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Power Up Your Content Marketing

On a special episode of our podcast today, February 11, I had the pleasure of talking to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.com, about content marketing.

2014 Content Marketing Trends

Content marketing isn’t new; however, it has changed a lot over the last few years. Some of the biggest changes:

1. Content marketing is becoming more mature – marketing departments are becoming more adept at creating and managing content. Ann notes that she was one of the first Chief Content Officers and we’re seeing more titles popping up around content, including Director of Content. That means companies are in it for the long-haul.

2. Marketing teams have more systems and processes in place – we’re using technology and people to make things better.

3. We are doing a better job in B2B of ‘lightening up.’ That is music to my ears and a real joy to see. When marketing is better, customers’ experiences are better. That’s a great thing.

Big Content Marketing Challenge: MOFU

As I mentioned to Ann, many marketing organizations need to shore up the middle of the funnel – what Ann calls ‘the MOFU’ (and we call all kinds o’ wrong, name-wise)! The middle of the funnel is really key – that is where tremendous value needs to be added in order to move people through a better experience in their journey. The journey isn’t necessarily linear – and that is part of the difficulty. One of the most important things you need to do is understand the questions and concerns of your prospects throughout the process and answer them along the way. It’s OK to have some content that is gated.

Great Examples of Content Marketing

I asked Ann some of her favorites that she’s written about on her blog.

1. Marketo. They have done a lot of fun things. Ann talked about a short book that included peoples’ pets. I love Marketo – I’ve written about their ‘Big Marketing Activity Coloring Book‘ as a great example of marketing that is lighthearted. For more information on adding a lighter touch to B2B marketing, check out my ebook.

2. Saddleback bags. The company has a 12-min video (talk about commitment. Whew!) that includes some fun, tongue-in-cheek tips on how to create a knock-off. Along the way, the viewer can see how different Saddleback bags are on the quality spectrum from the competition. Ann and I both agree – shorter videos are better, all things being equal.

3. New York Public Library. The NY Public Library is taking pics of books – called ‘shelfies’ – and posting them across social media. I think it’s a brilliant way of elevating the story and visibility of libraries at a time of big transition for many libraries. Ann also mentioned that they do Mad Libs as a way of engaging users.

Where can you get inspired? Look for examples outside your industry and, as we talked about, surprise your audience now and again!

Listen to the podcast for more great stuff.

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What’s your biggest content marketing challenge? Leave a comment below. Thanks for coming.

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