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B2B Marketing Strategy IBM

Brands with a 'content methodology' are more apt at keeping content away from the slush pile

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By Laurie Fullerton, Freelance Writer

May 16, 2016 | 3 min read

With content marketing investment on the rise, and 73 per cent of organizations creating more content than they did last year, a recent report by Contently notes that roughly two-thirds of B2B marketers create content without any documented strategy. In an increasingly competitive landscape, many organizations surveyed lack an effective content methodology. Additionally, as content marketers must compete both against their business competitors as well as major publishers and media companies, content marketers must understand the crowded media landscape and prepare a strategy going forward — otherwise, their well-crafted content will end up on the proverbially slush-pile.

Content strategies for content marketers by Contently

The report suggests that, while content marketing is grouped into traditional marketing divisions in many companies, an improved methodology will enable marketers to seek out content ideas and expertise throughout the organization, while championing the positive impact it can have. The report states there are five key actions to consider in building a content methodology including creating a common purpose, engaging senior leadership, establishing content leadership and governance, fostering collaboration and encouraging creativity and risk-taking.

One methodology is to ask 'what kind of content should you create?’ Finding the opportunities to build up to a big idea is key. As an example, General Electric corresponds to the brand message around "Ecomagination" while IBM's idea is for a "smarter planet" influences their content brand. Additionally, it is important to identify the topics your brand can own, whether it is educational, informational or utilitarian. Developing a tone, voice and perspective that is original avoids the type of "me-too" content that has little value. Using tools like BuzzSumo to learn what content formats and lengths are shared the most, and which topic your audience discusses most is helpful. Identifying which strategies are working best for other publishers and brands, and considering how to emulate them can be part of the methodology. Finally, identifying keywords with the greatest search volume but the lowest competition is an important strategy.

A content methodology should also include a plan of action that, according to the report, has five components. One methodology is the source of the content, the channels it will be distributed on, the contributors who will create the content and the workflow. For example, if a marketer wants to create two to four pieces a month and connect through a blog or email, the impact of the organization's content marketing strategy will be fairly light, whereas generating a daily article and hiring a team of seven to ten freelance writers, designers and strategists is an excellent methodology that is far more effective.

While a content methodology will optimize content marketing efforts, along with the channels that readers engage on and the contributors delivering strong results, it's key to nurture and highlight the contributors who resonate best with their audience. Also, by leveraging data to optimize a content plan for the next round of publishing and to further propel the content methodology, B2B marketers should repeat and refresh their methodology each quarter, creating a powerful content machine over time.

B2B Marketing Strategy IBM

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