Content Marketing Bible Introduction - Apple Box Studios

Introduction to Content Marketing

“The processes you put in place to manage your content marketing will be unique. Your story is (or should be) unique, and so too will be your method for telling it.” -CMI

THE MARKETING WORLD HAS BEEN TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. It was not long ago that marketers were still focused on placing product messages in front of consumers’ eyes to generate leads. But the Internet and technologyhave quickly changed the game. Consumers are now users; they are in control and are harder to reach than ever. In order to reach them, build relationships and generate/nurture leads, brands must produce quality content that is engaging, interactive, mobile friendly and sharable. And as quality content proves to be one of the most effective assets in modern marketing, organizations are developing a near limitless appetite for producing it.

Brands know why, but are struggling with the “how?” question to content marketing. How do I develop a strategy? How do I publish fire-like content? And how do I make it spread to get me ROI I’ll like? This guide to content marketing seeks to answer the “how?” question. It should be used as an expanding learning tool that offers valuable, relevant and simplified information during each stage of the content marketing process. Its format should remain adjustable and its content will be ever evolving.

Many marketers do not realize that content marketing is one of the oldest and most effective strategies in history. Over time, the basic principles of content marketing have not really changed. What continues to change are the content distribution channels/platforms used to reach your audience. Some marketers of today may say the evolution of the internet has killed off traditional channels in favor of the digital realm. However, this evolution only makes us (marketers and consumers) look at channels differently, simply because they are used differently by consumers. Content marketers thus have the responsibility to look at all available channels to tell stories. This is why it is important to stay on top of current trends and find what your audience is interested in, talking about, wanting to learn, what technology they are using and the space they are spending time in.

In order to break down successful content marketing, this manual first offers a high level overview of the concept – its history, why it’s successful today, and what the necessary mindset is. Next, this manual breaks down how to get your strategy started. Your strategy will incorporate strategic, operational, and tactical planning, content creation, distribution, and metrics for multiple stages of the buying cycle to multiple customer personas.

Successful content marketing isn’t always just about the content. Relevant targeted marketing is also necessary, which is why online advertising with relevant targeting capabilities is explored next. “Getting Started” emphasizes the importance of having a marketing strategy and how to plan for it. “Online Advertising” covers direct response-click like Google AdWords and online advertising networks. “Social Media” provides general and specific information on current platforms so that you can lay the foundation and create conversation when people aren’t immediately ready to buy. With high-quality content, social media and relevant targeted marketing, you can build awareness, protect your reputation, build a community around your brand, enhance customer service, help your research and product development, drive sales, become an industry leader and generate leads.

Why Content Marketing?

What the Cavemen Taught Us about Content Excellence
CONTENT MARKETING HAS BEEN AROUND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Cavemen used to sit around the fire, telling stories of their daily adventures. These stories were told again and again. Listeners would pass them on to their friends, who would tell them to their friends, and so on. The interesting and compelling ones would eventually be drawn on the cave walls and immortalize for centuries to come. And the stories that weren’t interesting or compelling – nobody would pass those on. The story tellers were probably interrupted even before they finished. Engagement was a priority even 100,000 years ago. Stories were in the hands of the people at least until the birth of film and television, when advertisers and executives had to give their approval for a story to make it to the audience.

A Fresh Marketing Mindset
The rise of content marketing has nothing to do with stopping anything with traditional marketing. Actually, we need both. The home runs occur when content marketing and traditional marketing work together to help tell the same story. Take on the mindset:

1.  Content marketing and social channels are constantly changing.

  • Your content marketing strategy needs to be able to constantly and quickly adapt
  • Stay ahead of what is trending and what tools are the best for reaching your audience
  • Tools are constantly becoming “so yesterday,” which is why it’s necessary to review the performance of each content marketing tactic you use, and also listen to and monitor your online reputation on a constant basis to ensure that you’re always heading in the right direction.

2. Content marketing is dynamic and non-linear.

  • Marketing today differs from traditional media in the past where story telling was static and a one-way street
  • Successful content marketing strategies allow and anticipate a non-linear and dynamic story telling process that involve several media formats, social networks, and consumer generated stories. Yes, that’s right – Consumer generated.
CMI found 76% of B2B businesses will produce more content over the next 12 months and 51% will increase spending.

3. There is no one size fits all model.

  • Each content marketing strategy will be different depending on the client
  • A successful strategy will be customized to fit your client’s needs, which involves implementing different social media channels, technology and stories.

4. Content marketing campaigns are not for everyone.

  • A good content marketing strategist knows what your client needs and if a content marketing campaign will be the most successful path or not.

5. Content marketing is channel-agnostic.

  • You should be looking at all available channels to engage with customers…print, in-person, and online (including mobile). The Internet’s evolution is only making us look at channels differently, not necessarily killing them off. All channels are used differently by consumers. It’s important to understand your niche audience and find the best places to reach them with an integrated approach.

