By Michele Linn published October 31, 2014

How To Turn Your Customers into Brand Fans: 3 Examples

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Is there anything better for you as a marketer than having your customers share their passion for your company or product?

Not much.

In the content marketing space, we spend a lot of time (maybe too much time) focused on brand awareness. We don’t focus enough energy on using content to turn our customers into advocates or strengthen their evangelism for our brands.Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 24, 2014

Is Paid Advertising Worth It? B2B Content Marketers Share Their Insights

dollars-426026_640Did you know effective B2B marketers are using paid advertising more often than their less effective peers?

While we have talked a lot about the need for a documented content marketing strategy, CMI research also reveals that effective marketers are using more paid advertising, which makes sense. As we often say, you need to market your marketing. And, while earned and owned media are quite prominent, those who fare better in content marketing rely on paid media as well. Our qualitative, executive research and conversations with marketing leaders reveal the same thing.

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By Michele Linn published October 17, 2014

A Single Version of Truth: One Key to Content Marketing Measurement Success

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Content marketing measurement is something that has received a lot of attention lately, and it’s not hard to understand why. According to our new research, B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America:

  • Forty-nine percent of B2B marketers struggle with measuring content marketing effectiveness (up from 33 percent last year).
  • Only 21 percent of B2B marketers are having success tracking ROI.

In fact, when we had our Executive Forum in the spring, finding the best way to measure was the “big idea” most of the marketing leaders wanted to solve.

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By Joe Pulizzi published October 15, 2014

New Content Marketing Research: B2C Challenged with Measurement

B2C_Cover Two weeks ago, we released the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America: the first round of findings from our annual content marketing survey. Now it’s time to learn what B2C marketers have to say about their content marketing practices in our B2C Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, sponsored by EnVeritas Group.

This is the third year we’ve reported on B2C and it’s been interesting to see how their use of content marketing has evolved. One of the key findings this year is that B2C marketers, like their B2B counterparts, are having difficulty measuring how successful their content marketing programs are. However, having a documented content marketing strategy can help. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 10, 2014

How to Build a Better Content Marketing Strategy

better-content-marketingI would argue that a lot of marketers don’t understand what [a content marketing strategy] means. They think culling together a bunch of tactics is actually a strategy, but it’s not.
—Ardath Albee

Unless you have a focus on what it is you are trying to achieve with your content or your digital marketing in general, you will get distracted.
—Nick Panayi

These quotes are just two key points made in a recent roundtable discussion CMI developed around our B2B content marketing research. This series of conversations explores the “whys” behind our findings and provides expert advice on ways that content marketers can make their efforts more efficient and successful.

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By Michele Linn published October 3, 2014

Why Fewer People Are Using Content Marketing — and Why It’s Good News

sign image-question mark-arrowWhen the CMI team read the initial results from our newly-released B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research, one finding immediately jumped out at us:

Eighty-six percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing — a number that has declined from last year’s adoption rate of 93 percent.

At first glance, this stat seems startling — especially considering how popular and prominent our discipline has become over the last few years. But when you take a look at the underlying message it conveys, this decrease is actually an encouraging sign. Let me explain. Continue Reading

By Joe Pulizzi published October 1, 2014

New B2B Content Marketing Research: Focus on Documenting Your Strategy

b2b content marketing-cmi Today, we release the findings from our fifth annual content marketing survey — and it’s our biggest and best year yet.

For this year’s survey, we decided to ask some new questions, and change how we approached some of our regular questions, in order to provide fresher, more insightful findings. Thus, B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove, reflects the progress our industry is making in exciting new ways.Continue Reading

By Joe Pulizzi published September 29, 2014

Two Critical Actions That Distinguish Great Content Marketers

pen with papers-written lettersFor a long time, I didn’t feel successful — though perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I didn’t really know what success was.

I graduated from Bowling Green State University (just south of Toledo, Ohio) with a degree in interpersonal communications. My major had been “undecided,” until the beginning of my junior year.  The only reason I chose Interpersonal Communications at that point was it was the only degree where I could actually graduate on time (with a few additional courses).Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published September 8, 2014

6 Keys to Shifting an Enterprise to a Content Marketing Mindset

open pocket watch imageHow do you think content marketing will change — and what do you need to know to approach your job more successfully?

This question was recently posed to 27 marketing leaders during a series of in-depth interviews conducted by CMI, and a few key themes emerged. For example, we found many content marketers want to improve their editorial processes and centralize their content planning efforts; others took this a step further and were looking to integrate their editorial and demand generation processes so the content they publish can drive better business results.

At the crux of all of these desires for change is a fundamental need to transform an organization’s culture — a challenging prospect for enterprises to achieve, given that silos and strong histories often hold sway. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published August 19, 2014

Marketing Research: How Enterprises Structure, Scale, and Spend on Content

content marketing research cover-enterprisesWhile the vast majority of organizations seem to be adopting content marketing in some shape or form, there are several questions that continue to confound them:

  • How should we operationalize around this discipline?
  • How are marketing leaders in our industry scaling this discipline?
  • How much are those leaders spending — and on what, specifically?

These are especially complex challenges for large, enterprise organizations to have to face.Continue Reading