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Every single client is unique to us and that is why every marketing plan must have a different strategy.
Quantified – The predicted outcome of each activity should be, as far as possible, quantified, so that its performance can be monitored. Focused - The temptation to proliferate activities beyond the numbers which can be realistically controlled should be avoided. Agreed – Those who are to implement them should be committed to them, and agree that they are achievable. Each and every marketing plan is different and catered to each company’s needs, contact us today and share with us your future goals and together we shall achieve! This example illustrates what Niraj Dawar, of the Havard Business Review, meant in his article on effective marketing strategies. According to Dawar, downstream activities—such as delivering a product for specific consumption circumstances—are increasingly the reason customers choose one brand over another and provide the basis for customer loyalty. Yet, business strategy continues to be driven by the ghost of the Industrial Revolution, long after the factories that used to be the primary sources of competitive advantage have been shuttered and off-shored. The strategic question that drives business today is not “What else can we make?” but “What else can we do for our customers?” Customers and the market—not the factory or the product—now stand at the core of the business. Let’s consider more closely how companies can use downstream activities to overturn traditional strategy.
In their quest for upstream competitive advantage, companies scramble to build unique assets or capabilities and then construct a wall to prevent them from leaking out to competitors. Downstream competitive advantage, in contrast, resides outside the company—it is the external linkage with customers, channel partners, and strategic alliances.
It is no secret that today, in many industries, the activities such as sourcing, production and logistics are being handled by outsourced companies, while subsequent efforts to reduce the costs and risks of customers are becoming sources of competitive advantage and the true source of value for the company. Get the full picture of content marketing in customer and business context with tons of resources to make you and your audiences succeed.
Content marketing is an umbrella term covering a set of strategies, techniques and tactics to fulfil business and customer goals by using the most relevant content to serve, attract, convert, retain and engage customers. This online content marketing guide provides an overview of what content marketing is, where it comes from, why it matters, how to get started and resources to succeed. Content marketing revolves around experiences: customer experiences, brand experiences, user experiences, etc.
The practices and principles of ‘good’ content marketing are here to stay, regardless of the definitions and even as content marketing – rightfully and obviously – continues to already be part of good, integrated and customer-centric marketing. Instead of “selling” the concept of content marketing and debating about what it exactly means and includes, it’s best to have a no-nonsense approach, looking at the broader context of the use of valuable content in a systematic, relevant, engaging and continuous way. Doug Kessler talks about content marketing going mainstream, homerun content, content marketing ROI, how to make the difference, storytelling and the role of confidence in content marketing.
Given the fact that content plays a role in virtually all marketing techniques and tactics, there are no goals that can’t be reached using content. If you’re a small local retailer in bathroom equiment, you may limit yourself to making sure you can answer the questions of your customers and keep them loyal or make them buy more or have more people buy from you (word-of-mouth indeed).
These are all essential questions, especially as content marketing is not an island but it does have some very specific processes that need to be managed and orchestrated in a collaborative way. Usually, they are a mix of mid-term and long-term goals as content marketing is not for the short run (only). Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights collaborated with HubSpot and several content marketers, including us, to make an infographic and paper, based on the strategic framework and research of Dave Chaffey. There is no “silver bullet” or one-size-fits-all content marketing strategy, plan or success framework that applies to every organization. Below you can find more links to succeed in content marketing, with seven frameworks that can help you in building a content marketing program and more. Addressing customer questions and pain points as a content marketing strategy A great way to succeed with content marketing is by responding to customer questions and customer pain points in a smart way. When you start using content marketing in a strategic and systematic way, you need to get several people on board, including various employees. When product marketing or R&D are briefing other teams in meetings in calls they are essentially providing a narrative of why specific products or solutions are being launched or offered. When you organize an event or participate in a tradeshow you can have speakers (internal, external), you see customers and prospects, you might have partners at your event who are close to their customers, etc. It goes hand in hand with content sharing, social content marketing, social media, copywriting, visual content, you name it. Content sharing and storytelling: why and how people share content Content sharing, word-of-mouth and storytelling are closely related.
You can find various blog posts on this website covering metrics, analytics and ROI: from overall marketing ROI to blog metrics, social media measurement and content marketing measurement. Measuring ROI and return of content marketing looks pretty much like measurement in general but there are some specific metrics and rules of thumb, among others, depending on content format, goal, business objective, interaction, stage in the customer life cycle, etc. Discover examples, roles, benefits, challenges and much more of the various media to build a proper mix. Curating content (and sharing it one way or another) has become very popular among consumers.
However, content curation is also being used by several organizations in a broader content marketing context.
What is it, what can it do and how do you pick the right content curation platform for your needs in case you decide to use content curation.
Is there any marketing tactic (PR is not a marketing tactic), customer- or public-facing practice and even business function that isn’t impacted by content (marketing)? As we have to start somewhere, below are some evolutions in PR (in correlation with content marketing but also, for instance, social media).