Most Popular Content Marketing Tactics
CMI, the content marketing institute released B2B Content Marketing stats for 2016. The institute found that some of the most popular ways, by percentage of companies, are social media (93%), case studies (82%), in-person events (81%), e-newsletters (81%), blogs (81%), article and video posting (79%), photos and illustrations (76%) and white papers (71%)

TAKE YOUR PICK

Introduction
Everything you need to know about content marketing.

  • Why Content Marketing?
    How utilizing content marketing will boost your company’s reputation, brand, sales, and service

Getting Started

  • Plan
    Every company needs a plan of action. Why is your company creating online content in the first place and what should you create content about?
  • Research
    Maintain your competitive advantage by keeping up with the ever-changing content marketing trends. Researching is necessary for every online marketing challenge.
  • The Team
    As the use of online content marketing continues to grow, the size of your company’s marketing team
    needs to proportionately expand.
  • Production
    Create content excellence by producing more engaging, interactive, and sharable content.
  • Distribution
    As the channels in which audiences use to find content continue to expand, optimize distribution in order
    to reach/engage your audience.
  • Audience Development
    The key element for solid online marketing content is a connection to, and a conversation with, your
    consumers.
  • Measure
    Focus on the results of you content marketing metrics in order to ensure your online content is being seen and valued by your audience.

Online Advertising

    • PPC
      Pay per click is a great online marketing strategy that offers financial incentives by implementing purchase opportunities where users may be surfing.
    • Google
      Google effectively reaches web-browsing customers by making a wide range of ads available on the Display Network to boost your online content.

  • Online Advertising Networks
    Online ad networks represent many websites and allow buyers to reach their audiences by connecting advertisers to the websites wanting to host advertisements.
  • iTunesRadio
    iTunes Radio is an ad-supported service available to all iTunes user to make a unified, music discovery experience.
  • Apple Music
    Apple Music is a music streaming service through which users can either select music to stream on-demand, or can listen to existing, curated playlists.
  • Tidal
    Tidal is a music streaming service owned and managed by artists themselves.
  • Spotify
    Spotify is a commercial music streaming service allowing users to incorporate social media and to advertise through their iAd program.
  • Virtual Reality & Aritificial (Assisted) Intelligence Marketing
    Assisted intelligence as a marketing aid and virtual reality as a marketing tool to individually appeal to the interests of consumers on an individual basis.

Social Media

  • Facebook
    Facebook is a free, online social networking site allowing users to connect and advertise their content worldwide.
  • Twitter
    Twitter is an online social media network service allowing users to send out 140 characters worth of content per post.
  • Instagram
    Instagram is an online mobile photo and video-sharing social media service allows you to share and market pictures, videos, and advertisements to promote your brand and company.
  • Snapchat
    Snapchat is a photo messaging application allowing users to take and send photos, videos and text to a controlled list of recipients.
  • YouTube
    YouTube is a video sharing social media website that users can post personal or promotional videos on.
  • Vimeo
    Vimeo is a video sharing social media website, known as the YouTube of the business world. Users are able to upload, share, and view videos boosting their integrative marketing campaign.
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest is a visual social media site, where people create and share content to promote business and common interests.
  • LinkedIn
    LinkedIn was created to make business connections through social networking and online marketing.
  • SlideShare
    SlideShare is a slide hosting service, B2B marketers greatly benefit from as it is a combined power of LinkedIn and SlideShare.
  • Blogs
    Blogs are brief posts of personalized Web content that offer connections to social media and SEO benefits when promoting an individual or a business.
  • Tumblr
    Tumblr is a micro blogging and social networking platform for content posting, allowing users to share information, pictures, and other media for free.
  • eNewsLetters
    eNewsLetters are publications distributed by businesses in order to maintain the interest of their customers and to gain new web traffic.
  • Canva
    Canva is an image-creating tool, giving social media/content marketing users the ability to create high quality images to boost their online initiatives.
  • Tackk
    Tackk is a digital tool that allows users to create high quality text, images, audio and video to be shared to Tackkboard and other social networks.
  • In-Person Events
    In-Person Events is a content marketing strategy involving face-to-face interactions with all attendees. This strategy is known as being one of the most effective content marketing tactics.
  • Webinars
    Webinars are interactive video seminars posted on the Internet in order to share expertise to enhance your online marketing strategy.
  • Podcasts
    Podcasts are a series of video and audio broadcast recordings uploaded to the Internet, which allows customers to be engaged building a sense of trust and brand loyalty.
  • SoundCloud
    SoundCloud is a global online audio distribution platform allowing users to create sound content and share it internationally.
  • SEO Today
    Every company should utilize search engine optimization (SEO) methods to increase the number of visitors and amount of traffic to a website. Using SEO techniques will lead to a higher-ranking placement on search engine web pages.

Measurement

  • Tools
    Companies should use Tools as an analytics platform that helps manage your digital marketing strategy.
  • Links & Resources
    Some extra links and resources for more information for more online and social media marketing strategies.

Glossary

  • Terms that every company with an online marketing campaign should know.