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What’s Your Answer? 25 Questions from Content Marketing Experts


Wouldn’t it be helpful to know the questions your executives or clients will ask before they pose them to you?

You would have the time to think about the answer and tailor your response for the circumstances. Then, when asked, you could respond immediately and thoughtfully, impressing the interrogator.

Well, the presenters at Content Marketing World want to help. They’re sharing the best questions they’ve been asked about content marketing. In a few cases, they share their answers and in others, we share some content that could help you formulate your answer.

But let’s not stop there. How would you answer any or all of them? Include your response in the comments (please label it with the question number for easy reference). And next month, we’ll compile all the questions and answers in an updated blog post.

1. Should we do this?

Too often clients say, “Can we do this?” They are so enamored by what’s new and possible that they don’t stop to ask whether it’s right for the audience, right for the message, and whether it could work.

Bethany Chambers, director of audience engagement, North Coast Media 

Should we do this #contentmarketing project? @writegirl1215 #CMWorld Share on X

2. What is content marketing?

This is a good wake-up call. We have to evangelize and educate the organization on how our content marketing efforts are helping drive the business.

Peg Miller, head of content strategy, Xactly

What is #contentmarketing? @PegMiller #CMWorld Share on X
Handpicked Related Content: How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone

3. Does content marketing work?

Stoney deGeyter, founder and CEO, Pole Position

Does #contentmarketing work? @StoneyD #CMWorld Share on X

4. How does marketing without talking about or promoting our product/service help us create leads and sales?

Jason Schemmel, social media manager, Harper Collins Christian Publishing

How do you market effectively without promoting a product or service? @JasonSchemmel #CMWorld Share on X

5. Why would I want to educate my customers and help my competition?

Jeff Leo Herrmann, president, Madison, Michigan and Market

Won’t educating my customers help my competition? @JeffLHerrmann #CMWorld Share on X

6. How can content marketing help address our target audiences throughout the customer purchase journey?

That question gets at the heart of how content should be used. Content should address the motivations and needs of the customer at various points of their process, so that it strengthens their positive feelings about the brand, heightens their likelihood to convert, and increases their customer lifetime value.

Zontee Hou, senior strategist, Convince and Convert

How can #contentmarketing help address target audiences throughout the customer journey? @ZonteeHou #CMWorld Share on X

7. How can I use content marketing to increase brand presence in the most efficient way?

Chuck Hester, vice president, Marketing Lucidity Direct

How can #contentmarketing increase brand presence effectively? @chuckhester #CMWorld Share on X

8. How does content marketing drive revenue?

Andrew Davis, CEO, Monumental Shift

How does #contentmarketing drive revenue? @drewdavishere #CMWorld Share on X

9. How do we measure content’s influence on sales and revenue?

That one question drives the best decisions, the best priorities, and the best subsequent questions that drive impact.

Matt Heinz, president, Heinz Marketing

How do we measure content’s influence on sales and revenue? @heinzmarketing #CMWorld Share on X

10. How much is it going to cost?

Tim Hayden, president and co-managing partner, Brain + Trust Partners

How much does this #contentmarketing project cost? @thetimhayden #CMWorld Share on X

11. What’s our goal? Why are we doing this?

We were initially more focused on the what and the how questions. When our CEO asked the why question, it forced us to take a step back and get our short- and long-term goals down on paper. We’ve referred to those goals for five years. They’ve served as a great guiding star for the content program.

J.P. Medved, content director, Capterra

What’s our goal for this #contentmarketing project? @rizzleJPizzle #CMWorld Share on X

12. What are we missing?

It’s almost always that the content isn’t focused on creating a permanent change in how people see a situation, the brand, or the world.

Tamsen Webster, founder and chief idea whisperer, Find the Red Thread

What are we missing in our #contentmarketing? @tamadear #CMWorld Share on X

13. What should we stop doing?

I wish people asked this question. Marketing continues to be additive. Yet, to be truly creative – and offer something different and worthwhile – we need to deliberately do activities that make the greatest difference.

