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Michael Brenner is senior director of global marketing for SAP. He is also author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog and cofounder of social news site Business 2 Community. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 101 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Content Strategy Ain’t Just For Large Companies

03.23.2013
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In a recent podcast on OpenView labs, I discussed how content strategy can drive real results for businesses of all sizes.

I talked about how every business needs a content strategy – it is not just for large companies.

I also answer the question of whether content marketing is just another term for marketing.

Finally, I discuss how can companies get started in content marketing and also how to get past “campaign-brain” and create the mindset that puts customers first.

Here is an overview of my comments but I invite you to check out the audio recording here…

Is Content Marketing Just Another Word For Marketing?

The answer is yes and no.

Yes, content marketing is just another term for marketing because effective marketing should already seek to deliver on the needs of individual buyers at different stages of the buying cycle with helpful information and educational content.

But the fact is that when you say the word “marketing” to non-marketing business people they often think of SPAM – overly promotional messages that no one wants.

So the answer is no, content marketing is not the same as marketing today because it does not seek to blast the market with overly promotional interruptions that do not serve the customer audience.

Content Marketing exists to bridge the gap between the largely ineffective marketing that takes up the largest share of marketing budgets today and the more effective, customer-focused marketing that will be required in the future – required by our customers, by our executives and by our larger ecosystems.

Does Every Company Need A Content Strategy?

Every company needs a content strategy because content strategy addresses the problem of all the noise in the marketplace. There are way too many messages in the marketplace. And customers are simply tuning out!

Content strategy is defined as the content our audience is looking for, in all the places they are searching for it, for all the stages of the buying journey and for each buyer persona.

But with the rise of internet connectivity, mobile access and social media, content development and delivery has become affordable for even the smallest company.

Is Content Strategy Just For Large Companies?

Content marketing is not as hard as small company marketers may fear. Because of web and mobile access and the rise of social media, small companies truly can compete with larger companies. By focusing on customer-driven content, small companies can be effective at generating leads, opportunities and real revenue.

Content creation can come straight from a small company’s existing customers. Profile who they are, what challenges they faced that led them to your solution, and how they traveled the journey to a solution. Have them tell a personal story about the challenges they faced.

And stop there…create a webcast from the content featuring the customer. Write a blog post. Write a whitepaper.

These are the kind of stories that people want to listen to. And with enough of this content and a strong conversion engine on your website, any company can be effective with content marketing.

How Can Companies Get Started In Content Marketing?

  1. Remove the campaign-brain mentality and start thinking about the content needs of your audience
  2. Define the buyer stages, channels and personas of the people whose business you want to earn
  3. Look for compelling customer stories to create effective content in multiple formats
How Do You Change the Mindset of the Traditional Marketer?
  • Show them how ineffective push-based, promotional marketing is ineffective
  • Identify all the bad content your company creates that never gets used or read by anyone
  • Show them how the buyer journey has changed
  • Identify the audience your not reaching with outbound promotion
  • Demonstrate how inbound marketing is more effective on a cost-per-acquisition standpoint
Published at DZone with permission of Michael Brenner, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)