategy, and execute on that strategy to deliver valuable insight to your audience.
  • Think carefully about your customers’ journeys and capture them all along the funnel. You shouldn’t focus entirely on the bottom of the funnel—think also about capturing them when they’re doing research on their painpoint.
  • Putting out content that’s effective still won’t be seen as a success if you can’t draw a direct line to revenue. The attribution puzzle is hard, but solving it is the key to your success.

As brands work towards putting together a cohesive content strategy, it’s imperative that they think carefully through their investments.  These three takeaways provide guideposts to come back to when evaluating a content marketing assessment: Is it based in data?  Does it fill a gap in my funnel?  Can I tie success to revenue?  If yes to all three, move forward.  If not, you may want to reconsider.  Here at Demand Signals we’re constantly thinking through all three, so if you’d like to chat, contact us here.