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Four Reasons to Start Content Marketing

Tried and Tested Advice from Four Content Marketing Leaders

“Content Marketing Matters.”  Michal Tsur, Kaltura’s President and CMO said this in her introduction to the Panel Discussion about Content Marketing at Kaltura Connect 2014.  A niche of marketing once overlooked by the masses, content marketing has gradually become a part of many organizations’ marketing mixes.  Still there are organizations everywhere struggling for reason to allocate budget, staff, and time into incorporating it into their own mix.  The reality is, content marketing is something every organization in this decade must start practicing if they want to stay relevant in their user’s eyes—and it’s easier to start than you might think.

1: Content Marketing Creates Brand Loyalty 

All too often, organizations undervalue and neglect to address their customers as what they really are—people.  Scott Salik, VP of Video at Visalus—a direct selling company, illustrates how he was able to connect with his customer base.

My goal is to drive an emotional response so that people will connect with the product.  So that they feel they will have success with weight loss, or so that they feel they will have success in business. 

With this in mind, Scott and his team created a campaign to challenge his customers in achieving their weight loss goals.  If their customers could lose the first ten pounds, they would be more likely to reach their end goal.  With that in mind, Visalus launched Project 10 where customers would submit two videos—an “I want it” and an “I lost it” video showing their results.  Then, every week Visalus would select 10 people who submitted both videos to win $10,000.

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 After four months, they’ve received over 100,000 clips, and noticed a 670% increase in the long term value of a customer who submitted both clips.  As Scott says, “Often they become promoters for us and help sell our product because they are true advocates for the success of our product.”

With just a bit of research and a simple internal campaign Visalus was able to increase their overall value, engage their customers, and generate hundreds of hours of user generated content they can freely use however they want.

2: Content Marketing Creates Brand Awareness  

Typically an organization creates brand awareness through advertising.  While it works, potential consumers can sometimes get frustrated and it is almost always an expensive endeavor.  Cornell University has launched a website dedicated to telling its stories called CornellCast.  As Carrie Sanzone, Web Product Manager at Cornell says:

It’s about getting that word of mouth, getting people talking about Cornell.

Carrie illustrates this with an example about 3D printing during her presentation.  Cornell can invest little into producing a story in-house and by keeping it on a central location (CornellCast), media outlets can report on it and increase the videos reach greatly.

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“We’re not trying to get people to come necessarily to CornellCast.  But, we want to be where you are.  We’re trying to find the intersection of what people’s questions and problems [are], and where that intersects with our talent and expertise.”  With this methodology, spending what they typically would on advertising, they can create great content that appears to their potential students when they want to see it allowing Cornell to naturally become a part of the conversation.

3: Content Marketing Can be Measured

A struggle organizations often have in beginning content marketing is their belief that it can be difficult to see a clear return on investment.  In reality, too many organizations are focused on the wrong metrics.  Raymond Attipa, CEO of Shandy Media, a Compulsive Digital Media Company, has his own ideas of what make for quality metrics—and it’s not the number of clicks or views a video has.  For Raymond, it’s about how engaged viewers are with his content.

We have videos which are extremely successful because they have an extremely high engagement rate, an extremely high share rate and that’s really what our advertisers are looking for.  

Depending on what your goal is, in the case of Shandy Media—advertisement revenue, if you set the right goals, you can find methods to track it.  Things like duration of video watching and which countries and devices viewers are coming from, can go a long way in deciding which content to produce and promote, and where.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you only ever want at most 2-3 things for the viewer to take away—the basic marketing principles still apply when you want a viewer to act on a call to action.

4: Content Marketing Should be Applied to a B2B Space

Typically, content marketing is only referenced when talking about companies selling directly to a consumer.  The reality is that through refocusing and offering something else, it’s possible to use content marketing to effectively reach businesses.  Linda Crowe, Director of Content Marketing Programs at Oracle faces this challenge head on.  What she’s discovered is that that nature of who Oracle is selling to is changing and it’s not just those in technical positions making purchases.

Audiences don’t want to hear Speeds & Feeds

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Like the first point we addressed, you’re always marketing to people.  People are who make up the businesses and it’s crucial to realize that.  Linda says it best: “They don’t want to hear about the technical attributes of our product, initially.  What they want to hear is, what are the business solutions and how are Oracle customers really approaching solving a business problem.”  What Linda is doing is starting this engaged conversation where Oracle can demonstrate solution oriented content in a manner that makes sense to those in a buying position.

If one of these four reasons isn’t enough to at least get you questioning why your organization doesn’t actively apply content marketing into your mix please let us know in the comments!  We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.  Also, be sure to watch the full panel discussion online—it’s full of amazing insights into the world of content marketing.   

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