In powerful content marketing, it is important to address these six catalysts (6Cs): channel and concentration, connecting, content, conversation, community and communication.
Here are details and all your content marketing should be guided by your business goals and customers’ needs, wants and personas, customer journeys – lead generation, customer retention and loyalty, brand awareness, SEO, customer upsell and subscription, etc.
1. Channel and concentration – what you want to accomplish: is it fans, product or service introductions, product and technology demonstrations, thought leadership or a mix? Then select and concentrate on a channel accordingly. Granted none of these below are mutually exclusive, but these might be considered most effective primary uses.
- Your blog is for thought leadership and community building.
- Facebook is for community and fan building and brand bonding.
- Google + is for community and fan building and brand bonding
- YouTube is your product and technology demonstration and customer testimonials and for promoting celebrity endorsements.
- LinkedIn is for thought leadership especially among B2B communities.
- Twitter is your news service for product introductions and brand events, etc.
- Pinterest is about passions and interests and customer bonding.
- Instagram is for short, snappy news about product and service in use or events.
- Snapshat can do the same as Instagram with video opportunities.
- Slideshare is for thought leadership and community building among mainly B2B businesses.
Checkout Adam Bianco’s post on digital marketing trends to see the scope of digital media marketing and channels.
This guide for CMOs is very informative on evaluating content marketing sites.
2. Connecting – content marketing is building relationships not simply conducting transactions. You know the formula: become liked, trusted and then you can sell. Connecting is about two-way, engagement and interaction. It’s also about making your customer and influencer important and offering them a reason to become engaged. Special offers work, but many fail because they don’t sustain a bond. Strong, compelling helpful content and conversation are the aim. That’s shared content and here is who connects and shares.
3. Content – your organization can be full of content that is compelling, and attracts and keeps viewers and generates customers. Think about 4Ps that make up your organization: products, promotions, processes and people. All of them are content sources. Still struggling? Review questions you might get from your website, customer service calls, sales team, media and YES, customers. Search competitive websites and capture questions they receive. Brian Clark offers this sound advice to generate strategic content – it’s about three things — information, ideas and action. My perspective is that great content educates, informs, intrigues, inspires and entertains; otherwise it stinks.
4. Conversation – many content marketing experts now claim that conversation is your brand. Conversation is about subjective ideas, objective facts, other people and oneself. It is the soul of word-of- mouth marketing and drives purchase decisions and can be measured as such, says a highly respected McKinsey report . Conversation is not simply commercial photo contests on YouTube or for your website. Those can start conversation, but they are one-offs. Consistent and engaging conversations with technology process and product experts and marketers on hows, what and whys of a brand inside and out are more powerful in building conversations. Inform, educate, entertain and intrigue are the cornerstones of conversation.
5. Community – you can start to see a chain or correlation of my Cs. Community is where you “build and not milk” your most important asset — your loyalists, your ambassadors and evangelists. If they are passionate about your brand, its technologies and your commitment to connect; they will join together, participate and convert other brand passionistas and customers. This is more than your email marketing list (although this community must be represented). It is a group that you can allow special, inside and behind the scenes access to engage them. Here is some strong advice from Entrepreneur on building brand communities (i love the disconnect from digital idea) and from Hoot Suite on building communities even for boring brands and finally on building a community by Shannon Good. It focuses on B2B but the ideas apply to B2C communities.
6. Communication – you built it, now you have to communicate and promote it in all communications from ads to PR to catalogs to POS and packaging. Don’t forget how to supercharge by integration with email, social and mobile applications as Dan Foortan and Jessica Rogers suggest. This is how you build links, web site traffic, SEO and yes, e-commerce.
Additionally, keep in mind questions like these from e-marketer about the real purpose and smartest questions about your content marketing.
Which of these 6 Cs are most important, valuable and relevant to your content marketing efforts?
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