Category Archives: IPP Content Marketing Series

How to choose the right Content Marketing Agency

content-marketing-strategy

With so many companies claiming to be content marketers, how does a prospective client know how to choose the right agency for their company? Here are four ways to know if you are choosing the right content marketing agency.

1. Credibility and Measurements

Has the agency been successful in doing content marketing for previous clients? The client should find out if the content marketing agency has done work for clients in similar industries. What type of content marketing strategies did they use? Were they able to deliver on time? How do they measure their success? Google your content marketing agency and see what comes up.

2. Practice what they preach

While many content marketing agencies boast or brag about what they have done for their clients, the branding and promotion of the agency and its services tend to be somewhat weak and sometimes inconsistent. Are they visible on social media? Do they update and share their own blog posts? Content Marketing Agencies should definitely share insights, tips, techniques, and thought processes with their clients, competitors and the world. So if your agency is unable to create content for themselves or use the recommended method then move along.

3. Culture of the Content Marketing Agency

Ensure that the culture of the content marketing agency you are using is similar to your organization. Know what you’re getting into beforehand and give the agency your clear cut expectations and let them explain theirs. This will only serve to move your content marketing goals faster and make you aware if your staff will play a role in the creation of content. Also if it is a case where the marketers will be in and out of your organization, you’d like your team to be comfortable with this and vice versa. This will make things a lot easier in facilitating a smooth working client-agency relationship.

4. What can your team learn from the agency?

This again goes back to the agency’s visibility; are they known on social media? Do they host workshops, webinars or make presentations on content marketing and social media practices to clients? A good content marketing agency not only creates content for its clients but spends time in educating their current and prospective clients on the importance of content marketing.

In concluding, the right content marketing agency is one that has great marketing for themselves, does content marketing through leadership and most importantly, listens to their clients in order to meet their needs. Have you been able to identify any great content marketing companies yet? Let us know!

Content Marketing

 

Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing

Yesterday on twitter, It’s Pixel Perfect (IPP) was tagged in a post, by the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean, with the question:

“Is Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing the same?”

We responded, but 140 characters wasn’t suffice. And so here we are in the midst of the war between Hubspot and Content Marketing Institute. No they are not really fighting (at least we hope not), but the stakes for supremacy in the marketing industry are high.

Everyone wants to know if they are different, others use the terms interchangeably, some say one is the foundation for the other, others think you don’t need to know if they are the same – what should be important is that you are using marketing techniques available to achieve your results.

cm & im

The similarities between the two are glaring however the differences are blurry, so we concluded that the best way to tackle the question was to research and include in this discussion, the thoughts of ‘THE’ marketers who introduced us to the two concepts.

  • Hubspot defines inbound marketing as:

“Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time……. By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. ”

Read full article here

  • Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

November 4, 2010

By the end of the conversation, here was the consensus:

‘Content strategy / Content marketing / Inbound marketing…let’s all get over ourselves.  It’s pretty much all the same s**t.’

Personally, I use content strategy when I’m talking to journalists and content strategists.

I use content marketing when I’m talking to sales and marketing professionals.

I use inbound marketing when I’m talking to small businesses.

We are indeed all media companies today and it really doesn’t matter what you call it.”

Read full article here

  • The 7 Business Goals of Content Marketing: Inbound Marketing Isn’t Enough

Joe Pulizzi & Robert Rose, Content Marketing Institute

November 11, 2011

When the term “inbound marketing” first started to get traction, I thought it was pretty much the same as content marketing. I was wrong.

While inbound marketing (as opposed to outbound marketing) and getting found online by prospects are critical, what do you do with your story once they find you? If content marketing were a football field, inbound marketing would get you to the 35-yard line. Definitely critical, but hard to score from that distance.

In my view, that means a complete content marketing strategy would incorporate inbound marketing principles, but it would also take a more holistic approach to meeting a business’s overall marketing goals.”

Read full article here

Content Marketing

What content will you use to educate your customers on their purchase decisions?

Inbound Marketing

How do you plan to target and distribute the content?

