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April 2, 2018
By Jennifer Lux
If you are considering adding a content strategy to your marketing roadmap, there are a few myths to overcome as you hire an agency or assemble a team to execute that strategy. To ensure content marketing success, be certain that you and your team have clarified your expectations, especially around these four key myths.
Content marketing does not mean hiring an intern or a new college graduate to crank out blogs. Oftentimes internal staff members will lack the specialized skills needed for content marketing success. While blogging is a very important component of content marketing, considerations such as distribution tactics, SEO, topic ideas, and customer journey mapping are equally important to success. Just creating content without an understanding of your buyer personas, their pain points, and their paths to purchase won’t yield the results you are looking for. Blogging is not synonymous with content marketing but it will help support the lead generation offers and SEO boosts that are needed to help meet your KPIs.
Successful content marketing requires the input and direction of your team, your specialists, and your unique business knowledge. The most successful content marketing programs include input from sales leaders, marketing team members, subject matter experts (SMEs), and content marketing specialists. If you hire an agency, treat their staff as an extension of your team but not as a replacement. Only with the specific feedback and direction of your leaders can a content marketing strategy drive the results and meet the goals set out in the initial partnership agreement.
What does your team need to do? Brainstorm with the agency’s strategists during the content ideation phase, detail the top questions that sales members get from prospects, participate in SME interviews, and offer timely feedback on drafts of blog posts and lead generation offers. Partnering with your agency team along the entire process of content creation, from ideation to publishing, will yield a clear reflection of your brand and value proposition, as well as creating better support for your marketing KPIs.
There is no lack of content on the web. In fact, HubSpot reported that web content increased in volume by 34% in 2016. Getting high-quality, unique content in front of the right audience to impact engagement is the core challenge of inbound marketing. It’s essential to leverage your market differentiators, SMEs, and intellectual capital to produce novel content rather than repurposing what is already on the web. This requires a defined content creation process that will truly provide value to your target market. Content volume does not necessarily multiply your success. Unique content quality that solves your personas’ greatest pain points is the sweet spot when it comes to content marketing success.
Content marketing and related inbound marketing tactics take time to yield results. Sure, you’ll get some quick wins on the lead generation side by creating offers and conversion paths to address your personas’ greatest pain points, but real inbound marketing results require time. It can take months for SEO efforts to yield results as well as the results of optimization efforts to translate into lead quality over quantity. Great inbound marketing is an iterative process; the real value brought by an agency partner is a consistent evaluation of data points. The resulting conversion rate optimization opportunities will continue to yield growing ROI each month.
When adding an inbound marketing strategy to your current initiatives, recognize that results will not happen overnight. By talking through realistic expectations and aligning goals around these top myths, you will ensure that your strategy yields the results you need to support both revenue and organizational growth.
About the author
Jennifer Lux was formerly a Team Leader and Marketing Strategist at SmartBug Media. She has over 15 years of marketing and business development experience – in agency, in-house, and consulting roles. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. Read more articles by Jennifer Lux.
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