Content marketing and PR: a deep dive with Frank Strong Frank Strong, formerly at Vocus and now communications director with LexisNexis shares his views and experiences on the ways content marketing and PR work together. With the growing importance of content for marketing purposes, a range of new software platforms hit the market.
In the latter category we also find platforms that are closely connected with, for instance, marketing automation platforms. We started categorizing them and, more importantly, provide advice on how to select what you need.


Content marketing goes hand in hand with many marketing tactics, including search engine marketing and email marketing as you can read in various articles throughout this website. On top of a general content marketing plan and editorial calendars, organizations often make plans for specific channels, purposes and even content formats. In most (digital) content marketing and social media strategies, blogs play an essential role, often as the hub of social activities. If you don’t have a blog yet but are considering one or if you want to improve your existing corporate blog, our corporate blogging guide might come in handy. Content marketing as a term might be relatively new (it exists since the end of the nineties and was popularized in its current context around 2008-2009), the practice of content marketing most certainly isn’t. On our content marketing definition page we put content marketing a bit in a historic perspective.
However, as content marketing is increasingly moving towards digital as mentioned earlier and the modern way of looking at content marketing is very much related with the advent of Internet, we created a separate page on these online roots and their impact on, among others, media, publishing, looking at the customer and more. The key question is how content marketing can offer value to your business, customers and audiences, depending on the challenges, opportunities and areas where it is used. The essential thing to remember is that content marketing is NOT just about the marketing function. The purpose of developing a marketing strategy is to focus on target markets that present the best opportunities. The most effective marketing strategies promote the things that differentiate a company from the competition. Once you’ve identified one or more competitive advantages the next step is to identify those who will be the most interested in them. Once you’ve identified your competitive advantage and those who will be interested in the benefits it can provide the next step is to define how to tell them about it. Knowing your competitive advantage, your target market and developing an effective way to communicate your offering will not bring the desired results if you don’t determine the best way to reach your audience. Know your competitive advantage, define your target market, create your message and deliver your message the right way and you will have an effective marketing strategy.
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It makes sense for content marketers focus to be on the bottom line – (53% of enterprises said for them, that was increasing leads, and 52% said it was brand awareness), and “beginning with the end in mind” has been named one of the 7 habits of highly effective content marketers.  Alas, no amount of clarity-of-goal will help you achieve it if you don’t have a plan to get there. After you’ve answered these and you have a sense of what you’re working with, you’re one step closer to creating killer content. About Latest Posts Kait FowlieKait is a Content Creator here at Catalyst Canada, working for clients in the insurance sector. The Son of Siri, Viv, emerges on the voice search scene and Google scolds mobile-friendly cheaters.
This free B2B marketing plan template is an easy to use tool  designed to help you plan your marketing activities by objective. Get StartedBrainrider can help you get better results with a B2B Website update, best practice marketing planning & execution, or a Pardot marketing automation implementation. The resulting plans should become a working document which will guide the campaigns taking place throughout the organization over the period of the plan. Companies are still organized around their production and their products, success is measured in terms of units moved, and organizational hopes are pinned on product pipelines.
According to Dawar, “this new center of gravity demands a rethink of some long-standing pillars of strategy: First, the sources and focus of competitive advantage now lie outside the firm, and advantage is accumulative—rather than eroding over time as competitors catch up, it grows with experience and knowledge. You can tell which of its activities a firm considers to be a source of competitive advantage by how well protected they are: If the company believes its edge lies in its production processes, then plant visits are strictly controlled. It is most often embedded in the processes for interacting with customers, in market research, and in customer behavior. Content marketing is used across the customer journey and customer life cycle but doesn’t start nor end with the customer in the strict sense.
We’ ve been practicing it since far longer than the term existed, as did many others. However, these definitions and the term content marketing as such have become meaningless, even if we will hear it for many years to come, until it has reached the ‘plateau of productivity’ and the term might eventually disappear as content marketing becomes mainstream. In the interview on the right at our Content Marketing Conference 2014 Doug Kessler elaborates on what content marketing is and how to be successfull at it.
Content marketing in business and customer context, focused on offering value through great customer experiences, brand experiences, etc. But, then again, maybe that local retailer wants to grow and decides to use content marketing for it, which is perfectly possible (no boring or small businesses). If you know what a content marketing strategy typically is about, click below for a more advanced overview on how to define and deploy a content marketing strategy. In a step-by-step article we introduce you to different success parameters of content marketing with additional tips, quotes from the participants, the infographic and much more. However, it’s certainly true that in each case, common elements exist for successful content marketing programs. Furthermore, organizations often have lots of content sitting in siloed systems and in the heads of their employees. A content culture is not just about marketing, it’s also about knowing where content sits, governance, collaboration, etc. Storytelling is also closely related with word-of-mouth, recommendations and the simple act of sharing and connecting, since long before digital marketing, let alone content marketing even existed.
The industry of content marketing software is growing fast but also evolving fast, with some players being acquired by large marketing software vendors.