Quality Content Creation

YES

Content is at the core of every strategy

YES

Content is one tactic

Educate/ Inform Customers

YES

YES

Attract Customers

YES

YES

Channels/Distribution

Channel- Agnostic

(Online, Mobile, Print, In-person)

Online only

Goal/Aim

Heavily focused on building long-term relationships

Heavily focused on driving more leads to the business/lead-nurturing

Defined Audience

YES

YES

ROI-driven

YES

YES

 

If you thought that the two terms were the same, don’t feel bad. It took Joe Pulizzi (the person who coined the term Content Marketing), just over a year to come to the conclusion that he was wrong, as he too originally thought that they were the same.

So we’re telling you ….. yes there’s a difference between Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing and they should not be used interchangeably.

For more information on Content Marketing, read our other blog posts: Be the MVP: Content Marketing Series

Content Marketing

5 Content Marketing Trends for 2014

2014 “Content marketing topped the digital priority list in 2013, according to Econsultancy’s annual survey. Yet just 64% of marketers agree that content marketing is set to “become its own discipline”, while only 38% of companies have a defined content marketing strategy in place. Just 34% have dedicated budgets to it and only 46% have dedicated staff for it, judging by the results of the Econsultancy/Outbrain Content Marketing Survey 2013.”

Friedlein A., (2014, Jan 8), Marketing Week

We are now in 2014. Content marketing is becoming even more of a priority for businesses. To achieve your monetarygoals of growth, sales, profit and success inbusiness by using content marketing, you must be aware of the trends in order to bring the best value to your customers.

Let’s discuss 5 Content Marketing Trends for this year

1. Create content that is accessible on all platforms

Thinking ahead for maximum consumption, discoverability and engagement. ‘On the go’/mobile-friendly content has to be the basis of content creation this year. This includes being able to predict which devices your customers will use to access your information, so that you can create and tailor the content to suit your customer’s needs. Compatible user-friendly products for easy viewership is a must.

2. Think like a journalist, achieve the goals of a marketer

Story-telling is the basis of content marketer. Who should have better command of stories than journalists? Marketers are taught how to creatively sell or entice, journalists are taught how to creatively present information which is content. Imagine if you combined both.

 3. Accept the use of content marketing

Some businesses use it and don’t realise that they are using it, or have used a combination of the content marketing strategies but are using them incorrectly. 2014 should see businesses being able to define content marketing and also make more effective uses of it as part of their ongoing marketing strategies. Having a facebook/twitter account with few posts or only sales pitches isn’t enough, neither is a youtube page that has not been recently updated. Additionally, this will see the change in job titles at some companies to titles with the word “content” in it. Positions like “Director of Content” or “Chief Content Creator” are in the horizon.

Click here to watch an episode from Azan’s Home Adventures, showing how they use content marketing 

4. Automation of content will be the demise of businesses or won’t it?

This trend is a toss up. Yes we love the easy way out. But content creation is time intensive. It is your devoted time that allows you to create impeccable content. Trying to link all your content together for one dissemination is in fact laziness for fast sharing, rather than putting out the same content but in different ways to suit the various platforms. Don’t lose sight of the personalized, customer-focused approach that is unique to content marketing. On the other hand, some marketers think that being able to create a unified platform that can send out the same content and aid in fast sharing is the best things for the business.

5. Use of visual content

Customers like to be engaged and will gladly read your content once it is in a user-friendly format. The use of infographics, video content and short webinars make it easier for persons to consume the content, and it is presented in an interesting and entertaining way. It’s not just words on a page like blogs, facebook and twitter posts, or a newsletter.

unnamed (1)

See other infographic examples here

Content marketing is exactly what companies are using now and those who aren’t are quickly catching on. We must be able to keep up with the changes that affect our social space. Can these trends work in 2014? Have you started using any of them? Do you disagree with any of these listed trends? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

Content Marketing

15 Ways Content Marketing Can Improve Your Business

Is there a way to reach customers without interrupting them?

Engage rather than to be avoided.

That is content marketing.

Content marketing is a strategy of informing and educating customers in an interesting way that will boost their interest and aid in their analysis and purchasing of your products and services.

How can you use content marketing to improve your business?

1. Content marketing establishes yourself as a thought leader

You have the potential to present the best brand image for your business. To be a thought leader, impeccable content is paramount. It is important to know your content inside and out but it is even more important to be able to express that content flawlessly.

