You know you need content. And we know you know, so you can breathe a sigh of relief — we’re not here to hammer that into your head any more than it’s already been hammered.
When it comes to content creation, marketers are really starting to get it. It’s content execution, promotion, distribution, and measurement that are more common stumbling blocks — all the things that make up what we like to call a content campaign.
If you want to get the most out of each piece of content you create, you should be building out full campaigns with a premeditated strategy for distributing your content, developing supporting assets, and more. Not sure where to begin? Let’s walk through the process that we use at Pardot for our content campaigns, focusing specifically on a campaign we ran a few months ago around customer-centricity.
Step 1. Create the Content
We built our buyer personas, talked to our sales and client teams about common pain points that come up in prospect and client conversations, and decided on a relevant topic: customer-centric marketing. Next came the hard part — building out content that our audience would find both relevant and engaging.
And thus, our 20 Tips for the Customer-Centric Marketer eBook was born. We published it on our website, but we weren’t about to let it disappear into cyberspace. It was time to think bigger.
Step 2. Develop and Execute a Promotional Plan
One of the most important parts of a content campaign is planning what you’re going to do with a piece of content. Where are you going to publish it? What channels are you going to use to promote it? How can you create supporting content that helps give the main asset more life?
For our Customer Centric eBook, we decided to pursue a number of channels that made sense for the asset and our audience:
- The Pardot blog: 7 blog posts with CTAs driving to the main asset
- Guest blogs: posts on blogs with audiences interested in a topic like customer-centricity
- Blog ads: running on the Pardot site and other relevant blogs, like salesforce.com/blog
- Paid advertising: on relevant online channels
- Social advertising: on relevant social platforms (Twitter and LinkedIn)
- Email: included in a re-engagement campaign targeted toward inactive leads
In addition to promoting the main asset, we developed the following supporting content across a variety of mediums:
- Interactive Infographic: Understanding the Buyer Journey
- SlideShare: 10 Inspiring Quotes for the Customer-Centric Marketer
- Checklist: Your Customer-Centric Checklist
- Video: 5 Steps to Customer-Centric Marketing
- Webinar: 4 Keys to a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy
Having so many supporting assets allowed us to continue to promote our main piece of content over the next two months, without repeating the same content over and over again.
Step 3. Enable Your Internal Teams
If you want to get the most mileage out of your content, make sure you put just as much effort into your internal promotional efforts as your external efforts. This means ensuring that your sales, customer service, and training teams know that your content exists and how it might be useful to them (your content won’t apply to every team, of course, so identify the right teams before beginning your enablement efforts). For example, at Pardot, we like to develop a bulleted list of talking points for our sales reps for each piece of content we create.
Step 4. Measure Your Campaign Success
One of the things that really makes a content campaign a campaign is measuring success. There are several ways that you can do this (check out our article on key content KPIs for a more complete list), but we prefer to use our marketing automation tool to gauge success. By attaching the asset to a campaign and creating landing pages for each channel that we’re using to promote content, we can not only see content downloads, but also how success varies by channel.
You can also measure shares on any promotions you did on blogs or guest blogs, link clicks in emails, shares or leads collected via SlideShare, CPC on your paid channels, and more. Gather all of this data to get a holistic view of your content campaign success.
How does your company handle content campaigns? Do you use a different process that the one outlined above? We’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!
Want more content tips and advice? Check out our Content Creation Guide for additional checklists, worksheets, and more.