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What is Your Content Marketing Priority? 22 Experts Share Their Goals for 2012

We asked our CMI contributors to share their 2012 content marketing priorities with us and were truly wowed by their diverse and intriguing responses!  From “adventurous” and “experimental” to video and mobile marketing initiatives, here are 22 illuminating insights into the 2012 content marketing strategies and priorities of CMI’s leading experts. Enjoy, and maybe this will help you think about what to focus on as well. 

Experiment. It would be very easy for us to rest on our laurels. We’ve generated a good bit of visibility for our infographic — enough visibility that we have “inspired” others in our category to follow suit. We could easily repeat that formula, but instead it’s time to move on and reinvent ourselves. Let competitors chase a ghost. We are working on much more adventurous, experimental content for 2012. It’ll be a very different Eloqua when it comes to content marketing.

Joe Chernov  (@jchernov)

I plan to create more series-driven content instead of one-off content so people want to keep coming back to the site.  Creating a series gives us time to develop relationships over a common topic over multiple articles, and it builds trust and relationship.

Darryl Praill  (@ohpinion8ted)

I’m working on something very simple—finding the “you” that resonates for each of my clients’ customers in every piece of content I create or suggest. What are the benefits to their potential customers or customers and how can we ensure we are delivering on those?

Ahava Leibtag  (@ahaval)

The biggest thing I continue to noodle on is more effective ways to drive action from the shortness that is social media content. I want to develop sure-fire techniques to drive calls-to-action from Twitter and Facebook that aren’t blatant asks, but relevant next steps for readers. That and finding more effective ways to teach content ideation and editorial calendar management for clients are my two focus areas for content marketing this year.

– Jason Falls  (@JasonFalls)

We’ll do our first proper iPad tablet content in 2012 and will make progress on B2B mobile (sites and apps).  We’ll also be working harder with clients to close the circle with sales using marketing automation.  We’re designing a content machine that can really scale with quality (the holy grail?). Oh, and we’re exploring a new approach to content analytics.

Doug Kessler  (@dougkessler)

I have four priorities for 2012: 

  1. Share more “behind-the-scenes” content from my life.  This will expand my personal brand in new ways.  Who you are is what makes you unique and valuable.  Reveal more of the unique “you,” and you’ll increase your value.
  2. Consistently create content.  This will provide additional help to my readers, provide more SEO benefits, and offer continued proof of my value. Being consistent with your content is as important as providing great content.  (I haven’t been very good at this in the past.)
  3. As I’ve written about on CMI, I want to create more content outside of my default mode (text).  This will give more “non-readers” a chance to access my information.  I would challenge you to break out of your default content mode also.
  4. Continue to write more guest posts and articles for CMI and other websites.  This will help new people to find me and to discover my expertise in 2012 and beyond.

Scott Aughtmon  (@rampbusinesses)

We need more examples of how businesses are organizing around content marketing in 2012.  If you know of great examples, let us know at [email protected].

Joe Pulizzi  (@juntajoe)

My 2012 content marketing priority is creating a content communication strategy.  This means creating an internal marketing department process for coordinating content creators to align messages, campaigns, etc.  While at the same time, coordinating the needs of those that need content for their campaigns.

Jessica Eastman  (@JessicaEastman)

The focus for me will be on diversity of content. Two areas where I’m increasing budget is infographics and video content.  I’m also interested in exploring how to make content more interactive.  Do I need to say mobile apps? I think making your content app-ready is imperative for 2012. The other area where I’m dedicating more budget is professional photography. I want to reduce the usage of stock images and start using more original photos in our content.

Sarah Mitchell  (@globalcopywrite)

In a word – video. Not just for us, but for our clients, too. We have created a media room and plan to create many different types of video in the coming year. This will include recording webinars, video interviews, how-to videos, and so on.  The costs have come down to a point where it is no longer a reason not to do video. With more and more search results displaying video, it’s just too big to ignore. So our biggest content marketing priority for 2012 will be to produce high quality video as cost effectively (and creatively) as possible.

– Arnie Kuenn (@ArnieK)

The top 2012 priority for content marketers is to tie your content marketing to your key business objectives. To this end, you must understand your content’s target audience (which may differ from your target users) and their information needs to provide useful content at every step of the purchase process. Then develop a set of relevant content marketing metrics that tie back to your business goals and ensure that you have the systems and processes in place to track them.- Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)

My priority for 2012 for content marketing will be efforts to better tie content marketing to real life customer touch points.  QR code adoption has gained incredible momentum over the course of 2011, and that momentum will continue to build in 2012. Mobile devices will continue to get faster and more agile, and tablets will emerge to be the gift of choice this holiday season as prices become more competitive across the range of devices.

These two trends combined will lend to new and exciting opportunities to insert content into the lives of consumers at the times when they are most eager to consume it.  The challenge will be in mastering this new timing and finding ways to create the most relevant content quickly and efficiently.

– Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)

I have plans to introduce some news jacking (as D.M. Scott would call it) into our content marketing mix.  With Google’s Freshness update taking hold, as a big story breaks or a big event approaches and is heavily searched, it will be vital to put our reporter hats on and toss our own content into the ring.Mostly though, for me, priorities won’t change – blogging, video, and downloadable branded content will always lead the charge.

– David Huffman (@davemhuffman)

My focus continues to be on content marketing strategies for small business.My forthcoming book, Urban Escapee: How to Ditch the Commute, Build a Business, and Revitalize Main Street will share some the content marketing initiatives used to engage customers of George Bowers Grocery, the micro-grocery/café my husband and I own. Here’s how we used Facebook and QR codes to help build customer engagement.

– Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)

According to the latest research from CMI, one of the most important best practices of best-in-class marketers is to produce and deliver content to help facilitate the buyer’s journey. In today’s marketplace, it’s often easier for buyers to do nothing, than change.

For the buyer, a purchase is a complex and often difficult change management process, with many stakeholders and hurdles. Marketers must provide content to help facilitate the decision steps in the buying cycle, helping the buyer answer key questions, sequentially Why Change, Why Now and Why the Proposed Solution?

For 2012, the top priory for marketers should be to optimize content to support the buyer’s journey. This involves mapping the buyer’s journey and understanding whether there is adequate and compelling content to help facilitate the decision making process along each step For each gap, new and important content can be developed, helping to engage buyers wherever they may be in the decision making process, shorten sales cycles, and loosen stuck deals.

– Tom Pisello  (@tpisello)

Our top priority is to reinvent the way we do webinars in 2012.  In an online video age, it’s crazy that we’re still putting up with audio-only narrations to slides. At the very least we should be inserting video on every webinar, and dialing in our guests on Skype, like this.

But why not follow the “flipped classroom” model that’s getting hot in learning?  We could distribute concise, provocative video presentations for viewing in advance, and then hold one or more live Google+ video hangout follow-up sessions for those who want to ask questions and discuss the content.  There’s got to be a better way!

–   (@MichaelKolowich)

I plan to continue refining my understanding of personas and the purchase process so I create more relevant and engaging content.

– CB Whittemore  (@cbwhittemore)

My content marketing priority for 2012 is to delve more into the concept of community. As a small business, creating a community may not come as naturally as it might for a bigger enterprise, so my goal is to figure out the best way to create or become part of relevant communities that will enable me to share content, meet customers, and grow my business.

– Manya Chylinski

My biggest priority for 2012 is to create more integration and “themes” around the content we created in 2011. We spent a significant amount of time “creating,” and I don’t want to just wipe the slate clean and start all over again next year. Instead, I want to really laser-focus our efforts, consolidate our content around “themes” and distribute them in an organized, integrated way across our various social and other online sites.

– Anna Ritchie  (@apritchie)

Our priority for 2012 is better alignment of our content marketing strategy with both audience types and audience needs, and our own desired outcomes in terms of new biz development.  While aligning content strategy with our client’s needs is exactly what we do in the first stages of an engagement with a client, it’s been very challenging to focus this lens upon ourselves.

In this regard, our experience with dialing in a content strategy for ourselves has been a real eye-opener. For instance, are we better able to achieve our desired outcomes in terms of new business development with a content strategy based on providing educational content (positioning us as thought leaders, for example) or by providing creative, emotionally inspiring content (strengthening our image as a creative digital agency)? Or should it be some combo of both? Getting this dialed in this year is a top priority for ourselves.

– Russell Sparkman  (@fusionspark)

For 2012 our priority is to continue to educate people that content marketing isn’t just about blogging the most frequently or sending the most emails on whatever topic you can – anyone can do that.  Instead, it’s about taking the time to map content to buyer roles, stages, actions and objections in order to help your content to sell for you and truly drive revenue.

If you aren’t identifying the areas in your content marketing approach where content can advance somebody towards a business goal, and specifically identifying what those pieces of content are, who they are targeted to, and the desired action you want them to take then you need to re-valuate what’s missing in your content marketing approach.

– Will Davis (@willdavis)

2012 is the year for many brands that content marketing moves from concept to reality, from experiment to true channel within the marketing operation.

Thus my priority in 2012 is that content marketing have the right process to make it a channel. That process includes 1) idea generation: listening to the voice of the customer to produce ideas for content about customer interests; 2) content production: a fully functioning “newsroom” within brands to produce and distribute content; and 3) audience development: outreach to influencers to drive links and traffic. And the outputs of the process need metrics so that the process can be measured and be part of the full marketing operation.

Toby Murdock (@tobymurdock)

So what is your content marketing priority for 2012? Please share it with us in the comments section below. Thanks, and have a wonderful holiday!