One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when starting any content marketing initiative is not knowing the “why” behind it.
What is the purpose of the content? How does it fit into the overall content mix?
The second biggest mistake is not knowing what they are going to do with the content.
Where does it go? How are people going to engage with it?
The third is not knowing how how it’s supposed to impact the business.
Is it to drive sales? Create ancillary revenue?
According to a recent report from Content Marketing Institute, 46 percent of marketers said their organization has a documented strategy for managing content as a business asset; 44 percent said they don’t, and ten percent weren’t sure.
I get it. You’ve worked hard to sell in content marketing into your organization, you have the budget, and you’re ready to prove the value of brand storytelling. I see it all the time when I work with brands to develop global content strategies, build out content marketing teams, and launch content studios. But before we get to the How and What, we have to start with The Why and create a content strategy.
“The 3C Content Marketing Strategy can transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.”
I developed and use what I call the 3C Strategy when I work with brands. It’s been so successful in creating content that consumers engage with that I’m sharing it with you today to inspire you and help kick start your content marketing journey.
The 3C’s of Content Marketing
- Content – first, sit down and draw a content pyramid. At the top, start with your Hero Content (brand films, documentaries, etc). Then in the middle fill in your Hub Content (webisodes, episodic programming, brand publishing, etc). Then at the bottom, fill in your Help Content (always on, social media, news, etc). Map this back to a documented editorial strategy and develop your content ecosystem to ensure you’re developing all types and formats of content. This doesn’t mean your’e developing creative yet. Just documenting content types. The most important thing to remember — everything should content. No content should ever have a dead end.
- Community – Once you have your content documented, it’s time to think about where you’re going to distribute the content. Is it going on owned channels, social channels, partner channels, etc? What amount of paid media are you dedicating to the content? My general rule: 50% of the production budget should go towards paid media. How do all those channels connect and how are you ultimately building a community around your content? That’s the most important. Your content should be targeting a “segment” or a community? Is it driving subscribers, likes, views, etc?
- Commerce – Finally, comes the money part. The ROI. The most important thing to understand is that not all content is designed to create commerce. Maybe it’s to introduce a brand or change brand perception, but a lot of content can drives sales and create ancillary revenue. How are you driving commerce from the community? Long tail brand films and documentaries can actually be licensed to other distributors. Guess what? That revenue can fund more marketing.
Content + Community + Commerce = a winning content marketing strategy that will win the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers.
Consumers are hungry for content. They are begging for it and they’ll engage with the brands that give them content that informs, entertains, or solves problems for them.
“Stop interrupting what they’re interested in with ads and start becoming what they’re interested in with content.”
Brands need to provide value first, before talking about themselves.
Publish or Perish.