Michele Linn, head of strategy, Mantis Research 

What #contentmarketing work should we stop doing? @michelelinn #CMWorld Share on X

14. Does your brain spontaneously combust creativity? Where do you get your inspiration for some of these campaigns?

Ben H. Rome, manager, marketing, American Industrial Hygiene Association

Where do you get your inspiration? @bhrome #CMWorld Share on X

15. Is my point of view unique so I don’t sound like every other agency (or company)?

Drew McLellan, CEO, Agency Management Institute

Do we have a unique point of view? @drewmclellan #CMWorld Share on X

16. What are the editorial and commercial benefits of creating interactive content?

Shachar Orren, chief storytelling officer, Playbuzz

What are the benefits of #interactivecontent? @shacharo #CMWorld Share on X

17. What are we doing about voice search?

Courtney Cox Wakefield, manager, digital marketing, Children’s Health

What are we doing about #voice search? @courtewakefield #CMWorld Share on X

18. How can I get my executives to create and share content for the company?

Viveka von Rosen, chief visibility officer, Vengreso

How can we get executives to create and share #content? @LinkedInExpert #CMWorld Share on X

19. How do I use content marketing to help other people in my organization?

The beauty of content marketing is in how valuable it can be across the company and not just marketing. Your head of recruiting can use it to attract the right talent, your communication people can use it to communicate to investors, your head of training can use it to educate current employees. Too many executives are so concerned about themselves and their own teams that they don’t give an olive branch to others. This question shows me somebody who can really help others accomplish bigger things for the company.

John Hall, co-founder, Influence & Co.

How can #contentmarketing help other people in my organization? @johnhall #CMWorld Share on X

20. How can we make something go viral?

There’s no guaranteed formula. But no matter the industry, you can increase your chances if your content (1) presents a unique story, idea, or dataset (2) in a way that directly addresses a pain point or creates an emotional response in your core audience and (3) in an engaging format. And, that’s not enough. You have to promote the heck out of it.

Leslie Carruthers, president and owner, The Search Guru Inc.

How can we make something go viral? @thesearchguru #CMWorld Share on X

21. Can we get beyond thinking we are the best answer and bring in others from our community?

The client who asked this question now actively seeks input into their editorial calendar topics from beyond their industry.
Mark Masters, owner, The ID Group

Can we get beyond thinking we are the best answer? @markiemasters #CMWorld Share on X

22. What’s the difference between audience and traffic?

The question hints at where marketing is heading overall. A synonym for traffic is “visitors,” which by definition are people who leave. Today’s best content marketers develop audiences. They focus on subscribers, not visitors; time spent, not views; holding attention, not merely acquiring it.

Jay Acunzo, founder, Unthinkable Media

What’s the difference between audience and traffic? @jayacunzo #CMWorld Share on X

23. How many buyer personas do we need?

Adele Revella, CEO and founder, Buyer Persona Institute
How many buyer personas do we need? @buyerpersona #CMWorld Share on X

24. How do we manage all the different audiences? How to do we make sure our content is relevant to all of them?

Ahava Leibtag, president, Aha Media Group

How do we make content relevant to all our audiences? @ahaval #CMWorld Share on X

25. Why won’t people come to our content?

The short answer is that people in charge lacked a basic understanding of SEO. A slightly longer answer is they didn’t do link building and outreach, or perhaps they didn’t produce content that was “linkworthy” in the first place.

Stephan Spencer, co-author, The Art of SEO

Why won’t people come to our #content? @sspencer #CMWorld Share on X

Your answers needed

Now that the questions have been asked, how would you answer them? Pick one or more and include your response in the comments below. And if you have a great question that was asked and answered (or needs an answer), please add that as well.

You can ask questions of these experts and others in person at Content Marketing World Sept. 4-7 in Cleveland, Ohio. Register today and use code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute