Content marketing has been around for a very long time and will continue to be a significant tool for service marketers because it emphasizes the customer relationship.
In 1895, the John Deere Company began publishing a magazine called The Furrow. Instead of cataloging equipment John Deere sells, The Furrow addresses topics relevant to the farmer such as how to run a more successful business, or how to increase profits through new techniques in farming. By focusing on the customers problems, John Deere created a reputation for reliability.
Content marketing isn’t about great content for writing’s sake or industry recognition, it exists to cultivate an audience that will eventually act in a manner that benefits your company through sales or referrals.
An effective content marketing strategy must have a clear goal and an equally clear metric to measure success. For instance, if your goal is to:
Asking a provoking question near a particular pain point and offering a call to action to extend the conversation on that particular tangent is a good way of measuring lead generation as a primary content marketing goal.
Measure success by including social sharing tools and capturing social share data. For instance, building a click to tweet button and placing it near a particularly quotable call out provides an excellent vehicle to measure how valuable your content is to your community.
You can measure success in terms of downloads for white paper or case study content. Further measurement could be achieved by publishing abstracts with more detailed content and using web browser heat mapping to determine which areas or articles get the most attention.
If your content marketing goal revolves around prompting readers to engage and interact, the best location is the end of the article. Keep you offering short and sweet. Let your readers fill in the blanks by offering their point of view and experience to connect the dots.
Remember, successful content marketing focuses on relationships not a transaction model. Rather than information for information’s sake, like a fifth grade history report, trust and confidence is built over time by expressing a point of view which reflects the readers challenges as expressed through your brand story.
Novocent helps you connect with customers by creating the building blocks of communication. We work to articulate the intangibles that differentiate your organization and can transform that messaging into actionable projects like:
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