2. Content marketing is cheaper compared to alternative forms of marketing

From a monetary standpoint it takes little to nothing to write a blog post or a post on social media, compared to running an advertisement in the newspaper, television, online or on a billboard. What content marketing does do is take up a lot of your time. Content creation cannot be rushed. Ads have a beginning and an end, content remains.

3. Content marketing builds valuable relationships with your audience

Content marketing helps to make a personal connection and show that your company isn’t a robot of regurgitated information, it shows people your human side.

4. Content marketing attracts customers for free

How much does it cost to buy a google ad or a sponsored ad on facebook? What is the cost to share content?

5. Content marketing works with any industry

If you have a business you must have information to share. Content marketing is the sharing of information unique to your brand. Nobody can be more helpful about your brand than the person who knows the brand inside out. So don’t think ‘I have nothing to say or share’ instead think ‘what useful tip or trick can I share to improve my product experience’.

6. Content marketing allows you to provide proof of quality service

Through case studies, videos and testimonials customers have the opportunity to see the product and service in use before-hand. They are able to see the quality of the service and aid in the analysis of your product.

7. Content marketing pulls in unexpected customers

Content marketing utilizes many online forms capable of reaching persons that possibly didn’t know that you existed.

8. Content marketing improves customer experience

You now have the opportunity to allow your customers to stop thinking and speaking negatively about your brand on the challenges of your product. Through content marketing all FAQs or concerns would have been answered early in the buying process, and can be easily updated when new queries arise. You are now interested in boosting your customer engagement by reviewing and solving their problems before targeting them for a sale.

9. Content marketing grows a long-term audience

When stellar content is created and shared, your audience comes to you because of their interest. Interested persons make efforts and commitments. Unlike traditional marketing where you have to keep targeting different groups for every new promotion, customers gained through content marketing don’t usually leave. Just keep creating content to keep them informed by utilizing follow-up techniques. Don’t attract them and leave them hanging. By choosing content marketing, you made a decision to embark in a long-term commitment of value with your audience.

10. Content marketing positions you as a helpful resource

You want to help, that is why you chose this strategy. You want to create informed buyers. Who can teach and train a potential customer about your product’s full potential better than the person who will be providing the service?

11. Content marketing encourages virality

The ability of sharing information in real-time is social media, and that is only one form of content creation. Positive or negative, information about your company is spread and shared faster than you can count to 10. It takes one second for someone to retweet a post on twitter, one medium with millions of followers. Giving information with spelling errors like ‘slapt’ will make your company go viral but in a negative way, as the content of the information is lost because of a single error.

12. Content Marketing allows you to experiment

There are over 20 types of content that can be created and shared with your audiences. A combination of contents work best with different industries. The expense of a failed advertisement is more expensive than the cost associated with a failed content technique. A failed content marketing strategy can be tweaked for improvement, easier than a billboard with a misinterpreted message can be fixed.

13. Content marketing reduces your dependence on external sources

You have created your content. It is yours and no one elses, nobody can take that from you. The email listings, your followers, your subscribers – they are all yours. Your 5000 valued long-term customers will generate more leads for you simply because of good service.

14. Content marketing is recyclable

The same content can be recreated in different ways. This blog post is being created now. It is a part of the “Be the MVP” series which means it can become a compiled e-book, or a case study could be presented to show how these benefits have been actualised in companies. Additionally content can be revised once new information is available. Can you recycle an ad or will you to have to pay additional money for that change?

15. Content marketing educates your employees

Your greatest ambassador for your business is your employee or team members. In your bid to educate your customers, ensure that your employees are educated as well. Content created for customers should be content that the employees understand, as they are a customer themselves even if not to your specific service. So ensure they read the blog posts, like these to be informed. At our company, we give quizzes to the team members to ensure that they have read the content that we have created for our potential customers.

Have you been using any of these ways to “Be the MVP” in your industry?

If not, I hope that these 15 ways will help you to make a more informed decision about using content marketing. If you have any others, please comment and share them with us.

Content Marketing

35 historic things to know about Content Marketing

 Now, this is a story all about how

my life got flipped-turned upside down

And i’d like to take a minute

Just sit right there

I’ll tell you how I became ……..

