This year, CMOs can't stop talking about content marketing. In January 2013, an Ad Age survey found that 55 percent of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets this year. A separate report published by Altimeter in February concluded that content marketing budgets must increase this year to accommodate content channels such as video and mobile.
The hype about content marketing means the market is getting crowded and to stand out, CMOs and their teams will need to do something extraordinary.
If you have an insight community, you can use it to strengthen your content marketing efforts.
Here are four key issues you can explore with the help of your community:
Uncover your customers' challenges.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 64% of B2B marketers say that producing enough content is their #1 content marketing challenge.
Content marketing is not about pushing your sales messaging out. It's about creating and distributing relevant and valuable content, positioning your company as a thought leader in the process. To be successful in content marketing, you need to be your customers' hero.
Get your online community to help you generate content ideas. Ask questions that will reveal what challenges your customers are facing related to your industry. You can then use this information to build a successful editorial calendar.
Discover what type of content they consume - and how.
Wondering if you should invest in online videos? Should you create Slideshare presentations? What about infographics?
You won't know answers to these questions unless you know what type of content your customers prefer and currently consume. It's also a good idea to ask your online community which devices they use to access content. Having these insights will help you focus your content marketing efforts.
Find out where they hang out online.
Which social networks do your customers hang out in? While it's tempting to assume that they are on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, you won't know for sure unless you ask your community.
Once you know which social networks your community participates in, you will have a better idea on which platforms to use to promote and distribute your content.
- Ask your community.
It won't hurt to ask your community directly what type of content they would like to see you produce. Your trusted advisors will give you a candid response on which content they would like to see.
As more companies realize the importance of content marketing, you'll see more brands investing in paid, earned, and owned content. You can get a better ROI in this marketing technique if you work with members of your insight community to uncover the issues they are thinking about and how you can help.