This blog post is continued from Content Marketing Q&A With Tod Hirsch [Part 1]...
The date of our latest Sacramento HUG meetup was March 16, hosted at Blast Analytics and Marketing in Rocklin. Our fireside chat between Tod Hirsch and Josh Unfried was a huge hit with the audience.
In case you missed the conversation, you're in luck! I've typed out a transcription of the word-for-word conversation (Not really, this has been edited, but you get the idea) that took place.
Here is Part II of the content marketing discussion; just a taste of what you'll get when you hop on board with the Sac HUG—it's free!
Q: What are some misconceptions you’ve heard regarding content marketing? What’s a question or statement that you wish to never hear again?
A: There are so many misconceptions.
- Lack of Strategy. Starting to create content without developing a detailed, thought-through strategy is craziness. At the very least, you need to map your Audience to Topic Focus to Content Type to Channels. Without this, focus is going to be difficult - leading to less-than-stellar results and less adoption of content marketing internally.
- Lack of a long term mindset. See above.
- Quantity over quality. Non-media companies are not set up to be efficient publishers. Many times they don’t have the team skill sets, editorial processes or governance that traditional publishers do because it’s not their core competency. It’s not even the marketing department’s core competency. So when they hear they have to write 10 blog posts a month, they turn out mediocre, unoriginal content that will not resonate with their customers let alone rank well in the search engines. This leads to disillusion, slow adoption and lack of buy in at the c-level. One piece of unique, great content is worth 50 pieces of mediocre content.
- Lack of Focus on Customer Utility. Many companies treat the internet channel just like other channels (TV, radio, print, outdoor). They attempt to use it as a megaphone. The key difference between the internet channel and these other offline channels is customer power and choice. If you’re not useful to your customers, you will be ignored on the internet. The internet channel is the place to be authentic, helpful and to demonstrate your expertise, not just claim it like on other channels.
Q. What’s the difference between PR and content marketing?
A: Rather than making an either or distinction between PR and content marketing, I would say that the profession and skillsets of PR has been (or should be) redefined to include content promotion, outreach and influencer marketing. Quicksprout has a good guide one this. So to answer the question, PR is an important component of content marketing rather than different from content marketing, per se.
Q: What role can paid advertising play in content marketing?
A: Paid advertising should play a role in content marketing. Related to the PR question, use of paid channels to promote high value content is a valuable and viable way to gain quick visibility. Many companies have difficulty with paying for clicks to “just content” - rather than to a more traditional bottom-of-the-funnel landing page that generates revenue. I think this mindset is changing. As an aside, Blast almost always advocates a good balance between Paid and Organic for our client’s marketing programs - regardless of whether it’s traditional content or not. There are a lot of advantages to using both - halo effect, instilling a sense of industry leadership in customers’ minds etc. The eventual goal is to gradually decrease your PPC spend as your organic rankings improve.
Q: Rank these in order of importance—Analytics, Strategy, Copywriting, Buyer Personas.
A: I guess I would say:
- Strategy is number 1 because it helps you define...
- Buyer Personas, which in turn drive what content you create...
- Analytics because it will help you define what types of metrics, buyer behavior and reporting that you want to have.
So what do you think—do you want to hear more from digital marketing experts like Tod? Sign up for email updates from the Sacramento HUG!