How to Drive an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

By September 13, 2016Content Marketing

Normally, “to push” is the exact opposite of what your goal should be in your content marketing strategy. You want to pull readers in, not push them where they don’t want to be.

But PUSH also happens to be the perfect acronym for what your content should look like. It should have…

Purpose – If your brand has a purpose, it makes it so much easier to have a simplified content strategy. Content just becomes a fulfillment of that purpose.

Utility – Create something of value. At minimum, it should have entertainment value, but often you can offer much more.

Story – Lots of people are talking about this. Here, we’re talking about character arcs, conflict/resolution, and voice, things that brands don’t always consider. You can even think of content as chapters in a story; you don’t necessarily have to tell the whole story in each post.

Humility – This is particularly true on social media. It’s just not about you and your brand. It’s about your stakeholders and customers—the stories they want to tell. Your job is how to fuel those stories, which usually isn’t by thinking about yourself.

We recently had the privilege of interviewing Drew Neisser, Founder and CEO of Renegade, who came up with the PUSH acronym. In that interview, he shared a lot about how to drive an effective content marketing strategy.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Kind of Infrastructure Do You Need to Develop a Content Strategy?

how-to-drive-an-effective-content-marketing-strategy-hawke media podcast

In Drew’s book The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing, he mentions 64 marketing elements. The best marketers are the ones who can mix the “chemicals” to their advantage. None of them take the same approach with each business.

There are some businesses in which the CEO is a natural storyteller. For them, telling stories is easy, and they can do this work in house. But others don’t have that luxury and have to do it “outhouse,” if you will.

There are so many advantages to sourcing this kind of work. Drew’s opinion is that content isn’t really about quantity: it’s about quality. There’s plenty of crap out there and very little good content.

It’s a good goal to be proud of every piece of content you produce, because if you respect people’s time, it will pay off in spades.

4 Reasons Content is So Damn Useful

Content creation works like building blocks: once you’ve identified your purpose, you can create a brand narrative on top of it. This is the story you want to tell and have told about you.

Further, there are four things that great content can do for you:

  1. Build awareness
  2. Turn awareness into purchase intent – “I saw your website; I want to buy your product.”
  3. Encourage repeat business
  4. Turn customers into advocates

Most businesses want to focus on #2, but you’re better off starting with #3 and #4. Focus on content that’s valuable to your customers, and let them do the advocacy for you.

how-to-drive-an-effective-content-marketing-strategy-hawke media podcast

For example, Drew mentioned a cruise line sharing a video of a cooking class in France with someone who was already planning to go to that class. That person was far more excited about sharing the video that the average viewer, resulting in better exposure than a cold posting of the video would have received. It’s a fascinating perspective on marketing that a lot of brands don’t think about.

If you’re helping your customers, you’re never wasting your time.

The key metric in that mindset is shares, whereas if you’re only trying to generate leads, you’ll look at something else. Just know, it’s really hard to measure how effectively one particular piece of content results in a sale. Most studies say it takes eight or nine pieces of content to contribute to a sale—a cumulative effect.

The focus, then, should be on content collectively instead of on single pieces of content.

How Important Is Video to Storytelling in 2016 and Beyond, and How Can You Use It Cost-Effectively?

Video has to be a priority in effective content marketing, for several reasons:

1) Facebook has said it is – Any hope of getting organic reach on social is dictated by the platform, and today’s winner is video all the way.

2) You have a whole generation that’s been brought up on video and would rather watch something than read it. If you want to engage with millennials, you pretty much have to have video.

So how do you do it cost-effectively?

The short answer is, you just do it. A lot of brands are succeeding with videos that are raw and real, yet not a waste of time. It can be short and truthful and relevant, and doesn’t necessarily have to be a Cannes Film Festival winner to be productive.

how-to-drive-an-effective-content-marketing-strategy-hawke media podcast

Hint: you should also overlay text on your videos, since often people are watching on mute.

Employees as Storytellers

Including employees as storytellers is critical—and relatively easy.

The problem is that companies are getting employees to share content, but they’re not adding their personal story on top of it. It’s one thing if employees work for a large company and they share whatever they are given on social. But most of the time if people don’t personalize their social posting, it’s so obviously an ad that you’ve lost what you could have gained.

A small group of employees can reach 10 million people with almost no cost, assuming they do it in a personal way. When they turn content into a story, they’re more interesting people.

In other words, being interesting is an art form.

Conclusion

Keep your content marketing strategy simple: pull people in by making sure you “PUSH.” Wait, sorry, was that confusing?

You get the idea…

Be sure to check out Drew Neisser’s book, The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing.

This episode is based on an interview with Drew Neisser from Renegade. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Hawke Media Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

how-to-drive-an-effective-content-marketing-strategy-hawke media podcast

© 2017 | All rights reserved Hawke Media.