Content Marketing from a Practitioner’s Perspective

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Photo credit: MassTLC

MassTLC’s Demand Gen peer group met at Localytics’ Boston offices recently to discuss successful content marketing strategies. Justina Perro, Head of Content Marketing, and Lisa Skinner, VP of Demand Generation, led the conversation and shared numerous insights and examples from Localytics’ efforts in this arena. The discussion included:

  • Strategy & alignment across the organization
  • Goals
  • Execution
  • Amplification

Strategy & Alignment Across the Organization

In developing a content strategy, identifying personas that you are trying to reach is key, but sometimes the list can be pared down to just one main persona. Each company needs to determine the right number and types of personas for their business. In Localytics’ case, the one persona is the mobile marketer. Although the company is trying to reach one primary persona, it uses diverse voices (multiple contributors, varied job functions, different types of content) and diverse formats (blog posts, e-books, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.) to speak to different people within that persona group since everyone receives and reacts to content differently.

Three things that Localytics thinks about when implementing a content strategy are:

  • What they can teach their content consumers
  • What’s trending in social media (they engage in social listening for this)
  • What keywords will drive SEO

There are a variety of tools that the Localytics team uses to keep up with trending topics and optimal keyword usage:

  • Quora
  • BuzzSumo
  • Google Alerts
  • Twitter
  • SEMrush
  • Google Keyword Planner

Integration and alignment across the organization are important for advancing the company’s goals and for generating diverse content. The content team at Localytics works with Communications/PR, Product Marketing, Product Development and Sales to make sure that messaging is aligned and to solicit feedback from other internal and external voices. The conversation is two-way–Justina emphasized that other groups need to feel heard in order to buy in to and support content goals.

Goals

Determining whether your content strategy has been successful can be ambiguous. A company needs to know what its purposes is, e.g., being a go-to hub for the latest and greatest relevant content. To reach this goal, the content team needs a set of established KPIs that monitor results on a monthly and quarterly basis.

Finding the right metrics for your organization is important. Are you looking for a particular audience? Do you want visitors to spend a certain amount of time on your site? Do you want them to visit multiple pages/assets? Determining what is important to your organization is key, as is developing ways to track and measure. There are many analytics tools to help with this, and you may want to add a marketing operations person to your staff to help.

Monthly and quarterly reviews should include an examination of, and perhaps adjustment to, overarching content themes that were established as part of the content strategy. In general, 80-85% of content should relate to one of the key themes.

Having a publishing framework and calendar creates a predictable cadence for your audience. Each company needs to find its own sweet spot by testing different schedules until it finds the one that matches the company’s content resources while driving sufficient traffic. You may have updates to your blog and social accounts several days per week, with a long form piece every month or quarter. You will only know what works by experimenting and measuring results.

Execution

Besides marshaling internal resources from different groups, content teams should consider freelance writers, guest bloggers, co-branded pieces, or other sources of relevant content. In addition to writers, design and UX/UI experts are needed to make things aesthetically pleasing. If your content doesn’t look good, people will skip it.

Repurposing or upcycling existing pieces is a great way to leverage existing work. In addition to updating older pieces, current pieces can be delivered in multiple formats, e.g., publishing an infographic from a white paper, a summary of the white paper and the white paper itself. The rule of thumb is that 95% of views come from 5% of content, so repurposing a succesful piece is a good strategy.

Establishing content governance, i.e., who owns it, and brand guidelines are important additional elements in content execution.

Amplification

Content is only useful if people see it, so promotion on other channels is key to driving traffic/views. Some of the main ways to promote content are:

  • Emails
  • Employee sharing
  • Social
  • Medium
  • Reddit
  • Paid promotion
  • SEO optimization

Localytics tries to do at least half of these for non-gated content and all of them for gated pieces. For an evergreen piece, they will continue to promote it for months since it is usually older content that establishes a company as a thought leader.

For more information about the Demand Gen peer group, contact Christine Nolan at christine@masstlc.org.