I’m honored to once again be invited to moderate at Content Marketing World. Like last year, I was asked to answer several questions for Content Marketing Institute’s series of preview posts. In addition to my contribution to this post, you will find advice from other well-known digital marketing experts, including Andy Crestodina, Matt Heinz, and Jay Acunzo.
Here is my complete interview with CMI:
1. Engaging content. People use this term all the time. What does this mean, and what are some tips for marketers to make their content more engaging (and less like checking a box)? How should brands use metrics to define engagement/know if their engagement is successful?
To me, engaging content is simply content that provokes an action of some kind. That could be a click deeper into the site, socializing the content, or even producing a conversion.
The best way to create engaging content is to try to make an emotional connection with the reader and/or addressing a specific need. The goal is to write as if you are speaking directly to the reader about something they have a defined interest in. Obviously, not every piece of content will be able to connect with every reader, but if you are addressing the reader’s pain points, and providing solutions, you’ll make that connection.
Social shares, time on site, pages viewed and conversions are all good metrics to measure engagement.
2. How do you respond to this oft-asked question: How can I prove my content marketing is working?
First you have to set goals. Without goals you will have no way to know whether what you’re doing works or not. After goals comes a strategy designed specifically to achieve those goals. Then measure. Each goal will have different measurements, and you won’t necessarily hit your goals right away, but you should start seeing the needle move in that direction.
3. Content marketing has changed a great deal in the past six years since the first Content Marketing World. What are some of the biggest changes you have seen — and how should marketers respond?
For the most part, I think businesses have started to understand that there needs to be a purpose to the content. Without that, it’s just words (or video, etc.) on a page. People aren’t really interested in reading content, but they are interested in discovering solutions and learning more about the topics they are interested in. If your content is just more of the same, the value is limited. However, if you focus on the purpose of each piece of content, you’re going to see better results.
4. We talk about content marketing fundamentals all the time. List up to 5 things most marketers should be doing right now — instead of simply creating more content.
- Setting Goals
- Creating a Strategy
- Build content around the strategy
- Measuring the results
- Assess, and start over with #1.
Don’t forget to check out CMI’s Content Marketing World preview articles.