The latest issue of Marketer+ magazine includes an article by our CEO Ula Radzińska, who was invited to contribute as an expert in content marketing. This is important information for us, but even more important is what the article is about. It attempts to answer the question about the boundaries of content marketing and about the measure of success.
„Content marketing is communication which evokes particular behavior in customers. Obviously, sometimes it takes time and patience to evoke the reaction we want. Content marketing must be done carefully, remembering about all the features of the persona of your ideal customer and consciously balancing between knowledge, education and sales incentives. But the common goal of both marketers and salespeople is always business revenue. And apart from defining quantity measures of your content strategy, also define the ones which will show the impact on the company’s income.”
Firstly, Ula points to a paradox: mainly, in pursuit of getting more and more likes, clients – and sometimes even the agency that services them – sometimes forget about the most important matter, which is the number of goods or services sold. What’s the point in great content if it’s not followed by increased sales?
Ula, as well as everybody else in our agency, always tells clients that when planning content marketing activities you always need to know the goals you want to achieve, and you need to develop a strategy which enables you to do that. You can verify the goals along the way – as the rapidly changing market situation may sometimes require such verification – but the main priorities must be clearly defined in order to set the direction.
If in doubt, try to think of a talk with your boss when you were trying to convince them to a new project – what always works is the facts. Preferably concrete numbers. Preferably concrete numbers denoting concrete income.
Ula gives a great example. Imagine you organize a meeting for fans of travelling across Asia on behalf of a book publisher. The meeting is hosted by the author of a book about that part of the world, and the participants are potential customers for the publishing house. As Ula says:
“If they buy the book and leave their data to receive a newsletter, the number of the books sold and the number of people willing to receive additional news are the measures for the meeting conversion. You get real money and leads with whom you can start building further relation, and sell more products to them as a result. Unless you don’t think about this. In that case, what decides about the success are the participants’ impressions and reactions. They are crucial if you want to organize involving meetings, but they’re not so good arguments when discussing with your boss what do we get from that?”
This question – “and what do we get from that? – is worth asking yourself once in a while. Keep it at the back of your head, or even better in front of your eyes:) When you consider taking up a content marketing action and you have doubts, this question will help you find the most reasonable solution.
Another essential matter discussed in the article is marketing automation, still treated with a dose of suspicion by some marketers – while it shouldn’t be, because it’s a very useful tool. It’s worth finding out the possibilities it provides instead of building a distance. Just as it’s not worth keep salespeople at a distance – according to Ula:
“You have the knowledge they need, and they have information about customers that you don’t have. Combining these two is a key to success.”
And one more thing (regularly covered on our blog, as it’s never enough about important stuff) – take care of the quality of content. For instance, never allow poor quality content to appear on your company’s website. If a potential customer reads it, he may feel the company doesn’t know much about the products it offers. This is an easy way to harm your company’s reputation. Or if it is read by a new guest who got directed to your website by a browser, he may think that if the company creates poor quality content, it is similar with their product or service…
There is also an unexpected thread in the article: a date. If you wish to find out how marketing is similar to a date and why respect is key – take a look at Ula’s text in Marketer+. You will start to understand that content marketing begins and ends with sales, and maybe some new questions will pop out in your heads that you haven’t asked yourself before. And the right question is always a step towards development, which isn’t far from success.