Sometimes, I want quick answers. Don’t give me the whole explanation… just give me an answer and get me on my way.
In that spirit, I put together a list of the top content marketing questions I receive on an ongoing basis, and briefly answered them in (around) 140 characters.
If I missed any that you’d like answered, please put them in the comments, and we can add to this as an ongoing resource.
1. What are some of the best B2C content marketing examples that you like to reference?
2. How about B2B content marketing examples?
3. How do I integrate content marketing in my own company?
Use the SAS model — get the leaders from each department (i.e., email, search, PR, etc.) and have them meet weekly to coordinate content activities.
4. Where do I start with my content marketing strategy?
Develop your content marketing mission statement. Where can you have impact as an authoritative voice? Do this before you develop any more content without strategy.
5. What’s the most underutilized content distribution tool?
SlideShare, and it’s not even close.
6. How do I create more content?
You most likely have enough content. First look at stopping some things that aren’t working and reallocating those resources to quality content initiatives.
7. But my content is not in story-ready form?
True, most companies have content assets, but they aren’t in a compelling form. Hire or contract out a journalist, editor, or natural storyteller to help get those assets into shape.
8. Should I insource or outsource my content?
Most companies do both (content marketing research here). It doesn’t have to be either or, and there is no silver bullet. Find the resources necessary to get the job done. It will never be perfect, so don’t wait.
9. Should I place my content behind a form or set it free?
It depends on the goal. If the metric you are using is a lead, there has to be a form somewhere. That said, you might get less sharing and awareness…and that may be okay.
10. Do I need an enewsletter?
Email is possibly the greatest owned media channel for brands. To keep that channel alive, you need a consistent flow of amazing content. Blog to email RSS or an enewsletter works just fine.
11. Why in the world would I give away all our knowledge for free?
As the great Don Schultz has always said, communication is the only true competitive advantage. If you don’t help your customers reach greater heights, who will? Your competitors?
12. Do I have to be on Facebook and Twitter?
No, you don’t. But if you are, ask yourself why you are using those channels. As a matter of fact, ask yourself why you are using every channel.
13. How do you get all your content creators on the same page?
Make sure EVERY one of them has a copy of your content marketing mission statement. In most brands, content creators never know what the true reader or company content mission really is.
14. What is the best way to figure out my customer’s pain points?
First, talk to your customers. Then, talk to more customers. Then, listen on Twitter and launch some surveys. Then talk to sales and customer service. Then talk to your customers.
15. How do I measure ROI?
You don’t. Figure out the specific content marketing objective and measure your return on objective. Use the four types of content marketing metrics for guidance.
16. What kind of content works best?
According to Julie Fleischer (Kraft): 1) Have a purpose, 2) Be captivating, 3) Go where the customer is, 4) Timeliness matters, and 5) Know your metrics.
17. What is the difference between content and content marketing?
Content marketing must work to enhance or change a behavior. If it doesn’t, it’s just content.
18. How do I get C-Level buy-in for my content marketing?
Prove it works. Start a pilot. For television shows to get approved, they need a pilot; you do the same. Create a 6-month pilot period using agreed-upon metrics.
19. What is the biggest reason why content marketing initiatives fail?
First, the brand stops producing the content (campaign mentality). Second, inconsistency. Third, it’s not remarkable content.
20. How important is design in your content marketing?
What is the purpose of a magazine’s cover? To get it opened. Much of that depends on design. If your design doesn’t compel people to engage, what’s the point? Invest in design.
21. What is a no-brainer issue that some marketers don’t deal with but can?
Mobile content. There is no reason why your content shouldn’t work on a mobile device. Fix it.
22. Will brands start doing content creation and distribution better than publishers?
In certain niches, some will. But publishers and brands are better together. Brands have more resources, but the media model is changing; I think for the better. Traditional publishers will always be needed.
23. Can’t I just create one content platform for all my customers?
How are broad, horizontal news sources doing these days? Look at what Patagonia does and how many different content platforms they have for different editorial interests.
24. Should I stop everything else and just do content marketing?
Do you want to be fired? Content marketing works with your other marketing, not in replacement of. The issue now is that most brands are underdeveloped in content marketing and we have to catch up.
For more answers to your pressing content marketing questions, join Joe Pulizzi for his keynote at Content Marketing World-Sydney in Sydney, Australia on March 4–6.
Cover image via WWarby.