David Waterman recently hosted a webinar with the DMA to decipher and delve into the online marketing industry’s favorite buzzword: Content Marketing. Over the course of his presentation, David discussed what content marketing means, how to create an optimal content marketing strategy and what to avoid. Here are his answers to some of the most insightful questions posed by his audience:
Q: How much is too much content? When is it considered over-optimized on a given topic?
A: It generally comes down to what the news is within your industry. If there has been the exact same information in terms of flow and there is not a lot of news in terms of industry technology or processes, there may not be a lot of content to create. However, if your company is coming up with new processes or has a lot of data that you can communicate with new content, you may have something to talk about. It is about finding a balance and determining the worthiness of creating certain content. Ask yourself “what is the value that this content serves to the user?” and “Is this content that is beneficial to the industry as a whole?” or “Is this content important because big changes have occurred and we need to have a point of view?”
For example, when Enhanced Campaigns were first announced, just about every search marketing company out there had a point of view about it because it is something that they needed to address, in terms of the groundbreaking news that will change how the industry as a whole will function. Naturally, people are going to be curious about your company’s point of view. Don’t be afraid to create a point of view. Unfortunately that doesn’t equate to a certain number of pieces of content so you just have to feel it out.
Q: Do you have examples of good or bad content marketing?
A: I don’t have any specific examples. But in terms of what I would consider “bad content marketing” , I think of a company that says “we need to create 50 pieces of content this month. Go figure out what those topics are.” It should be the other way around. Really when it comes down to it, content marketing should be done on a daily basis. It comes down to the events that are happening within your industry and within your company. That should dictate your content marketing efforts.
Q: What would be covered in a content strategy plan? What would it look like?
A: Use an old school editorial calendar to break the year by month and determine if there are any company events that you know will occur over the year that might be of interest to your current customer base or might be leveraged to expand your company’s reach to a new audience. From there, lay out the industry events that you know are going to occur at specific times of the year. For example, as I mentioned before, the announcement of Enhanced Campaigns from Google: Before the July migration date, you are going to want to make sure that you have a lot of content about that topic, including subjects like “How to Prepare” or “10 Things You Need to Do Preserve Your Campaigns.” Make sure you include your industry perspective. And lastly, incorporate holidays into your content plan. For instance, it is tax season and you can ask yourself “what does my company have to do with tax season?” If there isn’t a direct correlation, think about an interesting angle you can take to discuss the event. There is always an interesting angle that you can take to tie your brand into holidays.
Q: Should content be created and geared toward individuals who might not be familiar with the marketing industry? Should content be dumbed-down?
A: In some cases, it may have to be dumbed down. And that is especially the case when you use content to try to maintain current customers or upsell them. But for those people who are new, you might need to dumb down some of the topics that you discuss, especially for your evergreen content. If you are in search marketing, you should provide your new customers with basic content that breaks it down from a fundamental perspective so that it is more digestible for those people who are not familiar with your topics.
Q: Who in an organization do you typically work with to develop content? Marketing, production, web team?
A: The funny thing is that nowadays there is a lot of overlap. Nearly every department deals with SEO and the same goes for content marketing–there are going to people from many departments in your organization that will help out along the way. But the marketing and web team need to work closely together—marketing can come up with a great content plan but if the web team isn’t aware of the strategy, they will not be able to provide the technical support needed or integrate the content into the website. On the product side, it is important to include product employees’ industry expertise—they are the people you want to go to. The main team to rely on will likely be marketing, but there will need to be representatives from the web and product teams as well.