Content Marketing?

Yes, I don’t rhyme; all my pieces may not seem to fit; but that is because I was created to appeal to everyone and to each person individually. No one person receives a sent message the same way, so it was important that as I was born and as I evolved, I could be the story everyone needed to hear or read.

The infographic below, titled “A Brief History of Content Marketing” is courtesy of Content Marketing Institute, and provides a fun and easy to understand timeline for my life (content marketing). As the below infographic will show, “hundreds of years, thousands of brands, but one thing remains the same – the power of story.” IPP told you how important it is to be able to tell a true story well (see the previous post).

CMI_CM_History_Large2

4 histories not listed in the timeline:

2000: e-books

  • In July 2000, author and blogger Seth Godin created the e-book ‘Unleashing the Ideavirus’ and made it available for free. The e-book was downloaded over 1 million times and is considered the most downloaded e-book of all time. With a user-friendly interface, e-books gave content marketers a new channel to educate potential customers and establish their companies as thought leaders.

Source: marketingprofs.com 

2005: Podcasting

  • In June 2005, Apple added a podcast subscription feature to ITunes and a directory of podcasts at the iTunes music store.

  • In July 2005, Fidelity Investments became one of the first major corporations to use podcasting to reach its customers

Source: marketingprofs.com

2006: Social Channels

  • Twitter launched in July 2006 and Facebook opened to anyone over the age of 13. Facebook and twitter joined LinkedIn as the major social media platforms. Businesses began to use social tools as a new way to engage customers and fans.

  • Today social media marketing is often confused with content marketing

Source: marketingprofs.com 

2014: The LEGO Movie

  • In 1987, the timeline lists “LEGO launches Brick Kicks Magazine (Now LEGO club magazine). 27 years later, the brand continues to find ways to educate their customers about their products in an entertaining way. Kids are average people with a wild and creative imagination; they are brought to life in this animation.

Where does your Most Valued Provider fall in our timeline of history?

How can you master the power of story to Be The MVP in 2014?

Content Marketing

 

Be the MVP

This IPP Content Marketing Series: Be the Most Valued Provider (MVP), hopes to offer an entertaining, informative and memorable insight into this whole idea of content marketing.

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say next ….. but I can’t tell you what content marketing exactly is. Content marketing as a concept isn’t definitive. How we define and understand concepts is relative to our approaches and practices.

At IPP, content marketing is customized or personalized education, by combining the interests of consumers with the product offerings of our clients.

CONRAD

Joe Pulizzi, who is said to have coined the term ‘content marketing’ will describe it another way and other ‘experts’ based on technological evolutions may add their variations.

                 HOWEVER, WHAT WE CAN ALL AGREE ON                    IS THE INTENT OF CONTENT MARKETING                 - ATTENTION FOR RETENTION

                  What is expected of the business using it?

  • Businesses are expected to present the product in an entertaining manner, give information and, make the product memorable to drive sales.

What is the expectation of the consumer having been exposed to content marketing?

  • Having been exposed to the product via content marketing strategies, the consumer should have been entertained, given relevant and useful information about the product and, had such a personal impact that it was so memorable to cause purchase or use.

Did you see what just happened there? The aim of this series reiterates what content marketing should do. It should entertain, give information and make the product memorable.

HOW CAN YOU BE THE MVP?

DREW DAVIS

Businesses must aim to be the MVP for their niche markets:

  • Interestingly presented truth gains loyalty, not fluff. Tell the story of your product well, don’t give fairytales.

  • One-size fits all blasts can’t and won’t work. Relevant and useful information must be given on a consumer-to-consumer basis

  • Know that content marketing isn’t the same as social media marketing. Social media is merely a distribution channel used in content marketing

  • Create valuable content using infographics, blog posts, memes, ebooks, case studies, testimonials, videos or even a combination

Coming next in our IPP Content Marketing Series, we will explore the history of content marketing. Did you know that 1895 was the birth of content marketing, with a customized magazine? That’s 119 years ago ….. I thought this was a new concept, didn’t you?

                                                                Until then …..                                                                                  What is your definition of content marketing?                                      Do you know any MVP that is using content marketing?                                                                 Share it with us!!!