That’s where social content marketing comes in, among others with its specific social content strategy and social content optimization. Marketing without a defined strategy may be effective but focused marketing will always bring the best results.
The offering and target market should be as specific as possible without limiting the effectiveness of the strategy. Deeper investigation into marketers’ obstacles to achieving their goals with content showed that their efforts are being focused more on content creation rather than strategy, and it’s not paying off.
Having a plan informed by factors that matter (your buyer personas, any data-driven insights you have access to, etc), to guide each of your tactics along the way ensures that each content piece is created with your sales funnel in mind.


The workbook includes: prioritizing your marketing objectives, identifying program gaps and opportunities, new programs pick-list and an marketing budget planning worksheet.
As new channels and forms of online marketing emerge, what should content marketers focus on?
Production-related activities are honed to maximize throughput, and managers who worship efficiency are promoted. If it believes that R&D sets it apart, security around its research labs is airtight and armies of lawyers protect its patents. Content marketing further serves several business functions in a consistent, integrated and continuous way. Research shows that the majority of organizations use content marketing, in the sense of using content for any possible marketing or customer-facing role, regardless of content format, medium or channel.
By offering value to pre-defined groups of people content creates value for the customer in the broadest sense, in tune with brand and business objectives, and leading to value for the organization. Content that actually helps, makes a brand statement and leads to tangible results across the customer life cycle. Furthermore, there is ample room for differentiation, even if at first sight the approach seems easy to replicate. Obviously, events can also be boosted and the ROI can be optimized when doing pre-event interviews or content creation, on the spot social content activities and post-event marketing.
We know why: storytelling is one of the most human ways of passing along knowledge and traditions, mesmerizing audiences and, in fact, human nature as such. From the psychology of sharing to content sharing practices, expert views and storytelling: this article, with plenty of visuals and additional resources, tells it all. However, at the same time, much of what PR has always been about in Frank’s experience centered on content. At the same time, we see several marketing software vendors but also content management firms and others including content marketing features. It all depends but there are many befits and reasons to at least have a corporate blog (which doesn’t mean it should be company-centric). Good content marketing programs involve multiple internal customers (customer service, sales, product marketing, brand management, etc.) and content marketing is not owned by marketing (nor by PR or any other division). Target markets that will be most responsive to your unique service and product offerings will achieve the best results for you and your customer. Mapping your competitive advantage to prospective customers will maximize the impact of your marketing efforts. The message itself should draw attention and highlight your competitive advantage in such a way as to pique the interest of your target market. However, that same consumer, finding herself in a park on a hot summer day, will gladly pay $2.00 dollars for a chilled can of Coke sold through a vending machine. Downstream, it’s no longer about having the better product: Your focus is on the needs of customers and your position relative to their purchase criteria. And if it prizes its talent, you’ll find hip work spaces for employees, gourmet lunches, yoga studios, nap nooks, sabbaticals, and flexible work hours. It looks at the customer from a connected perspective and takes into account the content requirements of anyone serving and engaging prospects and customers. What is new, though, is the way of looking at the role of content in a more strategic, planned, integrated, intelligent and customer-centric way. And, last but not least, you need a way to manage the content you have and unlock it by making the link between content and information management on one hand (typically not the role of marketing) and your content marketing team. Blogs have many inherent benefits, can serve multiple (content) marketing goals and there are dozens of good arguments to get started. If there is a product or service that you offer but your competitors don’t, you have a unique advantage. Knowing the shopping methods your target audience uses is critical to delivering your message.
The benefit of the marketing strategy must justify the anticipated costs in order to be worthwhile.
That 700% price premium is attributable not to a better or different product but to a more convenient means of obtaining it. The art of storytelling in 6 content marketing context questions While the previous article primarily focused on content and story sharing, this one provides an exhaustive and visually rich overview of storytelling in general, storytelling in content marketing and of course again more resources.
Third, the pace and evolution of markets are now driven by customers’ shifting purchase criteria rather than by improvements in products or technology” (Dawar, 2013).
When we met with both it was a great opportunity to look deeper into what was once known as PR 2.0 and is really about PR evolving as other business functions in a connected, social and content-intensive reality. While not all business want or need to grow in that maturity model, each stage requires the ability to work across silos, integrate, plan and collaborate. Frameworks for smart content marketing programs There are tons of models and frameworks to develop a content marketing strategy or plan.
In this second part of a long and in-depth interview with Lee, he offers some great advice on a more strategic approach to storytelling and some success factors. The reason for that is simple: each business and each content marketing strategy is different. Based on a keynote presentation and an interview with Mike Corak, one of the speakers at our Content Marketing Conference.
Content marketing strategy and audience segmentation One of the steps in a content marketing strategy is correlating business goals with target audiences. There are also other models, for instance in storytelling some like to work with archetypes. This isn’t just about social media and the crucial involvement of social listening and the connected consumer in your content marketing strategy. It’s also about channel enablement, understanding the customers of your target audiences (internal and external) to serve them better and get more success.



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