LiveBlog – Content is Currency – Jon Wuebben at SXSW
For this assignment, I decided to go directly to the source, Jon Wuebben, the author of the book for this class Content Is Currency. I found a presentation that he gave at this spring’s SXSW in Austin. It was pretty fast-paced and a little repetitive, but the presentation was a good overview of the general idea of Content Marketing. I couldn’t help to think that this presentation could have been diced up in to a few different presentations to provide a deeper dive into the different tactics and strategies. But hey, maybe that’s just me thinking like a good content marketer…
12:15 Author Jon Wuebben introduces himself at SXSW for his presentation about how to dominate online with smart content marketing. Gotta respect an author for just quickly pitching his book and moving through to the presentation.
12:18 Content marketing is coming into it’s own in the marketing world. Content marketing wasn’t a “pillar” of marketing a few years ago, but now business are flocking to it and the area is getting due recognition. However, there is a knowledge gap with content marketing – most companies don’t get it!
12:19 – To Jon, 3 things have changed over the past several years that marketers should pay attention to:
1) Consumer has more power than ever – testimonials, compare shop, reviews, spread message. Want to build relationships with you – not just hear about products and services.
2) Fundamental shift in how people perceive content – Content is still last priority, more companies are getting it. You should start with the content strategy then build out a website from there.
3) I missed the third one but will post a video of this talk so you can review.
12:21 – So just what is content marketing?
Content Marketing is using high quality content that attracts, engages, and connects with customers. Any goal as a marketer should be to create better content than your competitors and be the expert of the industry you operate in. It all doesn’t have to be “free” – paid content counts too and is a good way to attract leads to new customers.
12:23 – What is a major hang up to most marketers trying to put a content marketing strategy into motion is the question: how do you prioritize the content creation? There are ways to do this that he quickly talks about, focusing in on ways content can be leveragd by slicing and dicing the blog posts, newsletters, etc. and re-purposing them over the different content silos.
12:24 Content must be analyzed – Marketers or web producers should start here! Things to look for when you conduct an audit:
1) What do you have? Audit what content you have, take inventory and review the content to see what is important or what are duds. Identify who is responsible for the content creation and how often it should change. Once you get this…
2) Look at it for SEO. Check out basic things like keywords in right places or are they being used at all? The point is to make the content work for you.
3) Is it sharable? Look to see if the content can be easily shared. Sharing is the easiest way that people are going to find out about you. People trust recommendations for friends and family more than they do advertisements from companies. Play that up!
12:27 – Content should be compelling to readers, visible to search, linkable to partners, sharable through social media, and transferable to mobile devices. Mobile is up and coming, and not many companies are honing into it. If you do, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
12:30 – There are so many trends within this space that it seems easy to get lost in all the tactical ways to put CM to work. But many of the tactics can be leveraged together.
12:32 – Putting content marketing to work starts with a content strategy and editorial calendar. Then create content and focus on how you are going to distribute it within the content silos. Even think about on a day to day basis – autoresponders, social feedback, curating the content that’s out there and is relevant that you can share.
12:35 – Jon quickly flows into his 3 pillars of CM & the “content marketing machine” which are, very quickly:
1) The content itself
2) The design of the content: how it looks and is laid up.
3) Usability – how people get around and navigate the content
12:36 – There are different channels for content marketing that marketers can primarily start with:
1) Primary – blog, newsletters, etc , the stuff that makes up the website
2) Lead generation – downloads, white papers, etc.
3) Offsite – tweets, YouTube, etc.
12:40 Once content is created (and you spend money to put it out there), it needs to be supported. Supporting the content means that companies can leverage what the customers tell them as testimonials and feedback. This is an underutilized area that business should incorporate in their content marketing plan. There are other ways too. Like supporting the content through SEO and giving away something to entice their audience. Free offers are important, especially when customers need to try something before being committed. Make it easy, make it risk free to interact with you.
12:43 – Monitoring the competition is important. You don’t need to obsess over it, but you should be aware of how they are interacting and engaging their customers. What is popular? What is their voice? Any marketer in charge of a brand should absolutely take heed.
12:47 – Awesome, another list! This presentations are full of lists of tactical things to do. I can’t see the powerpoint screen, so that isn’t helping! Anyway, back to it…6 Content Modules of your website – putting your content into modules can help map out how you are going to satisfied certain audience types.
1) Info modules – How are you and what do you do. Place this on the main page of your homage.
2) Lead generation – downloadable, gather customer information
3) News section – people that want to know the latest, blogs, press releases – always up to date, can’t be stale.
4) Opinion – click through to your blog, something that is in your voice
5) Offer module – capitalize of the impulse buy, make it easy by inciting them, risk free – what do the competitors do?
6) Human interaction module – live self help, get help right away with live chat.
12:50 – Coming up with content is hard, but Jon suggests some ways to spark your idea generation
Resource – be the expert, help out the audience, offer tips or interview someone who can.
News – be knowledgeable with something relevant to your industry, share these stories
Contrary – go against the grain, play devils advocate
Humor – who doesn’t like to laugh at a funny, well crafted message?
Contests, interviews, how-to – simple to do with high impact.
12:52 – A list of takeaways. First and foremost know your audience and make your content relevant for them. Is the content sharable and optimized? This is so important for driving new customers. Ask if te content is sharable and optimized every time you create content. How can this content be leveraged? It is important to think of ways that one piece of content can be used different ways over time. And lastly, is it profitable? How does the content make you money? The end goal is to use content to create new customers and customers for life.